Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry

ESPN Senior Fantasy Analyst, & NY Times Best Selling Author of Fantasy Life

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON November 11, 2015

Discussion

Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
Hey, I’m Matthew Berry... Sr. Fantasy Analyst for ESPN.com. I’m also a bit of an entrepreneur and enjoy the start-up world. I’m flattered that Product Hunt has recently featured two things I’m involved with... FantasyMovieLeague.com (a fun, free fantasy game for box office results) and FantasyLifeApp.com – an app focused on the fantasy football community – getting and giving advice, private texting with league mates and trash talk.
kacy fortner
kacy fortner@kacyf · Engineer, Perfect Audience
@producthunt -- Whoa. Crazy! Crazy! Thanks for bringing @MatthewBerryTMR here. -- Matthew, every time I watch a game, I'm assaulted with ads for FanDuel and Draft Kings. How has this recent weekly fantasy trend changed the way you work? Is it good or bad for the industry? Am I crazy for keeping Derek Carr as my starting QB for the rest of the season in a 12 team league? Should I trade him high right now? Thanks!
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@kacyf Hey Kacy - thanks for downloading and apparently listening! Derek Carr is totally legit as a top 12 QB the rest of the way. Good O line, two great receivers, a legit run game and defense bad enough that he'll have to keep throwing. Remember, Carr was top 5 in the NFL LAST YEAR in pass attempts - this is nothing new. The new part is Cooper and Crabtree. As for daily fantasy, the biggest impact it's had on my job is two fold. It's increased visibility of fantasy, certainly, both at ESPN and through the country. So shows that might not have wanted to talk fantasy are now doing so and those that did are talking more of it. And it has also increased the workload of my analysis. Someone that is a great play in season long may not be as good a play in daily, due to his price. And vice verse. So there's more research there because there are differences between season long and daily.
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Hi @MatthewBerryTMR thanks so much for joining us today. Would love to hear as a writer what you feel about the ever disappearing ad dollar for news content? Where do you see the future of journalism? How will platforms monetise in the future? Will all of them adopt subscription models like ESPN?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@harrystebbings Hi Harry: Wow, that's a lot of questions. 1) I'm a creative guy, not a business guy and I certainly can't speak for ESPN on that, but in general, ad dollars are still there, it's just about finding new and creative ways to serve content that both serves fans and delivers a message for the sponsor. I will say that from my POV, fantasy seems to be hotter than ever. The engagement, the brand awareness, are off the charts, so while I don't study the P&L, it seems like ESPN has no trouble selling ads against fantasy content. 2) I don't consider myself a journalist - I write about fake football, you know, so it wouldn't be fair of me to lecture on the future of journalism. I will say that my opinion is there will always be a need to objective and good reporting, people asking the right questions and giving a voice to those who don't. Platforms may change but the need never will. 3) Again, you're asking me to comment on the business practices of other companies. I have no idea. But certainly, we at ESPN have found with our Insider product and I have found via my site RotoPass.com (which I am an owner of) that if you provide compelling enough content, people will pay for it.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
Welcome to Product Hunt, TMR! Two of my favorite things collide: Fantasy Football and Product Hunt. I've been commissioning a league (every other year) with the same school buddies since 2006. What "disruption" have you seen in FFB that has perpetuated the craze behind the game? For me, it's FantasyCast. Often times, it updates faster than my cable.
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@andrewmettinger To me it's mobile, specifically smart phones and the apps. The ability to draft, mock draft, change your line-up, add/drop players, make a trade, etc from anywhere is a true game changer is one of the big reasons it went from kinda popular to "everyone does it."
Desmond
Desmond@desmonddantzler · Working on Fanbox.
Hi @matthewberrytmr, I appreciate you taking the time to answer questions today. You mentioned you are in 8 leagues this year, do you use any fantasy services/tools to help you manage all those leagues and what innovations do you see (or hope to see) within the fantasy industry in the coming years? Thank you!
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@desmonddantzler A buddy of mine had an idea for a central hub for people who are in different leagues on different services (as I'm sure many others do). Biggest restraint: not all services provide an all-encompassing API. I'd love to see ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, etc. open it up and allow 3rd parties to come in and be a hub for all your fantasy teams. Solution to that problem: just convince your commissioners to use ESPN! I'm loyal to my 1 league so not sure if this feature exists, but should: in the My Team tab, being able to shuffle between your teams (select from dropdown menu or the like).
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@andrewmettinger @desmonddantzler The drop down exists. I'm not on the product team at ESPN and those decisions are above my pay grade, but in my own personal opinion (speaking only for myself here).. I want everyone to play all of their leagues on ESPN. No disrespect but I truly believe we are the best platform. So, no one asked me, but if I was asked, I would say I am not in favor of making it easier for people to play anywhere other than ESPN.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@matthewberrytmr @desmonddantzler I almost a joined another league this year, but it was on another platform, so in 1 league I remain.
Desmond
Desmond@desmonddantzler · Working on Fanbox.
@andrewmettinger @desmonddantzler I agree and hope that fantasy providers (NFL.com, ESPN etc.) provide an open API for the developer community. Would love to see the helpful tools that could be built with aforementioned api's, but I do understand Mr. Berry's loyalty.
MisterArcher.com
MisterArcher.com@misterarcher · founder
Good afternoon! What is your least favorite element of daily fantasy sports?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@misterarcher Well, my least favorite part of fantasy - be it season long or daily - is losing, of course. No one likes to lose! But I've been blessed with enough skill and experience, however, that I don't have to experience that all that often, which is great.
Andre Jacobovitz
Andre Jacobovitz@jacobovitza · Product Manager at Amazon
Hi @MatthewBerryTMR - what percentage of fantasy football is skill vs luck?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@jacobovitza Don't know that I would put a percentage on it, but it's a large part due to skill. Every league I've been in over the years, the same owners do well and the same owners do poorly, year after year. I make the playoffs in over 90% of the leagues I play in and I play multiple leagues, with different formats and different owners every year (I'm in 8 this season).
JJ Tang
JJ Tang@jjrichardtang · Product @IBMCloud 🚢
Hey Matthew, thanks for being here today! 🙌 What is something you believe in that other people might find crazy, insane, or out of the ordinary?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@jjrichardtang Ha! Great question. Not sure. I believe Superman 2 (The original "Kneel before Zod") is a better movie than the first. I believe Born to Run is NOT one of Bruce Springsteen's best 15 songs. Same for Jimmy Buffet and "Margaritaville." I believe Chik-Fil-A sandwiches should NOT have the pickle. So gross. Ruins a great sandwich.
Adam Besvinick
Adam Besvinick@besvinick · VC at Anchorage Capital
TMR - thanks as always for such mediocre fantasy advice, which has carried me to an 8-1 record this year (giving Jeb a run for his money). I'm commish of a league that is now in its 11th season, and so I'm also part-time arbitrator of disputes. Quick question where feedback / a ruling would be welcome. We are turning our league into a keeper league for the first time ever. A guy drafted Jordy Nelson super late thinking he'd be clever, but subsequently dropped him. Is Jordy fair game to get picked up by anyone to hold as a keeper? Should only the guy who drafted him be able to make that pickup? Or should Jordy just be untouchable because it's a murky, at best, situation on how to resolve it? Thanks for your wisdom!
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@besvinick Tough one. Can you give me more info? When did the league decided to become a keeper? The only fair way to declare you are going to be a keeper league is to do it BEFORE the draft as knowing it's a keeper league greatly effects how you draft - you may go for younger players, you may draft back-ups differently, you may go earlier on stud WR's (they keep their value longer than stud RB's) etc etc. So if you declared this before the draft than Jordy is available to all players. If you declared it after the draft, then only Jordy's original owner should get a crack because I would assume, knowing it's a keeper league, he would not have dropped the guy. Need to know when it was declared a keeper league to make a fair ruling.
Adam Besvinick
Adam Besvinick@besvinick · VC at Anchorage Capital
@matthewberrytmr it was declared before the draft, which is why this guy took Jordy really late. He thought he was getting a steal. He dropped him, though, because he couldn't afford to give up that roster spot for the entire season.
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@besvinick Oh, then in that case, fair game for everyone. Assuming any other player that was drafted and then dropped could be kept by another league member (I assume that's the rule), then Jordy is the same.
Adam Besvinick
Adam Besvinick@besvinick · VC at Anchorage Capital
@matthewberrytmr thank you, sir!
Matt Lugo
Matt Lugo@wwmld · Customer Experience/Operations
Hey @MatthewBerryTMR thanks again for doing this live chat! Is it time now for FF owners to look into Weeks 14-16? I'm already in the playoffs in both of my leagues and might consider looking into RB matchups early.
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@wwmld Yep! Now is the time!
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
Ok gang. Thanks so much for stopping by. Tried to get to as many questions as I could. I'll do a video chat another time - appreciate the hospitality of the Product Hunt gang!
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
@matthewberrytmr Thanks for coming by! Enjoyed it. Everyone else, stay tuned for TMR's LIVE Video Chat!
Kate
Kate@katesegrin · Head of Social @ GitHub
What was your first experience with sports (neighborhood basketball, Little League baseball, etc?) and when did you realize you wanted to make a career out of working in the sports world?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@katesegrin Hi Kate: First experience playing was t-ball at age 6. Played little league basketball at 6 as well. Was a competitive tennis player - played every day - from time I was 10. As for a career, I never thought I could - I didn't want to make a career out of it until around age 35, when the fantasy sports website I started on the side started to take off and I was devoting more time to it than my actual career. It's a long story that I detail in my book Fantasy Life, but ultimately, it never occurred to me until I was in my 30's that I could possibly make a career in sports.
Niv Dror
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@benthompson @Besvinick @joshelman @GaryVee Matthew Berry is live if you want to ask him anything :)
Ilya Tabakh
Ilya Tabakh@ilyatabakh
Hi @MatthewBerryTMR, you get an interesting perspective of the evolving formats of leagues and tools being used by managers. Can you comment about a few interesting changes in format and tools being used out there? Besides people listening to your podcast and broadcast content that is.
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@ilyatabakh Well, this sounds like a plant, but I really do love the products I'm associated with. The FantasyLife App is terrific for getting instant feedback on pretty much every question you might have - wisdom of the crowds, etc and on RotoPass.com, we have a number of tools for both season long and daily. Line-up optimizers, trade analyzers, schedule grid breakdowns.... One of my favorites is an online app from RotoViz which is a splits comparison. So you can easily see... What are Matthew Stafford's numbers with Calvin Johnson in the line-up vs without him? And can break it down further - this guy without this other player, last two years, on the road.... etc etc. Format wise, besides daily fantasy of course, is we've seen a big increase in both PPR leagues and 2 QB leagues. Standard, 1 QB leagues remain the favorite but other formats are also gaining popularity.
Chris Strub
Chris Strub@chrisstrub · Trailblazer, TeamStrub.com
What's up TMR? Longtime podcast listener (though I admittedly miss Nate Ravitz) and big fan of the show on Sunday mornings. I love that you use Periscope to connect even more directly with your fans and I'm curious, can you see Periscope interaction becoming part of either the pod or the live show? I.E., taking questions conveyed directly through Periscope, maybe curated/narrated by someone like Tony Reali? Thanks for your time and for not answering in the thankfully retired Stephania voice! :)
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
@chrisstrub Yes, we are looking into doing more - always a balance - but love Periscope and definitely want to do more with it, either via the podcast or just fantasy in general.
Matt Lugo
Matt Lugo@wwmld · Customer Experience/Operations
@MatthewBerryTMR Do you love or hate Carson Palmer as my QB for the rest of the season? I'm also stacked with RB's in one league - Lynch, McFadden, Chris Johnson, C. West, and Langford. Should I trade any of them? I know Forte will be back soon so I'll probably drop Langford.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
1) Which products/apps, outside of the fantasy sports world, can you not live without?
Matthew Berry
Matthew Berry@matthewberrytmr · Sr Fantasy Analyst, ESPN
Love Palmer.
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@andrewett · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt