I’m both a software/web developer and a big fan of fantasy football. I’m looking for some feedback about an idea I have for a web-based premium fantasy football tool. Basically, the idea is to have an app which pulls your league data and then shows you all of the potential trades it evaluates as mutually beneficial for both owners.
Obviously, there are a lot of trade evaluators out there. Though this tool also evaluates, it’s more about discovery, helping you find a starting point for making trades, and saving you time. So I guess you could think of it as a reverse evaluator, in that it evaluates first, and then automatically gives you trade possibilities, rather than evaluating trades you manually enter.
Here’s why I think I’d like this product. Though fantasy football is great, it can take a lot of time, and people have lives. Searching through everyone’s roster to find trades which benefit you and another owner is hard and very time-consuming.
Plus we all know how people handle trading. Most fantasy sports owners these days are pretty informed. A lot of the time, people are attempting to wind up on the better side of the trade (I mean, this is kind of like business 101, right?) I’m not saying that’s bad. But I think the best trades are actually those which are positive for both sides. But they’re not always easy to find.
Now there are some snags, of course. A huge part of evaluating trades and being a good fantasy (or real life) owner is being able to predict when players are either over/under-performing/valued. This app would be dependant on projections.. like the ones given on any fantasy site. Therefore, just like all the others, you may not agree with its projections. Really, the idea is that although it would be imperfect (by a long shot), it would still be a valuable tool in your arsenal, and hopefully something that would both save you time and give you a slight competitive advantage.
So, having said all that, here are my questions:
1) Do you think this is a good idea and would you use it if it existed? 2) Would you pay for it, and how much would you pay?
Thanks in advance. You can be brutally honest. I’m asking because it’s always smart to figure out whether people want the thing you’re building before you build it.
To be honest i wouldnt pay all that much, not because i dont think its valuable but because i enjoy that part of fantasy football. I enjoy searching through the rosters of people and trying to find that diamond of a trade just waiting to be had. But MORE importantly is that I have information that your analyzer never will, and thats the human aspect of all of this. I know who in my league is willing to trade, I know who monitors their team enough to make it worth trying to trade, i know who can be had and who expects to much, etc. I also know within those specific teams how they value each of their players and maybe who they overvalue and undervalue.
For instance this year when I drafted Reggie some guy made a comment about how he was mad at himself for letting him slip to the 4th round where I got him and that he thought he was going to have a huge year. He was also a big Torrey Smith fan and thought he was going to breakout this year. So after Reggie got his 40pts in week 2 and Torrey got his 30 in wk 3 I was able to package them up and get Calvin Johnson from him. He thought he got a steal because he was high on them going into the year and they both had a breakout week in the first month, but i knew i had just traded him a 4th and 8th round pick for the best receiver in the league.
With that being said, i think that is something that you could leverage in this app depending on how much time and effort you want to put into it. A section that allows you to add how owners value players on their team and yours (if its above or below the expected value) would be something i think would be critical. Also it would have to give you the opportunity to value your guys, maybe even tell it guys that you think are overvalued and you want to dump while the going is good. Without that i think this app would be good for leagues you play with strangers but would be missing a crucial element in leagues you play with your friends.
Depending on how its handled this is something that may be worth $5 for the year or if really handled well could be worth $20-$25 for the year. Like you said a simple trade evaluator has already been done many many times, its what you do past that. If all you do past that is propose recommended trades based on projections then that isnt going to have a huge market. The majority of people play in only 2-3 leagues and they fall into 2 groups; they manage their teams closely and dont need something to do their "busy work" or they dont manage their teams and wouldnt want this. As proposed i think this caters to people who play 5+ leagues and it would be great for them, but i just think the market isnt big enough when you limit it down to that.
Sorry for the rant, hope i gave you at least a bit of insight.
Hey no need to be sorry, this is exactly the type of feedback I'm looking for! I appreciate you taking the time to write out a thoughtful response.
I think you highlighted something very important, in that the human dynamics have a huge impact on trading, and it would be difficult for a tool to take those factors into account. Being able to tag players as over or under rated to you or other specific team owners is a cool idea, and not one that seems overly complex to implement.. though I'd definitely have to figure out the details.
I also see what you're saying about this being limited to owners who are in several leagues. I agree that going through the rosters and coming up with trades is a part of the enjoyment of fantasy football. For me personally, I just felt this year like it was taking too much of my time (I did 3 leagues this year).
Well the good part is that you have all off season to field ideas and try to work through the kinks. When i said its only valuable to people in many leagues, I was suggesting that in mind as a tool that cost more than $5. Someone like myself who plays in 2-3 leagues every year and enjoys the art of trading would pay a small amount for this just as an extra perspective, but i wouldn't be willing to pay a lot for it.
If you are looking for a cool tool to make that will be used by a lot of users and are willing to practically give it away then i can see this doing well. If you are looking to make some money off of this then you really need to find something that differentiates it from other tools on the market. Searching out the needs of teams is a novel idea but i dont think its one that a lot of people would invest highly in, just because i trust my analysis more than a tool. Good luck, if you get something working be sure to come back and let us know