Letter from the Publisher
First and foremost… let us say a sincere thank you to all who have joined Fantasy Points in Year 1. Whether you were one of the first sign-ups in mid-April upon launch, a late summer subscriber prepping for your drafts, or even a November/December subscriber hopping on board to try and take home some DFS or Betting winnings. In just 8 short months, you have helped put Fantasy Points on the map. And not just a blip on the map; a major intersection that we hope more and more will continue to find and help grow into a thriving Fantasy Football and Betting community.
In early 2019, I decided to launch another fantasy football information website with a sharp team of people that I’ve worked with for a number of years. Due to my many decades in this business and the readiness of our group, I set a pretty lofty goal: perfection.
We received no favors from the outside world in 2020, as the Pandemic along with economic and social unrest made launching a new site and company more difficult than it should have been. We did not reach perfection this year, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen in Year 1. Since we’re a very small company, rolling out an extremely sophisticated website in finished product form wasn’t doable if we wanted to launch in 2020. But we accomplished a ton. We have constructed an excellent framework and backbone that can be built upon for years to come. Launching with hundreds of different features was a major undertaking, so I’m particularly pleased that we were also able to build our own draft tool, the Fantasy Points Generator, and a DFS Optimizer in year one. That was huge because we now have two major, major development pieces completed. Our colleagues over at Bellwether Analytics did a fantastic job with the two tools and they will soon start working on the 2021 upgrades for them, as well as some new tools for 2021. Next on the list for me is our Excel-based Auction Draft Tool built as a web-based app, a trade analyzer, and a player prop tool. We’re just going to keep building and building and perfecting and perfecting for the foreseeable future.
I’m also thankful to everyone involved who helped keep the technical snafus to a minimum. The site was very stable, even on Sundays right before kickoff, which is always a challenge. I think from a user’s perspective, the Fantasy Points experience was a good one. I really did appreciate your patience on the issues we did have, and I also appreciate your patience in allowing us to roll out some tools in beta mode. That helps us a lot and will be the norm as we roll out new tools, most of which can’t be truly tested until they’re “out there” for the masses, anyway.
On the content side, you can expect everyone who contributed this year to be back in 2021 with some minor tweaking and inevitable additions. We did many things this year that worked well, but some things will be tweaked and improved. This year was also our first year working together as a staff, and with a year under our belts, I expect us to work more effectively and efficiently in 2021. A major, major focus for me in 2021 is perfecting our database tools. To be perfectly frank, we have a list of 4-5 significant tools that we haven’t been able to get to, but we will make great strides here in 2021.
Thanks again for rolling with us this year and supporting our startup. I’m hoping this will be a long-term relationship because we’re just getting started.
- John Hansen
Behind the Scenes
It hasn’t been the easiest year… then again, no start-ups have an easy first year. You’ve been patient with us, you’ve been supportive of us, and we’ve spent every day taking in your feedback and your comments to try and integrate them into our plans for the future. We didn’t get everything accomplished this year that we wanted to, but we’re happy to open up 2021 subscriptions with the following in mind:
The Fantasy Points Generator
After a few weeks of a trial run, the FPG was flyin’ and helping subscribers draft the most optimal lineups based on projections, upside, targets, and more. But we had plenty of feature requests to work on, including options to manually change the draft order, implementation of NFL-style draft rounds, keeper resets, 2QB/Superflex integration, and more. We will also be working on a way to try and sync the FPG to live drafts for a more seamless experience.
The Fantasy Points DFS Optimizer
Building a Daily Fantasy Optimizer from scratch was not easy, but we chose that route over renting out a pre-made optimizer from a third party. We wanted to develop something that was our own. And we think it was pretty damn good in Year 1. That said, we know it can be more robust, whether it be integrating a Cash/GPP toggle, a ceiling/floor column, better slate integration, or more. We’ll continue to take your comments and suggestions to improve a product that can help you take down tournaments and build your bankroll. With the Optimizer now an Add-On and not included in a package, even Basic and Standard subscribers can purchase it without purchasing a Premium subscription.
The Fantasy League Importer
There’s no way around it, this was definitely a sore spot in Year 1, and we thoroughly appreciate your understanding of the technical difficulties. I’m going to keep this simple: our offseason plans for the FLI will simply be to perfect the import process and develop the necessary pages to show your roster’s stats, projections, news, and more. We also hope to add-in an Optimal Lineup feature, as well as a Trade Evaluator. Like the DFS Optimizer and the Fantasy Points Generator, the FLI was built from scratch and we encountered some unforeseen hurdles. The League Importer may still be a work in progress, but we won’t shy away from any difficulties.
Auction Draft Tool
At our prior site, our Excel Auction Tool was a staple of August preparation. This offseason, we’ll be working to develop it as a standalone web app that doesn’t require Excel, thus making it easier for subscribers to utilize it. We know that subscribers experienced some issues with the tool this year, and firmly believe converting it from a downloadable Excel spreadsheet to an online Web App will take care of many of the problems that were encountered.
Videos and Multimedia
This is for you, Standard subscribers! We’re easing up on the paywall for some of our livestreams, making the Sunday morning Final Points Livestream accessible to both Premium AND Standard subscribers now. Additionally, Managing Editor Joe Dolan is going to spearhead a beefed-up schedule of video content, whether behind paywall on our site, or accessible via social media. Get ready to see even more of us!
College Football and Devy Content
Towards the end of this first year, we ramped up our college football coverage, and we’re going to pick up where we left off by continuing to provide DFS content and analysis for Premium subscribers, but also adding Devy content for those hardcore dynasty players, available at the Standard subscription level.
Tom Brolley was an absolute beast this year with our Betting product. His Best Bets piece was averaging over 10K+ clicks per week. We know that Betting is the future, and with more and more legislation passed for legalized sports gambling, we want to keep pace and improve our Betting product. We’re already thrilled about our partnership with MetaBet, who provides our in-article game tiles and our Odds Board, but we’ll be planning out even more written and video content to help complement everything we released in Year 1.
Statistics and Datatables
We’ll be adding a CSV export for Datatables and Projections for Premium subscribers. We’re also hoping to create a notification system for when projections are updated. We will also be publishing an archived version of the previous week’s projections for subscribers to look at.
We put out a Mid-Season Feedback form in early November and got plenty of responses. One of the questions was in reference to the user experience and user interface. It seems like a lot of you are pleased with the layout, but believe there’s still work to be done. And you’re right! We will be adding search functions for players, authors, and articles, gathering more feedback on the UI, and working on the design consistency. We’re also hoping to improve the user experience on projections and research tables by remembering positional and scoring settings between page loads so you don’t have to repeat the process.
…We could get carried away with all the things we want to do, and please know that these improvements are not promises or guarantees. But we can tell you first-hand… as someone who works on a daily basis with our amazing group of analysts, writers, and owners, our development team, our affiliates, and the most important group of people--YOU… that we plan to use the entire off-season to improve FantasyPoints.com and make it even better in Year 2.
- Ben Kukainis, Dir. of Operations
A Final Note
We plan on holding a few “Town Halls” upon the conclusion of the 2020 NFL regular season. If you purchase a 2021 Standard or Premium subscription, you’ll be able to attend any one of these, and chat with our staff, make suggestions, give feedback, and much more. You are our top priority and we want to make every effort to ensure your voice is heard while we improve the site. Stay tuned.