The Future of Fantasy Sports

This is an excerpt from The Geekly Update at

I have seen the future of fantasy sports, and it’s impressive. Last week, I attended the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) Summer Conference in Chicago. There were networking opportunities (I met a guy from FOX Sports who I went to high school with!). We heard guest speakers talk about legal issues, the NFL labor agreement, the role of social networking and much more. And we had a little fun on the fan deck at a White Sox game. But one of the most interesting aspects of the conference was what they call the “elevator pitch.”

At the end of the first day, the FSTA gives up-and-coming fantasy businesses the chance to pitch their innovative ideas to the crowd. Everyone in attendance votes for their favorite pitch and at the end of the conference, the winner is announced. They could beef up their prize a bit, as the winner just gets to put a “Pitch Winner” logo on their site. (Woo-hoo!) Here are some of the sites that stood out to me: 

Fantasy Sports for Kids

Before you get the wrong idea (like I did), this isn’t a site for kids to play in a fantasy league. It’s actually a very good cause. You and your leaguemates sign up, choose a charity and agree to each throw in $20 on top of your league fees. The winner of the league then gets to donate the extra money to the children’s charity of their choice on behalf of the league.


You gotta try this out. It’s a very helpful research tool for fantasy owners. Basically, you sync your teams with the Pickemfirst app and then run it when you’re on a fantasy or sports web site. The app plants a color-coded icon next to the players’ name. You can instantly see if that player is owned in your league, plus you can get the latest news, stat trends and even blog posts that mention the player. This demo video can do more justice explaining this robust tool than I can.

Roster Slots

If you’re an avid reader of our site, you may remember the post I wrote about this site a while back. I’ll give a brief explanation for the new readers. Roster Slots is a completely different spin on fantasy sports. It’s a quick daily game in which you choose players three at a time by spinning a slot machine wheel. But you only have a certain number of spins, so you have to use them wisely. I’ve been playing all season long in the experts league. It’s a fun game to play on top of your regular fantasy leagues. Here’s how it works.


These guys run a site with some cool daily games. I know, daily games aren’t exactly groundbreaking. But they seem to be one of the few sites to crack the code on fantasy-izing the World Cup by creating a game that closely resembles March Madness. It’s a little late in the game, since the tournament has begun, but their bracket-based game looked like it was well thought out and easy to play. They’ve got a slick interface that’s very visual. Fantazzle also has Pick ‘Em and Salary Cap games for all of the major sports.


Here’s the winner of the “Best Pitch” award. Ever watch an MMA fight and wonder how they keep track of all the strikes and takedowns? Well, that’s what this site is all about. They study every match, tallying 67 different types of occurrences. Then they crunch the numbers to provide easy-to-understand analysis. I didn’t see any links to MMA fantasy leagues on their site, but the sport does seem fantasy friendly and, if you play it, you’ll want to check out FightMetric.

These sites are just the tip of the iceberg. Fantasy sports and technology go together like beer and bratwurst, and the evolution of our hobby will never cease. Whether it’s new smart phone apps that let you draft from the palm of your hand or game-changing formats that wrap all the major sports into one year-round mega-league, the future of fantasy sports is nothing short of fantastic.

Got a question about one of the sites mentioned above? Have a favorite new fantasy site? Let me know. Just send me an email at, tweet me or leave a reply at the bottom of this column.

And for more observations, advice and absurdity from the world of fantasy sports, visit

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