Misha Interview And Expert Advice  
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Misha Interview And Expert Advice

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August 27, 2010

Misha recently answered a few of our questions about her first season playing fantasy football, how it was to be the only female in her fantasy football league, and what would have been helpful to know prior to playing.

Was last year your first year playing fantasy football?
Yes, last year was my first time ever being invited to play in a fantasy football league. I've been wanting to play for years but I didn't have any girl friends interested in it and I didn't have many male friends willing to let me in their exclusive "man's man" leagues. I finally got invited by some coworkers to join their league...albeit it was somewhat of a joke to them at first. But I plead my case and even put some bets on the table that I would make the playoffs.(and Yes I did make it to the playoffs)

Have you always been a football fan?
I've always been a football fan...growing up with big brothers, our household was always watching and playing football.

Were you the only female in your fantasy football league?
Yep, only one!

Since you are a woman, did the men in the league think they could easily beat you?
Oh Yes, as I had mentioned there were many side bets going on that I would end up at the bottom of the league by season-end. I had to make some daring bets (lunch dates, home cooked dinners, coffee, etc) with many of these male coworkers that I would make the playoffs. And after making the playoffs, I was enjoying all of my free lunches, dinners and coffee breaks!

How did you go about learning what you should do in order to be successful at fantasy football?
I've watched a lot of football in my lifetime and I knew how Fantasy Football worked since I had brothers who have been playing for many years. But I also gained a lot of good tips from websites, friends, and many of my twitter friends.

What sites or resources were useful for you in learning?
I used a huge variety of websites from the main ESPN, Yahoo sports, CBS Sportsline and FantasyFootballChallenge.com sites to Fantasy Blogs to small independent football websites and the like.

Was Twitter helpful for drafting and managing your team?
My Twitter friends were a great resource for me. I didn't have a chance to gain much advice prior to my draft but I was able to pick the brains of many twitter friends during the season. They were very helpful in helping me pick my start/bench every week.

We all want to know how you ended up doing in your league?
I made the playoffs (and won all of my bets) but ended my season in the championship game leading up to our leagues superbowl. I was 1 game away from making my 1st Superbowl appearance.

Looking back, what would have been useful for you to know in order to have been more successful as a beginner?
Things I wish I would have studied, researched or simply understood before my season began:
  • Strength of Schedule per Team
  • Weak divisions vs Strong divisions (ie. what teams get to play Oakland 2 times per year)
  • Lots of the different Defense stats (I realized it helps to understand which offensive players to start/sit depending on Opposing Defense)
  • Team Studs only playing the 1st half of a game near the end of Regular Season, when their team has clinched playoffs spot and homefield.
Do you have any advice for other beginner fantasy football players?
  • You have to be fully committed to managing your team week in and week out.
  • Don't over react to players having either 1 Huge Game or 1 Horrible Game. One game is not a trend and will usually not be repeated in consecutive games.
  • Don't just look to start the Big Names...be sure to study each players matchups for the week.
  • But don't over analyze things either...sometimes you gotta just go with your gut feeling.
Since fantasy football is traditionally viewed as a male activity, do you have any advice for women interested in getting into fantasy football?
  • Put away the pom poms and strap on the helmet!
  • Look pretty, play dumb, and then kick some butt
So are you hooked on fantasy football, and are you playing again this year?
I'M SOOOO HOOKED AND READY FOR THIS SEASON. We've got our draft coming up soon!

Thanks so much for your time Misha. It is great to get the perspective of someone new to fantasy football and what we as fantasy site owners can do better to provide what you need to start playing and learning about Fantasy Football.