“3. There are three stages: Thoughtless being. Thought. Return to thoughtless being.
33. Do not confuse the first and third stages. Thoughtless being is achieved by everyone. The return to thoughtless being by a very few.”
– Chad Harbach via Aparicio Rodriguez in The Art of Fielding
The groundbreaking football book Game Plan by Frank DuPont discusses the way that Madden fanatics may have far more practice making quick game management decisions than NFL head coaches. It’s no surprise, he says, that NFL coaches really struggle with this aspect of the game. Because their many hours of coaching development are spent almost entirely on other aspects of football, it wouldn’t even make sense for coaches like Andy Reid to be good at making decisions in such a context.
Over the last four years, I’ve drafted and played out more than 200 fantasy football teams. It’s my theory that most fantasy experts are presenting misleading information and bad strategies, not from any moral or intellectual failing, but simply because they haven’t put in the practice. A person who plays 4 to 5 leagues a year is going to require 50 years to accumulate the same number of reps.
This is important because fantasy football is a game of strategy, and it isn’t enough to know about football or be able to do mathematical computations. Developing a strategy is about creating conjectures and then testing those conjectures. You read a lot about ‘expert mock drafts’ but participating in a mock draft is likely to make you worse at fantasy football. Even if you haven’t made it explicit, any time you participate in a mock draft, you’re employing a strategy. Essentially, you’ve a theory for your draft, but you receive no feedback because the feedback would come from actively playing out the league. Continue reading Return to Thoughtless Being