“Jake Locker is going to be a hot waiver wire pick up by Week 3.”
When I get a Nashville guy and a newly minted FootballGuys staffer in my crosshairs, I have to get him in for an interview. Justin Bonnema didn’t approve of my attempt to nickname him “Bo Hunk”. I thought his dandy of an avatar was worth it.
What was the experience like of participating in The Fake Football’s 2013 writer’s contest, how did it feel when you won and how did you spend your “winnings”?
Winning the Fake Football writing contest meant a lot to me. Winning, in any situation, is always one of my favorite things to do. But even more important than that was getting the exposure and support of the fantasy football community. One of the prizes was $100 in DraftDay credit. I immediately flipped that into tens of dollars. The other cash prize mostly spent on DFS, books and subscriptions to awesome websites.
Howâd you get started in fantasy football writing?
It began with obsession, naturally. I used to get into these long email debates with my roommate about various players and situations. Those emails ended up getting longer and longer and required more and more research. After a while it was suggested that I start my own blog. But I figured the best course of action was to write for an entity that was already established. It was a natural transition that challenges me to this day.
What was it like working with Chet and Jeff at The Fake Football?
Horrible. Chet was constantly emailing me, asking when my next article would be out. Jeff was hitting up my pager nightly. I couldnât get a moments peace.
Truthfully, those guys are pros and Iâm honored that they featured my content and gave me a platform. The Fake Football is a great community that I will continue to be a part of. Without them, you and I arenât even having this conversation.
Whatâs going to be your âbeatâ at Football Guys?
I will be focusing mostly on DFS. I canât say thatâs the entire reason they brought me on but it was definitely a selling point.
Howâs the #fbgmock going and whatâs it like to draft with these guys?
Iâve really enjoyed drafting with these guys. Itâs definitely harder to surprise anyone. My strategy has been to take guys a little earlier than most because waiting on the players you want when youâre drafting with sharks is how you become food. I canât wait to analyze final rosters and see how they change between now and September. And then analyze final stats post season. So far I feel pretty good about my mock team.
Are you a Titans fan? Is there any hope for the Titans this year as a team and as fantasy assets?
Iâm a Cowboys fan by choice and a Titans fan by proximity. [Zach note: My best Titans memory of all time was watching them curb-stomp the Cowboys, led by Anthony Wright, in the 2000 regular-season finale, clinching home-field advantage and winning me a fantasy title. We played "to the whistle" of Week 17 in those dark days.] In general, I do cheer for them. I didnât have an AFC team until I moved to Nashville in 2006. Obviously a lot has changed since then. A lot of ups and downs for the Titans (mostly downs). I was actually at the game when Vince Young (allegedly) threw his pads into the stands. As Cowboys fan, I was cheering wholeheartedly for the Titans to beat the Redskins. But things really got ugly. It was interesting to be downtown after such a discouraging loss. All in all, I support this team but Iâve gone the way of being a bigger fantasy fan than team fan.
As far as their projected success/failure for the 2014 season, I think theyâll surprise people. The AFC South is by no means a lock for any particular team. They have some serious talent between Wright, Hunter, Walker and Sankey. The need a healthy QB. Locker, if healthy, is going to end up on a lot of rosters this year. Book it.
Do you see yourself as getting into daily fantasy big-time this year?
I almost donât want to redraft. Daily will be my focus week in, week out.
Is there a league that you want to win the most?
This is going to sound strange but I was invited into an 8 team league in 2009 via a work connection. Average age not including myself is probably about 53. These guys donât even have Twitter accounts but theyâve been playing in the same league since before the internet. I figured Iâd clean house. I played in three straight championships and lost every single one of them. To this day I have yet to win that league. Thereâs not even money involved. I just want to dominate.
The spouse question: Does your wife/sig other/girlfriend have any issues with your football obsession?
My fiance has been incredibly supportive of my habits. She allows me the TV all day Sunday and Monday nights. Even Thursday nights. She does her best to reschedule any and all social events around NFL games. Sheâs amazing. It helps that sheâs a writer herself so she knows the importance of âresearchâ and living your characters. [Zach note: Like Tony Romo. Such the character.] The compromise is that I canât really watch many college games. Little does she know that I will soon be able invoke the âplayoff ruleâ for college football.
Football or sex: Which do you think of more?
What is âsexâ?
Whatâs your usual Sunday football tradition? Is there a go-to beer?
I donât really have a tradition other than waking up early and overdosing on coffee and sideline reports. I do like to have quiet Saturday nights during the season. Sometimes Iâll go bowling. I also drink for volume on Sundays to counteract the stress, so Budweiser is my go-to beer (Iâll show myself out). [Zach note: We can rebuild him. We have the technology.]
Which football writers are on your must-read list?
Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football.
Iâve really gotten into photography this year and itâs something Iâd like to have more time/money to do. I also love to bowl. In fact, I watch bowling whenever itâs on TV. [Zach note: Or re-watch Big Lebowski.]
Let me know about any sites/podcasts/contests that youâd like to âplugâ.
Thanks, Justin, for the time and the attention. Follow him this fall and watch his progress at FBG.
If you want to check out my interview work of the past, you can get There Is No Offseason: The First 50 Interviews from the Ask Your FF Expert Series, and There Still Is No Offseason: Interviews 51-100 of the Ask Your FF Expert Series.