“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.
How’d 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 couldn’t get a moments peace.
Truthfully, those guys are pros and I’m 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 aren’t even having this conversation.
What’s going to be your “beat” at Football Guys?
I will be focusing mostly on DFS. I can’t say that’s the entire reason they brought me on but it was definitely a selling point.
How’s the #fbgmock going and what’s it like to draft with these guys?
I’ve really enjoyed drafting with these guys. It’s 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 you’re drafting with sharks is how you become food. I can’t 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?
I’m 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 didn’t 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 I’ve 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 they’ll 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 don’t 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 don’t even have Twitter accounts but they’ve been playing in the same league since before the internet. I figured I’d 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. There’s 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. She’s amazing. It helps that she’s a writer herself so she knows the importance of “research” and living your characters. [Zach note: Like Tony Romo. Such the character.] The compromise is that I can’t really watch many college games. Little does she know that I will soon be able invoke the “playoff rule” for college football.
Football or sex: Which do you think of more?
What is “sex”?
What’s your usual Sunday football tradition? Is there a go-to beer?
I don’t 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 I’ll go bowling. I also drink for volume on Sundays to counteract the stress, so Budweiser is my go-to beer (I’ll 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.
I’ve really gotten into photography this year and it’s something I’d like to have more time/money to do. I also love to bowl. In fact, I watch bowling whenever it’s on TV. [Zach note: Or re-watch Big Lebowski.]
Let me know about any sites/podcasts/contests that you’d like to ‘plug’.
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.