By day, Don* works as a high-powered lawyer in Austin. By night, he concentrates on his real job — private fantasy-league fixer. "After I won my league every year, a family member asked if I would pretend to be him online and oversee his office-league team because he didn’t want to look like an idiot," Don says. "His 10-person league had a $1,000 buy in. He paid me $500 and offered 50 percent of all winnings. I won him first place and was the overall points leader, so I walked away with $3,500 — until then, I had no idea this world of managing other people’s teams existed." Word spread and Don soon found himself competing in the office-world fantasy big leagues. "I secretly manage teams starting with at least a $5,000 buy in," he says. "I charge a hefty management fee and usually 10 percent of all winnings — The big-boy leagues with oil industry guys can get up to $40,000 buy ins." From draft-day decisions to message-board trash talking (using the client’s email address), to negotiating trades, Don studies the stats while managing his clients’ teams to victory — and a big payday. "Some of these businessmen own high-end sports cars that only get driven 30 miles a month because they’re using their private planes instead," he says. "It’s all about ego, bragging rights — and results." Here, exclusively for Men’s Journal, the world’s top fantasy-league manager offers his fail-safe secrets to winning your office league.
*Don’s last name has been withheld to maintain his secret identity.
20 Touches Rule
Again, the RB talent pool is shallow, but you can avoid getting completely hosed by looking for backs who get more touches. Ideally, this would be close to 20 each week, but in the current game that’s not going to happen. (Last year’s leader in carries, Adrian Peterson, clocked in at 20.4.) A good rule of thumb is to try to avoid going below 14, no matter what other stats may suggest. Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley is a good choice to lead the league in carries this year. The second-year star is the lead back in a run-first offense and has a defensive-minded head coach in Jeff Fisher, who’s hoping to control the clock to win games.
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