by Russ Bliss, Fantasy Football Expert Analyst


If any of you are thinking about pursuing a career as a fantasy football expert, let me just warn you: don't. Not unless you have some very thick skin and are willing to put yourself out there for all of the criticism and ridicule that comes with being wrong.

"But Russ, I'm almost never wrong at fantasy football."

Yes you are. You just don't think about it much, choosing instead to relish in your glories of incredibly astute fantasy football sleeper picks and correctly identifying that one player everyone else was high on but you simply KNEW was going to be a fantasy bust.

It's so much more fun to reflect on the things you get right. And when you don't have hundreds, or thousands, of readers and/or listeners pointing out the things you get wrong, it's much easier to ignore the mistakes.

There are plenty of examples of hate mail I have telling me how incredible idiotic I am and so very horrible at my job. But I'm not alone. You think Michael Fabiano over at or Matthew Berry (The Talented Mr. Roto) at ESPN doesn't get his, too? You bet they do. All three of us have egg on our faces after proclaiming that Tim Hightower's performance week 14 wasn't a fluke, but rather a sign of what he can do and therefore he makes a prime sleeper play for week 15. OOPS! We all got that one wrong. But it's just one of many each of us experience every week.

I have to admit to a guilty pleasure: I enjoy reading their stuff occasionally. Michael is very straight forward with his "just the facts" style while Matthew is more humorous and exuberant. Matthew Berry's recent article on ESPN actually is a lot like what most days are like for all of us who make our living in the fantasy football advice industry.

So here are some things needed for those who want to break into the industry and become national fantasy football analysts:

1) Thick skin. You're NOT getting everything right. You're probably not getting most things right. But even if you do get most things right, those things you get wrong are going to be pointed out more often, and more loudly, than anything you got right. You'd better be able to take the abuse without letting it get to you. It's actually a lot like what it takes to have a successful Marriage.

2) Positive self image. If you have any doubts about your self esteem at all before you get into the industry, don't even bother trying or you will need a psychiatrist's help within a couple of years of being a fantasy analyst. And trust me, Psychiatrists make a LOT more money than fantasy analysts do. I know it sounds like a sense of self loathing might be a good pre-requisite, but again, trust me; plenty of people will be willing to share their loathing of you as an analyst with you.

3) Painkillers. Finger cramping, carpal tunnel, tingling sensations in the shoulder, sciatic nerve, headaches, etc are common for fantasy analysts. Generic OTC drugs like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen will usually do the trick. But for things like when you slam your head down on the desk in frustration after your computer locks up and then dumps everything you just forgot to save? Hydrocodone or Oxycontin is sometimes required. Just don't go "House" with them. Luckily (or should that be unfortunately?) you don't get suspended for 4 games in this job if you test positive for that. You will however get a bunch of phone calls asking if you have any extra.

If you have those 3 things, you just may make it as a fantasy sports analyst. But understand: it's a career based on passion and comes with a lot of highs and lows without much monetary reward. And also know this: you get a lot more wrong than you currently think you do. And you will be told it. Every day.