APP: Fantasy Sports Coach
PURPOSE: Provide real-time access to online, engaged community of experienced league/team managers who ask/answer questions about trade offers, start/sit suggestions, waiver advice, prospect & rookie analysis, and add/drop recommendations. It’s your secret weapon when all your other resources happen to be your competition.
PRICING: $.99 on iTunes
REVIEW: Imagine that you have a question about a 3-2 trade that someone has proposed to you. You think that you already know the answer, but you want some affirmation, because your gut is telling you one thing, and your fantasy coach brain is telling you another. All of your close buddies are already in your fantasy league and on Twitter/Facebook. Where do you go for advice from someone as hardcore as you are? Problem solved (and on the cheap no less)!
Fantasy Sports Coach does that and more. Instead of blasting your question into some sports chat forum that is dominated by 5-6 people who troll constantly, you can opt to go with the communal approach. Just toss your question into the non-judgmental pot and wait for some seriously legit answers. Before Ben Zobrist was even through with his 8 RBI game yesterday, people were already giving thoughtful feedback about his trade value without being swayed by his big game.
Basically, the application’s success is based on a viral community of highly engaged users who are interested in receiving help and helping others. It has a truly organic feel to it, because it isn’t about hardcore gamer-types who feel obligated to throw out stats. It’s more about people who want to help others succeed. Interesting concept. When I first signed into the app, I immediately scanned through the first couple pages of baseball-related questions. It was easy to relate to several of the trade or add/drop scenarios.
- Who is a good temporary replacement for Logan Morrison? (Ryan Roberts?)
- Should I trade Carl Crawford? If so, what is his real trade value? (Probably not. His value is so low that people are trying to nab him with low-ball offers.)
- I need to fill an OF spot for a few weeks. Who do you suggest that will give me some SB? (Carlos Gomez)
- Will Albert Pujols reach 100 RBI this season? (Um, duh.)
What you generally get is thoughtful answers and suggestions based on years of experience and actual free agent market conditions. Occasionally, you get a response from someone like me, though. It’s almost like dealing with a group of people who actually have common sense and can function after only 2 cups of coffee on most mornings. For only $.99 from iTunes, I was most amazed by this. Perhaps the coolest part is that it’s relatively intuitive, and it only takes a minute to sign up and “configure” the app.
It’s my understanding that your email is not sold/given away to Nigerian Princes or people who wish to help you win unclaimed lotto prizes in island countries where extradition is impossible. No, that’s not how FSC operates. Oh, did you notice the “Football”, “Basketball”, and “Hockey” options in the screenshot? Those aren’t just for looks. They work as well, although my question about the odds of the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup this season didn’t go over too well. Not sure why, but as a Blues fan I felt obligated to ask out of concern [/snicker]. Anyhoo, this isn’t just a baseball app.
Also, Fantasy Sports Coach writes some blog articles about fantasy sports that are readily available under the “FSC Articles” option in the “Answer” section of the app. Bonus!
DOWNSIDE: You all know that I’m not all rainbows and unicorns about everything, so there has to be something negative, right? Right. I am slightly critical of a few small things. I’d like to see a message that immediately informs the user that it is necessary to create an account to use the app. I’d like to see a larger user base, because the more users there are, the greater the quality of the feedback. I’m hooked, and I’ll even cough up $.99 after my demo version expires. That says a lot, because I’m cheaper than the Dirt Cheap Chicken on most things. Although I’m partial to Cardinal red and white, I’m good with the color scheme for the app. Finally, it would be nice, if the credentials in the “Settings” screen magically disappeared on their own after initial account creation. That’s a relatively simple thing to add, though. Quite honestly, the team behing FSC have already been very receptive to feedback (both positive and negative), and that’s a spork in the right direction.
OVERALL: This app delivers exactly what it says it will deliver. It’s like having access to hundreds of potential fantasy coaches who can weigh in on your decision-making process. Even better, you can take a minute and provide feedback on someone else’s situation. It’s a win-win.
FINAL TALLY: 3.25 out of 4 sporks in the Total Spork Zone
TIDBIT: I’m not saying that a real GM should use something like this, but maybe that Keith Hernandez thing never would have happened, if it had been around in the 80′s. Just a thought.
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