Williams and Cocks Fantasize

At my last job, my coworkers were amazed at how “into” fantasy sports I was. They couldn’t understand why I spent countless hours researching stats and injuries each week.  I am not a just a fan, but I am a hardcore fan of multiple sports; looking to learn as much as I can about each player every year.  In fact, when a player gets injured or traded the first thing I think about is their fantasy impact.

I have been the commissioner of a fantasy football league for 10 years now, participated in too many fantasy leagues and daily contests to count, and now I am ready to bring you the information that you need to succeed at Fantasy Triathlon!

The first weekend of Fantasy Triathlon is in the books!  Trstriathlon.com hosted three paid daily contest, from two different triathlon events, ITU Cape Town and IM 70.3 Texas.  Over the past two weekends, two names have been at the top of every contest: Brad Williams and Emily Cocks.  I “sat” down with each of them and got their thoughts behind this new fantasy sport.

Zach: Do you feel being a pro triathlete gives you an advantage in selecting athletes?

Brad: Not at all. I think following the sport and being a “tri geek” the last 6 years is what gives me an advantage

Oceanside 2015 RunEmily: I think it only gives me an advantage because I have really paid attention to the professional racing side of triathlon since I race professionally. I don’t stalk my competitors or anything, I am more so a fan of the sport. I like to watch who does well, how they build their training/racing seasons and pick their key events. And, I notice who does well in certain conditions—heat, cold, hills, flat courses…these are all important factors to consider.

It is not like I call up Meredith Kessler and quiz her about how she is feeling, ask about any injuries or recent illnesses. However, maybe if this gets big and there is more $$ on the line I might have to employ some of these strategies….use my contacts so to speak 🙂

Zach: Did you try to pick the top 5 overall athletes or a different strategy?

Brad: I picked 4 athletes that I thought would be solid through the 3 disciplines. Hoping they would finish well as well as get some bonus points. For the 5th athletes I put names in a hat and David G and Helle came out, guess I got luck there huh?

Emily: For 70.3 and IM I tend to pick Top 5. Most likely, if someone is not in the Top 5 off the bike they will run their way up so you could get some extra points that way as their run might be in the Top 3 overall for splits. I am dubious of choosing someone just based on swim or bike prowess. I get worried they might drill themselves and then DNF on the run, especially if they are going backwards in a major way.

As an example…”Unnamed Pro” would be a great swim/bike pick but as of late, sometimes he pulls out on the run. So, the points you gain for the swim and bike are limited if he DNFs. I am not trying to pick on “Unnamed Pro” here and I hope he does well because he is talented, but you have to look at race history too.

For ITU, with the salary cap, it is pretty hard to pick Top 5 overall because you go over the cap easily. So, you have to fill out your roster with athletes who may pass those around them. There is a lot of shuffling on the run in ITU so I think if you can get a fast runner for $1 or $2 that is a big pick up.

I tried to employ this strategy with the women in Capetown by picking Juri Ide (usually faster than those around her off the bike) and Anna Mazzetti (Italian, has run well in the past) but it did not work out. Mazzetti actually DNF’ed so that was a bad pick. But, I was running up against the salary cap so I had to pick someone. More research next time!

Photo Credit to Zo Mendoza Shooting without Limits

Photo Credit to Zo Mendoza Shooting without Limits

Zach: How much time did you spend when selecting athletes?

Brad: $18 is pretty big money for a Pro, so I spent about as much time as I spend in the pool in a week selecting athletes. Took about 30 minutes. I was so focused on it I didn’t even see the $5 game open up. If I had seen that I would have taken your money in there as well.

Emily: 30-40 minutes total probably. I check twitter leading up to the races to make sure they are going to be racing. Even the last minute lists can have a few people that are not going to race on them. For example, Heather Jackson is still on St. George list but as I understand she is on planning on Wildflower. I guess I will see what is the truth when I get to the pro meeting at Wildflower!

Zach: Who would you want to challenge in a head to head contest?

Brad: Lionel Sanders, I feel that is the only way I can beat him at Triathlon right now. I think he can spare $25 and we can go head to head this weekend. I mean I don’t think he is racing St. George, so think that is fair playing field.

Emily: Barrie Shepley

Zach: Will you earn more money racing or from fantasy in 2015?

Brad: If you are talking Prize Winnings, hopefully I can pickup a Top 10 again at a race that pays @Pay10Deep and then I should “make” more at racing. But if you are talking about profits, definitely more in Fantasy Tri.

Emily: So far the $7.88 I earned last week from fantasy is more than the $0 in prize money I got from racing California 70.3. Hopefully I can make more than $8 this weekend at Wildflower!

Brad: “See you behind me in the Fantasy Rankings this weekend. #FantasyTriSmackTalk

NOTE: After these interviews were conducted, Brad Williams and Lionel Sanders agreed to face off this weekend for IM 70.3 St. George.  I am currently looking for Barrie Shepley to step up and take on this challenge himself!  Direct message me Barrie, @TRIFantasy!

————

Follow Zach on twitter for weekly fantasy analysis, statistical updates, and start lists updates.  Pro athletes: please share with us whether or not you are actually racing so that we can update start lists each weekend for the public.

You can follow Brad Williams on his website, http://www.bw-tri.com/ or @BW_Tri on Twitter

You can follow Emily Cocks on her website, http://emilycocks.com/ or @EmilyCocks on Twitter

photo credit: Elizabeth via photopin (license)

About the Author

Zach Miller
Zach Miller is a sports enthusiast and age group triathlete living in the The Woodlands, TX. He is the Host of The Triathlon Preview Show. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast