I know that this weekly column is suppose to be about the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC), but we are now seven weeks into the baseball season and I am getting a little antsy for football. After expanding the NFBC to five cities over two weekends in 2010, Fanball is expanding the NFFC to eight cities all drafting on September 4, 2010. NFFC players will also be able to participate in the NFFC Classic and Primetime online.
The eight locations are:
Las Vegas at the Bellagio Resort & Casino
New York at Citi Field
Chicago at Trackside at Arlington Park
Boston at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Boston
Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium in the Kelly Room, 50-yard line
Dallas (site still to be finalized)
Denver (downtown, site still to be finalized)
Minneapolis at the Minneapolis Hilton downtown
It is an interesting decision to expand to multiple cities. In general, the live locations are great. Over the past few years I have participated in NFBC and NFFC drafts in Orlando, Tampa, New York City, Las Vegas, as well as on-line, and I had fun regardless of the location. Drafts are no longer offered in Florida as the attendance was deemed less than expected (if I remember right, there were three leagues). It would be interesting to see what Fanball projects for participation in each city as more and more locations are offered.
Does the level of competition vary by location? My opinion is that the level of competition will not vary much, there are good players everywhere. But will the chances for collusion increase? That takes us to a whole other realm of the competition. As the prize money increases, the opportunity for some level of cheating also increases. Are there really going to be more than two or three leagues that fill in Buffalo? I am not saying that a group of guys could get together and guarantee that one of them would win, but they could certainly do things that would change the odds. I can see the draft being manipulated in subtle ways, but I can see it more when it comes to bidding on free agents (aggressively or non-agressively, and knowing what other bids are before-hand) and setting line-ups for head-to-head games. Again, I am not saying that it is going to happen, only that as the draft locations continue to spread out thinner and thinner that it is something that those in charge of the NFFC must keep an eye on.