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I've been given the chance to try the Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools packet, and my relationship to the product is mixed. For $25, it's a pretty minor investment, especially if you're playing in a competitive league with a buy in or a cash prize. I think it's a real asset to hardcore fantasy gamers, and hope that some of the roughest edges can be polished off as improvements are made.
Plus, Bloomberg has designed extensive tutorials to walk Luddites like me through the process of reconstructing my Fantasy League lineup.
Set up time was the big draw back- I really wanted an autolink- I'll give you my Yahoo password and the name of my league, connect me already. But once it was set up, I was consistently impressed.
I may have missed out on its biggest upside as a draft analyst, but the ability to watch and rank players as the season progresses will be nice.
As a trade analysis tool, this is great. Simple graphs shows my team's strengths and weaknesses in the scored categories. I'm a fairly visual person, especially when it comes to numbers, so this is a big plus to me. Unfortunately, it'll only give me the chart for the standard 5x5 league categories. When it's time to consider the custom categories in our league (Hits, K by a batter, OBP, SLG), I'm back to crunching numbers.
Here's my team:
A quick glance tells me that I should look for a way to trade a high average hitter for a closer.
As a news aggregate, Bloomberg is easily the best product I've seen. I can sort the news for my team by player, and get a snapshot of major news, media features and blog write-ups. For you hard-core fantasy mavens, this easily beats trolling the internet looking for content on the fifty or sixty players you have in multiple leagues.
Which brings me to the biggest time-saver aspect of the Bloomberg package: it beats flipping between multiple leagues on multiple sites- I can go one place for my news.
Another area I'm hoping for improvement is Bloomberg's player lists not corresponding to the league information. So, while I have Jarrod Washburn stashed on my bench, waiting for him to sign with an MLB team, I'm not able to track rumors and news about him on Bloomberg.
At the moment, the trade analysis, scouting and projection tools are still in preview mode. If it allows me to compare the value of two players within the scoring system of the league (something Yahoo rankings don't really tell you), then I'll add that to the invaluable category. If it comes out as crisp and clean as the rest of the package, every serious fantasy player will want to sign up for the product.
In many ways, the Bloomberg Sports Fantasy Tools are like a top prospect- still rough around the edges, a tool that could be great based on projection, but showing all the dedication to justify the hype. A worthy investment for the serious players.