We're fond of the way Yahoo hosts fantasy leagues – mainly because they give back 90 percent of the money in prizes, one of the best percentages in the industry.
But jeez, are they slow payers! I finished second in my Yahoo Fantasy baseball league – that's a $300 score – almost three weeks ago. I'm still waiting. At first a Yahoo spokesman said it had to wait until the Major league baseball stats were official – well? The season ended 15 days ago! We suspect it is something far more prevalent in the fantasy industry – Yahoo is hoarding the loot. Why? There are tens of millions of dollars out there. Yahoo is rolling the money over in short term paper. It may not seem like much, but by sitting on the money, Yahoo can earn thousands of dollars in interest.
When yours truly won the Draft Kings Spring Fling, I suspected the same thing to happen. First they wanted an IRS form, but when I clicked the button to get it the damn thing wouldn't come up. After a series of emails, though, they called from Draft Kings. Did I want the money wired into my bank account? Sure enough, that Monday morning they wired it. Nice.
The point is, if you are going to play for money make sure you are dealing with reputable people. A lot of us remember the infamous Poised To Stomp contest, which was going to make someone a million dollars. It was going to crown the "Fantasy Football World Champion."
First you had to put up money and win your league, which I did. Then, in some kind of convoluted playoff, one team would emerge as the overall winner. Those of us who won our leagues were guaranteed entry in the following year's million-dollar tournament, a nice consolation prize.
But as January turned to March I was still waiting for my check. First I was told they were being processed. Then I was told there was a delay. Then, I found out Poised To Stomp was being sold. Finally, the truth – Poised To Stomp was going belly-up.
I called the New York State Attorney General and filed a formal complaint. Lo and behold, a phone call – the parent company was graciously going to send me a check. I never did get my free entry for the following year, and I'd wager anyone the so-called "million dollar winner" didn't get that much. In fact, he probably didn't get anything.
By the way, some of the charlatans involved in Poised To Stomp resurfaced with other companies – not in jail but in the industry. Be forewarned.
Speaking of being forewarned, the week after next (Week Eight) there are six teams on Bye weeks: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego and Tennessee. Do not wait until then to address your rosters – lay out a projected starting lineup, find out where your holes will be, and make your Free Agent moves this week. Every team in your league will be scurrying for players as Week Eight nears.