‘Friends of The Football Girl’ Fantasy League for Charity
When I first started TFG I immersed myself in fantasy coverage from waivers to a Startability Index, my weird spin on the traditional start/sit columns, and many more columns in between. The advice was apparently not terrible because soon my fantasy league dance card was overflowing with expert leagues galore, even a league sponsored by one of the NFL’s corporate giants. But my absolute favorite of these was The Fantasy Nerd’s Experts League simply because it was for charity. Each participant picked an organization to represent and the winner’s charity received a sizable donation in that owner’s name.
As I spread my wings to covering other avenues of the league my fantasy writing largely waned – you really can’t halfass fantasy – and the expert league invites slowly got lost in the mail. But I’m still a fantasy addict with many friends in the community and our TFG fantasy expert is the best in the world. So this year I’ve started a league based on the Nerd’s model. 12 experts. 12 worthy charities. 1 healthy donation.
You can view the result of our league’s slooooow draft below, and tweet who you believe is most destined for victory.
Now meet the experts, read about our chosen charities and some of the very personal reasons they were selected.
Michael Beller, SI
Beller is the lead fantasy expert and fantasy editor for Sports Illustrated and the MMQB. He appears frequently on radio, podcast and television, and is the commissioner of a fantasy league for the Chicago media elite.
Beller’s charity: World Support Chicago
World Sport Chicago supports increasing access to and participation in sport for low to moderate income neighborhoods and under-represented communities. Their work is targeted to reach neighborhoods where the barriers to access sport through traditional avenues are most severe and is made possible through the contributions of donors and volunteers.
Lyndsey D’Arcangelo, The Athletic Buffalo
In addition to writing for The Athletic, D’Arcangelo has contributed several stories to TFG including her most recent on the numbingly sad history of quarterbacking in Buffalo. She has also contributed to Deadspin, The Ringer, espnW, Vice Sports, The Buffalo News, and more.
Lyndsey’s charity: It Gets Better Project
I care a lot about LGBTQ youth and worked with the local Buffalo youth center for years as a volunteer for events, chats and even teaching writing classes. I know how confused and unsure I was as a gay youth myself and want to be able to help support kids in their endeavor to be true to themselves and be comfortable with who they are.
Paige Dimakos, TD Fantasy
Another rising industry star Dimakos’s content can be found of TD Fantasy and Scout. She also stars in fantasy videos for The Draft Network.
Paige’s charity: After The Impact Fund.
I’ve worked with After The Impact Fund for the last few years and had the opportunity to see what the funding does up close and personal thanks to my mom (who works there) My reasoning for wanting to donate to them is simple, the groups they help are so forgotten. This fund is helping both military veterans and former professional athletes and also providing support for their families. The care and support they receive is CRUCIAL for both of these groups to not only survive but thrive after their careers are over.
Brad Evans, Yahoo
Evans is an award-wining fantasy analyst for Yahoo Sports. He also hosts the Fantasy Record Podcast and FF Hour on Altitude television. One of the most prolific, high energy voices in the fantasy industry Evans was inducted into the FSWA Hall of Fame in 2017.
Brad’s charity: Inner City Youth Charitable Foundation
Speaking as a former educator at an at-risk high school, I understand the importance of positive influences on impressionable kids dealt a crummy hand in life. ICYCF assists children in the Chicago area through the power of mentors. These interactions often break down walls, boost confidence and spur a path toward life success.
Pat Fitzmaurice, The Football Girl
Fitz is the fantasy expert at TFG, housing his rankings and other feature columns. He is also the host of the Fitz on Fantasy podcast. Last season, Fitz ranked no.2 in season-long accuracy.
Pat’s charity: Michael J. Fox Foundation
I have a close friend whose dad was a devoted Chicago Bears fan, and he used to give me endless shit about my Green Bay Packers fandom. He was a funny, wonderful man. My friend and his wife love to entertain, and they often invite their parents to their parties. I always looked forward to seeing my buddy’s dad. He died from Parkinson’s disease a few years ago, and Parkinson’s took my favorite grandmother about 20 years ago. Fuck you, Parkinson’s.
Josh Hornsby, Fantasy Insiders
A fantasy data savant, Hornsby is the Director of Analytics at Fantasy Insiders. He also shares his fantasy wisdom at Roto grinders and as a frequent guest on fantasy podcasts.
Josh’s charity: Fantasy Cares
Fantasy Cares, created by Scott Fish coalesces the fantasy community to provide donations to Toys for Tots to ensure as many kids as possible have a fruitful holiday season. This year Fantasy Cares has already raised over $43,000 and counting.
Melissa Jacobs, The Football Girl
Melissa is the managing editor of TheFootballGirl.com. She was previously a fantasy analyst for espnW where she hosted fantasy chats on ESPN.com. While her Startability Index is currently on injured reserved in lieu of other content, she still loves dishes out fantasy advice on Twitter. She also continues to ride a high from drafting Randy Moss in the 13th round in 2007.
Melissa’s charity: National Domestic Violence Hotline
The hotline provides confidential counseling and other resources for anyone in an abusive relationship or a one-time abusive situation. The NFL’s harrowing recent string of domestic violence cases has unleashed painful memories of a past abusive relationship where I felt like the walls were closing in. Victims often feel scared and trapped and see no path to justice in the court system as most cases settle. Having a safe place like the hotline the can provide a blueprint to safety and freedom is crucial.
Colm Kelly, Rotoviz
Kelly is the co-host of RotoViz Overtime podcast and doubles as the producer on the Fotz on Fantasy podcast.
Colm’s charity: Fantasy Cares
Founded by Scott Fish – The fantasy football community have fully embraced Fantasy Cares and if you know Scott or the Scott Fish Bowl, you’ll know all about it. So far in 2018, Fantasy Cares has raised over 40,000 for Toys for Tots – this is quite simply incredible. The work that the charity does and the joy it brings to kids is what makes it my charity of choice for TFG League.
Brandon Marianne Lee, Fantasy Alarm
Brandon has developed into one of top fantasy minds in the industry and spread her knowledge all across the fantasy landscape, doing videos for Fantasy Alarm and wiring for both The Athletic and CBS Sportsline
Brandon’s charity: National MS Society
When I was a child, my Uncle Jim was diagnosed with MS. No one knew anything about the disease or how to help. Wouldn’t i be great if no one else had to go through that experience? The National MS Society does a ton of great work. Nothing would be happier than if winnings could go toward this great organization.
Liz Loza, Yahoo
Loza turned an obsession with fantasy into a career. She is a fantasy expert for Yahoo and frequently appears on all platforms. Over the past year she has taken her talents beyond fantasy and provided Olympics coverage for Yahoo and is a co-host of Mostly Football, alongside Marcellus Bennett.
Liz’s charity: Play Like a Girl
I’m competing on behalf of Play Like a Girl!, an organization dedicated to inspiring healthy and confident girls through the power of sport and physical activity. Research has shown that exposing girls to sport – and encouraging them to compete – significantly increases their confidence and leadership skills. Statistically, 94 percent of c-suite women (CEO, CFO, COO) participated in sports as children and 52 percent played at the collegiate level. Clearly, when girls are given the opportunity to play on a team, they grow into women that have the confidence to stand on their own. Here’s to standing on their own, without having to be alone.
Jen Ryan, Football Diehards
A diehard Cowboys fan, Jen is also a fantasy guru who writes regularly for Football Diehards and CBS Sportsline. She is also a frequent guest on Sirius Fantasy Radio.
Jen’s charity: WeHeartNJ
We provide creative and social outlets for individuals with special needs. Our members are able to express themselves through music, create art, tell their story through dance, and perform in the community. It is my sisters’charity, many of their clients from their private business are members of their non-profit dance troupe.
Dave Emanuelson, fantasy husband
Dave has already achieved the ultimate football fantasy, by snagging Melissa Jacobs for his wife. As a former D1 athlete (golf, but still…), Dave drew upon his athletic prowess, Express for Men sweater collection, and karaoke accompaniment skills win the heart of The Football Girl. He plans to bring that same level of grit and determination to take on the so-called fantasy “experts” with their highfalutin “analytics” and “research.”
Dave’s charity: International Refugee Assistance Project.
IRAP organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.