Jeff Ma Insinuates That Age of Information Has Made Fantasy Sleepers Extinct

Ken ParkContributor IISeptember 22, 2010

One of the country's smartest, Jeff Ma, gives us an Iversonian like cop-out when asked about sleepers
One of the country's smartest, Jeff Ma, gives us an Iversonian like cop-out when asked about sleepersJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The inspiration behind the movie 21, apparently had a major brain fart in coming up with fantasy football sleeper candidates while interviewing with Bloomberg.

It happens and it's OK.

After all, my brain is perpetually gassy.

Not OK is his insinuation that nowadays, it's becoming harder and harder to discover sleepers. With so much information being so accessible to so many people, everyone already agrees on who the undervalued players are by draft day. There are no more surprises, only consensus. The underrated become overrated—bid up by hype. Jeff Ma argues that keepers are now extinct.

I haven't seen this sort of a cop out since Allen Iverson's war on practice.

"Sleepers?! We talkin bout sleepers man. Sleepers. No mo sleepers man. We talkin' bout sleepers."

If anything, the overwhelming tidal wave of news makes it harder to differentiate good signals from the bad. Stephen Curry provides the best example of this from recent memory. In hindsight, we can all agree Curry is a fantasy stud, but last summer this wasn't so clear cut.

Fantasy GMs that read more into his weak summer league performance and Monta's reported pessimism towards him opted to draft veterans instead. Others that placed more weight on training camp reports took a chance and now, those in keeper leagues, enter the upcoming 2010-11 season ecstatic because of it.

3 Got Game's Van Wilder was kind enough to recall his thought process behind his selection of Stephen Curry last year in our own keeper league draft:

I knew he was a great shooter that was a given. but then I started finding little tidbits about being an underrated passer with super high court vision and high basketball IQ.

To me those two are essentials to being an all-star PG—excellent court vision and high basketball IQ. Attach that to shooting and he's lethal.  Most PGs have 2 of those but then maybe they lack shooting. Curry had all three—shooting, vision and IQ.

I was sold on his passing when I saw this video. I remember watching that and thinking damn, "One of the best college coaches say he's the 'best passer in college'" and then showed how Steph can see the pass before the cuts—that just reminded me of Nash. Then later I read other people comparing him to Nash and stuff - that confirmed it for me...

Also the things that got me excited were reading about how he grew up going to practices with his dad, Dell Curry in the NBA—so he knows what it takes. I'd read shiet that said he knows you have to have a routine so you don't wear that made me think wow this rookie is thinking really deep and long term about it

And the other thing I noticed about what scouts said about his college games was he was clutch—another sign of a star. He would always take the big shots and I think that shows mental strength.

Then throw in the run and gun style of Warriors—all offense—and I thought for sure he was going to be a star. That's why I was so shocked to see him drop to me to the end of the 8th round.

The sheer volume of information can sometimes create a false sense of knowledge, allowing people to take comforts in a consensus of idiocy. That so few people could see the Great Recession coming amidst all the economic and financial data is completely off-topic (I admit), but still a large scale example of this.

As for fantasy, in my NBA dynasty league, 12 people had access to the same information and yet 11 of them spurned Steph Curry, while one named Van Wilder did not. Which just goes to show, it's not the availability of information itself, but the synthesis of it that really matters.