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Sports AMA with JakeFratteli - 17-May-17

Administratin' 'Hoo

Sports AMA with JakeFratteli - 17-May-17

Hello, all community members!

 

Our Sports All-stars recently got a chance to have an AMA event (Ask Me Anything) with our own community manager and Yahoo Fantasy Sports expert @JakeFratelli.

 

We’d like to share the wealth the knowledge that came from that event here and hope to have more events in the future with additional All-stars, Yahoos, and the greater community. Check out all the questions and answers in the transcript below by clicking on the Spoiler buttons.

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 12.14.07 PM.png

 

But first, an introduction from Jake:

 

Welcome to the first Yahoo Sports AMA! You all know me as Jake, but you probably don’t know much about me. Let me break the ice with a few facts, then dig in and ask away!

 

Time at Yahoo

I started working at Yahoo in 2008, but ended up leaving after roughly 10 months. I came back a year later, and have been here ever since. I started out in the ‘Entertainment’ group, supporting a variety of products like Maps, Music, Games & TV/Movies, until roughly 2010, when I switched over to Fantasy Sports. After two years of supporting fantasy sport email, UFC streams, content creation, and product / promotion launches, I made the leap to community. One way or another I’ve been supporting Yahoo Sports for 7+ years.

 

Working with Yahoo Sports

It wasn’t until I was hired onto the sports team that I realized Yahoo offered a service I was passionate about. It’s consumed my life ever since. Between the opportunities to impact the game, the great people I work with, and the variety of people who use Yahoo Fantasy Sports, the job has always kept me on my toes. My favorite fantasy sports are some of the least popular - Hockey & Golf, although I pretty much play and test everything.

 

Drive

My drive is pretty simple, I love sports, my job is sports, therefore I get to do what I love, and get paid for it. Who doesn’t want that??

 

Interests

My interests are pretty varied. Everything from the mundane like reading and crossword puzzles, to more adventurous stuff like surfing, hiking, and rock climbing. I guide rafting tours down several local rivers in the summer, and fish every chance I can get. More often than not, if I’m not working, I’m getting lost in the woods or casting for salmon / steelhead.

 

Open mic time! Ask me anything. Interested in what’s just over the horizon for sports? Want to hear ridiculous fishing stories? Or what I did prior to Yahoo? Curious why we do certain things the way we do? I’m ready.

 

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Steve wrote:

I ran this by Joe about a year ago, but I'm still wondering why we can't see the public leagues as far as settings, teams, rosters, etc. because all of that can be seen by selecting any team or league from Leaders on the main game pages. 

Spoiler

JakeFratteli wrote:

That's an interesting question. When I access a public league, I'm able to view all of that, even under my personal login. Say for instance:

https://baseball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/b1/164543

I can see settings, rosters & teams/standings/matchups. I'm under the assumption that anyone else can see the same if they have the league ID, or randomly enter league ID#s until they find one that's public. If there's a difference, or you're talking about viewing from another area like signup / 'find another team', let me know.

Maybe I'm just missing the context of the original conversation with Joe. Help me out with some more details.

 

Steve wrote:
Is anyone looking at the issue with the back arrow on the browser causing roster changes to become undone? I checked this AM to see if using the back arrow would undo saved roster changes and was able to prove it does.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
Steve, I did some searching, and it doesn't look like this one is on the radar. I just tried it out in Chrome but wasn't able to see any moves undone. My questions would be - What browser/version did you replicate in, and if you refresh the page do the roster changes still show undone?

 

Steve wrote:
I use Chrome and I can provide the steps.
Looking at my team A, I move a starting P from the BN to a P slot. I get the roster saved message. Then I select Fantasy Teams and get the drop down list and go to team B. At this point, I hit the back arrow on my browser and it takes me back to Team A, and the P I moved from the BN to P is now back on the BN.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
I tested again, and initially confirm that yes, the players appear to switch back (I originally tested just changing dates, and then hitting the back arrow). I believe this is a caching issue, however, the move is actually saved. After I refresh the page, the player that I moved refreshes back to the saved change I just made. I'll do some more testing around this, and talk with a friend in engineering about it, but for now, it just looks like the saved change isn't cached when returning to the page, even though it is processed.

 

Steve wrote:
If I try to look at a random public league or private league while trying to help someone, I get an error 152. If I select any team or league on Leaders, I can see pretty much everything, Pro, public, private, it doesn't matter. I can't see specific details like Manager Names, Email Addresses, I can see the subject of a posted message but not the content of the messages. But....I can see league settings, transactions, team names, schedules, records, rosters and pretty much the mechanics of everything in the league.

Joe's response was there are probably legal or privacy issues but if there are, why can I see so much if the team/league is on Leaders? I was asking Joe for permission for All Stars to see more details and not get Error 152 when we are trying to help people out. If we get a 152, we have to either have the commish make the league viewable or hand it off to you, Oscar, Alexb, etc.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
The error 152 should be specific to unpublished private leagues, but I'll double-check that. The leaderboards should be specific to public leagues only since they're all based on the exact same settings. I haven't taken a solid look at leaderboard since there was an issue a few years back with basketball, but maybe there are a few places that don't hold true.

Let's work on this one. If you find an example of a league you can't view, but should be able to, PM me the details, and I'll take a look.

Joe was right about the privacy angle for certain leagues - private leagues are unmoderated, and there's information that some people may not want exposed or publicly viewable, say some of the 'creative' team names private leagues use, or titles to message board posts that are highly inappropriate. Nothing critical, but enough that it's in our best interest to protect these details unless it's public, or published.

 

Steve wrote:
This discussion came up a couple weeks ago on the boards. Has anyone been able to validate?

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
Openly admit that I did not. I checked the engineering documentation on the feature and it specifically listed waivers. I don't currently have a DL player on waivers in either of my private leagues with this feature enabled, but I'll watch and test as soon as possible.

 

Steve wrote:
Any cool features being rolled out this season?

Spoiler

JakeFratteli wrote:
There are some features I'm pretty excited about that are up and coming.

  • New StatTracker. Bigger/Better/Faster/More Accurate. The current goal (which may change) is to have it ready by NFL season start.
  • League Chat on Desktop - We had to axe this feature for much the same reason we stripped features out of the message board, it was based on tech going away, outside of our control. But, we're going to bring it back, and chat will once again sync between website and app.
  • 500$ NFL pro leagues - Bigger buy-in / bigger payout.
  • Update to commish tools - Better organization by task type, and a search option to help with locating specific features.

 

Ochostinko wrote:
One of my biggest pet peeves is having cheating Commish's in Private leagues. I do like the warnings you place in pay leagues, but it is still a problem. People get mad when their only Yahoo FF experience results in a wasted year. Is there anything Yahoo can do to combat blatant cheating? With the auto renew, it's getting worse where you can't even get out of a league you are locked out from making changes. I wouldn't mind volunteering and investigate these leagues, I know I have been in about 4 of them, now I only play with a Commish that I know.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
You and me both. In fact, I've led the charge a few times on shutting down some of the more prolific private league abusers. We do take action if there's enough evidence, and those cases are rare, but it does happen. I have had federal marshals hand deliver cease and desist orders for me in the past.

There was a discussion I had about these leagues, basically comparing joining a private league with someone you don't know, AND giving them money - to buying a TV out the back of a van in a dark alley. Who does that? Apparently enough for it to be a problem.

I pitched the league alert idea as the only solid option we have to alert people to the potential that all commissioners are not on the level. We can send emails, but that doesn't mean they get read. It's unfortunate that people get suckered into these leagues, and some of these commissioners are reeeeally crafty with how they pull off a legit looking, super active league. Then you find out that you're one of 3 teams out of 12, and the commissioner controls the other 9 under separate IDs. Yes, it's happened to me too. My first year working sports - and basically inspired me to publish the first ever abuse handling process and training guide. Ultimately, it's not just a Yahoo issue, most fantasy services that offer private league formats struggle with this issue to some degree or another.

Private cash leagues are slowly modifying how we look at abuse, and the actions we take. I do think there's more we can do, but when it's as easy as creating another ID, in order to start the whole scam over, our options are limited to mostly reactive measures.

If I had it my way, I would 100% prevent new people from joining published private leagues in their first year. Regardless of the emails, league alerts, or backend work we do, there's always going to be a number of jerks running leagues, and people looking for ways around our moderation and filtering.

 

deemarr2x2 wrote:
I think all us golfers this season have noticed several glitches in the golf program/codes. I know golf finishes up around dinner time eastern and y'all are pacific and not there on weekends. I also understand that one tourney had to be deleted due to team format and so forth. However, since that time, there seem to be glitches in showing not only end of round scores but also not showing this past week all teams' lineups in a league when clicking the group picks link.

I bring this up because most of us avid golfers do not play strict Yahoo! golf. We play in various formats designed by commishs. I, for one, run an elimination type league and this past week when I looked to see the group picks, 4 teams showed no lineup set. Well, I thought I was "safe" from elimination and didn't start some of my best players. Two days later into the weekend those same teams indeed had valid lineups. This type of glitch does hinder a lot of us in playing/managing our golf teams in various formats. What is Yahoo! doing to work out these glitches and is golf still on the radar for the short term future? I know a lot of golf fans would like to know. Thanks. ~dee

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
Great questions.

First - the glitches with scoring not updating, and group picks not displaying can both be attributed to the week 16 removal. I could give a big technical excuse, or just sum it up by - they did it wrong, and it resulted in some unintentional repercussions. I'm sorry to see that it directly impacted your group, and potentially made you a candidate for elimination. The good news is that lessons were learned about event removals, and we shouldn't see these issues again if / when another event needs to be removed. Zurich was a 1-time thing, and I hope it stays that way.

Golf is still on the radar. I can't say that there's anything exciting coming down the pipes - while it's still a focus, it's mostly fixing anything not right vs. enhancements. I am pushing for better renewal/reinvite process, and I do think that they'll expand golf by adding it to our Daily Fantasy Sports lineup, but that's all I'm aware of.

Being a fantasy golf guru yourself - what 1 improvement would you most like to see deemarr2x2?

 

Ochostinko wrote:
I would also like to see people able to post pictures on their private league page message board. Is that a problem with storage space or can it be done?

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
This was/is a platform problem. We recently migrated from an older message board platform that was being decommissioned. We had no control over the supporting tech getting the axe, so migrating to another platform was all we could do. Unfortunately, that meant losing features like polls and image/gif posting. I do believe that the plan is to bring these features back, but I don't know a specific timeline at this point.

 

Oscar wrote:
Are you by chance related to a Francis Fratelli? Smiley Happy

Spoiler

JakeFratteli wrote:
Aww crap the gig is up. Yes, Francis is my brother. We don't talk much anymore, and I had to (slightly) alter my name to hide from mama Fratelli. Here's an old family photo of the first time I introduced my son to Francis, after finding out where witness protection hid him. We haven't talked since.

fratelli.jpeg

 

Ochostinko wrote:
Last thing, then I got to get back to work.
I would like to see the Commish able to change rosters pre-draft in Keeper/Dynasty leagues. It's not that big of a deal, but we have a lot of trades before the draft for draft picks and keepers, it would be easier for the Commish to change the rosters when the trades happen, so people will know what each team has. I keep a notebook for my league and make the changes when keepers are put in the draft, but we had over 20 trades last year, and it did start getting confusing as to what teams had what.
Thanks, Jake.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
I wish I had good news here....

...or maybe I do. We're not quite at the full blown dynasty mode yet, but being deep in the fantasy football game, I'm sure you've noticed that we are launching football earlier and earlier each year. Our downtime for football was like what, under 2 months this year? A far cry from the late June/early July launches a few years back. This is intentional, the end game is to leave it open year round. That - will facilitate our ability to open up off season trading, and make it a little less manual.

There's still some issues to be worked out though. Side issue -> but we realized this year that launching before season projections are available results in pre-draft rankings that make no sense. Work is being done on that. I anticipate that the dynasty change will come sooner than later, once the kinks are worked out. One of the biggest hangups are where to cement the trades. Once the season ends, there's no active roster week to apply changes to, so some process changes will also need to be made before this becomes a reality. Dynasty is a focus though, so I do expect progress to continue in this area at a steady pace. It's coming @Ochostinko.

Feel free to post after hours. I'll get to them in the morning!

 

Steve wrote:
What if...when doing automatic league renewals, the manager had a chance to bail instead of automatically being locked in?

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
The very first thing I asked for when they launched this feature. Roughly my response was - How can you renew all teams and allow commissioners to lock the team list without giving managers the opportunity to leave the league. I won't quote the exact reply back, but the overall message is that the impact is/would be limited. To their point, the reports of this type of problem are fairly low overall, but I'm rarely happy with 'works well enough'. I'll add this as another talking point in my next meeting with product and engineering here in 2 weeks or so.

I've pitched a number of ideas to solve the issue, but nothing has been picked up so far. I believe my next angle of attack will be the 'Finalize Team List' feature and see if I can't get some type of leeway with preventing the commissioner from using it for a set period of time. Even then, there's still some who will get stuck anyway, but at least an opportunity to exit will exist. We'll see what happens.

 

deemarr2x2 wrote:
The one improvement I'd like to see in golf (and NASCAR) is the ability to renew leagues so that commishs don't have to capture/save emails offsite to send out each season. I know on the message boards, many get left behind and can't find the league they were in the previous years. Example, my golf league is in its 13th season. Luckily I do save emails but lose some along the way. Thanks.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
With you on both counts - Golf/Auto Racing needing this feature. No lie - it's an enhancement that's been recommended/suggested/filed multiple times, but as you know, the feature support and enhancement is very slow in these games. I'll see if I can't find some good posts (like yours), past engineer requests, and some supporting data (user voice feedback), wrap it into a presentation and add this to my list of topics for the next eng/product team meeting. It just takes the right timing/approach sometimes to get a thing accomplished. I have a reputation of being tenacious when it comes to getting an issue addressed, and this seems like a good opportunity to reinforce that reputation. Smiley Wink

 

ChristheChemist wrote:
I'm not in many leagues that don't use waivers, but the issue that always gets questioned is Monday night players. Any free agent added on Monday doesn't reflect on your roster until the following week. People gripe about this every year. Any chance of this being changed?

Spoiler

JakeFratteli wrote:
This is a great question and one I wish I had a more solid answer for. This issue was explained to me once maybe 4 or 5 years ago, basically, it's a limitation in how the code will work consistently with this setting, but I just can't recall the exact explanation. I'll circle back to my friend in engineering and see if he can't re-educate me on the reasons we don't do this when waivers are set to none.

I believe we did fix the one setting this works with, leagues using Game Time - Tuesday, which is the default for public/pro, and custom leagues when initially created. With this setting, you can add FA on Monday before game time. I don't know what the chances are of this changing, but I'll look into it. I think you covered the major snag with getting this done in your opening line - most leagues do use waivers, and when the % of the impact is low enough, things tend to get de-prioritized.

If I get anything solid on a potential fix or an explanation for why it's just never going to happen - I'll pass it along.

 

FOLLOWUP:

OK, I got a refresh on the explanation. There are 2 use cases here, and we can only cater to one of them with this setting. The cases are

- Adding a player on Monday to play Monday
- Adding a player on Monday to pick up someone to start next week in place of an unwanted or BYE week player

So, if we allow a Monday pick-up, the options for drops are restricted to your bench, but if we allow the transaction to impact next week, ANY player can be dropped. We cater to the second case as the more common intent with Monday pickups. If we switched it, the reverse complaint would be that managers couldn't pick up a hot player for the following week since the majority of active players have already had a game, and locked. I'm probably still not explaining it perfectly, but that's the gist of it.

I'm already brainstorming a few counter arguments, but my friend in engineering has been here twice as long as I have, and when he says something can't be done, it's typically not questioned, even by the more tenacious contributors like myself. Even so, I think there are a few holes in the logic, so if you have any feedback on how Monday player adds are more valuable than getting first crack at next week's adjustments, PM me the details, and I'll add them to a growing list of potential arguments I'll bring up with our product team. End of the day - even if I make some progress here, I wouldn't anticipate a change happening until next season at the earliest.

 

deemarr2x2 wrote:
Just wondering. What happened to the F1 auto racing game other than it's no longer available? Not enough interest or what? If that's the case, then what are Yahoo! criteria for continuing? Thanks for all your answers and forum. This was GREAT!

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
Throwback question! Love it.

F1 went on 'Hiatus' for the 2010 season, and was given the death blow in 2011. It was not so much about the popularity/numbers behind the game, so much as finding a provider with solid F1 data, that was also responsive to the requirements & scale of our fantasy game. There was a brief look at a potential 2nd source for F1 data, but in the end, it didn't go through. Without a solid source of data, we had no other option but to decommish the game.

 

Ochostinko wrote:
I asked all my questions yesterday, thanks for spending time doing this. I think it is great that the Yahoo staff has been reaching out to answer questions on the message board, and also asking input from us, have a great day! Glad as always to see Dee, Steve, and Chris back on the boards... hopefully soon Stoopid will reach All-star Status, he has a wealth of knowledge.

Spoiler
JakeFratteli wrote:
'ppreciate your participation @Ochostinko. I had a lot of fun with this, and we'll be looking for more opportunities for other AMA's or very similar Q&A events in the future. We have been watching several potential candidates for future All-Star status, and Stoopid would be one of those (interesting choice in alias - a twist on the band Slightly Stoopid?). The good news is that we feel very...comfortable in the All-Stars we currently have. We are always looking to grow, but at this point, we're being conservative with promoting. I'd imagine we'll be adding a few more as we close in on the start of the Fantasy Football season.

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Thanks again to Jake and our Sports All-stars for participating. Keep an eye out for other future events posted here in the Community announcements and events board!

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