2012 NFBC Champion Profile - Dave Potts

Postby Tom Kessenich » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:02 pm

It's one thing to be a baseball fan. It's another to become so glued to the action that you watch every pitch and at-bat with intensity, refusing to allow your focus to be distracted, knowing that every pitch could play a deciding role in whether you walk away with a fantasy championship or not.

Dave Potts has long been the former. In 2012, he became the latter in the industry's most prestigous baseball event.

With an NFBC championship on the line and the Main Event's $100,000 grand prize at stake, it was easy to understand why Potts became so focused during the season's final weeks. It tested his resolve to be sure and made for some anxious moments as the season came to a close.

"It was a blast, but pretty nerve wracking at the same time," Potts said.

Ultimately, all the focus, anxiety and knuckle biting and gut-wrenching moments proved worthwhile. When the season finally ended, it was Potts who emerged victorious in the Main Event and laid claim to the 2012 championship.

"It was pretty surreal to win the title," the five-year NFBC veteran said. "I honestly never felt like I had a shot at winning the overall title until about a week to go.

"It kind of hit me a little at a time. The money is one thing, but to be able to compete at this level with so many amazing players and come out on top is very humbling."

As is so often the case, the 2012 Main Event race came down to the final days of the season. Potts was among a handful of players with the opportunity to win the championship. So every pitch mattered. Every at-bat was critical. Nothing could be left to chance.

"I needed some very specific categories - steals and wins - to put me over the top," Potts said. "There were a couple of moments that I knew would make the difference.

"I rarely show much emotion about anything but there were a couple of plays that had me jumping out of my seat. The last Friday of the year, Jon Niese had pitched seven great innings but was trailing 1-0. I really needed the win and knew he was done for the day. When Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run to give him the win I have never been so excited to see the Mets win a game.

"Then on Sunday afternoon, Everth Cabrera stole four bases in the span of two innings. That gave me about 30 points towards the title."

Potts initially began playing auctions only in the NFBC before moving into the Main Event as well in 2009. He admits that while the experience gained in that time has been invaluable he hasn't gone about setting up any specific draft strategies to try and compete at fantasy's highest level.

"The first couple years I played in the Main Event, I was way out of my league," he admitted. "It has been a process of figuring out how to compete at this level. Every team I have drafted has been a little different. From looking at past winners and other teams near the top this year, it is clear that there are a lot of different ways to build successful teams. It is a constant learning process and every season and every league are a little different."

So when Potts headed to Las Vegas for the opening weekend of NFBC festivities in March he did so without an overly convoluted plan of attack heading into his Main Event draft. In fact, he decided to keep things simple.

"I was really just drafting whoever I thought was the best player at the time," he said. "There were some really great owners in the league so it was pretty hard to try and sneak anything through. I wish I could say I had some magic plan that I worked out but really I draft a lot of teams every year and this one just happened to work out."

It certainly helped Potts that his top two picks had memorable seasons. Miguel Cabrera won the first Triple Crown in 45 years while Adrian Beltre hit a robust .321-36-102.

"They gave me a great base to start from," Potts said. "A full season from Joe Mauer was a great bonus as I never had to worry about batting average. I grabbed Felix Hernandez as my ace and he was fantastic.

"I had a good handful of later picks that came through too. Aaron Hill and Derek Jeter were great bargains in the middle infield. I also got several good outfielder values late in Allen Craig and Dayan Viciedo. On the pitching side, Jon Niese was a key late pick."

A strong drafted meant Potts did not have to spend every week mining the Waiver Wire for possible gold. He did make some key pickups, however, most notable adding A.J. Burnett in Week 2. He also was able to add to his needed steals category late in the season due to Waiver Wire additions Anthony Gose and Everth Cabrera.

"I was also very fortunate on the injury front," he said. "My top seven picks all stayed healthy and produced at or above the expected level."

The 37-year-old Potts lives in Auburn, Alabama with his wife Laura and their two children. A professional musician, Potts has been playing fantasy baseball for over a decade. Perhaps not surprisingly, his wife has also embraced the game after his landmark 2012 campaign.

"She is a suddenly a big fantasy baseball fan," Potts said.

Becoming the ninth Main Event champion in NFBC history, Potts said he does not have any extravagant plans for the $100,000 he has received.

"I'm not a very exciting guy so I don't have big plans," he said. "I'm going to set aside my NFBC entry fees for the next couple of seasons and then put the rest in savings and the kids' college accounts. One day I can tell my kids that Aaron Hill paid for part of their education. I might let my wife buy me a new piece of furniture."

Just as importantly, Potts has already circled the March dates on his calendar for the 2013 NFBC. A return to Las Vegas and an attempt to defend his Main Event championship are already part of the coming year's plans.

"The two weekends of drafts in Vegas are something I look forward to all year," he said. "This is a great community of players. I have gotten to know a lot of really great people through the NFBC."
Tom Kessenich
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Re: 2012 NFBC Champion Profile - Dave Potts

Postby Winston's Empire » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:17 pm

Congrats Dave!!!! Its fun to compete against you in leagues each year and fun to see a familiar name and good guy as the 2012 CHAMP! :D
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Re: 2012 NFBC Champion Profile - Dave Potts

Postby Ando » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:43 pm

I had a project I was managing this week in the Peoria, IL area. As I was driving to lunch one afternoon, out of the corner of my eye I picked up on this sign. A bell immediately rang in my head. It was a sign of our fearless champion.

Hats off to you, Dave. I look forward to meeting you in Vegas next spring. In the meantime, just a visual reminder here that until October of 2013 we all reside in Pottstown - and you are the Mayor!

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Re: 2012 NFBC Champion Profile - Dave Potts

Postby Baseball Furies » Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:59 pm

Can't wait to meet you in Vegas, Pottsie. Should be a blast! Congrats again on your huge 2012. :D Now get your ass signed up for the Diamond on Saturday night with yours truly. ;)
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