The headline is a bit of an attention grabber, isn't it? Ok - so no official ban by an major fantasy football site, but I've received a couple of emails over the last week from users letting me know that their individual leagues have implemented a "No Nerd" rule for their drafts. I'm not sure that this is a good thing, but hey, what can you do?
The basic reasoning behind their decision is that it's not fair for some players to use the Nerd while others spend a ton of time on research. I appreciate the comments, but allow me to respond. If you're planning a trip, you'll probably search Expedia, Travelocity, carrier websites, and Orbitz, right (studies show an average of 3-5 sites before a purchase decision is made)? You'll find prices for your flight, jot them down, and compare them at the end. So does that put sites like Kayak and SideStep out of bounds? These sites (they're actually one company now) compare multiple travel sites and aggregate the results into one easy to use screen. Major time savings achieved! The Nerd approaches fantasy football in the same way, with one caveat. Unlike a flight which is a commodity item, a fantasy football draft is much more than ranking and statistics. Just because a player may hold a certain rank today doesn't mean that he'll have the same rank next week. You'll still need to do your own research to keep up to date on what's happening in the NFL.
One of the users who emailed also came up with a work-around. He copied and pasted the Nerd rankings into Excel to print out. Now that's creative! I won't mention his name, but I salute him for following his league's rules! (wink, wink) :-)