Up Close With A High Stakes Fantasy Expert Part 4 (PREMIUM PREVIEW)
This article is Part 4 in a six-part series leading up to the start of the Fantasy season that will take us inside the minds of successful high stakes players, giving us insight into what they are thinking about and 'how to win' strategy.
(Editor's intro: The Scout Fantasy Football World Championships are well under way. If you want to step outside your comfort zone and challenge the best Fantasy Football players, join one of our high stakes leagues today!)
This week, we bring you Kimra Schleicher, ranked No. 8 in the Fantasy Football High Stakes Global Rankings. Schleicher has been a model of consistency in the high stakes space with four top-10 finishes in the Fantasy Football World Championships. Most recently, Schleicher dominated the 2013 FFWC $5K Commander league to bring home a nice pay day of $30,000. She attributes her success in this league specifically to stacking four Broncos in her draft, including sleeper Knowshon Moreno in the 10th round. Even more valuable to Schleicher were the bragging rights that go along with beating the best of the best.
Known as "Indy Hitters," Schleicher grew up in southern Indiana and in a very competitive family. Sports were always the theme in the Schleicher household as the family regularly participated in or attended various sporting events. With sports as such an integral part of Schleicher youth, it's no wonder she found her comfort zone in the world of competitive fantasy football.
I recently spent some time getting to know Kimra. We chatted about her success in a game primarily dominated by men, draft strategy, and, of course, her opinions specific to the new season upon us. The ever-humble Schleicher is quick to acknowledge all of the top fantasy players around, but don't let the modesty fool you. Her dedication to competing at the highest level drives her to succeed. After hearing from Kimra, you will no doubt be looking to draft with all of your newfound knowledge.
Gold: Kimra, thank you so much for taking some time to chat with us and share your thoughts with the Scout Community. You have done so well in recent years. Can you tell us about how you got involved in fantasy?
Kimra: Thanks, Larry. Sure! I started playing fantasy football in 2001, in a local league in Indianapolis called the "Brews Brothers." I just participated in the same draft last night. One of my friends asked me to fill in one year because they knew I liked football. Needless to say, I didn't fare so well the first year. I turned that around pretty quickly as I studied the rules and player statistics from the previous year. Knowing the rules is priority No. 1 for any league. I caught the fever and joined the World Championships in Las Vegas in 2003. I finished 10th overall in my first attempt so I was hooked after that trip and have been to Las Vegas every year since, competing in all of the annual national tournaments.
Gold: Drafting in Las Vegas on opening weekend is so much fun. What a way to kick off the season. And it's not just for guys either. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) data, 20 percent of fantasy players are women. Does that figure surprise you?
Kimra: Fantasy football is very popular, and I believe there are more women playing than people realize. I personally know several women who participate in local leagues. My goal is to encourage women to participate on a national level in Las Vegas. I am the commissioner of a local female-only league. It is a great time, and some of them are now traveling to Las Vegas and have competed at the FFWC. As they become more comfortable with the format and the environment, I think they in turn will encourage their friends, and more female owners will travel or draft online in these national tournaments.
Gold: I would assume fantasy is a year-round endeavor for you, and it starts with free agency during the offseason. Were there any signings this past offseason that got your attention more than the others?
Kimra: I think the most underrated free-agent signing is...
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