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Want More Control Over Your Fantasy Sports?
By: Matt Brown

Are you looking for more from fantasy sports? Tired of simplistic leagues, running based only on real professional stats? Ever wish you could get a little bit more of a taste of what it is like to be an actual GM or Coach? If this is you then, you need to check out fantasy sports simulation leagues! I took some time this season to check out one of the best fantasy simulation sites on the web. Here's what I found out:

I started out talking to Andy Dophin, owner of Dolphin Simulation Games ( With my background in fantasy basketball (and considering it has the least players to worry about) I decided to take over a pro basketball team in the Dolphin Email Leagues. But Dolphin Simulation Games has almost every sport available. You can play pro or college basketball, football and baseball; and pro hockey or soccer! The attention to detail in Dolphinsim's games is amazing! I had control over everything for my team.

As a coach, I can choose do the normal fantasy things like choose starters, and adjust rosters. But in simulation games there is actually some strategy for coaches to decide upon! I had to choose what pace I wanted to play at (slow it down or run up and down), how often to sub, defensive matchups, who my goto players were and more! This was a little overwhelming at first, but Dolphinsim has a lot of help pages that explain what each setting means and how to use them.

Then it was on to GM related activities. You can set your ticket prices, and negotiate and re-negotiate contracts. You sign your players for multiple years and watch as they improve, or don't improve over time. A season is compressed into just a few weeks playing 3-4 games a day. This was by far the most difficult area to pick up for me. It was a bit hard to get a sense of which players are keepers and which aren't. But Dolphinsim gives you A-F grades on each player to help the rookie coach get some idea of who to keep and who to let go. "The attention to detail in Dolphinsim's games is amazing!" - Matt Brown

How did I do in my first season? Well, let's just say it's a rebuilding year. My team finished 20-62, and 3rd to last in the conference. It was on to the "second season" for the losers, and that's free agent signing and the draft. This was my favorite part of the simulation. First you have to look over about a hundred available free agents, and then make offers to the guys you want to sign. Here you can create groups, for example a group of point guards, and tell the simulation who you want to bid on and in what order. This way you don't end up with a team full of 3.5 million dollar Spudd Webbs. Of course, all the coaches are doing the same thing so who you end up with depends on how rich you are and how high you want to go. This was very challenging but very enjoyable.

Next was the draft, where you get those future stars! The process here is very close to the free agent signings, as far as checking out all the players coming into the pros. However, you don't have to worry about bidding and can get whoever you want when your draft position comes up. What's really cool is the college players coming into the pros come right out of one of the college basketball simulation league running on Dolphinsim!

I made some keen moves this off-season, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. We'll see how it goes next year.

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