October 31st Weekly Release Notes

Happy Halloween all.  This weeks release notes involve many critical bug fixes and a few tweaks to Player Alerts.  This marks the first week that Player Alerts have been live.  The accuracy has been tweaked throughout the week, but overall I am quite pleased.  So, onto the full release notes:

  • NHL scoring data was screwed up and has been fixed.
  • I’ve created a way to better handle scoring data screwups from now on. Should make my life easier.
  • NHL depth charts have been tweaked
  • Major bug to syncing fantasy leagues has been fixed
  • Depth chart accuracy check has been put into place for ALL sports, and should work smoothly for the coming months
  • ESPN NHL transactions have been fixed.  Previously no data was being collected.  All leagues should be working 100% now.
  • Vaclav Prospal scoring data has been added, thanks Henry.
  • Player Alerts email cooldown period reduced to 12, down from 24.  This means that you can be alerted of a new player alert 12hrs after the previous one.  24 hours seemed to be too long because an injury report could be announced within that timeframe and you’d miss it.
  • Player Alerts are now sent from “FantasySP” instead of my name. As my wife pointed out, people might have no idea who I am.  However, replying to the Player Alert still comes to me.

October 24th Weekly Release Notes

Things are pretty exciting around FantasySP right about now.  There have been major releases lately, including Fantasy Transactions and now Player Alerts.  Please do read those blog posts announcing each feature in its full detail.  Player Alerts took up most of my time this week as the feature is very involved and something that is continuing to be fine-tuned.

In a nutshell, Player Alerts send an email to anyone who is tracking a player who just had major news announced that you NEED to know about.  It is powered by our Fantasy Spotlight feature and is very accurate at deciding when a player is currently trending.  The email that gets sent out has been designed specifically for this feature and I absolutely love its simplicity and readability.  Please email me feedback about the feature and if it has been helpful thus far.  In fact, I might even email some of you guys and get your opinions.

Another somewhat significant change this week are on a single player story page.  I removed the in-line advertisements and replaced them with 3 more relevant stories about that story and player.  Most people arrive on FantasySP through these pages, and I wanted to make sure they get more news on their first pageview.

Introducing Fantasy Transactions

Longtime fans of FantasySP might have noticed quite a few visual tweaks in their user panel.  Things were getting a bit cluttered in the user panel and it was long overdue for a visual overhaul.  So what I decided to do was separate your fantasy information from everything else.  “my” now encapsulates your News, Players, Teams, and Transactions. The area now feels more clean and concise while adding a bit more spacing.

Let’s have a look:

The New User Panel

Now what about these Fantasy Transactions? Transactions are now collected for EVERY league that you have synced including CBSSports, ESPN, Yahoo!, and NFL.com.  Fantasy Transactions support MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL leagues.    The minute you sync a league, we collect the entire season’s worth of transactions (except for NFL.com, sorry!).  To date the site has collected about 250,000 fantasy transactions since this feature went live just a few weeks ago.

Here are two screenshots that illustrate the usefulness of the feature.  I am currently in two fantasy leagues, an NFL.com league and a CBSSports league:

CBSSports Transactions
NFL.com Transactions

As you can see, it works just like listing Teams.  Each league has its own box that can be minimized or maximized and your “favorite” league is always shown first.  Then simply click “next” or “prev” to loop through transactions.  If you want to ensure that your transactions are up to the minute then click the “update” button so the site can grab the latest moves.

Anyone who is in multiple fantasy leagues can appreciate the usefulness of this feature.  It can be quite frustrating going from league to league trying to keep up on the latest transactions.  The more leagues you are in, the more of a pain in the ass it can be.  Now you don’t have to bother wasting time.  Log into FantasySP and it’s all neatly organized and collected for you.

Right now mobile FantasySP does not have transactions quite yet, but it is coming soon.  Also, keep in mind that this feature is ending its “beta” status very soon.  In the next week or two, this feature will have limited functionality unless you pay to upgrade your membership. However, all new signups will be able to use it for two weeks to see if it’s worth the upgrade.

With Player Alerts and Fantasy Transactions, you can clearly see that FantasySP is dedicated to becoming the ultimate fantasy resource.

Introducing Player Alerts

A major new feature called “Player Alerts” just went live.  This has been planned for quite awhile, and I am excited that it has finally been finished.  Player alerts will be a great way for you guys to keep tabs on your players without doing anything.  Player Alerts will be FREE to all users and have already been activated without you doing anything.

The emails themselves are based off a brand new email template that has been created specifically for Player Trends.  The text is well spaced and easily readable with the player name in bold red letters.  The stories themselves are properly spaced out so they can quickly be scanned with links back to the player page.  The email itself only has one image, the FantasySP logo, to make sure that the email loads quickly on mobile devices and desktops.  You can even reply to the email to provide feedback directly to me.

What is a Player Alert?

A Player Alert is an email that gets sent out to one of the players you are tracking.  The email includes the last 3 stories that have been collected based on the player.   Check out this actual email that arrived in my inbox not too long ago about Chris Cook:

Player Alert Example Email

 How Does it Work?

FantasySP is constantly scanning for real-time player news trends and the players who have the most important news are shown in  “Player Trends” and “Fantasy Spotlight”.  Player Alerts are based off of both of these and an email is triggered when the player reaches a certain threshold of importance.  There are three settings to pick from:  LOW, MEDIUM, and HIGH or DISABLED.

LOW – This type of player alert can be triggered when the player had a good game and the news media outlets are detailing his stats and fantasy impact.  An example is Ahmad Bradshaw rushing for 100+ yards and three touchdowns in week 6.

MEDIUM – Triggered when something significant happened that will impact your fantasy team, whether it be MRI results or a suspension.  An example is Peyton Hillis leaving Week 6 due to a hamstring pull.  This is the default setting.

HIGH– Triggered when a player just suffered a severe injury, played the game of his life, named MVP, or is involved in a national story.  Two examples would be when it was announced that Peyton Manning would not start the opener or Carson Palmer was traded to the Raiders.

Smart Emails

The great thing about Player Alerts is that you can easily change the alert setting at the bottom of the email that was sent out to you.  These emails only go out if we have seen that you logged into FantasySP within the past two weeks.  Obviously we don’t want to bother you when the fantasy season is over.  A Player Alert only goes out once per 24 hours, so we don’t flood your inbox with annoying messages of the same thing.  Generally a news trend has passed within a 24 hour period, unless your name is Brett Favre.

Enjoy the feature and as always, email me feedback.

With Player Alerts and Fantasy Transactions, you can clearly see that FantasySP is dedicated to becoming the ultimate fantasy resource.

October 17th Weekly Release Notes

This week proved to be an interesting week.  During Monday Night Football (Yeah, tell me about it) one of the FantasySP servers got stuck and needed to move hosts due to a hardware failure.  Everything is back to normal right now, but you will notice that player news got stuck for a little over an hour.  It may take about a half hour until FantasySP fully catches up on what it missed.

Now onto the rest of the release notes:

  • More tweaks to the most viewed players due to the early morning hours of lack of activity
  • NFL player ratings have been updated and no longer include a negative value.  (Yes, even if your QB is David Garrard)
  • More progress has been made for fantasy email alerts.  This is the next BIG release feature for FantasySP.  My hope is that a beta version of this goes live sometime this week or early next week.