Last Updated: May 11, 2010 9:58 AM
In 1999 two cousins, obsessed with Fantasy Football, created a mathematical player projection formula, which helped them dominate their own leagues en route to becoming two of the most successful experts in the world of Fantasy Football. Now, more than a decade after it's creation and a two-year hiatus, Jon and Ian Millman are back where it all started, at FFChamps.com. Boasting the highest winning percentage of any expert in the Fantasy Football Index Experts Poll, the Millmans are once again doing what they do best, offer the best fantasy advice while helping the FFChamps.com subscribers win their leagues.
Fantasy Football Champs LLC is under new ownership and in addition to the Millmans, has a new staff of expert Fantasy Football analysts. All of whom are dedicated to delivering the best advice and content in the business, resulting in more success for you.
Though incredibly busy with predicting player performances and strategizing for the 2010 fantasy season, Jon and Ian took a break to talk with FFChamps.com and send a message to the subscribers.
FFChamps.com: How does it feel to be back where you belong-leading all the Projections and Strategy for FFChamps.com?
Jon: It feels great to be back now because I believe we have the right team in place to turn what started out over a decade ago as a side business in our spare time from a laptop in my studio apartment… into something special. We truly feel FFChamps.com will morph into THE FANTASY DESTINATION on the web. Ian and I put Fantasy Football Champs together to share what we were doing with others and to help them win. Back when the Internet was still in it's infancy, there were only a handful of Fantasy Football sites, and we just felt like we had strategies and ideas that no one else was putting out. We literally started with some hand sketches I did of some web pages (that I still have framed in my home office) and $700 and the rest as they say is history.
Ian: It feels awesome. Now we definitely have what it takes to build this into the best all around site out there and I'm happy to be a part of that. We also can now focus on what matters most to us, getting our subscribers to the Playoffs and beyond. We have always measured our success by our subscribers Championships.
FFChamps.com: Don't want to bring up a sore subject, but out of curiosity, why did you leave?
Jon: Originally, Ian and I got into this for the Fantasy Football aspect of it. We are fantasy football guys, not web guys. We had absolutely no background or training in anything web related and eventually after building FFChamps.com from 1999-2006 at a rapid pace, it was hard to keep up with the business side of it. We both had our first kids and decided that we just didn't have the time to take FFChamps.com where it deserved to go for the sake of our thousands and thousands of subscribers. The business side was taking us away from the side we truly enjoyed.
A larger company, who told us they planned on making a number of purchases in the fantasy football space and creating a much bigger entity, approached us. It sounded like exactly what we wanted for our loyal followers over the years, so we accepted and then agreed to consult for them the next year or two.
So to answer your question and make a long story longer… we left because we were starting families and didn't have the time to keep running the business side of FFChamps.com, but we only left because we thought it was being taken to the next level. We never would have left if we thought it wasn't going to be better for our loyal clients throughout the years.
FFChamps.com: Explain the process of how you were brought back?
Ian: I have to be honest, Jon did most of the legwork but Andy Miller, who you all know as the new owner of the site, was a past subscriber who we had developed a relationship over the years and he contacted Jon as he started the process of acquiring the site and it just progressed from there.
Jon: This is where the story gets good. Andy and I, have been friendly for years. It started out when he first subscribed to our service in 2002. I think and he was very impressed with what we did. He was playing in High Stakes Fantasy Football leagues back when no one even knew that term. He first reached out to me to ask lots of individual advice to help him win… and that he did. He soon became a believer in us and always kept in touch and offered advice on how to build and brand Fantasy Football Champs better in exchange for high level fantasy football insight (the same insight I was using to dominate all of my leagues). He was also quite impressed with the track record we were assembling against the best of the best in the world, the highest level “Experts” in the industry. Unfortunately I was too busy to put his branding advice into action, that is up until a few months ago.
Andy reached out and told me he wanted to put together a group of guys with unbelievable track records in the business of building big brands, specifically on the internet, and buy FFChamps.com. I told him I actually had the EXACT same idea and even reached out to the new ownership not long before. Andy told me he only wanted to get involved with this if I was on board. It took 5 minutes to realize this team had some HUGE traits, so that made our answer easy… 1. They all have built very successful companies before. 2. We have a ton of experience in delivering the highest level experience and entertainment anyone can ask for, and 3. EVERY single one of us is an all out addicted Fantasy Football Nut.
So Ian and I said we are in. Now we can finally focus on exactly what we want to and what we specialize in, which is heading up and overseeing all of the Fantasy Football info on this site. We can leave the rest to Andy and the team to turn what already was the best information available, into the top Fantasy Football site in the world. We have a lot planned, everyone should get excited.
FFChamps.com: What are some of the changes subscribers can expect now that the two of you are back? What will stay the same?
Jon: Well, I've spent the last 2 years literally winning every league I entered. I am not making that up. We are Football and Fantasy Football maniacs. So when we didn't have the site to run the last few years, we actually had more time to dedicate to just managing our teams. I know for me I tried some new strategies and worked on some new ideas for how to explain what I do to others, so I actually think our information, projections, theories, ideas, etc will be better than ever. We now can focus 100% of our time on research, and to be honest that's where we spend the most. I was never a “quantity” guy when it came to writing actual articles. Instead, Ian and I watch a lot of game film and scan a TON of game logs to come up with our pre season rankings, FFCPI variables, and Rest of the Way Rankings. We head up the ranking of every player so the bulk of our time is spent on research. We also have tons of feedback meetings with all of our staff to get their ideas and hear what they'e seeing and feeling for players. We expect to really be on top of everything with the staff we've handpicked along with Andy.
The main thing that is going to be new this year is how we deliver FFChamps.com to our customers. We intend to take advantage of every type of media and technology out there, so you can access us easily and stay wired to us around the clock. We'll keep you posted in multiple ways and let you interact with us like never before. LOTS more to come on all of that.
The other new thing this year is the depth of our staff. We have a ridiculous team of experienced writers and the hottest Fantasy Football nut in the industry Daniela, we expect you guys to be thrilled with our product.
Also our price has changed…$29.95 What!?!? Less than a dollar a week gets you everything we do. Andy had to really twist my arm on this one (you guys know me, I think our info is so much more valuable than anything else on the web, so I have a hard time giving it away for cheap). But in the end he said this was a new beginning for FFChamps.com and if we want to build something special, let's make sure lots of people get to see it.
Ian: Our applications are all top notch, best in breed stuff. The FFCPI, My Teams, the C3 etc. are all “babies” of ours that have only grown and improved over time. Plus the guy that actually makes these things do what we want them to do, Joe Potenza (FFChamps.com Chief Technical Officer), has never left.
The content the loyal subscribers at FFChamps.com grew accustomed to, will resurface. Our subscribers know how good Jon and I are with the rankings and the Sleepers. I am not just blowing smoke, we have the track record to back it up. Plus, from what I have already seen from the new staff, the level of service that our customers will get is second to none.
FFChamps.com: You created FFC over 10 years ago, how has Fantasy Football Changed?
Ian: The first league I was ever in was 1990, I was a junior in high school. We would sit around home-room with the newspaper fishing through the box scores to tally up the games. Obviously a lot has changed since then. I also remember 1997, the first season that I used the Internet to get information on players, which Jon actually beat me to, nevertheless, we both dominated that year and every year since. The scoring systems and complexities of the leagues have changed but the major thing is that everyone is much more informed which makes it harder to dominate.
Jon: Back then whoever had the latest news had the edge, now everyone has the news within minutes. So it's back to who can analyze the info the best and who can develop strategies to give your teams an advantage. The good news is that's what we do better than anyone else you can find anywhere. Our Track record speaks for itself; no one in the history of the industry has won more in the Expert Polls. NO ONE. We will focus only on bringing Championships and an incredibly fun internet experience to our users.
FFChamps.com: How do your wives feel about the two of you working in Fantasy Football again?
Jon: Ian and I are cousins and 6 weeks apart, so we've always been very close. Our wives knew going in, that we both bleed Blue for the Giants, and that Fantasy Football was one of those things we just did well, so let it be. Fact is, by now Fantasy Football has been quite good to our families over the years (both with running the website business and winning high stakes leagues), so when they hear us talking about Fantasy Football they sure don't have a problem.
Ian: My wife couldn't give a rats you-know-what as long as the credit card doesn't get rejected when buying shoes at Lord and Taylor.
FFCHamps.com: Anything special you would like to say to your fan-base, followers?
Jon/Ian: Just that we are so happy to be back, and can't wait to show them what we are all working on for the upcoming year. Rest assured we will continue to build this site and evolve it in ways that no one else could. You're going to come here because you want to and we'll do all we can to make it enjoyable.