2015 FantasyGuru.com Staff Bios

John Hansen - @Fantasy_Guru

Hansen has published FantasyGuru.com, one of the oldest fantasy information sites on the Internet, since 1995. A former rock disc jockey, Hansen began appearing on a sports cable TV show in New Jersey under the name “The Fantasy Guru” in 1994 and quickly gained a reputation for his predictions and evaluations. Hansen’s first foray in the fantasy sports media business was a position at ESPN.com, where he was the first fantasy football columnist for the popular Web site, starting in 1996. He was a columnist for ESPN.com for seven years, ending in 2003, but not before being the first individual to contribute to ESPN's fantasy football coverage online, on ESPN Radio, and on TV. Starting in 2003, Hansen began working with Yahoo! Sports, where his work can still be found today.
When the NFL Network and NFL Films decided to cover fantasy sports, they called Hansen, who appeared weekly on “NFL Fantasy Live” alongside former NFL Player Ron Jaworski and on the NFL Network's “Playbook” show alongside former NFL Players Sterling Sharpe and Solomon Wilcots. Hansen was also asked to be featured on a strategy-based preseason DVD the NFL produced in 2003. Hansen appeared weekly (from 2003-2009) as the chief fantasy analyst on the “Fantasy Fix” show on Comcast Sportsnet’s local stations in Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Baltimore/Washington, Sacramento, and others. The show also aired nationally on DirectTV.
In 2003, Hansen launched FantasyGuru.com Magazine, an annual fantasy football magazine that featured the first NFL player interview in a fantasy magazine (then reigning ROY Clinton Portis). After the 2009 season, the company decided to go back to producing content 100% online, as the magazine was no longer a viable option. Hansen around this time also had a nationally-syndicated newspaper column that appeared weekly in papers such as the Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
In 2004, Sirius NFL Radio was born, and Hansen was contracted to host the network’s weekly show “Sirius Fantasy Football.” In 2010, due to this show's great success on Sirius, SiriusXM decided to launch an entire channel devoted to fantasy sports and Hansen now hosts "SiriusXM Fantasy Football" M-F from 2-5 p.m. ET on Sirius channel 211 and XM channel 87. With at least one show per week in the off-season, the show airs year-round. In 2010, Hansen's content on Sirius NFL Radio was so well-received by NFL legend John Madden that Madden voluntarily voiced over a promo for Hansen's show. Also in 2010, the creators of the hit comedy series "The League" on FX wrote Hansen and former contributor (and now ESPN NFL Insider) Adam Caplan into one of their episodes. Hansen and Caplan were in four scenes and played themselves hosting the SiriusXM Radio show. Check out the show online here.
In 2013, he was inducted into the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association's Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the F.S.T.A Winter conference in Las Vegas in January of 2014. Hansen's award can be seen in this tweet. Also in 2013, Hansen deemed in the preseason the FantasyGuru.com Staff League as his #1 league for the year, and he proceeded to post a 14-0 record in the regular season only to come win win short of a perfect 16-0 season. Also in 2013, with a strong assist from our Managing Editor Joe Dolan, Hansen's 2013 preseason projections finished 3rd out of 130+ experts on Fantasy Pros' 2013 Preseason Draft Accuracy rankings.  

In 2014, Hansen was contracted to be the chief fantasy analyst for a ground-breaking new "Fantasy Zone" channel on DirectTV. Fantasy Zones airs for 7 hours and is the first national television show that offers immediate fantasy analysis of the games while they're happening, and much more. Hansen is back on the show in 2015.

Specializing in football, Hansen is one of the most connected fantasy writers in the country and attends events such as the Super Bowl, NFL Draft, and the annual Scouting Combine, interacting with NFL players, coaches, analysts, agents, and insiders alike.
A 1993 graduate of Rowan University, Hansen is married with four children and resides in Southern New Jersey, where he spends his spare time coaching little league baseball.
Greg Cosell - @gregcosell
NFL Analyst
One of the preeminent NFL personnel and matchups analysts in the country, Cosell has been contributing to FantasyGuru.com for nearly a decade.
In 1984, Greg, along with NFL Films President Steve Sabol, created the “Matchup” concept. The resulting show was called “Monday Night Matchup,” and it began as a breakdown of each week’s Monday night game. For the first three years of its existence, ESPN’s Chris Berman hosted the show. Over the years, the show transitioned from a singular breakdown of the Monday night game to a detailed analysis of the 6-7 top games played each Sunday. It is the most respected football show in the industry, a direct consequence of the process by which the show is produced. Greg and the show’s talent, Ron Jaworski and Merril Hoge, study and evaluate what is called “coaching tape.” It shows all 22 players on the field on every play; it is the same tape used by coaches and players in the NFL to game plan each and every week. It’s the only football show on television that goes through this process. Therefore, Greg is uniquely equipped to analyze, examine, and explore the NFL game. Greg’s knowledge of the entire league is as comprehensive and complete as that of any pro football analyst in the business.
In addition to consulting on player personnel for the site and breaking down the matchups, Greg appears weekly in a 60-minute Podcast, which runs exclusively on FantasyGuru.com. John Hansen hosts the Podcast, and uses his 20 years of experience covering fantasy football to get the most out of Cosell’s vast knowledge of the NFL and football, in general.

In 2014, Cosell will produce for the first time a weekly column covering the top under-the-radar matchups fantasy players should be looking to exploit each week. This exclusive and unprecedented piece of content will utilize Greg's vast knowledge of personnel and matchups - culled from hours and hours of study NFL coach's tape each week - to give our readers an edge over their competitors.
Lance Zierlein - @LanceZierlein
NFL Analyst
Lance Zierlein has been hosting drive-time sports talk radio in Houston since 1997 and over the past 16 years, he has been featured on websites, television and radio shows around the country for his analysis surrounding fantasy football, the NFL and the NFL draft. Zierlein has been a featured fantasy football columnist and NFL blogger for the Houston Chronicle since 2005, and he transitioned his popular weekly newsletter to the Internet back in 2010. You can find his football website at TheSidelineView.com. Lance grew up in a football family and his father, Larry Zierlein, is an offensive line coach, who has coached college and pro football for 33 years. Larry Zierlein has coached the offensive lines for three different NFL teams (including the Super Bowl winning Steelers in 2008-2009) and recently came out of retirement to join the Arizona Cardinals as an assistant offensive line coach.
Lance specializes in offensive line evaluation and has learned offensive line play and evaluation from his father over the years. Lance has a variety of contacts around the league and has supplemented his evaluation by studying under league scouts, front office executives, and former NFL linemen.
Zierlein's commentary on radio, his writing on the Houston Chronicle and on his website, TheSidelineView.com, has been featured on such prominent outlets as Pro Football Talk, TheRedZone.org, The Big Lead, ESPN, The New York Times, CBS Sports and PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
Ben Fennell – @TheXOsOfLife
NFL Film Analyst
Ben was a researcher and XO producer for the NFL Network show 'Playbook' for six seasons based out of NFL Films in Mount Laurel, NJ. A self-proclaimed 'film junkie,' Ben has studied countless hours of NFL coaching tape with the likes of Mike Mayock, Matt Millen, Brian Billick, Sterling Sharpe, Brian Baldinger, and Joe Theismann. Ben also spent several years working as a videographer and assistant coach for the invitational football camp - Football University. A life-long Packer fan (as inherited from his mother - a Green Bay native), Ben has enjoyed his 27 years of Packers fandom through the stable QB eras of Favre and Rodgers. He is also a contributor at CheeseheadTV - a Green Bay Packers fan publication.

Ben will be filling a critical role for us in 2014, one in which we think is a first in the fantasy industry. His sole responsibility working full-time will be to analyze the "all-22" coach's tape while mining for fantasy gold in terms of quickly spotting emerging players and compiling intriguing game notes while also serving as a matchup analyst for our weekly projections and game previews.

Through the developmental and college years, Ben opted for the putter over the pigskin as golf came as a more natural calling. A 12-year fantasy football veteran, Fennell is fully vested in his fantasy pension plan. A 2010 graduate of Drexel University with a degree in sport management, Ben currently resides in Hainesport, NJ.
Joseph Dolan – @fg_dolan
Managing Editor
Joe is a son of the video-game age - his extensive knowledge of NFL rosters dates back to the early 1990s, when he could tell you that Bo Jackson was the greatest athlete of all time, Christian Okoye could launch a linebacker 35 yards through the air, and Jim McMahon was the backup to the legendary "QB Eagles" in Tecmo Super Bowl. As soon as he could use a computer, he transferred this knowledge to fantasy football before he entered high school.
As with most sports writers, Dolan opted for the pen over the pads when he realized he had zero outstanding athletic ability. He attended Penn State University, where he ascended to sports editor of The Daily Collegian, PSU's student-run independent publication. While at Penn State, Dolan covered basically every varsity sport the university fields in some capacity, and sat in on Joe Paterno press conferences before he could legally order a beer. After graduating from Penn State in May 2008, Dolan took a job producing content for PhiladelphiaEagles.com, where he covered the team extensively and served as an on-camera personality on The Writers' Roundtable.
Much to the chagrin of co-worker Matt Camp, Dolan is a deranged Philadelphia Phillies fan, and witnessed the uprooting of several trees in Center City Philadelphia after the Phils captured their second world championship in October 2008. He subscribes to the theories of Bill James and other sabermetricians, and his dream job (except this one, of course) is to run an MLB franchise as general manager. In the meantime, the PA native is quite content following football for a living, and he enjoys going back to Penn State to soak up the remaining drops of his college life whenever a convenient weekend presents itself.
Starting in 2010, Dolan has been the co-host of the weekend edition of "SiriusXM Fantasy Football" and "SiriusXM Fantasy Football Game Day" on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. In 2011, he rejoined the Philadelphia Eagles as a weekly on-camera contributor and analyst on “Eagles Nightly.”
In 2011, Dolan won the 14-team SiriusXM Hosts’ League, comprised solely of hosts on Fantasy Sports Radio, and he was also the champion of the 12-team SOFA IDP Experts’ League in 2010. In 2013, using our projections with some minor personal tweaks, Dolan finished 3rd out of 130+ expert on the Fantasy Pros' 2013 Preseason Draft Accuracy rankings.
Tom Brolley – @FG_Brolley
Senior Writer
Brolley was blessed with the mobility of Peyton Manning, but he lacked Manning’s encyclopedic football knowledge and his laser-rocket arm. Not surprisingly, colleges didn’t come calling for Brolley after four years as a high school quarterback in Western Pennsylvania. He decided to stay as close to the game as possible so he studied journalism and took up sports writing at Penn State University. Brolley covered a variety of varsity sports while writing for The Daily Collegian, a student-run paper, including stories on the football team.
Brolley graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism in 2008 and that summer he interned with the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa. Brolley spent a couple days at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp in Bethlehem, Pa., where he ran into the great Joe Dolan. Brolley then spent four years at The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where he covered a lot of football in the fall. Brolley even saw a couple high school players that could be future NFL players during his time in Northeast Pennsylvania. In the fall of 2012, Brolley covered Penn State’s first game without Joe Paterno as head coach in 46 years. Brolley, from Ebensburg, Pa., has been a Pittsburgh sports fan since birth. He's still in shock that the Pirates' broke their 20-year streak of losing seasons in 2013. He's coming off a fantastic 2013 fantasy season, reaching the playoffs in all seven of his leagues, winning three of them. Brolley expects to never duplicate the feat.
Justin Varnes - @DownWithIDP
IDP Analyst

When not neglecting his responsibilities to sit in front of the TV every Sunday in the fall, Justin plays drums professionally and drives his daughter to softball practices.

He is a Jacksonville, FL native and moved to New York City to pursue a career in music before relocating to Atlanta, GA to raise a family. As a drummer, Justin has performed with Phoebe Snow, Michael McDonald, Five for Fighting, Earl Klugh, and Mose Allison.

More importantly, a three-time IDP league champion, Justin has become obsessed with the defensive side of the ball, watching film and digging deep into stats and metrics to apply to fantasy.

Kevin Adams - @MagicSportsGuy
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Analyst

Kevin has been a Financial Advisor and small business owner since 2001.   However his true passion has always been sports.  When his playing days were officially over he moved on to an obsession with fantasy sports, more specifically fantasy football. 

Kevin first appeared on our radar after winning the 2013 Sirius XM Salary Cap Challenge.  This 17-week contest had over 8,000 participants including 40 Fantasy Football Industry experts as well as some of the top Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Players in the country (He also submitted a second team, and it finished in 3rd place!).  He has also won a NFFC (National Fantasy Football Championship) league title. 

While waiting for football to come back in 2014, Kevin decided to try his luck at Daily Fantasy Basketball and Baseball, both of which he had never played before the 2014 season.  In just 6 months he has already won seats into 4 exclusive “winners only” contests, the DraftKings Showcase (Basketball and Baseball) as well as the StarStreet Playboy Championship (Basketball and Baseball). In addition he has taken down multiple GPP’s, including the DraftKings $10K Perfect Game, something he achieved TWICE in just two weeks in late-June-Early July of 2014.

In 2014, Kevin’s weekly DFS column will debut and will surely help our readers haul in some serious cash.

Tom Simons
Staff Writer

Simons, a 20-year fantasy veteran, has been a staff writer for FantasyGuru.com since 1995. In addition to his contributions to FantasyGuru.com, Simons has been commissioner of such esteemed and groundbreaking leagues as ffWebMASTERS expert league since 2001, the innovative HAFA-X in its’ inaugural season of 2003, and Hardcore Fantasy Invitational since 2004./font>
Simons continues to have success in numerous high-profile “Expert Leagues” such as Fan-Ex Online, ffWebMASTERS, and INSANEX as well as innovative detailed leagues such as Hardcore Fantasy Invitational (HFI) and Hire And Fire Association (HAFA). As partner with John Hansen, Simons won the Fan-Ex Online Championship in 2005. He also won the ffWebMASTERS championship in 2005. In 2003, Simons was part of a team that captured the championship in the inaugural season of Hire And Fire Association (HAFA).
During the past 15 years, Simons has cultivated his craft as an Instant Replay engineer/technician in the Northwest and nationwide. He works for the cutting-edge in-house scoreboard show of the Seattle Seahawks. He also works all the Seattle Mariners, the now defunct Seattle Supersonics, and Washington Huskies home games. His clientele includes networks like CBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC, FOX, OLN, and other broadcasting entities. Some of his accomplishments include working the 2000 Summer Sydney Olympics, Games 6 and 7 of the 2002 World Series, and a nine-year hitch as Production Coordinator for a million dollar a year distance learning facility at the University of Massachusetts. Simons is a consummate professional, is thorough in his attention to detail, and is a firm believer of objectivity
A 1979 graduate of Springfield Technical Community College and a 1982 graduate of Fitchburg State College, Simons currently resides outside of the Emerald City of Seattle, Washington.
Mike Horn
Statistical Analyst
Horn, our resident stat head, has been playing fantasy football for well over a decade. He wrote for the Fantasy Beat website for a year before joining Fantasy Guru in 2005. In his first expert league, he took home a championship (2006) in the Yahoo! Expert Auction League.
Horn retired from the US Army in 2000 after a 21-year career as an infantryman and foreign area officer. He served in Italy, Portugal, and Germany as well as at Fort Benning, Fort Irwin, Fort Leavenworth, Fort Bragg, and the Pentagon in the United States. While on active duty, he earned his Ranger tab, Air Assault Badge, and Master Parachutist Badge./font>
Horn is a graduate of a small engineering college on the Hudson that once ranked 299th out of 300 on a list of party schools. Not content with the rigor of that education, he later attended #300, the University of Chicago, for a Masters in European History. He also graduated from the US Army Command and General Staff College and the Portuguese Staff College. He now works as a defense (military, not football) analyst for a major defense contractor in the Washington, DC area.
He lives there with his wife, Gayla, and two dogs, Lola and Napoleon. Besides football, his interests include travel, cooking, eating well, and volunteer work at a local animal shelter.
Paul Kelly @Paulkellytweets
Staff Writer/Podcaster
Paul started his first fantasy football league in 1987. He’s been competing in multiple leagues and acting as league commissioner every season since. He was an active participant in the World Championship of Fantasy Football racking up more than 50 main event wins and a .727 winning percentage from 2005-2009. Paul is also an award winning radio programmer and air talent whose broadcasting career started in 1994. He's been a host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and a contributor to FantasyGuru.com since 2010.
Other contributors
  • Jeff Mitchell – Programmer
  • Jeff Blagg – Apple developer
  • David Gonos - Special contributor
  • Dom Korbel – Snap Count author
  • Greg McDonald – Auction strategy contributor
  • Terry Herlihy - Special contributor
  • Jeff Brazil – Pulitzer Prize winning author and write of draft strategy articles
  • Jason Leisure – Excel Guru

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