2023 Champions Profile - Drew Forte

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Tom Kessenich
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2023 Champions Profile - Drew Forte

Post by Tom Kessenich » Mon Dec 11, 2023 9:39 am

In the NFBC, we offer our Qualifiers with the idea that you can turn a tiny entry into a huge grand prize and make history one day as a national champion. That’s the goal for everyone who signs up for the $50 RotoWire Online Championship Qualifier league each and every season.
Drew Forte was certainly no exception back in 2022 when he took part in his league. Then when he won his league title and earned a free entry into the 2023 Online Championship like everyone else in the contest, he had but one goal in mind:

Winning the $150,000 grand prize.

That certainly wasn’t going to be easy a year ago. Not with a record 2,460 teams entering the contest. But when the dust had settled and the season had come to end, not only had Forte emerged with the best team in the entire field but he had done what no one else had done in the history of the NFBC – he had taken an OC Qualifier entry and turned that into a national championship.

“When the final game came to an end that Sunday evening, I was in complete shock,” the 30-year-old Forte said. “It has always been a dream to win an overall title.

“I enjoy playing fantasy baseball because it puts my knowledge and skills to the test against some of the best players out there and I love baseball. Of course, it felt so rewarding to reach the top of the mountain knowing that – at least for this year – my many hours and meticulous processes paid off.

“I was honored to receive so many congratulations from family, friends and members of the NFBC community.”

Forte took three Rotowire Online Championship teams this year and won two league titles and finished second in the other league. He not only won the $150,000 grand prize, but his other league-winning team finished 13th overall.

He also finished 2nd in a $125 Satellite League, 3rd in a Gladiator League and 6th in a $150 Satellite League. He cashed in five of the six leagues he entered this year.

His championship team came from the March 12th, 8 pm ET league as he finished with 117.5 points while winning that league title. It was almost a perfect season in that league for Drew as he finished first in his league in eight of the 10 categories, while finishing second or tied for second in the two other categories.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous (in the final few weeks of the season),” he said. “I had a few injuries in the last two months or so, and I knew it would be hard to maintain a lead for such a long period of time.

“There were so many impressive teams at the top of the OC standings, and I knew it was possible they could overtake me. I think the nerves ensured that I kept my foot on the gas and took nothing for granted.

“I promised myself two things towards the last month of the season; 1) I was going to give it my best effort to bring home the title 2) Even if I did everything in my power, I knew that some things were out of my control; someone else could just have a better team and there was nothing I could do about it.”

As is usually the case with championship teams, Forte benefited from some critical moves off the Waiver Wire. His key moves were not only vital but also extremely affordable. Among them:

Ha Seong Kim for $18
Matt McLain for $55
Jake McCarthy for $16
Grayson Rodriguez for $21
Tanner Scott for $16
Bryan Bello for $18

As he moved deeper into the season, Forte believed his team had a realistic chance to win the coveted Online Championship title.

“By the end of July, I thought I had a chance to win,” he said. “At that point my team had been solely in first for a few weeks in a row and the team just refused to have a bad week. But as I have said, I didn't let myself get too comfortable and stayed true to my process through those final weeks.”
He cited a few critical factors that ultimately paved the way to helping him win the $150,000 grand prize.

1. Diligence.
2. Persistence
3. Listening to others
4. Luck

That last one he did not want to ignore given its importance during a lengthy and often tumultuous season.

“I believe it always takes a bit of good luck to win an overall,” he said. “For me, my good luck came in the form of timing. Even though my top players all got hurt in the same time period, it was fortunately toward the end of the season. By that point I had already accumulated nearly a full season’s worth of good stats from them while they were healthy.”

All of those factors ultimately paved the way for Forte to win the coveted title and its lucrative grand prize. And once the prize came his way he made some very special plans with it.

“In addition to investing and donating to charity, I’ll use some of the grand prize to pay for a trip to Italy with my fiancé,” he said. “We’ll also put a portion toward our honeymoon and hopefully one day toward a house down payment.”

Forte will return in 2024 eager to defend his title and seeking to become the first two-time champion in the Online Championship’s history. Throughout the season of intense competition he’s always mindful of those who support him in this endeavor he is so passionate about.

“I am always appreciative of my family, who sometimes gives me a hard time for how much time I spend on this hobby, but still respects my passion for fantasy baseball especially on Sunday nights,” he said, “I wouldn’t be here without their support and encouragement.

“A special shoutout to my fiancé, who puts up with me during the draft process and entire season, and helps keep me goal oriented and level-headed. She would love me whether I finished 1st or 2,460th and that's one of the many reasons I am marrying her!
Tom Kessenich
Manager of High Stakes Fantasy Games, SportsHub Technologies
Twitter - @TomKessenich

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