DFM writers tackle football season with interactive features and insight

It’s football season, and Thunderdome is marshaling resources from across Digital First Media land to provide weekly features for our properties.

NFL Expert Picks
picksgridWriters from six DFM properties are putting their reputations on the line by making weekly NFL picks. Users can scan the selections, see who’s favored and vote on who will win each game, or just use the expert advice as guidance for making their own picks. The writers also provide a “Lock of the Week” – their bet-the-mortgage-on-this-one pick – in Tout form, and some of them have found creative ways to make their selections. Check out the latest round of picks for week two.

The tool was built and designed at Thunderdome by the team of Vaughn Hagerty, Nelson Hsu, Sarah Glen and Tom Meagher. Writers who are participating are Bob Grotz, who covers the Philadelphia Eagles for the Delaware County Daily Times; George O’Gorman, who covers the New York Giants for The Trentonian; Paula Pasche, who covers the Detroit Lions for The Oakland Press; Dave Pevear, who covers the New England Patriots for the Lowell Sun; Mark Purdy, a 49ers/Raiders columnist for the San Jose Mercury News; and Jeff Schudel, who covers the Cleveland Browns for The News-Herald of northern Ohio.

New picks for the upcoming weekend are released every Wednesday evening.

Fantasy football live chat and column
Millions of Americans play fantasy football each week, and the hunger for information and advice is insatiable. So three of our own DFM fantasy fanatics are offering weekly content to address those pangs.

Drew Ellis of the Oakland Press, Don Gardner of the Macomb Daily and Dan Nowak of the New Haven Register team up to offer weekly advice in a live chat on Wednesdays at noon ET. They share the latest news on injuries and player transactions and take reader questions about which players should be in their starting lineup that week. The chat transcript also has shelf life up until Sunday’s kickoff. Check out the replay of this week’s chat.

These chats are produced through ScribbleLive and are available for free to all ScribbleLive clients via the Marketplace. If you have any questions about how to syndicate this chat on your site for your readers, please email live channel manager Chris March at cmarch@digitalfirstmedia.com.

Fantasy football columns from Dan Nowak
dan_nowakIn addition, Nowak writes a weekly column that is released on Friday evenings, focusing on something topical in the fantasy world and offering his latest recommendations on “Start ‘em” and “Sit ‘em” players. Check out Nowak’s column from week 1.

Dan doesn’t stop there – for those in the audience who aren’t into fantasy but have, shall we say, a vested interest in the outcome of NFL games, Dan offers a weekly “Betting the NFL” column that is available every Friday evening. In this column Dan makes his picks “against the spread.” Check out last week’s column.

Coming soon: Heisman candidates
Trentonian editor Matthew Osborne, a Heisman Trophy voter, offered a preseason look at this year’s Heisman candidates, and will be offering a weekly ranking of his top five contenders beginning in late September. This feature will be available each Sunday night.

NFL Replays, gamers and more to come
Throughout each week, we will share the best football features and breaking news from our properties covering the biggest teams and top players and programs in pro and college football. We’ll be producing football content from Thunderdome as well, with features such as NFL Replay and interesting things curated from the Web.

It culminates in January with a national championship game at the Rose Bowl in warm-weather Pasadena, and a February Super Bowl in balmy (?) New Jersey.

We hope you’ll go along for the ride.

If you have any questions or suggestions about these features, please contact sports channel manager Gary Kicinski at gkicinski@digitalfirstmedia.com or leave a comment.

Gary Kicinski

By Gary Kicinski

Over the past 14 years, Gary Kicinski has held the top digital sports position at the nation's two largest newspaper companies.

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