How Zaarly Saved My Fantasy Football Team

Zaarly may have just saved my fantasy football team.

With less than 24 hours to go before my league’s fantasy football draft this past weekend, I faced a big problem.  The draft coincided with a lunch date that my wife had scheduled with several friends (she had scheduled it weeks in advance).  The conflict stood out like a sore thumb on my Google Calendar, and yet, I had somehow managed to miss it.  To make matters worse, my son’s hockey practice was scheduled at the same time.  Three events.  One time slot.

At this point, I had a few options:

  1. Bail out on the draft, thereby forcing my league mates to scramble to find another manager on short notice (kind of a jerk move — not something I’d want to do to @LaurenC7)
  2. Ask my son to skip his hockey practice and play at home while I drafted my team (high opportunity cost given the price of ice time — also bad parenting)
  3. Negotiate with my wife to miss part of her lunch (wasn’t going to happen)
  4. Find a substitute to draft for me (tough to find someone to give up their valuable time)
My bid for fantasy football draft help on Zaarly

Zaarly to the rescue

That’s when I turned to Zaarly, a service that pairs up people who need help with a variety of tasks with bidders who are willing to take on the tasks for a fee.  Think of it as an eBay for services.  Zaarly launched back in May and has both iPhone and Android apps, as well as a web-based app that can be launched via Facebook.  The service focuses on connecting buyers and sellers of services within specific geographic markets (i.e. San Francisco buyers receive bids from sellers in San Francisco, New York buyers receive bids from sellers in New York, etc.).

I quickly downloaded Zaarly’s app onto my iPad and HTC EVO devices and posted a job.  I offered $21 under the listing “Sit in for me on my fantasy football draft.”  Surprisingly, within a couple of hours, I had responses from two people who were willing to take on the job.  One bidder backed his bid with credentials, stating that he had won his 16-team league the prior season.  The other bidder took care to ask about the players I wanted, which ones I wanted to avoid, and which “sleeper picks” should be targeted in the latter rounds of the draft.

I went with the second bidder, whom I provided with instructions to nab both Jamaal Charles (RB, Kansas City) and Larry Fitzgerald (WR, Cardinals) for me if they were available early on during the draft.  I quickly paid via PayPal (Zaarly also has options for cash payments and credit card payments via the app) and then exchanged a few emails with the provider to cover details such as the draft format and time (I also implored him to avoid drafting a kicker until the last round).

Just like that, the transaction was done, and my problem was solved.

On draft day, I received an email from the provider to let me know that he’d drafted my team and had even managed to secure both Charles and Fitzgerald.  All in all, a surprisingly good experience — I had a solid fantasy football lineup, my wife went to lunch with her friends, and my son made it to hockey practice.

It’s increasingly rare for an app to give me that “Oh wow, I LOVE this app!” feeling.  Foursquare did it when it was released, as did the Monocle feature from Yelp’s mobile app.  And now Zaarly has joined that group, with its easy, simple experience for offloading tasks.  If I win my fantasy football league this year, I’ll have Zaarly to thank for the crown.

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