Fantasy Football Consultant Nathan Zegura chats with The Scores Report

Fantasy football.

Beautiful women.

Las Vegas.

If at least two of those three things don’t grab your attention, then maybe it’s time for you to turn in your man card.

The second annual Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT will be held at The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on August 26-28 this year and will include a concert by Snoop Dogg, a Draft Room for fantasy football fans, VIP parties hosted by Stacy Keibler and a live celebrity draft conducted by Ashton Kutcher.

Interested? We thought you might be.

Nathan Zegura, the founder of and the host of “The Fantasy Consultant Live” on SiriusXM’s new Fantasy Sports Channel, joined us recently to chat up this year’s Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT, as well as provide details on how you can attend. (You’ll probably be shocked at how very little it’ll cost you to soak in a fantasy football-filled weekend with Snoop, Stacy Keibler and Ashton Kutcher in Vegas.)

We also couldn’t allow Nathan to get off the phone without picking his brain about this year’s upcoming fantasy season, so we asked him what his top 5 looks like, who his top 3 sleepers are and what kind of expectations we could have for players like Frank Gore and Michael Turner.

For more information about the second annual Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT, head to and for more on Nathan and his fantasy football consulting services, check out and the site’s Twitter Page.

The Scores Report: Hi, this is Anthony.

Nathan Zegura: Hey Anthony, this is Nathan Zegura calling in.

TSR: Hey Nathan, how are you today, man?

NZ: I’m doing great – how are you doing?

TSR: I’m doing well. I’m just reading over this Fantasy Football SUPERDRAFT deal and I’m blown away. I’m trying to figure out a way I can go!

NZ: You gotta go! All you have to do is go to, baby!

TSR: (Laughs)

NZ: It’s awesome – I went last year actually. It was cool, I was one of the experts that were asked to be on-site last year and it’s an awesome event. It’s a great time, great parties and, in addition to being able to do your draft and have all your boys there, you also get to do things in Vegas that you wouldn’t otherwise do for a grand total of $125 over the course of three days.

TSR: (Laughs) Sure.

27 August 2009 - Las Vegas, Nevada - Stacy Keibler. Stacy Keibler hosts the Las Vegas Fantasy Football Superdraft Party at Jet Nightclub inside the Mirage Resort Hotel and Casino. Photo Credit: MJT/AdMedia

NZ: I actually became pretty good friends with Eric Simon, who is the guy that started SUPERDRAFT. It was kind of his brainchild and it’s been very neat to see it grow and see it get to where it is this year. It’s going to be awesome with Snoop, Stacy Keibler (photo left)…they’re having a model search there – it’s going to be crazy. I can’t even wait until the end of August – I’m fired up.

TSR: Like I said, I was reading over this and my eye caught that Snoop and, well, my eye caught that Stacy Keibler was going to be there actually, but it’s amazing the entertainers that you guys got to come out this year. And it’s all centered around fantasy football, which has grown into this unbelievable vehicle now for entertainment.

NZ: Totally. Eric’s vision for SUPERDRAFT is to bring entertainment and sports together in the perfect place, which is Las Vegas. Ashton Kutcher is actually my partner and he owns half of my website, I was able to bring Ashton and Eric together on the SUPERDRAFT idea, so we’re going to do a live broadcast of our show, which is “Fantasy Football Live” in addition to the various parties that are going to be there. And then obviously Snoop, who I personally as a kid who grew up in California, am very excited about.

TSR: Why don’t you walk our readers through the process of actually getting to Vegas for the SUPERDRAFT.

NZ: Sure. All they have to do is go to, they sign up there and that enables them to get their Fantasy SUPERDRAFT package. That’s $125, which gets you access to the Stacy Keibler-hosted party on Friday night, there will be another party on Saturday night with some celebrities, it gets you into the tailgate concert with Snoop, and gets you into the SUPERDRAFT Ultimate Draft Room, which is basically a huge convention center with wi-fi. Last year they also had an oxygen bar, massages, memorabilia that you could bid on, an area where you could kick field goals – all very cool stuff. There’s a pool party at the Palms on Sunday, then obviously you get access to watch our show, “Fantasy Football Live” and Ashton’s league is going to do their draft from SUPERDRAFT. In that league are Eric Dane, Danny Masterson and Cameron Diaz, although I don’t know for sure if she’s going to be there. But the rest should be there and they’re going to do their draft. You get a great deal at the Palms too, where you get a $99 room rate.

TSR: Wow – that’s incredible.

NZ: Yeah, so really all you have to do is get yourself out there, get your hotel room, and then $125 gets you all the events that are associated with SUPERDRAFT.

TSR: You know what this kind of sounds like? A fantasy football draft and bachelor party all rolled into one.

27 August 2009 - Las Vegas, Nevada - Stacy Keibler. Stacy Keibler hosts the Las Vegas Fantasy Football Superdraft Party at Jet Nightclub inside the Mirage Resort Hotel and Casino. Photo Credit: MJT/AdMedia

NZ: Yeah, they had the SUPERDRAFT cheerleaders last year, who were some beautiful girls and who would also be in the draft rooms walking around making sure everyone is having a good time. They would either be in jerseys or had their official SUPERDRAFT outfits on and this year, they’re actually starting a model search for the woman who will become the face of SUPERDRAFT 2010-11. That’s going to kick off the SUPERDRAFT weekend with a casting call at the Palms Hotel. So football, beautiful women – it really is the ideal Vegas weekend. I wish this existed when I was in college or right out of college! This would be a no-brainer, like, listen guys, let’s hope on a plane, let’s go to Vegas and let’s do it up.

TSR: Oh, no kidding. Especially, like you said, for $125? That’s nothing for all that entertainment in Vegas for a weekend. I have to go up to Michigan for my buddy’s wedding this weekend and the room up there is $99 – and that isn’t the Palms!

NZ: Yeah, they did a really nice job – last year was top notch. Each night we were at one of the top clubs in Vegas last year and they had Flo Rida and George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars. It’s going to be an out-of-control time, especially with Snoop there. I don’t think it gets much bigger than Snoop.

TSR: You can try if you’d like, but I’m with you – Snoop can’t be touched. So, I have to ask you, how did you become a fantasy consultant? You actually get paid to give people fantasy advice – talk about most guy’s wet dream.

NZ: (Laughs)

TSR: How did you get involved in this job and how did it evolve into an actual career? Talk about that process for me.

NZ: Sure, so right out of school I worked for McKinsey and Company, which is a big, strategic national consulting firm. I definitely liked it, but it wasn’t really the lifestyle I was looking for. You’re working 120 hours a week, you’re traveling four days out of the week…I got married and I was looking for something that wouldn’t take me out of town all the time. Obviously I was an avid fantasy football fan and an avid fantasy football player, so my wife says to me one day, listen, if you’re going to spend all this time on this, then you’ve got to make some money doing it. So I was sitting in the basement one night with my wife and my buddy, who said to me, you always win our leagues and people are always asking you for advice – you should charge people for it. You should start one of those fantasy football advice websites. And so, that’s exactly what I did. I started it in the Cleveland area and I got lucky because I knew somebody who was on the local sports talk radio station, so I started off as a call-in guest on the afternoon drive shows once a week. Literally after two weeks, every time they announced that I would be coming on the phone lines would be flooded. So they gave me my own show, then somebody at CBS in Cleveland heard me on that show, which turned into me doing a spot on a CBS affiliate in Cleveland. Then last year…Ashton Kutcher had always been a subscriber to my site. When I started the site, the maid of honor in my wedding was actually Ashton’s personal assistant at that time. He’s a big fantasy football player, so he got onto the site. Him and I always had this good e-mail relationship and last year when I was out at SUPERDRAFT, I said listen, I’m in Vegas and I know you’re starting this “Fantasy Football Live” show. I’d love to do an episode with you and see what you think. I went out there, did that, and he said, you’re awesome, you have to be here every week. So last year I flew out to L.A. from Cleveland every Wednesday and then flew back every Thursday to do the “Fantasy Live Show” with Ashton.

TSR: Wow – very cool.

NZ: We got along very well, so his company “Katalyst” actually purchased half of my company in order to take it to the next level. I can do the football side well, but I need someone who could get me access to things I would otherwise not have access to and help on the marketing side of things. So we kind of formed this relationship, I actually hooked them up with Eric Simon for SUPERDRAFT and got a little partnership going there. And it’s just been awesome – it’s been great. So this year, I also have my own show on Sirius every Friday from 5-7PM ET on the SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Channel, which is SIRIUS 211 XM147 – it’s called “Fantasy Consult Live.” This will be the fourth week for that. I’ve had NFL players past and present on like T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Jamal Anderson the “Dirty Bird,” and Ashton’s called in. Each week I have a couple of guests and take calls from people, which helps fantasy football players and also creates a vehicle to drive people to my site. I’ve had tremendous success. Last year, which is not a typical last year, I had over 90% of my clients make the playoffs and over 50% of them won their leagues. So people are very happy with the site and now I have the forum to take it to the next level. Eric has been so kind to include me in a much bigger role this year at SUPERDRAFT, which I’m going to kind of be the fantasy football host. Any needs that people have for fantasy football, I’m going to be kind of MC’ing everything throughout the football portions of the event. Although obviously I’ll be at all the fun stuff too because it would be ridiculous to go and not be a part of that! (Laughs)

TSR: (Laughs) Yeah, don’t work too much out there, Nathan – that would be a crime.

NZ: Yeah, so I’ll be in the draft room helping coordinate and doing some Q&A sessions. I’m also going to do my radio show live from Las Vegas that week, providing analysis on Ashton’s celebrity draft and on various other drafts, as well as just talking to people. There will be a lot of players there, athletes, celebrities, so I’ll be doing interviews and just generally getting people fired up about SUPERDRAFT.

TSR: Now, I cover the NFL for our site, so I know that once the season is over with, I still have the regular draft to look forward to and prepare for. But after free agency and the draft wrap up, I know that there is a ton of dead time before the season kicks off. As a fantasy consultant, what do you do during that dead time? Because I know I’m dying for football after a couple of months, but at least I can still write about other sports.

NZ: I’ll tell you what, I’m taking a deep breath and I’m sleeping.

TSR: (Laughs) I would imagine!

NZ: I literally work 24 hours a day for my clients. I have a level of service on my website that is called the “Super Premium,” which for $200 people get direct e-mail access to me, so I’m their co-GM. People who did that last year, 64% of them won their leagues. It’s a very intensive thing. I’ve limited it to only 200 people this year because it’s starting to get out of control. I’m the type of person who takes a lot of pride in their work and who wants to make sure that people get a tremendous return on their investment. I’ve had people win $40,000 or $50,000 and I’m there for them. The last thing I do before I go to bed is check my e-mail and make sure everyone is taken care of. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I check my e-mail and make sure those people are taken care of. So when it gets to the offseason, you know, I haven’t had an hour off let alone a weekend day off since June. (Laughs)

TSR: I can imagine.

NZ: But you know, it’s great. People play in the fantasy playoff leagues, so that goes on through the Super Bowl. Then you get a little bit of a break, but then free agency comes up and it changes everything. I’m a one man show – I take a lot of pride in my work. Every keystroke that you see on Fantasy was entered by me, everything that you see on Fantasy Consult is a result of something that I’ve done. So yeah, I relax but there really isn’t any time off. And this year, I actually had the chance to go to the draft and interview Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Trent Williams, Eric Berry, Joe Haden, C.J. Spiller the “Running back Thrilla” right after they were drafted, which was a great experience for me. There’s no rest for the weary. I’m always trying to do research and find new angles to help people win their fantasy leagues because that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day.

TSR: I can’t let you get off the phone without picking your brain a little bit on this upcoming fantasy year.

NZ: No problem.

TSR: It used to be that the first four or five picks were laid out for you every year. You’d go into your draft and you new that LT was going No. 1, then Shaun Alexander or whoever. But it’s not like that anymore, or at least it doesn’t seem that way. With that in mind, what does your top 5 look like and is it harder these days to find guarantees at the top of the draft?

NZ: You know, I think this year is an interesting season in terms of drafting. In my opinion, you’re going to want to be in the top 5 in your draft because after that, there’s a pretty significant falloff in talent – or at least at the running back position. I think this year is going to be interesting in that the days of [drafting running backs in the first two rounds] are dead. Quarterback is an incredibly deep position this year so instead of jumping on an Aaron Rodgers or a Drew Brees who are going to cost you a first or second round pick, you’re going to get better value with a guy like Tony Romo, Matt Schuab, Tom Brady, who you’re going to be able to get in the fifth round. But at the top of the draft, I like Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ray Rice because of his prowess as a receiver – he caught over 70 balls last year, which was tops among running backs – and Frank Gore. I think those are the only five guys at the end of the day where you can sit there and say, I’m thrilled that those guys are going to be the anchor of my team. Steven Jackson is right behind that list, but he doesn’t quite produce the touchdowns even though he has led the league with 120-plus total yards per game over the last four years. It’s just a little bit of a different situation. He’s a big back that usually misses some time.

TSR: Right.

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers hands off the ball to Frank Gore #21 during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 28-6. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

NZ: What I really like about Gore is that the 49ers are an up-and-coming offense, where you have Michael Crabtree who is finally going to participate in training camp and a full season, Vernon Davis is emerging, Alex Smith is playing well and then they went out in the first round and added two offensive linemen. This is a team that loves to run the ball when they’re ahead and Mike Singletary would have it no other way. Frank Gore is a guy that catches over 40 balls every single year, so he’s a very consistent, very solid guy.

TSR: Absolutely.

NZ: But outside of those top five guys, there aren’t a lot of guarantees, which makes the end of the first round very interesting. You’re going to see wide receivers like Andre Johnson, Randy Moss, even Larry Fitzgerald, who to me, is much more of a question mark without Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner than he was last year, being selected. Reggie Wayne had single digit fantasy points in I believe seven of his last nine games last year because the Colts spread the ball around. The sure things aren’t there this year, so what I’m recommending to people on my website is to get yourself a stud running back, get yourself a stud wide receiver and then get a good quarterback, you can also wait on a tight end, although I still like to nab one of those elite guys in the middle rounds, and then just load up on running backs and receivers. You’re going to get a lot of production from those guys late. Last year it was Cedric Benson, who was typically taken in the seventh round, who was productive. That’s where a lot of the running back points are coming from now. It’s the guys in the later rounds or maybe in the committees.

TSR: That’s typically how owners win, by having their studs stay healthy and produce, as well as finding a late, or later, round gem like Benson.

NZ: The guy I really like this year is Michael Bush. I think Michael Bush is somebody who this year is going to see a lot of carries. Last year when he had 14 or more carries in a game he gave you over 100 yards. Four times he’s had that in his career and he’s rushed for over 100 yards every single time. I think this year he’ll have 14 or more carries every week, although granted he won’t give you 100 yards every week, but he’s going to be very solid. But it’s definitely going to be interesting. Going through the expert league drafts this year, and I’ve done bunch of them, you really want to be at the beginning of the first round. It makes it a lot easier because the talent pool from spots six through let’s say 24 is pretty even. There’s not a huge discrepancy between, okay, am I going to jump on Shonn Greene here at No. 12, or am I going to wait and take Beanie Wells at No. 20? There’s not really that big discrepancy, so you don’t get that benefit. It used to be that there were enough good guys that if you were at the end of the first round, you could still get a stud at No. 12 and a stud at No. 13. That’s really not the case anymore. It’s making things more interesting and the strategy is much different, especially in the case of quarterbacks. And really, the lack of elite running backs.

TSR: One name I didn’t hear you mention is Michael Turner. Do you think he bounces back this year and where would you rank him if he’s not among your top 6 guys.

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 18: Running back Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons is tackled by safety Danieal Manning #38 of the Chicago Bears in the second quarter of the game at the Georgia Dome on October 18, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

NZ: Yeah, I do think he bounces back this year. To me, he’s seventh right behind Steven Jackson. But to me, those top 5 guys are a little safer because they’re all dual-threat backs. Michael Turner will maybe catch 10 passes for you all season, so if you have a game in which he gets shut down, he’s not going to produce big numbers for you. But he’s still a stud. Last year in nine games he still averaged over 5.0 yards a carry and scored 10 touchdowns. So this is a guy who, to me, is still an elite running back but in this day and age, you need a running back that can catch the ball as well. You need that to put up the huge numbers or at least feel safe week in and week out. But I like Michael turner and think he’s going to be better than what people think.

TSR: I think people forget that he was admittedly out of shape when he arrived to camp last year. He came to Atlanta in tremendous shape in 2008, but then slacked off heading into ’09 and you saw it in his game early on. But right before his injury, he had a game against the Saints in New Orleans on Monday Night Football where he started to look like the Turner of ’08.

NZ: Absolutely. And the year before that he had 376 carries, that 370-carry mark usually leads to an injury the following year, which it did for him. But like I said, in nine games he had 831 yards, 10 touchdowns at five yards per carry. If he had done that for 16 games he would have had 1,477 yards and 18 touchdowns, which would have put him in the top 3 even with only 70 yards receiving. What I do like about him, even though he’s not a great receiver, is that he’s very consistent. He gives you 100 yards or a touchdown pretty much every week out. Last year was eight or nine games, the year before that he was very solid, so he’s very good. You know, Roddy White is also there, they’ve got Matt Ryan, Tony Gonzalez, Harry Douglas should be back – this is a good offense. I do think that the effectiveness that was displayed by Jason Snelling last year will probably cut a few carries for Turner, but still, he’s going to get enough touches to be effective. He’s also one of those guys that when they’re at the goal line, you know he’s going to get the ball. It’s not a situation where they’re going to send somebody else in, if they’re going to give a fullback dive, if the quarterback is going to sneak it like the Packers where as Aaron Rodgers had five touchdowns last year, so he’s very good but he isn’t one of those locks to me. However, Jamal Anderson, who I mentioned was on my show a couple weeks ago and who is friends with Michael Turner, says he’s in tremendous shape this year. Much quicker than he was last year. If you remember his first year in Atlanta, he broke a lot of those long runs, but last year he didn’t have the 60 or 70-yard touchdown runs. Jamal said this year Turner should get back to breaking some of those long runs.

TSR: You’ve been great, Nathan – thanks for joining us. One last question: Give me three sleepers this year. I know you mentioned Michael Bush so you can use him if you want, but give me two others.

Dec 20, 2009; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush (29) heads up field during the game against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19. Photo via Newscom

NZ: At running back I’d say Michael Bush (photo right) – Michael Bush is fine for one. At wide receiver, Michael Floyd of the San Diego Chargers is a big-time sleeper. At quarterback I do like Alex Smith, but he’s not really a sleeper. Actually, let’s go with another running back – give me Justin Forsett of Seattle.

TSR: Nice – he’s a quick kid. I like the way he runs.

NZ: Very quick kid and you know, LenDale White is gone, Julius Jones is garbage and Leon Washington is coming off a broken leg. When I had Houshmandzadeh on my show, he said Forsett is the real deal and that he’s going to be very good.

TSR: Great stuff. Is there anything else you wanted to say about SUPERDRAFT?

NZ: If you play fantasy football and you have the ability to get to Vegas that weekend, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go. It is that good of a time and it’s something that I’m legitimately sad just started last year. If I were still in my mid-20s and was able to run out to Vegas before I had two kids and was married. It would absolutely be on the calendar, booked for every year. It’s that much fun, you’re there with your boys, you get access to things you otherwise would not have access to and you’re in Vegas. They do such a great job of giving you awesome experiences and unique experiences, and it doesn’t break the bank.

TSR: It sounds awesome! Again Nathan, thanks for joining us today and I have a great time in Vegas.

NZ: Thank you, I really appreciate it! It was great to talk to you.

TSR: You too, take care!

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