Triple Threat Challenge Winner Ryan Fong Discusses His Strategies and WNBA Knowledge
Catching Up With The Triple Threat Challenge Winner
Detroit -- Ryan Fong, a 29 year old molecular biologist from San Francisco, won a trip to the WNBA Finals after coming out on top in the Triple Threat Fantasy Challenge game offered on WNBA.com. Ryan's selections of one WNBA player per day totaled the highest amount of points, rebounds, and assists of any entry. We caught up with Ryan before Game 2 at the Palace to chat about being a WNBA fan and the strategies that he used to beat out the competition.
Q. First, tell us a little about yourself.
Ryan Fong: My name is Ryan Fong, I'm 29 years old and I work as a molecular biologist for a biotech firm in San Francisco. My favorite teams are the Seattle Storm and the Sacramento Monarchs.
Ryan Fong: Basically I started following the WNBA after the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. I just found the women's game a bit more interesting game to watch than the men's, because the men were basically blowing everyone out. The women's game just seemed to be more competitive. I really started to get interested in knowing the players' backgrounds and personalities. It was there when I found my player, which was Lauren Jackson, she became my favorite player and the Storm became my favorite team. I also like the Monarchs because they are the closest team to where I live.
Describe your experiences playing fantasy games on WNBA.com
Ryan Fong: I first started out with the NBA Virtual GM back in 1999, and then I transferred over to the WNBA because I started following it in 2001. I realized that I couldn't just get by by following my favorite players and favorite teams, I had to start following every player and every team. I watched all the games as well as college games, and in 2002 I won the Virtual GM game for the WNBA.
Were there any particular strategies you used for the Triple Threat Challenge?
Ryan Fong: Well basically you just have to know the matchups and the stats. A lot of the box scores can be deceiving, you see people have a low-scoring game and you might not know if they are injured or how the team is playing. So I tried to read a lot of the boxscores from this year and last year and try to predict what the best matchup is. Also another strategy was basically a game theory, because the whole season I was coming from behind, and I never got closer to fifth place until the end. Basically I was trying to predict what the people above me would pick, and then picking differently. It's different than picking who you think is the best, because if you both pick the same person you aren't going to gain any ground. For the last several weeks I was trying to gamble to move myself up. I found the best time to gamble was late in the week, because it is easier to predict just by process of elimination. You also have to get a feel of who is above you, and by following some of their lineups I could tell that some people did not follow the injury reports, or paid any attention to matchups. Other entrants looked that they were playing very cautiously, basically "not to lose". I figured that I probably could overtake the compeition just by paying attention to the news, and that one huge game by Diana Taurasi where she set the WNBA record for points scored was a big help too.
Was there any one player that you used the most?
Ryan Fong: I have to say that Diana Taurasi was my most frequent entry.
Are there any other WNBA Fantasy games you would like to see?
Ryan Fong: Definitely, I thought the Triple Threat was good, but I'd love to see the Virtual GM again. That game really forced you to know all the players in the league, because with the Triple Threat you really only had to know the top twenty or so players in the league.
What did you think of the Finals so far?
Ryan Fong: I thought the Monarchs played great in Game 1, I expected a closer game, but the Monarchs shot and rebounded very well. It looks like Swin Cash is going to be the key, because against Sacramento in the regular season and in Game 1 when she didn't put up a good line, the Shock got blown out. If she puts up a decent line I think the Shock can have the edge.
Do you have a Finals prediction?
Ryan Fong: I'm still predicting the Monarchs to win it, the funny thing is every Monarchs game I've been to they've won, so hopefully that streak can continue.