There is a sentiment among some that unless you are a high stakes fantasy footballer, your dispensed wisdom on the game should be taken with somewhat of a grain of salt. The logic for this argument goes something like this: "If you really are an expert, you'd be winning lots of monies." This, of course, is stupid.
As somebody with an extensive (10 years) background in the online poker industry, which has all sorts of parallels to the fantasy sports world, I feel qualified to address the flaws in that line of thinking. I'll keep it short, hitting only the high points.
As somebody who comes from a lower-middle class upbringing, money has always had an increased value to me. Because cash was often tight, $100 mattered more to me than it does to others. Even now, as an adult who lives a more comfortable lifestyle than I had as a young'un, I have a strong psychological aversion to using money for non-tangible objects. Because of this, I very often struggled in disconnecting myself from the money in my poker career. It was hard to play a $1000 pot and not think, "That is two weeks' salary sitting in front of me. I can't afford to lose this." I am not alone in that thinking, which brings us to my first major point:
No matter how good you are at something, if you can't afford to play, financially or emotionally, you won't play optimally (if at all).
It is for this reason competent fantasy players may not be at their best when large sums of money are at hand. More often, people of this ilk will choose to not even venture into the arena of big bucks fantasy ball.
I'm not sure how an aversion to risking money makes you any less of an expert at fantasy football.
Even if somebody is equipped to handle the amount at risk, most normal folk don't have $2500 or more to invest into a game. This brings us to point number two:
Not being able to afford to play a high stakes game doesn't mean you couldn't be competitive in one.
As somebody who had very little to invest into my poker career and needed most of the money I won for things like a crib for my newborn, I wasn't able to progress up stakes as fast as some of my young, single friends. Does this mean they were better at poker than I was? Very often the answer was, "no."
There seems to be this certain belief that the cream always rises to the top. In the NFL, I suppose that is mostly true. But in fantasy, and poker, it categorically is not. Whether it's DFS or otherwise, it takes money to make money. Most of us don't have a ton of money to invest. And without that investment, you aren't going anywhere near the top.
I do play in one high stakes redraft league. It is a 2QB PPR with deep starting lineups (to account for there being only eight teams). While the $500 entry fee isn't exactly cheap, the mandatory side bets are what gets things ramped up. Every week you have $100 at stake with each of the other seven teams. The highest scoring team of the week nets $700. The low man loses just as much. First place pays out $2000, fourth gets nada. A very good season could mean upwards of $5000 in profit. A bad season? Not so much.
This leads me to my third point:
The amount of money at risk has very little to do with the level of competition you'll face.
The aforementioned league is the softest of any I play in. Filled with poker players and other successful professionals out to gamble, it has been a wonderfully profitable exercise for me. My experience isn't isolated. I know several poker professionals who play in leagues much larger than this (one with a $10,000 entry and another more than double that). Reports are the competition is incredibly weak.
I've been fortunate to be surrounded for much of the last decade by exceptional poker minds. Some are among the winningest online professionals in history, with tens of millions of dollars in combined earnings. Discussions with them and numerous other very good but less well known pros has made it very clear that the highest stakes games in the world are heavily populated with fish. The level of incompetence, even among well known "TV pros" is staggering. If this is true in poker (and it most definitely is), I'd expect the same to be true about fantasy football.
Just like poker pros making $50,000 a year can be incredibly helpful teachers, writers playing $50 leagues can offer expert level advice. Shame on you if you think otherwise.