Interview with a Fantasy Football Professional
We have already congratulated the winner of this years World Championship of Fantasy Football. Today we talk to the runner-up, the player known as Gaffel. What are his secrets to success?
We catch up with Gaffel on the phone from Madeira, where he is on holiday and planning to visit the Ronaldo museum. Life is good for the Fanteam high stakes regular. Not only did he come in second in the WCFF final on Thursday, but he won the €108 buy-in competition on the same day!
FANTEAM: Congratulations on the 2nd place in WCFF and the winning of 8,000 euros through fantasy football! When did you start getting your hopes up for a place at the top?
GAFFEL: In the middle of the second round. I had qualified twice, so I had two teams in the final. One of them did well in the first round at 3rd place, while the other was far behind. However, early on in round 2, my best team was doing poorly while the other team was starting to improve. At the same time, Wolves, Huddersfield and Burnley all got their clean sheets destroyed, which hurt a lot of my opponents as they were popular defense teams. Zaha and Townsend got some points for Palace, and now my previously second best team was looking like the best card. I had some hope before the last match, where I had Sterling (captain), Sane and Aguero, and in end the it gave me a very nice second place…
Warming up to the idea of two gameweeks in the final
FANTEAM: This year we have held a tournament consisting of two gameweeks. How do you feel about it?
GAFFEL: Initially, I was skeptical to it, but I am more positive to it now, as I learned how to adjust to the format. In the end, I probably profited on the unusual format. I noticed in round 2 several of my opponents did not take the big chances they needed to take, in order to have a chance at winning.
FANTEAM: Do you dedicate a lot of spare time to fantasy football?
GAFFEL: Yes. In the big tournaments on Saturday, I usually have many teams, like 30-40 in the €11 buy-in, and it takes a bit of planning. I do play in the Champions League too, but not in any other leagues. I do not play any season games.
FANTEAM: Is your qualifying to the WCFF the result of putting much efforts into it or did it happen by chance?
GAFFEL: I was trying hard to win a seat, and had many teams in the satellites. Most of the time I was actually participating in the 20k GTD regular tournament, and copying my teams to the WCFF satellites.
FANTEAM: How long have you been engaged in fantasy sports and what was the reason behind arousing your interest at the very beginning?
GAFFEL: I started out on Fanteam in the spring of 2015, as a friend told me about it. I probably have to buy him a nice dinner now! Until then, I had not done any fantasy sport at all. I enjoy it; it is good entertainment and a nice challenge intellectually.
Checking the odds from the bookmakers
FANTEAM: Can you elaborate a little bit on how you pick a team? Could you share a few tips with the beginners?
GAFFEL: I look for value in a player. I check odds from bookmakers on clean sheet, win, to score 2 goals and stuff like that. Then I try to judge if the player price is reasonable. Additionally, I like to take into account what my opponents may be doing in that specific round, but I guess considerations like that are more important in a WCFF final than elsewhere.
FANTEAM: We have now increased the guarantee for Saturday’s €11 buy-in Main Event to 25,000 euro. Will you enter more teams than usual because of that?
GAFFEL: I do not think so, as I enter as many teams as I can anyway. Having enough time is the issue, as there is a limit to how many teams I can handle in the final hour when line-ups are official. I will probably enter the usual 30-40 teams. Sounds nice with an even bigger prize pool, though!