fantasy premier league managers – an interview with last season 6k OR finisher and new FFGeek contributor Kev from Canada


Here’s our fantasy premier league managers interview with new FFGeek contributor and regular commenter on the site you’ll know as Kev from Canada.  Kev had an excellent last season finishing with an overall rank of 6k.  Here he talks about his strategy for playing FPL as well as other topics such as a perspective of following the PL from Canada,  his favourite players and nightmare moments in FPL.

fantasy premier league managers – an interview with last season 6k OR finisher Kev from Canada

Get additional content in the form of Podcasts, an interactive transfer and points prediction tool, 4 £50 prize leagues for the first 160 joiners and a Slack channel for discussion with members and contributors in our Patreon site.  The first $3 monthly payment gets you in the prize leagues and Slack channel for the season.

Hi Kev, firstly tell us a bit about yourself?

Basically I am just another 34 year old dad that thinks his jokes are funnier than they are and loves sports too much like the rest of us on this site.

I live in Toronto, Ontario and was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. My parents immigrated to Canada from Sheffield, UK so I always have had a football presence in my life with my Dad being a massive SWFC supporter. WAWAW! They actually moved back to the UK when they retired and he goes to every home and away match now.

Anyway, I work in finance and have the CFA designation so analysing stats is something I have always enjoyed doing; which is obviously a huge part of the draw to fantasy sports. I am a family man with a 1 year old and a 3 year old and live a fairly suburban life, getting to the cottage when I can.

How long have you been playing FPL, how did you get into it and what is your motivation?

I am a fairly recently converted rabid FPL participant. Two summer ago my cousins were visiting from London, UK. My one cuz Dom is a pretty big FPL fan, Man U supporter, etc. and he invited me and my brother to join his mini-league when he was here. We have a great relationship and we get into making fun of each other in a friendly way all the time. So I figured I would join and just try to beat him to make fun of him about it to be honest. I didn’t even know who Eden Hazard was two years ago.

To put Canada and sports in perspective, we basically have all the US channels and watch all the same sports as them. We just have a much higher overall fan base to Hockey and the NHL out of the four big sports leagues: NFL (Football), NBA (Basketball), MLB (baseball), NHL (hockey). To put it bluntly ‘soccer’ isn’t even on the radar in the US and Canada for some reason. Maybe it is the time difference (I will get into that later), maybe it is because it is the one sport the Americans don’t really dominate in so they don’t care about it.   Honestly I can’t figure it out. The point is it isn’t front and centre and easy for a casual sports fan to pick up. So besides watching Beckham, Gerrard and England over the years in the World Cups, Euro’s etc. and knowing who Chris Waddle was through my Dad when SWFC were decent, I was clueless.

The reason I fell in love with FPL over the past 24 months was for a few reasons:

1. It is better than US Sports fantasy leagu setups: I honestly love the way the site and the game work. It is completely different from Fantasy American Football, Hockey, Basketball, Baseball and I think FPL is more challenging and rewarding. For US fantasy sports:
-there are no price movements
-you pretty much only play in mini-leagues against friends; there is no ‘OR’ overall rank.
-you can make a lot of weekly transfers to your team via trade or waiver wire with no real penalties
-teams in those sports have to have press releases regarding injuries; where in FPL you are in the dark and not knowing starting lineups is part of the fun.

2. Becoming an expert in a new sport and connecting with the FPL community: For the first season and for about the first three months of it I had no idea what was happening. I was learning about how transfers, hits, blank and double game weeks, etc. were working like every noob did in their first year. I actually think my rank in the top 200k is not bad considering I really got into it in the second half of the season and started moving up the ranks then. The thrill of learning how to win in a new league I know nothing about is pretty fun. Now I know more than my Dad about the EPL and who is signing where, etc. It is the same with NFL, NBA, etc. When you join a fantasy league you become a much larger fan of that sport.

3. The time zone works really well in the Eastern Time zone time when you are a family man: the early game is on at 7:30am on Saturday and my kids wake me up at 6:30AM. This is an article on being an FPL fan, not the parent of the year lol. In all seriousness, EPL is a great family man sports fan sport because daytime sports can be on in the background. I can still play with the kids, do chores, etc. and have it on with the sound low. When sports are on at 7PM, for example, that is when the wife and I watch TV together. I can’t just throw sports on all the time. At least it is much harder. ‘Background Daytime Sports’ are great for family man fantasy players.

There are more reasons why I love the game now. In fact I watch more EPL than any other sport now and play with my son as well as signed him up in a league. The point is I am all in now but it wasn’t until half way through the first season. So my rank in the top 10k this past season is more along the lines of where I would like to keep finishing each season and I think most people write their first season off as a learning curve.

..OK one more. Reason 4. I beat my cousin Dom in my mini-league in both seasons. He has to call me Pep now lol. I love FPL.

Lets see your rank history

2017/2018: 195199
2018/2019: 6166

What is your playing strategy?

1. Leave £2.5m in bank when building team to make a strong week 1 or week 2 transfer. Goal: no one picks a perfect squad for GW1. The impact of not spending the entire £100m is not as dire as not being able to grab a player like Richarlison after week 1 of 2018.

2. Early season focus on rank AND building team value. I try to do as few hits as possible but I think a hit can go a lot further in the first two thirds of the season because the player coming in has longer to add value to offset the hit. The transfers that are made will have to tick every box:
i. Player leaving is falling in value
ii. Player entering will be rising in value, have 4+ upcoming strong fixtures in a row, in some sort of strong form.

3. Liverpool will have three spots. 3 of Salah, Mane, Robbo, TAA, Gomez, Allison, VVD Firmino. They don’t have rotation issues. (Gomez does have rotation issues of course but I will be monitoring and if I think hes nailed by GW1 I will likely have him in as one of the best under £6m options in the game).

4. Man City will not be fully utilised until it is clear who is locked. 1 or 2 will suffice.
-The rotation risk is too real to leave millions on the bench in any given week.
-Last year to start the season Otamendi was in the same locked in role Laporte is in. I don’t trust the starters on Defence. Just Ederson for the time being.
-The safest at this point would be: Ederson, KDB, Bilva, Dilva, Aguero, Sterling but still all but Ederson I consider to have some sort of game time risk. A player like Mahrez may gain a larger role over the summer now he has had time to be hypnotised into playing Peps system. Maybe a new signing complicates matter further. Its honestly just too annoying for me. It sucks when they go off but I want my expensive players to be 100% playing not 85% playing each week.

5. Start with one premium in each position to have transfer flexibility.
Eg. Robbo, Salah, Auba
(Note: I wrote this before prices came out). There is a real lack of low/medium high end talent in defence and to a lesser extent midfield. I think with Forwards having a lot of good £6.5m may suffice. I may go no premium forward. We will see though. I still favour having one premium in each position for transfer flexibility.

6. Own high percentage players. Last season I thought the strategy was own low percentage players so you benefit when they hit and everyone loads in. The challenge is they have to hit.  It is safer to own high percentage players so you have more time to hold them if they don’t hit right away. They also don’t affect your rank as much if they don’t hit as lots of others own them. Instead of starting with low percentage players, potentially focus on transferring in the ones that hit early as an early transfer in target (eg. Richarlison, Doherty, Jimenez last season)

Do you play any other formats of the game or other fantasy sports?

Yes. So my first fantasy league I joined was NHL fantasy on Yahoo in high shool. I was a casual. Later I joined NBA for one season but that sport is too Superstar top heavy in my opinion (you need Lebron James and then you win the league sort of thing). I played MLB but the stats and time commitment is too ridiculous for me (here are 162 games in a season in MLB and you need to change your lineup daily and know who is pitching, etc.).

NFL is the big deal in US and Canada. I don’t know what the stats are but Fantasy Football over here must dwarf FPL in number of players, revenues, industry etc. It is ridiculous. There is a fantasy channel on sirius xm radio, fantasy shows, streaming fantasy stats on during games, 100s of fantasy sites, multiple sites that have league types (, yahoo, cbs, myfantasyleague, etc.) and they all have 10s of millions of teams on them. Everyone plays. Casuals, office pools, family members.

My family chat with my brother and my Dad on whatsapp is called football, because we started it to talk about NFL fantasy stuff. My only rationale for why it is so popular is that for the most part the games are all on Sunday daytime (great for the family man dad like I said above, and it isn’t too much of a time commitment). Also, their season is only 16 games so you only need to pay attention for a short period of the year in autumn when everyone is in ‘return to work from summer mode’ and more susceptible to signing up for something.

I am on a bit of a heater at the moment though. I am only currently in 2 fantasy leagues other than FPL. Both are NFL. I won the office pool regular season and playoffs last year in the inaugural season and in my friends league I currently have won the regular season and playoffs in each of the last two seasons. It wont last though. There are a lot of quality managers in those leagues that put effort in and are smart.

Your best /worst FPL moment?

Best: last season I triple captained Salah against Huddersfield and also had Robbo and Mane when most of the FPL community wrote Salah off in favour of Mane’s hot streak. I think that would be one of a lot of managers best moments.

Worst: around Christmas holidays last year I burned 4 points to bring in KDB and then burned 4 points to bring him out the following week. I honestly think that every other transfer I have burned points has worked in my favour but this time KDB got hurt right away. It was a nightmare. 8 points! So dumb. I hated myself at that point.

Your favourite FPL player and your nightmare FPL player?

Favourite: Favourite FPL player is Eden Hazard. I love watching that guy in real life. Hes so good. I know a lot of people were ‘trolled’ by him and didn’t get a lot of his points but honestly… you are probably a performance chaser if you fall in that category and waste transfers chasing last weeks results. Buy someone for 4+ weeks of good fixtures who is ALSO in good form. Not just last week’s form. I see it a lot in podcasts and blogs and forum’s. It will always happen though due to recency bias. Not falling for that helped my rank last season.

I also like Eden because when he scores or gets an assist or does anything he gets all 3 bps and he would do something in a lot of games. He’s the opposite of Salah. Mo honestly seems to need to score and assist  just to get a bonus point. Its annoying.

Nightmare: you may think Salah after that bps rant but you can’t not like a two time FPL point leader. He’s a stud. My nightmare player isn’t really anyone. I really don’t want any negative emotional attachment to a player in case I need to use them to make an economical gain in the game. I don’t want to think twice about some nostalgic connection to me owning someone and it not being ideal. However the readers and Geek wont like that so I will probably say Holebas aka Yellowbas. He is so good with attacking returns but those yellows are super annoying and I am not confident in a clean sheet for Watford right now and as a Defence that is my main focus for owning you.

My final message to the readers would be this: you can only do what you can control and then it is up to the players to play the game. Never be upset when a week doesn’t work out the way you planned. Never let FPL ruin your weekend or your well being. This game is just a game. If your Saturday’s have started to suck because of FPL then you are placing too much importance on it. It is supposed to be fun. I hate it when I lose or have a bad week but I know if I plan and follow the plan then there is nothing else in my control that I can do and can be at peace with that. However like everyone, sometimes I need to remind myself of that.

How do readers find you?

You can follow me on twitter or join the FFGeek Patreon site where I’m regularly in the Slack channel discussing FPL with other contributors and members.

Thanks Kev.  I look forward to seeing your early draft team soon

Get additional content in the form of Podcasts, an interactive transfer and points prediction tool, 4 £50 prize leagues for the first 160 joiners and a Slack channel for discussion with members and contributors in our Patreon site.  The first $3 monthly payment gets you in the prize leagues and Slack channel for the season.

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3 thoughts on “fantasy premier league managers – an interview with last season 6k OR finisher and new FFGeek contributor Kev from Canada”

  1. Funny Kev,

    I was born and grew up just outside of Toronto.
    Two years ago was my first season in FPL and I sucked (Finding my way)
    This last season I ended up ranking just over 6,000
    I made only about 6-8 transfers that weren’t free
    This I had 2-3.5 million in the bank for at least three weeks
    I held on to players often
    I support no team but have my favorites, one being Eden Hazard. This has really helped me in FPL not being biased towards players and teams.
    In 2015 I started playing the Sun game because many friends were. I knew almost nothing about football. I had heard of Ronaldo and Messi haha and Pele.
    I took things really serious because in the couple of leagues I’ve played in, I’m up against people who were born with footballs.
    First year I sucked but since then I often am winning and placing with my teams.
    Blew my mind reading what you wrote here. haha :)

  2. Correction:

    This last season I had 2-3.5 million in the bank for at least the first three weeks.

  3. Nice one Greg. Where abouts are you at now? We moved out of the city to a rural area near Milton/Guelph.

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