Here’s an interview with Simon Rowley joint first in the Sun Dream Team fantasy football geek league where he shares his experience and strategy for Sun Dream Team
Sun Dream Team – interview with Simon Rowley joint first in the FFGeek league
Congratulations Simon on finishing first equal in the fantasy football geek Sun Dream Team league. I gather Girouds last minute goal against Villa in the FA Cup final robbed you of winning it. Commiserations there. What was your final rank?
Many thanks. Yes, it Girouds goal that decided the final places in the league. I had Sanchez in my team, so I would have won by 5 points until he scored. I cant complain though, given that I was 3rd before the cup final. My final ranking overall was 1039.
How did the season pan out generally for you? Were you ever close enough to think you had a chance of winning the overall prize?
My final ranking was actually the highest I got to during the season, but I was consistently in the top 2000 for the latter part of the season, and rarely out of the top 20000 during the season.
Which players were the most and least successful for you?
I’m sure my successful players were the same as most peoples, with the likes of Sanchez, Costa, Kane, Aguero, Hazard, Sterling, Ivanovic and Terry. Lamella also did well for me during the first part of the season. My least successful player was probably Wisdom at WBA. I gambled on Pulis turning WBA defence around, which he did, but unfortunately without Wisdom.
How many seasons have you been playing and how have you done in previous years?
I’ve been playing dream team since around 2001/2002 sort of time. Before this year my highest ranking was roughly 8500 overall. Generally I regularly finished in the top 150000.
Do you watch alot of football, pour over stats or just go with your gut?
Apart from watching MOTD every week, I don’t see much football, due to work commitments. I tend to use gut instinct on players, but obviously I check team and players form and fitness regularly, but stats can be misleading, so I try not to pay to much attention to them.
Do you generally submit multiple teams or concentrate on just the one team? Does this effect how you play?
I always submit 2 teams. The first is usually full of players who regularly perform, and I know what I will get from them. My second team usually has a few gambles in there. Maybe players new to the premier league, or young players not guaranteed to start. This allows me to track their season performance, to see if I should put them in my first team. My second team finished with 1463 points, in 161559th place.
Whats your overall strategy? I generally play 4-3-3 and concentrate on the teams in the European competitions. I try and avoid injury prone and gametime risky players. I only play 1 team with an objective of a good ranking so I tend to spread risk rather than have multiple players from one team. I notice a number of successful teams put multiple defenders from 1 team to gamble for example which I don’t do.
My strategy is very similar to yours, especially at the start of the season. However, as the season progresses, I regularly double up on my defenders (especially Chelsea ones for obvious reasons), but also in teams going far in cup competitions. For me its all about game time, and number of games my players can play. Champions league players are a must at the first part of the season, Europa league players not so much for me. I try and not gamble on newly promoted teams either, at the start. 4-4-3 is my preferred formation, but actually ended the season playing 4-4-2. Flexibility in strategy is a must for me.
What will you be doing differently next year strategy wise on Sun Dream Team?
Not a lot really. I may gamble on my final transfers next year, I was perhaps to conservative with them this year, looking to protect my league positions.
Do you have any definite plan for transfer windows or does each depend on the circumtances at the time? How have you approached the emergency transfer?
I personally always plan my transfers few weeks in advanc, however, nothing is finalised until the very end of the transfer window, in case of injuries (especially over international breaks). My emergency transfers were both done as soon as the windows open. I had Debuchy injured in the first one, and Aguero injured in the second. For me, injured players need to go, I always want 11 players playing every week if possible.
Do you find the fantasy football geek articles useful? Is there anything else you think should be added?
Your articles are always extremely useful, and informative, however, everyone should go with their own gut instincts, and not always take other peoples advice. If I fail, id rather fail following my instinct, than someone else’s. Your own instinct on a player could just make the difference overall.
What other fantasy football formats do you play? Which do you enjoy the most?
I also do sky sports fantasy football, fantasy premier league, and did the daily mail fantasy football this year for the first time. Because of the different rules involved, I can’t say which I enjoy most, each has its own challenges and triumphs. However, dream team was easily my most successful in terms of overall ranking, and my mini league final positions.
Will you be back playing Sun Dream Team next season?
I will certainly be back again next year, the sooner the Sun starts the competition, the better!
Lastly anything else you want to add?
Follow your instincts, don’t be afraid to gamble on players, but most of all have fun doing it.
Thanks very much Simon and enjoy the off season