Today we bring an exclusive interview with one of the best daily fantasy football players in the UK, Nicolas, or as you may know him: Bigo1.
Nic plays as Bigo1 on Mondogoal and other sites, and has proven himself quite the dominating force in daily fantasy in the UK. Nic is originally from France and works in London. He has been playing full season fantasy for years, like all of us, and is relatively new to the daily scene. We tracked Nic down to discuss his success on Mondogoal in advance of the Mondogoal £30K Final where he has 10 entries. If you’ve played on Mondogoal, you know Bigo1.
Nic, thanks for joining us. If you don’t mind please tell us a little about your history with the Premier League and with fantasy football in general.
I have been a soccer fan since the mid-90s, but I have to say that my main sport has always been basketball. Back then, I followed mostly Ligue 1 (French league) but let’s face, it was a bit crap…
The broadcasters noticed it and tried to push the more polished/marketable Premier League in the late 90s. They mostly showed Arsenal games (French connection!) and this is how I became an Arsenal fan, and a huge Pat Vieira aficionado. When I moved to London in June 2003, I naturally started to follow the PL even more and basically have watched 90% of games on TV since then!!!
When did you first hear about Daily Fantasy and how did your experience with season long affect your strategy?
I remember the exact moment I got into Fantasy. It was early August 2005 and I was reading Metro, one of those free morning newspapers. They were promoting their season long FF game, and I instantly loved the idea. I managed to get a few of my friends in a mini-league and I totally got hooked on it. It did not take me long to enter in as many leagues/FF games as I could…Still today, I play in a few leagues (like a dozen) but I lose more and more focus on season long games.
I think I got into DFS randomly, probably googling in the summer 2013 looking for more FF season long games/leagues…At first, I played on PlayON and got fairly successful. Unfortunately, the game is not for high stakes players so it took me over one year (and Mondogoal to enter) to finally take it seriously. Today, I am totally passionate about the industry in general, mostly about what is happening in the US, and I read as many articles/listen to as many podcasts as possible. DFS has taken the US by storm, and I see no reasons why it should not do the same in the UK.
Tell us about your process from when the last games of a gameweek end, until kickoff to start the next gameweek.
Assuming there is no CL mid-week, I normally do not look at the slate until Wednesday or Thursday. I try to get a feeling as to what I like and do not like just by looking at the fixtures, and then I look at the odds and try to do some projections. I focus first on the defense, and draw my top 4/5 defense for the week. Then I look at the mids/forwards together and draw a list of 20/25 players that I like and will use.
Most of the UK sites are currently arranged as more of the “GPP-style” leagues. Tell us about your strategy for multi-entry tournaments and GPPs in general.
I am naturally a contrarian person but my strategy will depend on the prize pool structure. For top heavy structures (like the Qs), I will try to spread out and aim at unique combos. For example for my strikers, I will generally get an obvious pick, a value pick and an under-owned pick. For less top heavy structures (like the £1k GPP), I will focus on getting the players I like the most even if they are highly owned, and add a touch of contrarian plays. However, I need to adjust my strategy and be even less contrarian, especially in the UK games where everybody goes with the obvious picks. It killed me this week having teams without Kun (and being the only one to do so!)
In conclusion, we believe next season will be a huge growth year for daily fantasy in the UK. Is there anything in particular you are looking for from the sites that would make your life easier and improve their offerings to all players?
I agree that the future of Soccer DFS looks great in the UK. Unfortunately, I still think 2015/16 will be another transitional year except if one the big boys (DK?) enters this summer. There is a huge educational work to do. The UK has 4 to 5m season-long players, but converted only a tiny portion into DFS (5k?10k people?). It will come, but one site needs to have large enough marketing pockets to do this dirty educational work and benefit from a first move advantage. However, I hope to see some marketing innovations from the existing sites that can both attract the attention of people here and be cost friendly. For example, I always thought a live final in one stadium would be a great idea and Mondo has the partnerships to do so.
In terms of functionalities, the main priority for me selfishly is to have the possibility to switch a player for another in all my teams. I enter roughly 100 teams a week, and when there is a late scrap like Nugent two weeks ago, it kills me. On a weekly basis, it also takes me way too much time to go team by team to do a couples of changes when teams are announced around 2pm. What should take 5mins takes me 30/40mins.
Late swaps (or a by product of it) are also important as many clubs tend to hide injuries and rest players out of nowhere. This is a key issue for soccer that needs to be addressed.
Thanks Bigo1 for your time and insight into daily fantasy football. Look for him on the podcast this week as we breakdown Gameweek 37.