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An interview with FPL Mate: your best mate for Fantasy League

The Fantasy Premier League reached new heights this season, attracting over 7.6 million managers. With 20 teams, 500+ players and 380 fixtures, there are many variables to consider, not to mention the vast ocean of competitors.

Making good selections requires robust analysis and strategic judgements. To help users, there are a number of dedicated fantasy channels and websites that offer analysis and advice. These have proliferated in the last few years with considerable variation in the quality of their content.

This season, I came across the FPL Mate channel on YouTube and have been very impressed with the quality of the content and its presentation. Gameweek selections, deadline streams, captain ratings and the unique Buy-Sell-Keep-Avoid series — all these make for compulsive viewing. To top it off, the anchor is very enthusiastic; adding further to the channel’s appeal.

In this post, I feature a short interview with FPL Mate (Dan) — “your best mate for Fantasy Premier League content for the 2020/21 season”.

FPL Mate! It’s a pleasure to feature this interview with you. Please tell us about yourself and the FPL Mate YouTube channel.

💬

Hello! My name is Dan, or FPL Mate, I’m an Arsenal fan and I live just north of London in the UK. I love FPL, and I love making YouTube videos, so in January 2020 I decided to make an FPL YouTube channel (makes sense, right?!).

I have had YouTube channels before, with moderate success, so when starting my “FPL Mate” project, I knew I wanted to go big, and I knew exactly how I was going to do that. During the mess of the final months of the 2019–20 season, I tested making videos, tried to figure out what worked and didn’t work, figured out my style and substance and eventually reached 1,000 subscribers by the end of the season. I was very happy with that, but I knew the 2020–21 season was my time to shine!

During the pre-season of the 2020–21 season, I wanted to make a name for myself and grow my channel as much as I could by providing unique FPL content that people wanted to see. I did this by uploading new and interesting videos every single day, often working 14-hour days to make it happen, coming up with fresh ideas, applying my research and knowledge of YouTube, and continually adapting and improving to provide what my audience wanted.

📈 Now I am super proud to sit on 46,000 (and growing) subscribers on YouTube, and 7,000+ followers on Twitter. It’s crazy to think that just 5 months ago, NOBODY in the FPL community had heard of me!

Fantasy Managers are always looking at ways to better their scores. What are some key strategies for success in FPL?

💬

Captains are the most important thing in FPL, in my opinion. It’s crucial that:

  1. You always have an excellent captain option in your team in any given gameweek
  2. You focus time and research on ensuring you pick the correct captain

Transferring in the player I would like most to captain is also something I regularly do, and rotate premium players using transfers depending on who and when I want to captain them.

Aside from that, try to focus on expected stats as well as actual stats. Figure out which players are taking a lot of shots, or making a lot of important passes. You don’t need to watch every game to do this, but scouting players that are in your team or who you want to bring in to your team is important too.

Most of all, have fun! Don’t get frustrated, keep calm, and remember; this is a game of chance, always judge your decisions and not the outcome!

What are some pitfalls that you would caution against?

💬

Kneejerks and short-sighted decisions are my biggest pet-peeve in FPL. If Ngolo Kanté scores 2 points every gameweek, and the one gameweek randomly scores 15 points because the ball bounced off his bum and landed in the goal, that doesn’t suddenly make Kanté an essential player!

It is really hard to get the message across to people to look at the bigger picture, and also to look forward. If a defender has just kept three consecutive clean sheets against relegation fodder, and now faces Liverpool, Man City and Spurs all in a row… don’t bring in that defender! Look beyond the points, look forward for potential points and not backwards to points that have already happened (you’ve missed those points, and bringing in the player afterwards won’t give you them!).

The Buy-Sell-Keep-Avoid series is a unique and intuitive way to evaluate transfers. Please tell us more about that.

💬

This actually leads on perfectly from the last question. A few people have made “Buy or Sell” type FPL videos before, but what I was very keen to include was the “Keep” and “Avoid” segments. These segments are about kneejerks and bandwagons.

Often people are very keen to sell a player if they have blanked a couple of times, even if underlying stats and future fixtures look excellent. That is the purpose of “Keep”, so I can try and convince people that maybe it’s worth being patient with a player.

Equally, with “Avoid”, it’s all about avoiding these hype players that are probably not worth hyping over. See my Kanté example from earlier, or to use a real recent example, Cavani was a big avoid for me that a lot of people seemed desperate to get in to their teams!

What’s your take on the Premier League race for the 2020/21 season? Do you foresee any club(s) having particular appeal for Fantasy Managers?

💬

This is a very weird season, and certainly the most difficult season for skilled FPL managers to navigate in a while. I have seen some amazing FPL managers, who compete in the top 1,000 in the world every single year, and they’re currently around the 2 million rank mark. Insane!

Honestly, things change so fast and so inconsistently, there are no clubs that I can unanimously say are appealing from an FPL point of view. Anything I say could easily be different in a weeks’ time, and will certainly be different in a months’ time. Just be fluid and flexible!

Finally, anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

💬

Just that I am dedicated to achieving my dream of making the best FPL content available, and if you would like to join me on this journey or give feedback on how I can better create a YouTube channel that you will love, please drop me a line!

🔗 Editor’s note: You can follow FPL Mate on YouTube and Twitter

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