Spurs fan Jamie crowned FPL champion - from 9 million entries!
Fri 17 June 2022, 14:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Jamie Pigott is one in nine million - and he’s a Spurs fan.
Based out of Oakland, California, Jamie beat 9,167,407 entrants worldwide to take the prestigious Fantasy Premier League (FPL) title for 2021/22.
Jamie’s Futbol Is Life :) team racked up 2,844 points over the Premier League season to win the coveted title by 12 points. He scored 72 points in Game Week 38 - including captaining Heung-Min Son for 24 points and taking six points for a clean sheet from Ryan Sessegnon in our 5-0 win at Norwich City. Sonny’s performance earned the Golden Boot - and secured Jamie fantasy football’s biggest prize.
“It’s pretty wild,” Jamie told us from home on the west coast of America. “I wasn’t always at the top. I had a late surge in the last few weeks. It still didn’t quite hit me when it happened. I wasn’t mentally prepared for that! From chatting to people, as it’s the Premier League, it’s probably a bigger deal in the UK than it is here. But… as it has sunk in, the magnitude of it is pretty cool, yes!
“All the stars aligned going into that final weekend. I was leading FPL and I kept thinking, ‘if I had to choose one - win FPL or Spurs finish fourth…’ but I thought the FPL is out of my control, so I went to a bar in San Francisco, hooked up with family and friends, the Twitter FPL community, and watched all 10 games on the final day. It was hectic, but so exciting! Spurs beat Norwich, I had Sonny, so every time he scored, it was, ‘okay, we’re good!’ I was so grateful to hit both targets!”
A fan for over 15 years from Stateside, Jamie told us his Spurs story. “I can’t pinpoint an exact time, but it was back in the mid to late 2000s, maybe 2006, 2007, so in the last decade-and-a-half, I’ve been able to watch the Club grow to where it is now, which has been really exciting. Spurs has become my main fandom, of all sports. I’m also a Chicago Bears fan, and teams in different sports, but Spurs hold a special place in my heart as my favourite soccer team, my favourite sport. It means a lot to me.
“If I walk around in my Tottenham jersey, I’ll hear someone somewhere shout, ‘come on you Spurs’ from across the street. As the Premier League has grown and broadcasting has grown, the whole Premier League has grown across the States.
“As part of winning the FPL, I’m looking forward to getting the chance to come out to the UK and meet you guys in person. Obviously, top of the list, the north London derby would be epic! But I’ll settle for whatever makes the trip the best and hopefully take in a couple of games.”
Back to FPL, and Jamie put a lot of his success down to successfully selecting defenders - notably attacking full-backs or wing-backs - that would double-up with clean sheets and goal involvements - the likes of Joao Cancelo, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James and, of course, Matt Doherty and Ryan Sessegnon, who weighed in with valuable points in the latter stages of the season.
“The benefit of that is you’re getting the attacking output from defenders,” explained Jamie. “Next season, I’m sure there will adjustments, so it won’t be as obvious, but I went big at the back and that was a stable foundation to build on for the majority of the season.
“I then focussed my opportunism on attackers with good fixtures in any particular week because defensively, I was set. It’s a balance - clean sheet potential, finding value, and not just wing-backs but a blend, but the wing-backs are more beneficial because they are better in those attacking positions.”
Jamie admitted it was tough to avoid the temptation of constantly having three Spurs players - the most you’re allowed from one team - in his Futbol Is Life :) line-up.
“It’s difficult, but you have to look at it with some sort of reason,” he said. “I don’t think there was a time across the whole season where I didn’t have a Spurs player in my squad. It’s fun watching the games when you’re also rooting for your FPL players. I captained Son and Kane the same number of times I captained Salah, so there is definitely a Spurs bias. Sonny and Kane are always two of the top picks anyway. They always deliver.”
Millions of players worldwide will soon start working out their FPL teams for the 2022/23 season, so we asked Jamie for a little early advice...
“It’s tricky to say at the moment, you’ve really got to see what other players join the league, and when the game launches for 2022/23, we’ll get prices and players will have changed prices from last season, so you have to balance those prices in the key positions,” he said.
“As I said before, wing-backs really took off with the likes of Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel’s systems pushing wing-backs, and that produces options in offensive areas. So, if you can find a player who is nailed on to start just about every Premier League game, play plenty of minutes, getting to 60 - not forgetting five substitutions comes into play next season - they are great options, regardless of the price.
“One big piece of advice is to plan your chips - Wildcard, Free Hit, Bench Boost and Triple Captain - make sure you have a plan for that. That allows you to take calculated risks. Also, be flexible! Don’t lock yourself into a plan, as things can change. So, plan out your chips, that really helped me last season.”