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20/20 Interview with James Simpson

This week, DLF editor extraordinaire, James Simpson, spent some time with us for you to get to know him better. Check it out!

 

Where are you from?

London, England.

What do you do for your regular job?

I work for Sky Sports across a number of roles. I have covered the NFL and other sports as a journalist, but also do shifts on the social media team, with the sub-editors, and with the video sub-editors.

What is the worst job you have ever had?

Easily a telephone sales job in which the primary goal was to get people to pay outstanding payments of thousands of pounds. They didn’t want to speak to me, I didn’t want to hassle them, and it was just unenjoyable all around. Thankfully it burnt me out so much I took time out to reconsider my career!

What is the best job you have ever had?

No word of a lie: DLF has been the best place for me. They have changed my life. That said, the experience at DLF helped me get a role as the Lead NFL Writer for Sky Sports for the 2019/20 season.

It was the hardest job I’ve had, but I loved it, and it sent me to Miami to see Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs win Super Bowl LIV.

What do you consider your dream job?

I’d like to take all the experiences I’ve had as an NFL journalist and make them full-time. That will be the goal until it is the reality. I’ve lived my dream but I want more.

How long have you been in the industry?

My first article for DLF was a member corner article called 2QB Leagues: Where Quarterbacks Rule that posted on the 23rd February, 2014. So I’ve recently celebrated my seven-year DLF anniversary!

How did you get your break into fantasy football?

It all came from Twitter, honestly. I started an account called ‘Eagles Musings’ and just got talking and sharing.

Eventually, someone from a blog called ‘The Sport Matrix’ said: would you like to write a piece for us? And I believe my first ever written article was a piece called ‘QB Competitions to watch this Preseason’ which posted in August 2013.

I applied for a writing role at DLF in Feb 2014 and was told: “we have chosen other applicants for the DLF writer position at this time”. However, the member corner was my way in, and I never left.

What tool do you use the most on DLF?

I live by the ADP data, especially superflex and rookie data. The Trade Analyzer is simply awesome. And, as the editor, I read everything on the site, so that is useful!

What tool do you use the most outside of DLF?

Reading, really. I am always on Twitter for the latest news (and don’t get caught up in whoever is the hot topic of discussion for fantasy football in any given week – it doesn’t matter). I also subscribe to The Athletic and it is so worth it.

Who was the best sleeper you pegged that broke out?

I think I had Josh Gordon in every league for his 2013 breakout… But I’m not sure that counts as I held on forever. Maybe Keenan Allen? I’ve moved away from going crazy for sleepers the more I’ve moved away from posting on social media. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

Who was your biggest whiff?

Ameer Abdullah! We still believe!

What is the worst trade you have made?

I gave up Keenan Allen, Lamar Miller and a second-round pick for Arian Foster early in my dynasty days. Yes, I got a good season out of Foster but let’s be honest, that is a rookie dynasty owner trade.

Who is your favorite underfollowed Twitter account?

It doesn’t matter that he has 6,000 followers, @Ciga_FF is underfollowed! Pure wisdom.

Who is your favorite NFL team?

Fly eagles fly, go birds and all that jawn.

Who is your favorite college football team?

I do not have one, but instead I shall offer my football (soccer) team, Glasgow Rangers. Champions.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

Terrell Owens. So much fun for such a short time in Philly, but what a hero.

Who is your favorite player of all time?

I have two DeSean Jackson jerseys, both from his first Eagles stint. Jackson and LeSean McCoy were the two most electric and enjoyable players to watch. Outside of the Eagles, it’s Aaron Rodgers.

What other hobbies or passions do you have outside of fantasy football?

Video games. Apex Legends. F1. Not much outside of working in sports, then consuming sports!

What are some of your favorite movies?

Mean Girls, 300, Jojo Rabbit, Coco, The Godfather, Whiplash, Lord of the Rings, The Truman Show. You know, all the greats.

Who are some of your favorite bands?

Bands: Arctic Monkeys, the Maccabees, Camo & Krooked, Broods, Fred V & Grafix.

Artists: Jessie Ware, Charli XCX, SAINt JHN, Netsky, Taylor Swift (obviously).

20/20 Interview with James Simpson
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ken Moody

    April 8, 2021 at 8:23 am

    James is an unsung hero of DLF. You may not know his name but just about everything you read here has James’ fingerprints on it. He is the quiet workhorse in the background who makes everyone on the team better.

    There is also another lesson contained in his story.

    When James first approached DLF we said thanks but not now. He didn’t give up, he instead stuck his foot in the door, and submitted some articles as part of our Member Corner program. Through good-natured persistence and a LOT of hard work, he turned that initial rejection into a key position at DLF, then a job at Sky Sports as the Lead NFL Writer. If you are trying to make it into this industry, this is how it is done.

    Persistence, hard work, and being a good person. It doesn’t guarantee success, but that’s how you keep the door from closing on you.

  2. James Simpson

    April 8, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    Ken, you are just too kind. Thank you so much for welcoming me like family!

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