Interview with Dave and Alex
By David Dodds
July 20th, 2011


The success of the Fantasy Football Players Championship rest largely on their owners and creators Dave Gerczak and Alex Kaganovsky. Recently, our David Dodds caught up with them to find out how the FFPC is rolling along in 2011.

David Dodds: The world of high-stakes contests continues to receive bad press over companies failing to pay, forcing players to litigate, etc. High profile companies like the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) have still not paid their 2010 winners. Give us your thoughts on the state of the industry and how players can protect themselves going forward.

Dave Gerczak: The high stakes industry is down to a couple of very reputable companies at this point. Most of the bad operators have gone out of business, though there are still a few in operation. My advice would be to research these companies and their owners. Google them; go to their message boards as well as other independent message boards and see what people are saying. The information is out there, and it doesn't take long to find out which contests have a clean track record and which do not.

Alex Kaganovsky: The Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and the Footballguys Players Championship (FPC) protect players by using our industry-exclusive attorney escrow account by which the Main Event prizes are separated and held by an independent attorney for the duration of the NFL and fantasy season. The FFPC and FPC have also set the standard by paying all prize winners within just a few weeks of the NFL season ending.

DD: The FFPC has announced aggressive plans for 2011 despite a lockout that has taken the winds out of the sails of a lot of fantasy companies. Give us your thoughts about what you are planning in 2011 and why you decided this is the time to expand aggressively in this space.

DG: Alex and I started the FFPC in 2008 with just 180 teams and a $75,000 grand prize. We have taken a deliberately slow path to growth. Most companies in this space launch with unrealistic goals and then flame out within a year or two. We chose to be different. As high stakes players ourselves, we knew that a true grass roots movement could be effective. Instead of a huge marketing budget, we decide to offer a superior product and let our players do the talking for us. We needed to establish ourselves and prove to the fantasy community that there can be a contest that is run with integrity and in an honest and forthright manner. Over the past three years, many fantasy contests have struggled while we have flourished and grown each season. We feel that 2011 is the year to take the reins and become the industry leader in high stakes fantasy football. Alex and I feel a sense of responsibility to the high stakes players as they deserve far better treatment than they have gotten in the past. There have been multiple defaults and some pretty shady practices in this industry. It is time to clean up this industry, and we will continue to be the contest that makes this happen.

DD: The Footballguys Players Championship debuted with 1,608 teams to completely dominate the $350 contest last year. What do you and Footballguys do for an encore here? How big can this event get?

AK: Well, that is a great question. The late start due to the lockout may have an impact, so it is very tough to guess for 2011. I would like to think we can get to 2000 teams even with a lockout, but I am an optimist. As for the 2012 season and beyond, the sky is the limit, so we will see. Either way, we will make sure the prize pool gets large enough to always be worth it for the everyday fantasy player to take a shot at greatness and a huge payout.

DG: Joe Bryant, David Dodds, and Footballguys are great to partner with as they are the "good guys" in fantasy sports. They look out for player interests and are always trying to do more for the player. The medals for league winners was all Dodds' idea as he wanted the FPC league winners to be rewarded with something extra special beyond the prize money.

DD: Both of you have been extremely successful in high-stakes contests. What have you learned in playing these other events that you have incorporated into the FFPC?

AK: The main thing I have learned is that you need to have a format that is fun to play. We have all drafted teams that have struggled at times. However, if you make a few moves, players heat up and your team gets competitive, you deserve a chance to make the playoffs and even have an outside chance at the overall title. Both the FFPC and FPC events allow players that opportunity to compete throughout the season. I have played in events where 70% of the teams are pretty much eliminated after Week 6. If I have a rough start, there is no way I can recover, and that is not much fun.

DD: The FFPC is known for the high-stakes options, but what do you offer for the player willing to spend a lot less?

DG: We have 26-round Draft Experts leagues as low as $77 per team, and they have been very popular with all sorts of players. These leagues often have the best fantasy players in the country and players that have won various national contests playing in them. These players do them as warm-ups for the higher stakes leagues. You can test your skills versus true fantasy football superstars for just $77. How cool is that?

Dodds: Give us your sales pitch on why players should play in the FFPC and Footballguys Players Championship this year? What makes these events the best the industry has to offer?

DG: Alex and I feel that there are four main reasons to play the FFPC and Footballguys Players Championship Events:

  • Professional: Attorney-escrow protected prize pools and fast payouts for both events. We take fantasy football seriously so players don't have to.
  • Fun: Enjoyable and competitive game formats in both the FFPC and FPC.
  • Integrity: The ownership of the FFPC and FPC have the interests of players at heart and run clean, honest contests, year after year.
  • Financial: Players can win very good money playing fantasy football, and for the FFPC and FPC National Champions, it is life-changing money.
  • Dodds: Give us a player that you believe will be significantly undervalued in high-stakes drafts this year (production greatly exceeds draft position). Please backup that selection with why you like his chances to succeed in 2011.

    DG: I like WR Mike Williams from Seattle. His ADP is 95th overall (39th WR overall) right now. Seattle will certainly have better quarterback play for 2011. Williams only had two TDs last season, yet should be a great red zone option at 6' 5". I see that as an aberration and see Williams approaching 1,000 yards and a chance for 8-10 touchdowns.

    AK: Peyton Hillis' finish as the 2nd-highest scoring RB in FFPC scoring was not a fluke. He is a very good all around RB and has proved himself as such in college, in limited opportunities in Denver, and now in Cleveland. The fears that people have of him losing touches to Montario Hardesty are way overblown for 2011. This is the NFL, and the best player will play the most. I've seen Hillis drafted outside the top 15-16 RBs, and that's a steal for a guy with proven track record and big upside.

    Dodds: Additionally, I think if you could give us a 3-4 sentences about what the FFPC is and answer these quick questions for more information:

    Dave and Alex: The FFPC is a high stakes community that offers something for everyone. If you've never played outside your office or local league, you can start your high stakes career by playing a $150 or $250 satellite league, offered in various formats to your liking. If you're ready to step it up, the sky is the limit as the FFPC has leagues at almost any price point, all the way to the $10,000 entry High Society league. But even beyond that, when you play in the FFPC, you become part of an active community where great friendships and memories are made that last a lifetime.

    More Info on the FFPC

  • Website Address: http://www.myFFPC.com
  • Forums: http://www.myffpc.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi
  • Rules/FAQ: http://www.myffpc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=34
  • Email POC: support@myffpc.com
  • Phone POC: 1-888-898-FFPC
  • More info on the Footballguys Players Championship

  • Forums: http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index.php?showforum=35
  • Rules/FAQ: http://footballguys.com/contest.php
  • Email POC: support@myffpc.com
  • Phone POC: 1-888-898-FFPC
  • © 2011 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved