Interview With GPP-Guru and FFFC Finalist Naapstermaan

In case you haven’t heard yet, Naapstermaan kicked off the NFL season in a big way. Week 1 alone brought him over $10,000 in profit and a trip to compete in the FanDuel FFFC Finals for a $150,000 1st prize. You might recognize his name from constantly being on the top of Guaranteed Prizepool contests across the Daily Fantasy scene. He was notorious for getting 2nd place in a lot of them, but not anymore.

Naapstermaan, and his gun-wielding panda avatar, absolutely crushed it Week 1, winning the FFFC and FanDuel Luxury Box for $7500. To make matters better, all of these wins took place while he was hanging out in Las Vegas for the RotoGrinders NFL Party during Week 1! After he returned home to California, we got an opportunity to talk with the NFL and MLB GPP guru about his recent wins, and here’s what he told us:

Everyone now knows you had a monster Week 1 to kick off NFL season, but before we get to that, tell us more about “the Naapstermaan.” What does Naapstermaan mean?

It’s literally a name I made up in middle school that I first used on AIM chat, and whenever I had to sign up for anything after that I just kept using it. I think I was trying to come up with a screenname and was just looking around at stuff and I saw the Napster logo on my computer and was like “oh cool I’ll just add an extra A to be original and do the same to Man!” Oh and I’m a music junkie so it sorta still fits now.

Why did Naapstermaan choose a panda as his avatar?

Naapstermaan's Panda Avatar

I’ve tried tons of different avatars for sites over the years and I just always got bored of one and tried another, and for some reason the panda rockin’ the guns just stuck. I did have a stuffed animal panda for most of my childhood so that’s probably why I just could never change the little bastard.

What’s your current job? And last time you were on the podcast you were a Poker Dealer…tell us about that gig.

I currently work at a sports gallery in downtown Palo Alto. We have a lot of signed SF Giants/49ers stuff and other pretty cool sports memorabilia. As for being a poker dealer, I wanted to try dealing poker but I actually ended up dealing everything but poker. I worked 12 AM-8 AM at a casino in San Jose and pretty much hated it after 6 months. Those drunken Asian ladies at Pai-Gow are brutal when they’re losing, lol.

*How did you get into Daily Fantasy Sports? How long have you been playing?

I started playing online poker in high school, and would do free Yahoo football leagues with friends, so I always loved the sports/”gambling” combo. A couple years ago I think I saw an ad for Fanduel on some fantasy football blog and checked it out and haven’t left since.

OK, back to your week 1 domination. Has it hit you yet that you won over $10,000 in cash and a trip to Vegas to compete for a $150,000 first prize?

Not at all. I think as more people qualify and the finals gets closer it’ll start to hit but right now I’m just thinking about week 2 and being able to use money I would have put in to FFFC qualifiers on other tournaments now, haha.

Our readers might not know this, but you’re notorious for finishing 2nd in big events prior to this sick week. I think it was KCearnal who coined the term “the Naap” for anyone who finished in 2nd place in a big GPP. How’s it feel to get that monkey off your back? How many times have you “come close” in the past?

I’m just glad that it happened in the two biggest events I entered. I think I finished 2nd in FFFC qualifiers two or three times before. I just tried harder the next time, no point in letting a ‘bad beat’ get to you.

What was your “Event Gameplan” across all the sites and GPPs heading into Week 1? How did you spend the bankroll?

My gameplan was to enter everything I could find that had a good prizepool to entry fee ratio. There were a few tournaments out there with like a $50 or $100 buy-in and under $1,000 for first that I didn’t think were worth entering, but there were some amazing guarantees and overlays across all the sites. I think Week 1 is by far the best week to go big since there are way more new users taking up spots in the tournaments than the rest of the weeks, all the sites boost up their prizepools to attract as many new users as possible, and a lot of the stud players like Julio and McFadden have great salary prices and are fully healthy going against defenses that have to adjust on the spot to them without having been able to look at film from previous weeks.

Naapstermaan and RotoGrinders Daily Fantasy Fix Podcast Host Dan 'db730' Back

What players were you specifically targeting heading into Week 1? How did they pan out?

On Fanduel I was mostly targeting Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall, Percy Harvin, Antonio Brown, Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, Doug Martin, and McFadden. Those guys were either highly underpriced or I thought would get the most targets/workloads of anyone, and I guess the ones that didn’t pan out too well were Olsen, Brown, Martin, and Harvin.

What were your major cashes this previous week?

Damn I knew you’d ask that, lol. I hate talking about winnings publicly but here it goes: The $535 “Luxury Box” for $7,500, the $50 “Touchdown” for $500, the $1,500 bonus from FD for highest FFFC qualifier score at RG Vegas party, the FFFC seat (Editor’s Note: $150,000 for 1st place of the finals + a trip to Vegas), and some medium cashes that added up nicely across a few sites.

How many entries did you put into each of the following:

DraftKings $50k? 76 teams
FanDuel FFFC $10? 57 teams
Luxury Box? 1 team

What did you need from Darren McFadden heading into the final game and what was the dynamic between the Luxury Box + the FFFC?

I needed anything between 18.2 and 20.25 from McFadden heading in to the final game to win both. 18.2+ to win the Luxury and 20.25 or less to win the FFFC seat. It was not a fun game to watch lol. I didn’t know if I wanted him to get his points early on or late, but I thought I needed him to score to get near that range, and he ended up not scoring and just getting a billion receptions to get that high.

Your Week 1 winning FFFC lineup is below. Give us a quick rundown of what was going through your head when you picked this squad:

The FFFC Week 1 Winning Lineup

Well I did a lot of Cutler teams in the FFFC, and I think all of them had Marshall with him, since if Cutler was having a big game so was he and at $6,900 Marshall was a must play going against Indy who he set the record for most receptions in a game on while with Denver. After I set my top QB/WR combo for the current team I’m doing, I go straight to defense/kicker. Texans and Akers were my #1 combo so any time I could fit them I would. Next I’d see how much salary I had left and if I could fit Jimmy Graham with a good amount left for the other 2 RB’s and WR’s, and if I couldn’t I would go Olsen. So with Cutler being so cheap I had plenty of cap to go with Graham. Next was WR, and Harvin and Julio were two of my favorites so I’d always try fitting them first, and after putting them in I had about $14,000 left which I knew was plenty for 2 RB’s. I think I had those 7 guys above on atleast 3-5 of my teams with different RB combos, so with $14,000+ cap left I think I did a team with Sproles/Martin and like McFadden/Martin and then when I tried Kevin Smith I had just enough for Rice so I said why not I doubt many will go with Rice with McFadden so much cheaper so I just put him in.

Excellent Analysis, sir. What is your gameplan heading into NFL Week 2 now that you’ve already locked up an FFFC seat? Are you still playing MLB contests as well?

Yeah I’m still messing around with MLB just to have something to sweat while I’m making NFL teams haha. Gonna do 2 luxury box teams this week since there’s just so many guys I like and can’t fit them all on one team, and yeah I’ll just enter everything again and see what happens.

If you could give any advice to someone trying to qualify for the FFFC finals in Vegas, what would it be?

Take your time thinking about year teams and if you’re doing more than 10 or so put them in an excel spreadsheet so you can really see how they look side by side. Make sure you are thinking outside the box on a few of your teams and trying different strategies, don’t just put together teams with names everyone knows. There a ton of cheap guys this week that can go off so make at least 1 team for each of the sleepers. Save a few teams for Sunday morning since there are a bunch of guys that are going to be game-time decisions, and if there are any scratches you will have a big edge over the guys who sleep in and don’t get those cheap backups on some teams. Yeah just get a good variety of guys who get the most targets and heaviest workloads with great matchups and don’t be afraid to gamble on a few teams.

Dan and Naap check their scores while at the RG Party in Vegas

Lastly, some fun questions: You were in Vegas with us for Week 1 for the 1st annual RotoGrinders party. What’d you think? What is your favorite story/experience from the weekend? What do you think we should do for the 2nd one?

I thought it was one of the best events I’ve ever been a part of. All the sites involved stepped up huge to make it as organized, fun, and worth the trip for everyone. My favorite experience was just meeting the legends of the industry. Beermakersfan is an absolute giant but one of the nicest guys I’ve met. You can really tell how humble he is and that money/fame didn’t change his personality at all, and his dad “Buckinah” took time to talk to me for a while which was really cool. Talking strategy with Westy, Primetime420, CSURams88, Kaiseroll, headChopper and so many others was just incredible and there’s no other place you could have got that kind of information than an event like this.

For next year I think we should include more contests just for guys/girls who come out. Maybe some fun contests with weird rules which I love doing on the side with friends, but other than that everything was perfect and all I can say is if you’re reading this start planning for week 1 next year because it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be at Lagasse Stadium for opening weekend of NFL where everyone is just beyond jacked up for the season to start. Get out there next year!

About the Author

  • Cameron MacMillan (Cameron)

  • Cameron MacMillan co-founded in 2010 along with Cal Spears and Riley Bryant. He operates on the business as the COO of RotoGrinders, and now the COO of Better Collective, TN, after Better Collective acquired RotoGrinders in 2019. – Follow him on twitter at @Cam_Mac_Millan


  • headChopper

    RG Contributor (OG Status)

    • 236

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #23

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • x2

      $1M Prize Winner

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    Nice score, but I know it still stings that you didn’t take down the Freeroll Trophy. Nothing can replace that.
    Are you going for a 2nd spot in the FFFC? or is that even allowed? Hopefully not man cause it would be nice not to have dodge you every freaking week in this thing

  • naapstermaan

    Panda Grinder

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x2

      2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    haha 2nd spot not allowed. and I really did want that freeroll trophy. The 2nd place sash was two XL shirts so I can’t even wear them lol.

  • db730

    RotoGrinders Media Director

    • 2016 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    • 2016 DraftKings FBBWC Finalist

    And for those who missed them on Facebook, here are the presentation to both HeadChopper & Naap of the first and 2nd place awards from FreeRoll Bowl 2012.

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