Here’s our guide to essential daily fantasy football player stats you need to know.
When you’re just starting out in the world of DFS, you’ll need to start doing some solid research into your sport. But before you can even start doing that, it’s important to know what exactly you’re looking for. This means knowing the salient statistics and bits of info about all the players so you can get that vital edge over your competition.
Unfortunately for players here in the UK, there’s a snag. The most popular sport over here – for players, spectators, and daily fantasy players alike – is, obviously, football. A quick Google search for “DFS football stats” will bring up a host of results, but they’re all covering the American variety of the game. For us Brits, that just won’t do.
Even if you can bring yourself to type the word “soccer” into your search engine, you’ll find that relevant information is much more scarce than for other sports. This is understandable: Americans comprise the overwhelming majority of DFS players at the moment. Though they’re slowly coming around to the game that the UK has loved for centuries, sports like American football, basketball and baseball still dominate. That means they dominate on DFS sites too. But fear not! Football (the proper one) can be found on many sites now.
So how do I win at daily fantasy football?
Knowing the rules of any game is crucial to winning it. Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you. First off, go through our DFS glossary and make sure that you know what you’re aiming for.
Next, pick up our article about playing daily fantasy football and learn some basic strategies. Lastly, familiarise yourself with the scoring system of your chosen operator.
Click on an image below to find out the scoring systems for five of our favourite DFS sites operating in the UK.
You’ll see some common threads throughout each scoring system. As you might expect, goals are the most richly-rewarded of the daily fantasy football player stats to look out for. But there’s a wealth of available scoring opportunities at your fingertips, from assists down to completed passes. Mondogoal, one of the top DFS sites, will even reward you for each minute your player is on the field (the full 90 minutes will net you 1.8 points). So what should you be looking out for?
Fantastic stats and where to find them
Obviously, you can’t just load up your team with forwards and leave everyone else on the virtual bench. Mondogoal, for example, requires you to put together a team composed of 3 forwards, 4 midfielders, 3 defenders and a goalkeeper. Other sites are a little more flexible, including a “Util” option, meaning you can choose any player (except a goalie).
So, how do you make your choices? As is always the case in DFS, research is key.
Two great resources for checking a plethora of football stats are Opta Sports and WhoScored.com. Many sites use statistics generated by Opta Sports, including FourFourTwo’s Stats Zone. Meanwhile, WhoScored.com focuses on individual statistics, rating every player out of ten based on a number of performance-related metrics. You’ll find a wealth of daily fantasy football player stats, including goals, assists, cards, shots, successful passes, and more. And since all of these add up to points in DFS, it’s worth getting familiar with all of them.
Daily fantasy football player stats – by position
Considering the strength of players at every position is vital. As you may have noticed earlier, every scoring system we’ve covered awards different points to goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards. Here are some of the most important daily fantasy football player stats to consider for each position.
For goalies, scoring opportunities – though by no means impossible – are obviously quite rare (see this video for proof). While FanFeud will award you a huge 50 points if the highly improbable does happen, it’s probably best to focus on how well your keeper does what they’re actually meant to be doing. That, obviously, means making saves, with bigger rewards on offer if your man finishes the match with a clean sheet. Mondogoal and Fanaments both have even bigger rewards for saving a penalty, but beware – it’s not all positive territory. Almost every scoring system will deduct points for every goal conceded.
As with keepers, defenders will also lose points on most sites when a goal is concede. However, they’ll also score you points if their team finishes the match with a clean sheet. In addition, defender goals are often worth more than goals for forwards or midfielders – FanFeud will offer you 20 points for a defender goal, twice what they offer for a forward.
Though all grouped under one position, midfielders perform a variety of roles, leading to different daily fantasy football player stats needing to be considered. Defensive midfielders will either score few or no points at all for a clean sheet, and are less likely to be involved in the attacking end of the game. Since you don’t have to choose any of them, it may be best avoiding putting them in your team.
Attacking midfielders, meanwhile, are not only more likely to score goals, but their greater numbers of shots and assists make them valuable players on your team. Wingers are likely to gain points for assists and may also have a higher number of fouls drawn, so it’s worth considering adding a couple of them into your 11 as well.
Choosing the right forwards for your game isn’t rocket science. Someone on your team has to bring home the bacon and, well, score, and these are the guys most likely to do it. Make sure to pick someone who’s cool under pressure – missing a penalty means losing points in DFS.
Similarly, going for a team’s main striker will bag you more points than someone who sits behind them.
Looking out for the right stats for each player should help you put together a winning team. So, what are you waiting for? Start researching, start crunching the numbers, and – most importantly – start playing!