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Who am I?

For those of you that don’t know me I’m the soccer coach here at the DFS HQ and have been brought up on the sport.  As a Brit it is my national sport and have been watching football since the early 1980’s.  I then started playing fantasy soccer back in the 90’s when it was just the season long game run by newspapers and then moved onto DFS about 3 years ago.  I have gradually developed into more of an-round DFS player with a main interest in Golf, Tennis and E-sports but also play the main US sports (but know my limits as I’m not as knowledgeable). You can find me on twitter @dfs_jag

How do you play?

Firstly, this guide will be based mainly around DK.  Unfortunately, Fanduel isn’t available in the UK so I have only been able to develop my Draftkings game.  We have had quite a bit of success with the same plays being translated but there are some quite big differences in what scores well between the 2 games which I will TRY to explain where possible.  I will also be mainly focusing on the Classic game rather than Showdown’s

This season there have been some minor changes to the scoring which are outlined below.

One of the things to note is that you no longer get a -5 for a missed Penalty Kick (which burned me more than once last season).  With the points for passing and crossing etc as well as shots assisted being included this seems to put even more emphasis than normal on the players that are involved with the play (the playmakers) rather than the players that rely heavily on goalscoring.

 Positions

In classic you have 8 slots; 2x Forwards, 2x Midfielders, 2x, Defenders, 1 GK and a Utility spot.

FORWARDS: There are 2 types, your goal dependent guys that will be unlikely to make value unless they score (Kane, Aguero etc) and then you have your forwards who are more creative and could easily be categorized as midfielders (Sigurdsson, Deulofeu, Townsend etc) who although playing forward do not score as often and are there mainly to create goals.  Normally the rule is:

GOAL DEPENDENT = GPP                    CREATORS = CASH

MIDFIELD: Often where you can put most emphasis (especially with the new scoring).  You need to try and avoid the defensive midfielders and find the guys who take corners, free kicks, penalties etc (playmakers) but may also have goalscoring upside.  Players like Eriksen, Maddison, Ward-Prowse are perfect examples of this.  These plays are the ones to target in all formats.

DEFENCE: You have 2 types of defender; the Full back (wide defence) and the Centre back.  Generally the Full backs score higher as they often get forward and make crosses.  They can often be the corner takers and are about the safest source of points (Digne, Holebas, Alexander-Arnold).  However, Centre backs are cheaper but can be used in GPP’s as they can often come up for corners and score headed goals (but these can be quite rare but help you take down deep GPP’s).

NB – This seems to be the biggest difference between FD and DK where Centre Backs score very well for tackles/blocks etc and Full backs do not get crossing points so you generally try to play Centre backs.

GOALKEEPER: The most important but also the most unpredictable of positions.  Anyone in the Soccer room will probably tell you that I say to play whoever you want.  The way the scoring works you could easily have the highest scoring GK who loses 2-0 but racks up points making loads of saves.  Whereas, the GK who wins in that game just gets the bonus points for winning and a clean sheet (not conceding) but doesn’t have any saves to make.  This is the position that can make or break your line up but it is impossible to tell who will work out.

 How do I build?

There are 2 main differences when building a Cash or a GPP line up.  Firstly in Cash, unless a Forward has ridiculously high goalscoring odds and there aren’t other options then you need to try and find the forwards that have the highest peripheral chances.  In other words, you need to try and take the goal/assist element out of your build as this can be so unpredictable.  For instance, The 2 highest priced strikers on the first slate are Harry Kane and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Kane has the highest goalscoring odds on the slate with an easy match up and would definitely be in a GPP line up.  However in cash, he is someone you would likely fade for Gylfi as Gylfi is guaranteed to take corners, free kicks etc and be building up points all match.  Even if Kane scored a goal and Gylfi didn’t there is an easy path to Gylfi outscoring him through a build up of points through other means (passes, crosses etc).

The second consideration is for GPP.  The aim is to go for correlation.  Most goals will have a scorer and an assistor (unless its from a free kick or a rebound etc) so you need to try and make sure you correlate.  For example if you are picking Jamie Vardy the Leicester forward, you may also want to consider picking Maddison who may provide the cross for Vardy’s goals.  This especially goes for any Centre Backs you have.  Make sure that you always have the corner taker for that Centre Backs team if you want to take down a GPP.

Final Words

The season starts on Saturday 10th August but play light for the first few weeks (I will be mainly due to going on vacation in week 2!)  We don’t know how teams are going to line up, who will take set pieces and how all the new signings will effect things but if you want to make sure you have access to the sheets and all the chat with the other good soccer minds we have then get signed up with DFS HQ as soon as possible!

Good luck!

James Anderson-Gordon
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