Daily Fantasy Soccer Strategy for DraftKings

We are slowly starting to get some sports back! On Saturday, Bundesliga will finally be coming to DraftKings. I wanted to give you all an article that will provide some base knowledge on how to go about constructing your soccer lineups. My plan for this article is to really simplify the lineup building process. One of the things all of us do is overthink sometimes. 

I am not going to claim to know everything about soccer. Where I have been able to gain an edge is through lineup construction and knowing how to build when it comes to cash games vs GPPs. I am going to really simplify and show you the way I think about things. Let’s jump right into it.

DRAFTKINGS SCORING

draftking

There are tons of ways to get points as you can see above. You can really simplify this by targeting players who are ACTIVE in the match. That is the one thing that all the scoring has in common, you have to be involved.

OVERALL STRATEGY

Some players have a much bigger floor than others which makes them good plays in all formats. Some are more goal dependent, which makes them good GPP options. One thing you can look for to see if players have a floor is if they are set piece takers (free kicks, corners, and penalties). This gives them a floor with crosses, assisted shots, etc. 

Typically the players that are outside on the formations are the ones that have a larger floor. Defenders are usually very good values due to their price. Look for the outside defenders on attacking teams or favorites. Forwards are typically the ones who are more goal dependent, but have the goal upside to win you a GPP. That is not the case for every team as some of the Forwards are the best players in the league and combine a floor with massive upside. 

Defenders are split to center back and wing backs. Wingbacks are the ones we generally want to target, whether that be the left back (LB) or right back (RB). The two wing backs are the guys who provide the biggest floor and greatest value for DFS. 

Midfielders also fall into two categories, attacking midfielders and defensive midfielders. I can let you guess which one we want. Most of the time these are the ones who line up on the outside, but it is different with most teams. 

In the utility spot it is usually beneficial to play a defender if you are playing cash games, to get that floor. This is similar to hockey. In GPPs anything goes. 

Goalkeepers are some of the hardest to figure out when it comes to fantasy soccer. Usually this position is a complete joke when trying to accurately predict. It almost just becomes who fits. Massive favorites are obviously more likely to get the win and a clean sheet, but they may not see hardly any shots against them. On the contrary, underdogs may give up a few goals but they also will see more shots and have some save upside. The prime goalkeeper would obviously be a favorite against a team that is very aggressive and forces action. 

When it comes to stacking in soccer I don’t think that it is something that you necessarily have to do. Sometimes it will naturally happen. One way you can stack is combining set piece takers with guys who are more goal dependent and try to double up on assists and goals.

LINEUPS

This is one of the most important things when it comes to DFS Soccer. You can look at projected lineups all you want, but almost like baseball, you must see lineups before locking in lineups. There are a few good sources out there to see lineups (the one I use is SofaScore). When you complete your research before lineups come out you can focus on checking if certain guys are in and also make sure which guys are positioned on the outside. 

Lineups come out 45 minutes to an hour before lock and I will be sure to post these in chat when they come available. 

I didn’t want this article to be super long so that we could try to keep things simple. So if you have any specific questions, be sure to hit me up in Slack and I will be more than happy to help. Not a RotoPros member yet? Be sure to sign up for a free trial and check us out! Let’s start off with a bang as we start getting some sports back!!

Daily Fantasy College Football Strategy

Welcome everyone! This is something I have wanted to put together and finally found the time to get it done. Below you will find a breakdown of some key strategy pieces when it comes to playing CFB DFS, specifically on DraftKings. You may think that CFB is the same as NFL and you don’t have to do anything different, but that is definitely not the case. There are some intricacies when it comes to CFB that differentiates it from the pro game both in real life and daily fantasy. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to take advantage of a free trial with us and join us in our Slack chat where we are breaking down every single CFB slate throughout the week. Now that all conferences are playing we have a full schedule and are excited to bring content for all slates to you. Grab a copy of our cheatsheet and then be in the chat as news breaks and we do our best to gain an edge.

SUPERFLEX DECISION

This is an important first step when it comes to CFB DFS. Obviously, every slate is different, but there is almost never a slate that using a QB in SuperFlex isn’t the way to go, especially in cash games. First of all, they have the highest absolute projection on every slate because of how involved they are in the game. In addition, when you talk about college, there are many more running quarterbacks than in the NFL. This just enhances their floor and upside.

You also are then able to double stack you teams. Some running quarterbacks don’t have to be paired with a receiver, but a lot of the time you do want that correlation. You increase the potential upside of your lineup greatly by having two QB → WR stacks within your lineup. You can even take both QBs in one game if you think the game shoots out and give yourself the upside to takedown a GPP.

If you want to be different, there are certainly times when a non QB in SuperFlex wins GPPs. If you are multi entering, you could take a small percentage of your lineups and use a high volume RB or WR in SuperFlex which will help you be unique. 

OFFENSIVE DIFFERENCES

Most college teams do not have as prolific passing offenses as you sometimes see in the NFL. This leads to different types of offenses than what you are used to. This definitely doesn’t mean that less points are scored, but actually the opposite. Totals in CFB are on average much greater than the NFL. You have to realize that this increases what you need out of value plays, or just that you need to get the right top priced guys in with those value guys. I have seen slates where someone wins with a near 0 at one of the spots they punted. The other guys in their lineup just absolutely went off. We saw the other night with Buffalo that Jaret Patterson ran for 301 yards and 4 touchdowns. So where am I going with this? In CFB, you have to remember that there is sometimes a massive talent difference in some of these teams. Upside is needed in your lineups, not just the “safe” plays.

NEWS (OR LACK THEREOF)

It has always been like this in CFB, but even more so in 2020. There is nowhere near the news we get in the NFL. I actually like this because it gives us more ways to find an edge over our opponents. There are no rules for actives and inactives like there is in the NFL and sometimes we don’t even find out if someone is out until 5-10 minutes before gametime if at all. If you are in our Slack chat near gametime you will get the most up to date news as I post all the info I can find and update my thoughts if they are changed. It can be a mad scramble, but well worth it when not everyone playing is able to stay as up to date.

Daily Fantasy NASCAR Season Preview and Strategy

Speedweeks are coming up fast and before you know it we will be full swing into the 2020 NASCAR season. I think this will be a very interesting season to watch unfold for many different reasons. First, a huge shakeup to the schedule highlighted by some intriguing events that I will detail below. Next, there are tons of drivers that will be with new teams or that are moving up from the Xfinity Series. Finally, we will see the final season for another legend of the sport, Jimmie Johnson. In November, the 7 time Cup champion announced that this will be his final season behind the wheel of the #48 Hendrick Chevrolet. 

My goal for this article is to help you improve as a DFS player in NASCAR. I hope to do this by giving you a high level overview of the way I attack a slate and some of the things I look for in drivers each week. I will also give you a summary of some of the changes that you will see in the world of NASCAR, whether it be to the schedule, car changes for drivers, or crew chief changes. Without further ado let’s jump in.

OVERALL STRATEGY

 There are 4 different ways that drivers accrue points on DraftKings for NASCAR. 

  • Place Differential (+/- 1 Pt) – Simply, the amount of position difference a driver finishes from his starting position. 
  • Fastest Laps (+0.5 Pts)
  • Laps Led (+0.25 Pts)
  • Finishing Position (1st +46 Pts, 2nd +42 Pts, 3rd +41 Pts, every position’s worth then decreases by 1 Pt until last place, or 40th, gives you +4 Pts)

 A lot of the overall strategy for each slate depends on the track each week. For example, at superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) laps led and fastest laps are almost always spread out across a lot of drivers. This makes the place differential means a lot more at these tracks. At short tracks (Martinsville, Bristol, etc.) there are usually a few people that lead a bunch of laps. This is due to the type of track as well as how many laps there are in these races. This makes laps led and fastest laps more important.  

Track strategy is something we will talk about each week in our articles. We will give an overview of past history at each track and what the build strategy is for the week. 

QUALIFYING AND PRACTICE

This is one of the most important parts of the week when it comes to NASCAR DFS. Qualifying can sometimes change a play from a fade to an all in play. If a top driver has something go wrong in qualifying, or has to go to a backup car, and starts in the back of the field they become one of the best plays of the week. On the other hand, if a driver who hasn’t been showing much speed lately, or during practice, qualifies pretty high in the field, they lower their upside and are more than likely going to back up during the race (lose place differential). 

This all has to do with place differential. For example, if Martin Truex Jr. has to go to the back of the field and is scored from the 40th starting position, he has a lot higher floor and upside than if he was starting 10th. This would also lead to much higher ownership on him as well. In these cases it is very hard to fade the driver and most of the time is not in your best interest to do so.  

Practice can give us a good idea of what cars are fast for the weekend. I will not look at individual lap times as there is a lot of variance when you look at who had the fastest 1 lap in each session. What I will look at is averages over certain numbers of laps. On 5 and 10 lap averages we are able to see who has short run speed. When we extend that to 15 and 20 lap averages, we can see who has long run speeds and will not fall off as much when the green flag is out for a long period of time in the race. 

TRACK HISTORY

Much like in golf, when a player plays well at a particular course, in NASCAR some drivers are better a certain tracks. Each week you can check out Chris’s sheet to see how well a driver has done at the track in the past. Some track styles match a driver’s abilities more than others. This is obviously not a be all end all, but does give you a good idea as to how the driver does at this track type.  

Past races can tell us a lot about the type of lineup build we need for the week. They will help us figure out how many place differential plays and how many dominators we should be targeting in our lineups. This is something that I will go into more detail about below.

BUILD STRATEGY

Much like I talk about in my golf articles, I believe one of the biggest ways I can help you each and every week is by talking through lineup construction. In NASCAR, lineup construction is very important because depending on the track you are at can determine how many dominators and how many place differential plays you should be targeting. I will define both of these below.

  • Dominators – These are drivers that you believe will gain a lot of points from leading laps or getting fastest laps (dominating the race). These are usually drivers on the best teams and in the fastest cars in a given week. A lot of this goes back to qualifying, since most dominators will start high in the order. Sometimes though, a driver who has a very fast race car but has to start from the back due to failed inspection, or some other reason, and could still dominate later in the race. This makes them an even better play when you add in their place differential upside.
  • Place Differential Plays – As defined above these are usually drivers starting near the middle to back of the field that have upside to finish a decent amount above where they are starting.

 At each track there is a balance as to how many dominators you should target in your lineups. To use the same example as above, at superspeedways where laps led and fastest laps are more spread out, it may even make sense to target 0 dominators and to focus on place differential plays. On the other hand, at short tracks you may target 2-3 dominators in a lineup, hoping that those 2 or 3 drivers lead most of the laps. This varies a lot based on track type and even qualifying. Again, qualifying is so important because it can promote certain builds depending on if there is a surprise and a good driver starts towards the back, or vice versa.  

Each week I will be sure to include a segment on lineup construction as well as talk about it when I break down each price range in my articles. 

That is as far as I will go in this article when it comes to strategy because I don’t want to completely overload you. Like I said, I will touch on the important pieces of strategy each week in my articles and talk about how I plan to build my teams. The rest of this article will give you a complete overview of some of the changes you should expect to see in 2020.

DRIVER/TEAM CHANGES

This year we have a good amount of driver changes whether it be a driver changing teams or coming up to the Cup Series from Xfinity. I will include a full list below but I want to highlight a few that I believe will have the biggest impact in 2020. In my lists I will note the driver, car number, team and who was in the car in 2019. 

In addition to all of these changes for 2020, the story to watch throughout the year will be, who will replace Jimmie Johnson after his retirement. These will be some big shoes to fill but would be an opportunity that few would pass up.  

CHRISTOPHER BELL – #95 LEAVINE FAMILY RACING (MATT DIBENEDETTO 2019)

We knew most of last season that Joe Gibbs would find a spot at NASCAR’s top level for young Christopher Bell. A 16 time winner in the Xfinity Series, Bell should be right in the mix with some other talented rookies for Rookie of the Year honors in 2020.

MATT DIBENEDETTO – #21 WOOD BROTHERS RACING (PAUL MENARD 2019)

After we found out that “Matty D” would be out of the #95 come this season just prior to the Bristol race in August, everyone knew that the talented 28 year old would find a ride in 2020. Paul Menard decided to retire from NASCAR after the season and now Matt takes his place. I think he will contend for a playoff spot in 2020.

RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – #47 JTG DAUGHERTY RACING (RYAN PREECE 2019)

A lone playoff season in 2017 was Stenhouse’s highlight of his time at Roush. He was let go and will now join JTG Daugherty in 2020. This essentially became a 3 man rotation as Stenhouse takes over Ryan Preece’s 2019 ride, Preece moves to the #37 in place of Chris Buescher (still with JTG Daugherty), and Buescher will move to Roush Fenway’s #17 in place of Stenhouse.

FULL LIST

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CREW CHIEF CHANGES 

 We will see a few top teams with crew chief changes for 2020. I will highlight some of the biggest ones below and give a full list as well.

MARTIN TRUEX JR. – JAMES SMALL (COLE PEARN 2019)

Cole Pearn shocked a lot of people after the season when he announced he was stepping away from NASCAR to spend more time with his family. James Small who has been the lead engineer for Truex will now man the top of the box as he and Truex try to replicate some of the success Pearn and Truex enjoyed. 

 TEAM PENSKE ROTATION

As you will see on the list below Penske decided to make a 3 man switch after 2019 as they look to shake things up in hopes of more success in 2020. Jeremy Bullins moves from the #12 of Ryan Blaney to the #2 of Brad Keselowski, Paul Wolfe moves from the #2 of Brad Keselowski to the #22 of Joey Logano and Todd Gordon moves from the #22 of Joey Logano to the #12 of Ryan Blaney.

FULL LIST

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SCHEDULE CHANGES

 We are seeing a lot of schedule changes for 2020 and we could see even more in 2021, as this is the last year of a 5 year agreement with tracks for NASCAR. I am very excited about some of these changes and I think it will add some intrigue to the sport. Below are the highlights.

  • Martinsville – Martinsville will host its first race under the lights on Saturday, May 9. Also, their fall race moves to the final playoff elimination race before the Championship on November 1
  • Pocono – Will have a doubleheader weekend on June 27-28. Back to back days of racing!
  • Daytona – Summer race moves to the regular-season finale on August 29
  • Indianapolis – Moves to July 4th weekend, replacing Daytona in this spot
  • Darlington – Will open the playoffs on September 6
  • Bristol – First time in the playoffs in 2020, night race will be the first elimination race
  • Charlotte Roval – Moves from 1st elimination race of the playoffs to the 2nd
  • Homestead Miami – Moves from its long time spot as the Championship race in November to March 22
  • Phoenix – Cup Championship on November 8

CAR CHANGES

There will be a few changes to the cars in 2020 but not as many as when the Next Gen car is debuted in 2021. 

  •  Track packages – The biggest change in 2020 package wise will be at the road courses and short tracks. The changes NASCAR made will increase the emphasis on driver skill, as I see it. More focus will be on handling with a reduced-downforce package.
  • Chevrolet Camaro – We will see the Camaro ZL1 1LE in 2020. You will notice flatter noses on these cars and should make drafting easier.

 I hope everyone is excited as I am for NASCAR in 2020 and we will see how these changes unfold here in a couple weeks when Speedweeks get underway at Daytona!

DAILY FANTASY HOCKEY STRATEGY FOR DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL

The NHL season is just a few weeks away so if you are new or need to get refreshed, check out my strategy guide below. If you have any questions make sure to jump into the RotoPros Community Chat and join the conversation.

Not a member yet? Get over to the website and check out our subscription options, each which comes with a FREE trial so you can spend some time and see what we are all about. See you in chat!!!

CHOOSING A CONTEST

When playing any DFS sport, cash games are the key to building a bankroll and it is no different in daily fantasy hockey. Cash games include 50/50’s, double ups, triple ups, and head to head contests. The sites have different ways of collecting their rake and in 50/50’s they will pay out half the entrants but charge an approximate 10% rake($10 contest will net $8 with a win) while double ups will fully double up your entry fee($10 to $20) but will only pay out about 44% of the entrants. Either way you look at it, you are paying rake to the site so I don’t prefer one over the other and will have exposure to both on any given night. I also like to play head to heads as you can still have a bad night where your lineup may not cash in any 50/50 or double up contest but you may still take down some head to heads and get some money back. Some is better than none!

GOALIE SELECTION

I am a player who plays just one lineup across all my cash game contests. When I start constructing that lineup I always start at the goalie position. You only get one in your lineup and selecting the right one is a key piece to cashing on a nightly basis. So what are we looking for? I will always start but looking at the Vegas lines and highlighting the 2-3 top favorites and then narrowing down that field to a goalie who is playing at home. Depending on the slate, this will not always work out and if one of the top goalies is not at home I will then look for a heavy favorite on the road. It may seem obvious but it is also important to target a goalie facing a weak offensive team. You can find this data in many place including my daily cheatsheet. Getting the win is #1 with goalies and #2 is finding a goalie that will see 25+ shots in game to help elevate that floor.

DEFENSE CONSTRUCTION

Next, I like to turn to my defense and in cash games I like to deploy a value approach. On most nights I will go with a mid-range option and a punt value option. This helps us get a higher floor with our forwards and allows us to stack teammates at that position. The first thing I look for in my defensive players is time on ice. I generally want my D-men to average over 20 minutes per game and they don’t necessarily have to skate on the top unit on their respective teams but I want them to either get powerplay time or lots of penalty kill time. After analyzing the ice-time I look at shots and blocks and either want a nice balance of both(average of 2 per game each) or heavy on one of them. These stats help us create a solid floor for our cash games.

FORWARD CONSTRUCTION

Finally, I turn to the forward position to complete my cash game lineup. The first thing I do is highlight the top 3-4 teams who are projected to score the most goals on a given slate. I want to get as much exposure to these teams as possible. When selecting players from these teams I will try to pair two linemates together to get as much correlation for all the goals that come from that line as possible. Another strategy I will use is target two players on separate lines to get exposure to that teams top two lines but what I will look for is those players to skate together on the top powerplay unit. A couple team examples of this are the Washington Capitals who combine Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov(L1) with T.J Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom(L2) on the top PP unit. Another example is the Toronto Maple Leafs who put their top three centers(Matthews, Tavares, Kadri) and pair them together on the top powerplay with winger Mitch Marner.

Shot volume is key to creating a floor for cash games. I want the majority of my forwards in my lineup to average at least 2.5 shots per game. Points are not quite as predictable as shots as there was only 25 players in the league last year to average at least one point per game. Shots on goal is not the only stat I will look at either. Corsi may be a new term for some but all it means is shot attempts. In short, Individual Corsi means how many shots on goal + shots that miss the net + shots that are blocked a player takes during a game or 60 minute time period. Obviously, we want players who rank higher in this area as volume is everything. We will get more into the advanced stats in later articles.

IN SUMMARY

I always start with goalies and if possible look for one who is a big favorite at home. I then turn to my defense and almost always try and target one mid-range and one punt value to allow more salary for my forwards. For those forwards, I am looking for shot volume, time one ice and powerplay upside(especially on FanDuel) and like to run two man stacks for correlation on high projected scoring teams.

Thanks for the checking out my cash game strategy article and stay tuned for the GPP strategy article coming soon. If you have any questions, hit me up in the RotoPros Slack Chat or on Tiwtter(@Jager_Bombs9). Not a RotoPros member yet? Get over and SIGNUP for a FREE two-week trial today!

DAILY FANTASY FOOTBALL STRATEGY GUIDE FOR DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL

The 2019 season is right around the corner with opening kickoff just a week away. Whether you are new to DFS NFL or a regular, I wanted to go over a few key things heading into the season, both standard and advanced, to help you become a better DFS player and more importantly more profitable. Got questions on what you read? Hit me up in that RotoPros Community Chat.

Not a RotoPros member yet? Get over to the website today and get your FREE trial to come and check out everything we have to offer.

MAKE A GAME PLAN (BANKROLL MANAGEMENT)

Before even opening DraftKings, FanDuel, or whatever site you are planning on playing on there is a very important step that a lot of people overlook. Set some pre season goals or make a gameplan for the season and set yourself up for success. If you are just playing for fun and don’t care about building bankroll that is totally fine but here at RotoPros we are committed to educating you how to build a bankroll and be successful over the long run.

Start with a budget and decide how much you are going to invest for the season. After that, decide on how you want to attack each and every week. Are you going to play showdown, Thursday to Monday slates, main slates, Primetime slates, etc. If you decide to spend $100 a week, map out how that is going to play out for you. For example:

  • $100 per week
  • $80 into main slate
    • $60 in cash games, $20 in GPP
  • $20 in to showdown or other secondary games

This is obviously just an example and it is much deeper than how it is explained about(will get into more below) but starting with a gameplan helps you to be consistent each and every week and to not get into a trend of chasing losses by playing games you don’t normally play or, in the same manner, chasing wins playing more than you normally would.

One thing I will say, however, is that you should be somewhat flexible with this gameplan and maybe re visit it every four weeks or so. You may have found that you have been very successful and grown your bankroll substantially in which case you can up your weekly targets and goals to better match your bankroll. The same if you are in a slump as you might want to lower your weekly investment. I will say that no matter what amount you are playing weekly, stick with your Cash/GPP allotment. With that, let’s get into the difference between the two.

CONTEST SELECTION(CASH GAMES VS. GPP)

Let’s start with one of the most important parts of playing any DFS sport. When you open up the DraftKings or FanDuel lobby it can be intimidating for anyone that is new to DFS as there are thousands of options. It is very important to know the difference between the game formats.

Let’s start with cash games which, generally speaking, mean half the field will double their money. There is no difference between what 1st place receives and what the last person in the pay zone gets paid. There are also different types of cash games and the only difference is how the sites collect their rake(fee for being the host).

Double-ups

This is a contest where a little less than half the field exactly doubles their money if they cash. For example, the FanDuel Big $5 Double Up has 18,391 entries and pays the top 8000 people(43%) $10 each. The 7% difference is what the site collects as a fee. For DraftKings, they have a Giant $5 Double up with 11,400 entries and the top 5000 people(44%) get $10.

50/50 Contests

Very similar but a $5 contest with 100 people(either site) pays half the field(50 people) $9. In this case, that $1 not paid out to you is the rake/fee.

When playing double-ups and 50/50 contests, it is very important to play single entry to avoid the lineup trains more experienced players will run in the multi-entry contests. Also, find contests with the most entries possible to give you a little more room for error in terms of the cash line.

Head to Head

Play against one other opponent and like 50/50’s you would only get $9 back if you won a $5 head to head. The one advantage of playing these contests is that instead of playing five $10 double ups($100 total), you could play 10 – $10 head to heads. In scenario #1 you may miss cash line by a few points and lose the entire $100 while in scenario #2(head to head) you still have a shot to beat a majority of your opponents and come out ahead or at least beat some of them and get back some of your investment.

The contests I mentioned above are, by far, the best way to go about building a bankroll but require patience. Now let’s take a look at the attention grabbing GPP contests that drive the fantasy sports industry, from a marketing standpoint.

GPP = Guaranteed Prize Pool

Generally these contests pay between 18% and 25% of the field which in turn mean you need a higher score just to min cash which is usually between 1.5 and 2x your buyin. The other big difference here is that 1st place get substantially more than min cash(usually around 10% of the prize pool). This means to cash big in these contests, you are going to need much more upside than a cash game lineup in which you are just looking to beat half the field.

GPP’s come in all shapes and forms and distinguishing between them and understanding the differences are huge in maximizing your potential of making the most money each and every week. While very enticing with their huge prize pools the large GPP’s that allow 150 lineups per account should be avoided if you are not planning on max-entering. This is because a majority of your competition will be max entering and covering almost all the bases and combinations while your one or two lineups or even 20-50 lineups will likely be duplicated and this puts you behind before the games even kick off.

My recommendation is to stick to the single entry or limited entry contests(3-max, 10-max, 20-max, 25-max). No, they don’t have the same large payout for first but are more times than not more balanced with their payouts meaning you don’t need to be as perfect with your lineup construction. You also won’t be competing against people using lineup optimizes to spit out multiple combinations of the same stacks you are running.

RESEARCH AND CREATING A PLAYER POOL

You can definitely just login on Sunday morning, look at some odds, a couple stats, and plug and play but for the most part you aren’t going to be successful with that strategy. As with anything in life, you get out of something what you put into it and that is no different when we are talking about daily fantasy sports.

I start every week updating my cheatsheet which immediately gets the ball rolling. Once fully updated, I start by making a list of injured players to track during the week. I then go position by position and make an initial list of players who stand out based on projected Vegas totals, matchups, form, etc.

As the week progresses, this list is updated daily with news from practice and/or a deeper dive into stats or matchups. I will also start making a list of stacks I want to target the most with my players I have initially highlighted.

The final step for me that comes later in the week is getting the final practice report which helps narrow things down from an injury perspective. Once this is done, you can almost finalize your player pool. For GPP formats, I will expand my player pool a bit after analyzing the ownership projections as making pivots to players who have similar upside but may come at half the ownership is key to winning a large contest. I personally use FanShareSports for ownership analysis and they have proven time and time again to be VERY consistent with their projections.

While I may reserve my place in the contests I want to play early in the week, I don’t really start lineup construction until Friday/Saturday after the final injury report drops and my player pools are complete. Then Sunday morning I finish my lineups and make any tweaks based on final injury status.

UTILIZING LATE SWAP

The option for late swap is avail;able on both sites and can be utilized to your advantage to give you an edge week in and week out. It is really a simple formula when constructing your lineups. Put players in the later games in your FLEX position. This allows you to swap him out going into the afternoon games and replace him with a RB, WR, or TE rather than just that one position had he still been in one of those positions and not the FLEX.

There are multiple reasons for using late swap and it starts with something as simple as injuries. If a player from a late game gets scratched after lineup lock you can swap him out and if in the FLEX like I mentioned above, you won’t be restricted to a swap for another player in that position only.

Late swap is also another weapon in gaining an edge on your competition while the games are going on. If you have 4-5 players going in the early slate of games and maybe they under perform a bit, you can go and late swap a player or two in the later games and build in more upside. Vice versa, you if your players over perform and you have a risky play going in the afternoon you could swap him out and go with a safer option.

Going even deeper, you can analyze ownership of the opponents you are chasing or who are chasing you. You can look at their lineups and almost narrow down the players they are likely to have left to play helping you to make a decision to swap to be differentiate yourself. It is a fairly easy formula.

  1. We know the total salary cap on the site we are playing
  2. Add up the salary your opponent has in play
  3. Subtract their combined salary in play from the total salary cap
  4. Start narrowing down the options within the salary remaining with positions left

This also requires a lot of work after lineup lock but can be so advantageous and boost your overall profit on a week to week basis. I will also be in chat throughout the day to help you with this process as the afternoon games approach. Reach out to me anytime!

SELF EVALUATION

While everything else before is key to winning, self evaluation can be vital in determining if your process is working or if it should be adapted or adjusted. Just because you are winning doesn’t mean you made the right decisions and vice versa, if you are losing it doesn’t always mean you are going about things the wrong way. Ask yourself multiple questions like Why did Player X get more volume than Player Y? or why did Team X only run the ball this many times when I had the RB projected for X amount of carries?

To do this, I watch a ton of film Sunday night and Monday to determine game scripts and how things played out versus how I expected them to play out and then use similar analysis on the player level. I will take notes and try to put the puzzle together in an effort to gain knowledge moving forward whether it be with lineup construction or player roles on their team or a teams general strategy(pass vs. rush).

After that I open the DFS sites(FanDuel/DraftKings) and not just break down my own lineups but also my opponents. I will look at the winning lineups throughout multiple contests and will also break down lineups from known DFS pros. The idea here is to try and get into their heads and reverse engineer the lineups to gain knowledge moving forward.

If you are not doing this or at least some of this self evaluation, you can easily get caught in a loop in one or multiple portions of your game leading to much less success over the long term. The key to everything I have talked about in this article is MAKE THE COMMITMENT TO GET BETTER EACH AND EVERY DAY.

Thank you for checking out the article and stay tuned as I will have a NFL Cheatsheet tutorial coming out on our YouTube channel and more advanced strategy pieces coming out as well. Cheers!

HOW TO DFS SOCCER: GENERAL BASICS ARTICLE

HEY EVERYONE!

Welcome to my How To DFS Soccer general basics article. The idea here is to give you a very simple overview of the sport and how that relates to your success in DFS. While this article won’t give you the tools to go out and immediately win, it should give you a great foundation to start learning about soccer and from there feel comfortable asking more questions. 

I wanted to give everyone a quick rundown on the world’s leagues and teams, positions on the field, general rules, how teams play, along with an explanation of how to best attack each format. I also included some relevant discussion topics around the sport in DFS and the massive variance swings you will encounter. 

I hope this helps everyone get a basic start on DFS soccer, and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

DFS SOCCER: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

THE SPORT

The sport of Soccer (or Football, footy, kickball, the ol’ kickaroo) is a sport less associated with North American culture and has more to do with European, South American, Asian, ESPECIALLY African….well, the whole world except for us. It’s played by two teams, each with 11 players, and the idea is to get the ball into the opposition net using any part of your body except your hands. Sites will score players based on in-game actions like offensive and defensive production, along with awarding post game bonuses for situations like keeping a shutout.

THE LEAGUES

While the sport is extremely popular around the globe, not every nation is known for it’s footballing capabilities. Some of these countries’ bigger cities support multiple teams. This can create rivalries unseen in most professional sporting leagues, and in some certain areas when combined with tribal issues the sport becomes life and death for it’s supporters. In particular, here’s a quick list of some of the biggest league’s in the world, along with some of the bigger talking points. These leagues are commonly refereed to as The Big 5 Euro leagues.

ENGLAND: English Premier League

This is the most common league associated in the English speaking North America. While this is the league most seen on television, it’s by no means the largest. Some of the more popular teams in this league are the Manchester clubs of United and City, the Liverpool clubs of Liverpool and Everton, and the numerous world-famous clubs of London such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, or even some of the lesser known EPL sides like Crystal Palace, Watford, and Fulham. England is considered the home of professional football with the EFL, or the former English Football League, being founded in 1888, making it the oldest professional football league in the world. Many of the world’s greatest footballing nations can attribute the English royal expansion efforts for their introduction to the sport. The English league brings in all the best talent from around the world, no matter language barrier. However, given new Brexit rules, English clubs will need to restructure how many foreign players they are allowed to have.

SPAIN: La Liga

Outside of England this is the most popular league in North America, and a lot of this has to do with the fact it’s one of the biggest, best, most supported, and financially viable leagues in the world. In terms of world football, different nations will come in and out of power as the most dominate force on the globe. We are currently experiencing the downfall of Spain as the dominating force in global footy, as they were previously the unquestionable, indisputable best footballing nation for the past decade (previous to them were the Italians). The most notable teams in this league are the ever popular Real Madrid and Barcelona, while at the same time Madrid hosts numerous clubs along with Real, such as the very successful Atlético Madrid and their world famous defense. Unlike England, Spanish football is extremely political as the country is one of the more politically unstable and complex nations in Europe. Teams like Barcelona were founded and supported by regions and people of Spain who wish to create their own nation (Barcelona: Catalonia, the Barca flag is shared with the anti-nationalist region). So, while this league has players like Messi, it also has it’s foundation built around political turmoil (which is quite consistent with most non-English speaking nation’s football beginnings). While the Spanish league is one of, if not the best, they tend to focus their player base around language friendly transfers, such as players from South America, Portugal, France, or domestic speaking Spaniards. Considering their nations’ vast footballing resources this hasn’t hindered their ability to perform on the world stage. Barcelona is considered one of the world’s best teams, and Real Madrid was a very close second when they fielded Ronaldo. The Spanish league is coming off their peak as the best league in the world, so while it’s still one of the best it won’t remain that way for much longer. Guys can’t stay young forever, and the new crop can’t tie the old horses shoes.

GERMANY: Bundesliga

Another of the world’s biggest leagues is the German Bundesliga. Germany is known for their team defense and positioning, and much like you would probably imagine they produce hard working, hard nosed, powerful players. Bayern Munich is one of the world’s better teams, along with Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, the latter two are hoping to lead the next decade as two of the future, youth star studded teams, filled with next generational stars. As mentioned, Germany are known for their defensive exploits, so their league isn’t as exciting nor technically sound as the previous two. A lot of the German league focuses on players from Germany and surrounding nations like Holland and Belgium, however the Bundesliga is going through a youth revolt so there are numerous young English speaking players from both North America and England now in their ranks. While the supporters of German clubs can be violent, their support is based FAR more around respect and honor than previous nations. Very similar to England, these supporters see themselves defending their patch rather than their livelihood or political entity, though that isn’t true for the whole country. This is a league to watch in the coming years because on and off the pitch it’s only going to get more exciting.

ITALY: Serie A

Italy’s Serie A is another massive league of the world. Outside of England It houses some of the more historical football clubs in the world. Juventus is not only one of the more well supported teams in all of Europe, but one of the most historical as well. Italy are known for producing fearless defenders and flashy attackers, and previous to Spain, they were the title holders for the most prominent footballing nation of the late 90’s/early 2000s. Very similar to England, Italy has numerous clubs within the same cities. In fact, Milan hosts not only two of the world’s most successful clubs in Inter Milan and AC Milan, but they share the EXACT SAME STADIUM. When both teams play in the same arena it gets split half and half, mind blowing really. Unlike the previous nations mentioned, Italy has had long running issues with league/club corruption and fanatical right-wing support. Juventus was only recently demoted a few seasons ago for a match-fixing scandal, and years ago Lazio had their captain suspended for opening giving the Nazi salute during a goal celebration to the club’s massive, fanatical, right-wing supporters. It’s a really sticky situation in Italy, and while their politics also play a massive role in their fanbase, a lot of the issues surrounding corruption are from the non-supporter underworld. These factors will always hold the league back, and while every now and then they will produce an excellent team the league as a whole will always be held back.

FRANCE: France Ligue 1

The final of the big 5 leagues is France’s Legue 1. Now, some people may argue France as a nation is producing the world’s next generational standard of players; and honestly I have no argument with that what-so-ever. Considering they just won the World Cup it wouldn’t be a far stretch to suggest they are on the up and up. However, the French league has always struggled from a mass exodus of their domestic french star players to other footballing nations. Monaco, this season’s UCL embarrassment, lost no less than 11 players all under 22 years of age, and all are now either starting or regularly featuring on some of the world’s biggest teams. Now, mind you, the French league still has PSG (Paris) who has managed to hold on to some of those young stars, however as a whole this league is considered the weaker of the Big 5 as their high end is high, but their low end is easily the lowest. PSG should remain unchallenged into the foreseeable future, and while the French footballing nation may be producing the next crop of world stars, the league will continue to suffer from a lack of domestic player support.

PROMOTION/RELEGATION/CHAMPIONS

Much like other major professional sports, the different professional footballing nations have leagues, usually with a Premier League, or the highest possible division, and then below that there would be a 1st Divison, 2nd Divison, 3rd divison, etc, each league being a step down in skill. While some countries like England will have upwards of 10+ leagues (5 professional, below that they considered amateur leagues), other nations like France or Spain will only have the main, premier league and one division below that. At the end of every season the first place team wins the championship; very few premier league’s have a playoff format to determine a champion. Following the season’s end the champion is determined by the league standings, nothing more. While there are champions, there are also teams that finished in the bottom positions, and they usually get relegated to the lower league, while the lower league’s Champion and 2nd place team will be promoted up a league. As you can imagine in the bigger leagues this can mean the difference between $100k and $100mil. Depending on where you are on a map, following seasons end the top teams from each nations’ premier league will join together, for example in Europe it forms a European super-league called the European Champions League (UCL). So, teams will end up competing in their normal, home league (called Domestic League) while at the same time playing in a league vs. other European competition. There is the European Champions League for European teams that either win or finish second in their domestic league, and there is also the EURO League, which is for teams that finish 3rd and 4th in their Euro domestic leagues. South America has their version called Copa Libertadores de América, and even South Asia has one called OFC Champions League. However, the European clubs are the main discussing point as they are the most popular in the world.

Most to all of these professional leagues have some sort of promotion/relegation network. Now, in Spain teams in the premier league simply have a reserve team that plays in the lower division, so there isn’t the same kind of up and down. However, in countries like England this is EVERYTHING, as the three last place teams all get instantly relegated to the lower division, while the top 3 placing teams in the lower division gets instantly promoted up a division. Again, depending on your nation, England sends four teams to the UCL and two teams to the EURO, while Italty sends two and one, Spain send three and two, France sends two and one, it all depends on the nation’s ranking. But generally speaking, the top six teams in England are always battling for “European competition next season”, which is literally another $50mil in the club’s pocket.

So, while many teams play in their domestic league, and some are fortunate to qualify for Euro leagues, there are also different types of domestic tournaments called Cups. In the Big 5, each country has competition for a national Cup which is played by every professional standard team in any given nation. This can be interesting in England where you will have one of the world’s best teams in ManUtd being drawn (names out of a hat style) against a team in the 3rd or 4th divison. While this may sound like a waste of time you only have to look back to the most recent of years to see lower league clubs knocking off the big wigs in early rounds. These Cups are rarely the focus of the bigger clubs, so generally speaking they will start weaker sides in Cup games and save their bigger players for bigger games.

ODDS AND ENDS

A soccer field is generally 100 yards in length and 60 to 80 yards in width. That’s the thing; home teams get to choose their field dimensions. Obviously there is a standard, but in terms of specifics some teams who play with wider players prefer wide fields, or some teams who are extremely slow of foot prefer shorter fields with less need for long-distance speed. There are two 50 yard halves, with each end having an bigger 18 yard box (known as the penalty area) and a 6 yard box. Any foul that takes place within the boxes is instantly a penalty shot, where any foul within the 6yrd box where the defending team takes the kick, the ball can be placed anywhere within the 6 yard box. When the ball goes out of bounds on the touchlines the last team to touch the ball concedes possession and the game is restarted by a throw. Any foul, whether physical or handball, play is stopped and restarted with a free kick, and any time the ball goes out behind the net, play will also be restarted by a kick (whether by the keeper or from an attacking corner kick). The same conceding possession rules apply.

There are two 45min halves. Each team is allowed three subs throughout the 90min games. If a team takes an injury following their third sub they must play the remainder of the game a man down. On most sites players are deducted points for taking fouls and cards. A yellow card is basically a warning, and a red card is an ejection, or game misconduct. Two yellows in the same game equal a red, however a player can be shown a straight red card for an extremely serious incident. If a team takes a red card they must play a man down for the remainder of the match. Following the 45min and 90min halves there’s a few minutes of added time where the ref will end the game at his/her discretion. This is most often used to make up lost time from a delay in the game, for example an injury, or lots of subs. This is known as injury time. If the score is tied at the end of regulation-90min and there needs to be a deceive scoreline then there is overtime, or Extra Time (ET). There is two types of overtime; the classic: two, 15min halves which have to be played out in full, or the popular, fan favorite, rarely used: Golden Goal, where it’s sudden death first team to score wins. If the score is still tied following the 30min of ET then there is a penalty shootout where teams take shots from the penalty spot, a dot 12 yards from the goal line. Best of five wins. 

POSITIONS

THERE ARE FOUR MAIN POSITIONS IN SOCCER; KEEPER (KEP), DEFENDER (DEF), MIDFIELDER, (MID), AND FORWARDS (FWD).

Keeper: This is the goalie, or if you are really new to sports, the person who stands in the net and stops opposition shots. There is only one keeper on the field per team. Keepers make their production through saves, but also see post-game bonuses for wins and shutouts (also known as Clean Sheets, or CS bonus). Keepers can draw or take fouls, receive cards, and even in some super rare cases score goals or be credited with assists. Saves is the only statistic that is unique to a keeper as no outfield player can be credited with a save. Other than that keepers are basically scored the same as anyone else except for the obvious fact they rarely do anything other than make saves. The biggest concern with keepers is allowing goals as they lose points for each conceded goal. Salary is incredibly important for keepers as it usually defines your build and is generally the first place people will look to punt for salary savings. Judging the likelihood of the win, how many saves, how many conceded goals, and most importantly salary should all be considered when selecting your keeper. Sites generally have one keeper per card. 

Defenders: These are the players who hold the defensive line for the team. Generally speaking most teams play with three to five defenders. There are two main types of defenders; center backs (CB) and wing backs. (WB, generally LB for left, RB for right), with one wing back playing on either side of the field. Teams will use either one (rare), two, or three CBs, and two WBs. Sometimes the wing backs play in an advanced, attacking role. The CBs focus mainly on clearances, interceptions, and tackles. Wing backs can be scored for the same statistics, however their production is generally found through crosses and chance creation. Defenders are the only other position along with keeper that receives a clean sheet bonus. However, in the case of production, unlike a keeper, the defender does not need saves to reach a high score, and in fact is usually the reason a keeper isn’t making saves. Defenders can score goals and be credited much like any other player, however on DK the biggest defensive production is usually found through wing backs who cross the ball, whereas on a site like FD the biggest scores are usually found in CBs that make the most clearances and the most of their tackling situations. Wing backs have been known to take corners, so on sites that score crossing this can be extra valuable. Salary is extremely important for defenders, and along with keeper it’s usually the first position people look to punt. Production, salary, likelihood of a clean sheet, and home favorites are some basic meta considerations when selecting a defender. 

Midfielders: Midfielders are players that play between the defensive and offensive players, and generally speaking they combine both roles into their positions. There are two main types of midfielders, but each type has different roles. There are center/central mids (CM), and wingers. Much like defenders, the centrals play in the middle of the field, while the wingers play on the sides. Most teams use two or three central mids, while almost every team uses two wide players; whether wingers or wing backs playing in very advanced positions. There are two or three main roles for central midfielders; some are defensive (DM), some are neutral (CM), and some are offensive (AM). Usually, teams will deploy some array of these roles, in most cases it’s one defensive and the other one or two in some form. For wingers there are also two types of roles, traditional or attacking wingers. Traditional wingers are either midfielders who focus on playing very wide to stretch the other team’s defensive positioning, but can also be wing backs who are playing very advanced roles (usually with three CBs and two defensive/neutral CMs, and some form of three forwards). Traditional wingers who are natural midfielders playing wide are rather outdated and in most cases today’s game has either wing backs playing advanced or attacking wingers. As midfielders encompass both attacking and defensive roles their production consists of both. CM/DMs generally get more defensive production, while AM/LW/RW are scored for more attacking traits. Depending on how sites score each type of production, that will be represented through their salary. For wingers you want players who cross the ball a lot, and for CMs you are looking for players who have solid floors without eating all the salary space. In many cases the midfield is where you find the set pieces takers, so it’s always something to consider as it may not generally be represented in salary. Production, salary, offensive upside, and floor should all be considered when you are selecting a midfielder. 

Forwards: Very straight forward, they are the attackers and rarely come back to defend. Teams generally use between one and three attackers, as when there are more attackers it’s more likely they are spread out wide than bunched up in the middle of the field. If a team is very defensive oriented they may have only one attacker (ST) with four to five in the midfield and defense each, whereas if a team is attacking they will likely have one central attacker (CF) and two attacking wingers (LW/RW). Most of the famous clubs today use the central/two winger attacking strategy. Forwards can be scored on everything except saves, but needless to say given their position and role on teams they are far more likely to shoot and score goals thank tackle. Some forwards, especially the wide ones, are known to have excellent cross counts, so while getting goals is important, for cash very often you can rely on a players crossing to account for as much production as a goal. In a forward; you want a player who either shoots or crosses the ball a lot, has a high likelihood to score, and if you are unsure; taking a starting forward for a big home favorite is usually the safest bet. 

FORMATIONS

Teams play with 11 players each; 10 outfield and one keeper. Formations are usually described by how many DEF-MID-FWD a team has on the field. For example, if a team is playing a 3-5-2, this means they have three defenders, five midfielders, and two forwards. The most common and least amount of skill required type of formation is the 4-4-2, and in terms of amateur youth leagues this was the general formation of the 80’s and what you teach really young kids. However, in most recent generations the formations have moved towards a 4-3-3, where a team has four defenders, three midfielders (three CM) and three forwards (1 CF, LW/RW). You may also see 3-4-3, where a team plays with three CBs, two wingers (usually wing backs playing advanced), two CMs, and three forwards. In the case of a defensive team like mentioned before, we would generally see some form of 4-5-1 or 5-4-1 deployed. When there is only three defenders or midfielders we can generally assume they are central and the winger responsibility is picked up elsewhere, whether by a wing back, or natural winger. When you get above three or five defenders, or ever get above three forwards, it’s definitely exploitable by capable teams. 

SET PIECES

When a team fouls someone, numerous things happen. The person who made the foul loses points, and the person who drew the foul gets points. However, the main key here is the person who takes the set pieces. In the case the foul was outside the 18 yard box, someone takes a Free Kick and either directs a shot on net or a cross into the box, crediting the taker with a shot or cross. In the case the foul was inside the team’s penalty area, the opposition gets a penalty shot, or a free shot on net from 12 yards away. The shooter can be any player on the field at the time of the foul, including the keeper. Most teams have a player who is designated to take these kicks, so from a DFS standpoint set pieces are massively important in soccer as you can easily predict the production. Salary is rarely represented through players taking set pieces, so in cash you can find a set pieces taker for cheap because of their floors and poor role/position on the field. Very often they stay cheap if they play in a position that doesn’t produce consistent points, like a CM/DM/CB. There are numerous sites online which have information on each team’s set pieces takers, but needless to say if you can find one on the cheap playing a team that concedes lots of fouls, you have yourself a cash lock because he’s guaranteed numerous crosses and a great floor. 

DFS SOCCER: HOW TO PLAY

SLATE ANALYSIS

When first examining a soccer slate it’s best to start at keeper. There’s much debate as to whether or not you want to start your cards by selecting a keeper, however there’s no debate that keepers most define how sites predict the slate to play out. In particular, on a site like DraftKings the more expensive keepers are almost exclusively the biggest favorites of the slate. So, without having any idea of what team is expected to win or by how much, DK will have the pricing set out for you. From there it can be as simple as remembering the biggest favorites and where the players are playing and parts of your card can build itself. However, on a site like FanDuel, saves are considered more valuable, so very often favorites won’t be as obviously priced through their keeper salary. The main objective in DFS soccer is to obtain goals, or at the very least production from a goal, or production that would have lead to a goal. The reason for this is simply; upside, you can’t win without the goals from the slate on your card, and you can’t get anywhere if you don’t give yourself to opportunity to get there. Taking someone you know won’t cross the ball on a site that scores crossing is a bad idea. However, taking someone you know crosses/shoots the ball and playing on the biggest home favorite of the weekend is a good idea. In many cases picking a card that has no downside is as important as finding one with upside; soccer is a massively variant sport, imagine the pitchers in MLB, but literally any and every position on the field. 

CASH

For cash, you only need points and that one guy everyone else will have, and much like any other sport you should look to diversify from each game. In many cases slates have only one or two guys who are looking at serious goal props, so in cash that is generally the first place to start; make sure you don’t miss out on the goal scorer. For a basic target look to have everyone finish double digits, but in particular 2.5x salary. For a forward on DK you can get away with someone that scores at least 6fpts, but not both only scoring 6fpts. That’s the general rule, you want people who will finish with at least 6fpts, but you can’t have everyone finish with that score. In terms of midfield you can either spend up on someone you know has a high floor or spend down on someone you know has a limited floor but a cheap enough salary to get you up to the goals (while at the same time giving you at least 6fpts, but preferably the best shot at double digits). Defenders and keepers are a totally different story. It’s very unlikely that the slate breaker comes from either position, as the likelihood of a moderately expensive and value wing back on DK finding the same fantasy score is very high. So, you can usually look to spend down at defender and try to find someone that will finish over 6fpts and save you some money, or be that slate breaking, raw points defender. On DK it’s generally a bad idea to play CBs in cash as they don’t have the same kind of production floor volume, however on FD crosses aren’t as valuable so you need to consider who is viable. For keeper it depends on the slate. You want the safest win but at the same time salary is more important. You can just as easily get away with a value keeper that you’re sure won’t get blown out. In cash only chase assured production like saves, shots, crosses/set pieces, and not extras like CS bonuses, goals, and penalties. You can usually make up for a goal in a player that crosses, but needless to say there’s nothing like the relevance of a goal to help you cash. 

GPP 

Things are a little different in GPP. With the idea being ceiling we are looking for all the extras. Guys with multi-point upside, someone who will score you 20fpts on DK, ownership, all the usual GPP tactics come into play. However, it’s important to understand how to implement that DFS knowledge into soccer because it’s not so cut and dry. Outside of ownership one of the most important aspects to GPP is stacking your cards. Game stacks are relevant, however there are more sport-based stacks in soccer. The Clean Sheet chase, or CS chase is the most popular. The idea is to load up on players who will receive a post-game bonus for keeping a shutout, usually the keeper and defenders from the same team. This can be massively valuable when you have two, three or even four players on DK making up an extra goal’s worth of fantasy points following the final whistle. While set pieces can be valuable, finding the player who regularly is “on the end” of the cross is just as important and can make for great, low owned stacks, as the guy “on the other end” is usually a random CB. Getting a goal from your CB is as big of a boost as there is in DFS soccer. While it is rather rare and less easy to predict, it’s generally super low owned, and on a site like DK it’s guaranteed to cost you next to nothing in salary. Taking a home, clean sheet chase CB in GPP is great when they don’t cost an arm and a leg, that way literally anything good that comes will be worth more at 90min+. Other stacks can include stacking one side of the field (LB, LW, CF) hoping the team will run it down one side of the field (like Chelsea, for example), or even if you think a game stack is in order take forwards from either side of a game will be a super low owned stack. You can take both forwards from the same team, or a wing back to a forward if you think there will be a lot of crossing to header chances. A lot of this carries over, but generally speaking you want players that will be low owned and (somehow, someway) have the ability to set you up to win the slate. 

DFS SOCCER: UNDERSTANDING RESULTS

VARIANCE

Soccer is arguably the most variant sport in DFS. Especially in cash you rarely find the same ownership swings as you see in soccer. Since such few players have legitimate shot at goals it creates scenarios where single players to sets of players will go 40-75% owned in cash every slate. With cash midfielders are generally slate dependent, but from slate to slate you will almost always find the same forwards and defenders. However, given such condensed ownerships, one blip in the radar, good or bad, and it that contains massive relevance to the outcome of the slate. One mishap on your card and your entire slate is ruined. One massive rare goal and your weekend is made. One of the best ways to avoid the issues of variance is taking 90min guys who don’t take fouls. Simply put, coming off early or losing points for fouls is a great way to ruin things. In the case of cash, losing points is not as important because it doesn’t ruin your ability to absolutely shred (which you don’t need to for a dbl up takedown), but for GPP if you lose minutes or points from fouls that’s just extra work you need to make up the lost equity.

Where in some sports you can get away with one low scoring player on your card, in soccer that is basically your doom. Chances are when your 40% owned guy scores the “one of the four goals” from the entire slate, there will still be 50% of that 40% who are without your dud simply because there are so few viable players being played. There aren’t the kind of options you find in other sports, so when it’s good it’s incredible, and when it’s bad you are looking in the mirror wondering what just happened to your life. 

SPORT IN DFS

Outside of NBA and their scratches, soccer chalk is some of the highest owned chalk in the industry, so working with it can be extremely challenging. Considering the market for the sport in North America; the DFS structure is still lacking. The payouts are quite poor, and given most games are played in England, kickoff times are always a factor. However, without question soccer is one of the biggest edge games in all of DFS. Where NFL, NBA, and MLB are readily available for information and general social consumption, soccer is hard to come by. Not only is it less discussed, but numerous states and countries outside of Europe hold no rights to distribute any kind of media on the sport. So, unless you know or know someone who knows, chances are you have zero idea. Unlike other North American sports where you can walk down the street and ask anyone, soccer is rather exclusive and there still isn’t a lot of DFS content on the subject.

CONCLUSION

While there aren’t the payouts you find in other sports, soccer still holds massive upside from general knowledge. The sport is extremely dynamic in terms of results, so while some sports are easier to track, soccer only happens once to three times a week. Soccer is my main sport but it shouldn’t be yours; it’s extremely hard to stay ahead, and without years to a lifetime of experience in the game it can be near impossible to simply pick it up like other DFS sports. However, once you do, the edge is incredible as you will find there are such few resources of information, a lot of people end up doing the same thing, good or bad. That being said, it’s one of the least popular DFS sports, so any kind of advanced knowledge you posses and you’re already well ahead of the field. 

I hope that helps everyone get a better understanding in the world of DFS Soccer. Good luck everyone, thanks for reading.