Striking the right balance in your team takes a great deal of thought and involves using players that are almost guaranteed to score goals alongside those that are far less likely to. Making sense of this is tricky and there is not one right answer. By weighing up the pro’s and con’s of spending big at each position we’ve tried to make this task an easier one.
For: The most expensive goalkeepers on any given match day are the ones that are expected to get a win and a clean sheet bonus as part of a winning team. Achieving that double is worth a solid 10 points and that’s before you include any points for saves or other categories. Knowing this, they are a safe starting point for the remainder of your team and are very dependable in head-to-head games.
Against: First and foremost, the most expensive keepers in the player pool won’t be met with a barrage of shots and as such saves are at a premium. Given that every save is worth two points, just five saves is enough to equal that win-clean sheet score mentioned above. One cheaper goalkeeper that has a worldie by making eight saves on the way to a clean sheet and a win equals 18 points. It’s a riskier play but the pay off is almost double that of the safe choice above. It’s more effective to pick the cheaper ‘keepers in tournament play than for head-to-head clashes.
For: Defenders are an interesting beast that are almost entirely defined by whether you’re a full back/wing back or not. Those in the former category are very expensive yet put up huge point totals that are more-often-than-not in the double digits due to the premium placed on crosses. When it comes to full backs, completely disregard clean sheets. It’s more to do with how attacking the formation employed by the manager is. The problem with the top defenders is that they are priced accordingly. Expect to pay anything up to $5,000 for the top level defenders. Compare that to the average for defenders of the mid-$3,000s and it’s not a huge gulf in money. The points on offer make the extra spend more than worthwhile.
Against: Spending on two high priced defenders all but makes sure that you don’t have the room to splash out on one of the highest priced forwards without taking one of the lowest priced options elsewhere. This is where stacking can come into play. You can still stack up a goalkeeper plus two central defenders from the same team and save the money to spend elsewhere.
For: The middle of the pitch is the battleground where matches are won and lost. Even so, every team sets up its midfield differently and making the distinction between attacking midfielders and defensive ones is crucial. Players that are central to the attack, such as wingers and the number 10, are precious in daily fantasy soccer thanks to the points potential. Opportunities to score goals or gain assists take place more regularly for these players and the same can be said for crosses, shots and shots on target. Finding one of these guys below the very highest price level is very tricky yet it can be done and the point return will make it worth doing all the research.
Against: Midfielders can be very pricey and, if they have an off day or are played in a deeper position, have a hugely detrimental effect on the remainder of your team. Some of the most expensive midfielders are priced at the same level as the best strikers and you have to set aside a large chunk of your $50,000 to pay for one. This means being frugal elsewhere and placing all your eggs in one basket. In tournament play, certain midfielders are very highly owned and you will want to steer clear of them in order to raise yourself above the competition.
For: More likely to score goals than anyone else on the pitch, forwards are usually the most expensive players available. With big price comes big point potential and forwards are usually at the top of the stats columns for shots, shots on target and assists, in addition to goals. When any striker scores two or more goals per game he will put up a decent score and anyone without the player in question, in tournament play, invariably loses. These players are always priced very highly and the elite forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi often command fees in excess of $10,000 – a fifth of your spending money. The main reason for this is that they are the only position where players often put up scores in the 30-40 fantasy point band. Defenders very rarely do this, midfielders sometimes do, but when forwards score two or more goals, they hit the big point totals.
Against: The big downside the choosing top level forwards is that they cost so much money that there is less opportunity to spend in other areas of the team and it means taking a risk at other positions. Another strategy, if you’re brave enough, is taking two slightly cheaper forwards and spreading the cost across the two. A pair at between $6,000 and $8,000 is still more than one at $10,000 but the cost will be shared and as such leave more money for the other positions. It is harder to pick players at this level that consistently score and that is a dilemma that many users face.