Daily Fantasy Football: How to pick your players

Daily Fantasy Football

Imagine composing your Premier League dream team, entering for 11 euro, competing for a guaranteed pot of 25,000! This is happening right now on Bethard. But how to select the winning team?

There are several possible approaches to getting the optimal team. You may think you know so much about the players in the Premier League, that you can pick the best XI with your eyes closed and no help from anybody. That is certainly the most fun approach, and if you are a real expert, maybe you can do it that way. But for the rest of us, there is help available. Bookmaker odds for clean sheet can direct you to the teams you should employ in defence. Statistics for shots fired in the box can indicate which forwards you should go with. In addition, player ratings from previous matches can tell you which midfielders that are in form. Let us check out the different positions!


It comes as no big surprise, it is important to find a keeper that has a good chance of keeping a clean sheet, as the reward is 4 points. Bookmaker odds for clean sheets can be helpful in this respect. There is another important way keepers can earn points, though, and that is by making saves. Keepers get 1 additional point per every 3 saves. Because of this, sometimes the cheapest keepers that stands against an onslaught of attacks will give the best rewards. Interestingly enough, Jack Butland (Stoke) had the most saves in Premier League 2017/18 (144). That makes for many points! We should also mention that keepers get 5 points for saving a penalty, but it is hard to plan for something like that!


Primarily, you want to look for defenders that have a good chance of keeping a clean sheet, but they can earn points in other ways, too. Tall centre-half’s can be skilful headers, and provide goal-scoring opportunities on set pieces and corners. Worth nothing, goals carry an extra big reward of 6 points for defenders. Fullbacks – and their more offensive cousins, the wingbacks – can rush down the flanks and give a pass to the striker in the box, and get assists. Although only rewarded by 3 points, this still has value. To find defenders that have a reasonable chance of scoring, check the “Anytime Goalscorer” market with a bookmaker of your choice. Odds should ideally be less than 10. By doing some quick research, I just learned that Aaron Cresswell (West Ham) had the most assists of any defender last season with 7. Be aware that defenders are prone to get yellow cards, which means minus 1 point, so you may want to stay away from the really dirty ones…


When you hunting for midfielders, you want guys who can score (5 points). Or at least make assists (3 points). You do not want great playing, defensive placed guys like Kantè or Matic! They typically never score, and are usually priced way too high. We would rather have the best goals scorers from the smaller teams. Even though it is worth bearing in mind that all players have an “impact” reward, which is 1 additional point if the players team wins while he is on the pitch. And there is 1 point for clean sheet. Obviously, it is easier to get those rewards for a player on the biggest teams. As for the defenders, feel free to check out bookmaker odds for scoring chance or stats to find the assist makers among the midfielders. Also, if you can figure out who will take penalties, that can be good too. By the way, some of the best DFF players like to pick 3 offensive players from the same team. For instance, if you plan to pick Aguero from Manchester City, you could pick De Bruyne and Sterling too. The reasoning is two-fold: If one of these players score, that means someone on that team could get an assist. So, if the team scores 2 or 3 goals, you could get a lot of points for your trio. Also, you will either get 3 additional impact points, or 0 or -3. Putting more eggs in the same basket is not recommended when you trade stocks, but in Daily Fantasy Football it can be a good thing!


Most of what we told you about the midfielders apply to the forwards as well. They do not get any points for clean sheets, and they only get 4 points for a goal, but other than that the premise is pretty much the same. In our experience, it can be hard to find moderately priced forwards with enough chance of goal scoring. If you need to fill a spot for a certain amount and struggle with the forwards, often checking out the midfielders will get you a better solution. Be aware of strikers who rarely play the full match. Either because there is a clear alternative striker waiting on the bench, or because they are not in top shape physically. There are quite a few of them, and they miss out on the additional 1 point for playing the whole game. Lukaku from Manchester United is perhaps the best example of the opposite. It is very rare that he is subbed. Finally, let us point out that there is much useful information in the list of players that is showing when you pick a team. We especially like the column that says “PTS”. Although it is reset before the season starts, it will start showing valuable numbers after a few rounds. If you want an easy way to see which players on a certain team that gets the additional points, this is it. Alternatively, sort the list on PTS (click it) and see which players in the game that takes home the most points. Go on, it works for players from all positions!

If you are looking for some general advice in how to compose your dream team, check out this article: Introduction to Daily Fantasy Football

The author of this article has been playing fantasy football for real money extensively for several years and is considered an expert in the field.