Form is a huge factor in every sport and soccer is no exception. By looking through the form of teams and players it gives daily fantasy soccer players the best idea possible of which players to pick and those players that club managers will be choosing. This has a huge bearing on how many points fantasy managers will achieve and there are various factors that affect form on a week-to-week basis.
The way a team plays from one week to another is perhaps the biggest factor of all when it comes to player form. If a team is on a run of wins and playing with confidence this transfers to every player in the team and can lift the performance of a player that is not expected to be that influential. By playing with more freedom it means that more chances are created and more points in the columns that really matter when competing at the top of contests.
Form goes beyond just noticing whether a team is winning or not. Goals are the highest scoring stat in daily fantasy soccer and this should even be looked at ahead of the results themselves. If a team is losing to nil every week as opposed to being beaten in a 3-4 thriller, you’re better advised going for the latter. It’s those distinctions that can help you pick up cheaper players from losing teams.
Another strand to the form dynamic comes in the shape of local derbies. The old cliché goes that form disappears “out of the window” in derby matches between teams from the same city or a similar geographical area. Certain managers are also very well versed in games where passion is a key factor and solving these conundrums goes far when producing a killer lineup.
Trying to handle the peaks and troughs of a player’s form from the fantasy point of view is nothing new when you’re used to season-long games yet there’s far more scope to swap out players that aren’t performing in daily fantasy soccer. As soon as you notice a player has hit a bad patch he can be swapped out. No penalties. No questions asked. Pouring over stats can be an excellent way to work out whether the form bug has hit.
Attacking players can only have an impact on the game when they touch the ball and the level of touches in the final third is one of the single biggest things that can be affected by form. When a player hits a slump his team mates will, consciously or unconsciously, target him less to create chances and as such the player’s attacking threat is nullified. In the same breathe, team mates can go the other way and play the ball to the player again-and-again in the vain hope the bad form can be exorcised. On the other side of the coin, a player on a hot streak is worth building a lineup around. Strikers, for example, go through long periods of excellent form and jumping on this early is a very good idea.
Goalkeepers are by no means immune from the bad form bug and are very hard to rely on for points when this is the case. There are a couple of key statistics to look out for when assessing the form of goalkeepers: saves per game and errors. Whilst it’s all well and good checking save percentages and clean sheets, the number of saves made can often score more points. Look at it this way: with two points a save, it only takes three saves to surpass the point award for a clean sheet and the ‘keeper can still be on the winning side and score over 10 points. Errors are a harder one to look at and rely on actually watching Premier League highlights and going even deeper into the individual’s performance.
Defenders are another group that are far more defined by individual errors due to the potential that every mistake can lead to a goal conceded. Managers are more likely to drop defenders that are suffering in the form department and, in this sense, picking them in your fantasy lineup is not a realistic proposition.
Being a daily fantasy soccer manager is all about looking at all facets of the beautiful game. Noticing when teams and players hit bad patches is just another part of this and goes a very long way to deciding who you pick up from one week to the next.