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SOC All-Star - Lesson 04 - Lineup Building: Where to Spend or Save

There are many schools of thought about the optimal way to build daily fantasy soccer rosters. The options available to you, and their price points, play a huge role in your selections. So, where does it make the most sense to spend up or save? While…

There are many schools of thought about the optimal way to build daily fantasy soccer rosters. The options available to you, and their price points, play a huge role in your selections. So, where does it make the most sense to spend up or save? While there are many different answers to this question, here are the pros and cons of spending up at each position, so you can decide for yourself.

Goalkeeper

PRO: The most expensive keepers each week, tend to be the ones playing in home games against inferior opponents. They have a very high likelihood of picking up the win, as well as a clean sheet bonus. That double is worth a 10 fantasy point bonus, which should be your main goal when selecting a keeper. They are very safe cash game options for you, and they probably won’t be the reason you lose a GPP. They are safe and dependable, which usually leads to them being highly owned as well.

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CON: These expensive keepers are usually expected to have a light workload, as their team dominates chances and possession. Each save is worth 2 fantasy points, but if a keeper does not see a lot of shots he cannot rack up the saves. A cheaper goalkeeper in a closer game, that can keep a clean sheet, may also have 4 saves in the process. That would amount to an 18 fantasy day (8 points for his 4 saves and 10 points for his clean sheet), where a more expensive keeper may not record any saves on their way to a clean sheet. There’s a balance that needs to be struck between safety and opportunity. If you are playing a cash game, then you should probably look towards the safer option, which is the more expensive one. For a large field GPP, it makes more sense to look for the upside a clean sheet with few saves can get you, which is usually at a lower price, as well.

Defender

PRO: Defenders who cost top dollar tend to be the guys who score double digit fantasy points most often. Due to their style of play, they also tend to be the most consistent scorers in that range. It usually takes at least one defender on your team to reach double digits, and, most times, it takes both in order to reach the top of the leaderboard. While many top defenders reach this plateau 60% of the time or more, the cheaper options probably achieve this closer to 25%. The dollar amount difference between the top defenders ($5000) and the average player ($3800) at the position is the smallest of all the positions, so you get the most bang for your buck here as far as potential for scoring.

CON: Paying up for defense all but ensures you cannot afford the big strikers without taking a minimum price player somewhere else. Without forcing yourself to select a minimum price player somewhere in your lineup, stacking your back 3 (goalkeeper and two defenders) can maximize your points. By selecting two low-priced, high-value defenders on the same team as your keeper, this will allow for the maximum number of points if a clean sheet is held. Both defenders will receive a clean sheet bonus, along with the keeper. This strategy is relied upon by those who choose not to spend top dollar at the defender position.

Midfielder

PRO: Some teams run their attack through a central player who is listed as a midfielder. Many times these players may even play more of a forward role. They are definitely the players who are most involved and instrumental to their team’s attack. Many times, they may also take penalties and free kicks, which give them additional opportunities to score. It is very tough to find a midfielder below the top half dozen priced players that brings all of these attributes to the table. These same expensive options are also consistently playing a role in the attack, so whether it is a goal or an assist, they usually score at least a few fantasy points every game.

CON: Midfielders have a lower ceiling then forwards do, and the top priced options are only slightly below the top priced forwards. Both are almost twice as expensive as the top priced defenders, as well. Some argue that it makes more sense to find value at the midfield position, as the ceiling isn’t as high as at other positions. A $6000 midfielder paired with a $9000 forward, most times, will yield a higher ceiling than a $9000 midfielder paired with a $6000 forward. The salary cap does not allow us to grab studs everywhere, and many believe it is easier to find a suitable midfielder at $6000 than it is to find a forward at that price. Most times, strikers’ ceilings are much higher than a midfielders’, so it makes the most sense to find value at the midfield position, as opposed to paying up.

Forward

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PRO: This is the position most likely to score a goal. It also most likely to lead the team in shots, shots on goal, assists, and goals scored. Those are all fantasy point scoring events in daily fantasy soccer. When a forward records multiple goals in a game, it is very tough to win when he is not in your lineup. The guys who have the ability (and track record) to do something like that are usually the expensive options you have to pay up for. Most of these guys are so talented that they almost get you a goal per game, and even when they don’t, the other stats they accrue help pay off their salaries. You will very likely never see a 30 or 40 point score from a defender, and very rarely will a midfielder do it either. More than once a week, though, there is a forward who scores 2 or more goals, along with other stats, to end up between 30-40 fantasy points.

CON: Paying up for the stud forward usually means you are forced to take one or two punt plays at a low cost. If you can find guys you like that are severely underpriced, then it makes sense to do it. Otherwise, you will need to find 2 reasonably priced forwards (approximately, $7000-$8000 each). The upside on two good forwards in this range is often higher than that of a stud player paired with a minimum priced player. For cash games, and even GPPs, many would argue this is true. The best players tend to be highly owned as well, so going with the mid-range priced player also is likely the road less traveled.