How to pick your DraftKings daily fantasy soccer defenders
The European fantasy football market is in for a major boost with the imminent arrival of a revamped soccer product by leading US daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings. To complement their UK launch, DraftKings have switched to an 11 a-side format having originally offered customers an 8 a-side version and have also made some other scoring revisions. Here’s a quick overview of the full points distribution for defenders.
The key to successful team building is to work out which skill sets to focus on. With the 2015/16 English Premier League season now a third of the way through we have a good sample of games to work with and can differentiate between the scoring elements to determine, if any, are more significant than others. We have looked at the best 10 performing defenders in terms of average fantasy points per game and have split the points breakdown into goals, assists, shots (on and off target), clean sheets, crosses and general play (red cards, yellow cards, fouls drawn, fouls conceded, passes intercepted, tackles won and missed penalty kicks).
Crosses from open play, corners and set pieces are accounting for over 56% of the points accumulated by this group. This is highly significant and its implications are that full backs and wing-backs have a huge advantage over central defenders. It’s also worth noting that there are no negative points for goals conceded meaning that you can consider pretty much all defenders who like to get forward putting in a high number of crosses.
There are a couple of outstanding Premier League matches this weekend with Liverpool visiting Newcastle United and Everton hosting Crystal Palace. You must select a minimum of 3 defenders but do have the option of adding more by making use of the 2 available ‘flex’ positions. The Magpies have a lengthy injury list but could line up with a 3 man defence meaning that Daryl Janmaat will be deployed as a right wing-back. Liverpool should have Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno in the full-back positions. Pape Souaré and Joel Ward should line up for the Eagles while Seamus Coleman and Brendan Galloway may start for the Toffees even though Leighton Baines is back in contention.
Coleman is hard to ignore with 4 assists already this season while Moreno and Janmaat have plenty of ‘crossing’ appeal. Clyne hasn’t quite replicated the crossing stats he produced last season but is worthy of consideration while Baines would be ‘late swap’ material if he was to be given a start.
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