What is a nailed-on fantasy football player ?

If you frequent any forums or watch any preview show where fantasy football is discussed, there is a good chance that you will come across the term ‘nailed-on’. This refers to the likelihood of a player starting in a particular fixture.

Football managers can be very consistent with their team selection choices and some will have a core group of players that are likely to start week-in, week-out unless they are injured or suspended. These are the ‘nailed-on’ starters and the type of players that many fantasy football managers will try to use in their line-ups.

Other players will be classed as either a rotation risk or fringe players that remain on the periphery of the first team squad. Selecting players from either of these categories is a high risk strategy though, since the amount of playing time that they are likely to get cannot be guaranteed.

There are numerous resources available that list the number of appearances and total minutes played for each player within a squad, so identifying ‘nailed-on’ starters is not too difficult, especially for clubs that seldomly vary their playing formations. José Mourinho, for example, has been fairly consistent with his choices in his first season as manager of Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimović, David de Gea, Antonio Valencia and Paul Pogba have quickly established themselves as certain starters. On the other hand, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have been high rotation risks, while Bastian Schweinsteiger has been very much on the fringe of the squad.

Game minutes matter so it’s well worth spending a bit of time on evaluating which players are ‘nailed-on’!