One of the newest entries into the DFS world – daily fantasy soccer has quickly become a mainstay. The playing fields and prize pools are smaller than the major US sports, but there’s still big money to be won and the prize pools will only continue to grow.
DraftKings is the best DFS soccer site. At the moment, contests are running for the English Premier League and Champions League, but there are also special contests here during events like the World Cup. MLS is available at smaller sites too, but not at DK.
The EPL is the most popular league for DFS soccer right now and boasts the biggest prize pools. A contest typically includes matches on Saturday only, although some contests will feature other games during the week as well.
How to Play DFS Soccer
We recommend playing DFS soccer at DraftKings and therefore I’ll use their rules to show you how to play.
Just like other DFS sports – players receive a salary cap to spend on building a line-up. The goal is to score the most points based on the scoring rules at the DFS site. Ensure you read over the complete scoring rules before constructing your line-up.
At DraftKings, a line-up consists of eight players (GK, D, D, M, M, F, F, Flex) and in my experience you want to save cap room at the flex or midfield positions. There’s always a couple cheap value plays at midfield or striker available each week.
You need goals in order to win. At DK, a goal equals 10 points and an assist equals 6 points. If your strikers don’t net a goal you’re not going to cash in most cases. There’s often value at striker, but always spend up on an elite striker with the best match-up.
The goalkeeper is important too, because a goalkeeper can earn 5 points for a clean sheet and 5 points for a win. To a win a big tournament your goalkeeper needs a clean sheet – ideally a CS with multiple saves because each save is worth 2 points.
A goalkeeper gets hit with –2 points for every goal conceded, so saving up at this position is rarely a good idea.
I almost always spend up on my two defenders as well. Not only can defenders score points the same way a striker can, but a defender also receives a 5-point bonus for a clean sheet – the only other position to receive the bonus is the goalkeeper.
Let’s look at an example. In the EPL this weekend I can spend $5200 in salary on Branislav Ivanovic and $4900 on Aaron Cresswell – Ivanovic is averaging 9.9 fantasy points per game (FPPG) and Cresswell is averaging 7.9 FPPG.
A striker like Radamel Falcao (7.1 FPPG) costs $8400. You can get a lot of production out of your defenders at a cheap price.
Apart from scoring or attempting to score (Shot / Shot on Goal), players earn 1 point for every cross, although a corner doesn’t count. Cresswell, who I just mentioned, scores most of his fantasy points on crosses – he had 10 last match for 10 points.
DraftKings tracks how many crosses a player has tallied on the season and for each of the player’s last 10 matches.
Daily Fantasy Soccer Tips
The most important tip I can leave you with is to make sure everyone in your line-up is playing. Several sites post updated EPL line-ups on matchday and it’s important to follow along to ensure your players are all in the starting line-up.
Players sit out a match all the time in soccer even when they’re fit to play. Having even one player in your line-up that doesn’t play will ensure you don’t win big money. There’s a benefit – a lot of line-ups will have a player that isn’t starting.