Strategy Guides

DFF Strategy: How to beat Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contests

In this Daily Fantasy Football strategy article, we will cover the most effective strategies you can use in FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Football to beat Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contests.

Daily Fantasy Football Strategy – How to pick a good team

Contest types

In the FanTeam lobby, you will find various different types of contests that you can compete in for different sports. Here, we will focus on Daily Fantasy Football contests, and more especially:

  • Single-match contests played in our Pursuit 5 format
  • 2-3 match contests played in our Pursuit 6 format
  • Contests with 4 or more matches played in our Pursuit 7 format

For each contest type, different strategies can be applied and be effective. You can try these strategies as a rule of thumb to help you build your squads. However, as the name suggests, it’s up to your Fantasy to pick the team that will perform best on any given day. 😉

Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contest

In Pursuit 5 – Single Match contests, there is only one match that you can pick players from. You have to pick 5 players and are free to choose as many from each team as you like. The only limitations are to pick:

  • Up to 1 Goalkeeper
  • max. 4 Defenders
  • Up to 3 Forwards

We need to note that the Pursuit bonus plays an important role in your strategy for these contests – the cheaper your squad is, the more bonus points you start with. This means that expensive players have to perform exceptionally well to cover for that. If you have start players and they don’t perform well, you will most likely lose.

Predicting the single match

The first thing you need to think about when creating your strategy is how do you expect the game to go. The biggest factors you need to predict are:

  • High scoring or low scoring game?
  • Will both teams score?
  • Who will win?
  • Goals will be scored early or late in the game?

Read more on How to use odds to predict matches like a pro

Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contest Strategy

In consequence, based on the answers to the above questions, we can choose the right setup for our team.

High scoring or low scoring game?

This is a question that you can usually answer easily.

Low score win – only one team to score

This strategy is applicable for matches that you predict to end up 1-0 or 2-0.

In this case, you should only pick players from the winning team, as all of them will score positive points.

Your main goal is to take advantage of the Clean Sheet bonus that your defenders will get when the team doesn’t concede a goal. This bonus is 4 points, but there’s a catch: for every extra player that receives this bonus, the next one gets one point fewer. So, if you have a goalkeeper and 4 defenders, the first one will get 4 points for the CS, the second 3, the third 2, the fourth 1 and your last defender will get 0 CS bonus.

Which formation to use in Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contest?

The goalkeepers & defenders also don’t receive the 90-minute participation bonus of 1 point. For this reason, you will prefer to have up to 3 of them and beyond that to prefer Midfielders or Forwards.

Therefore, the best formations, in this case, would be:

  • Goalkeeper
  • 2 Defenders
  • 2 Midfielders
Pursuit 5 - Single Match Contest team draft


  • Goalkeeper
  • 2 Defenders
  • 1 Midfielder
  • 1 Forward
Pursuit 5 - Single Match Contest team draft 2

Notice that we prefer having GK + 2 DEFs rather than 3 DEFs? That is because of the Saves points that your Goalkeepers will accumulate, making them more valuable than Defenders.

The decision between choosing 2 Midfielders or 1 Midfielder + 1 Forward depends on who you expect to score. Remember that Midfielders also get a 1 point Clean Sheet bonus, which means that if they give just an assist, they would get the same points as a Forward who scored a goal.

So now we got our preferred formation and our next question is 

Which players to select in Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contest ?


For goalkeepers, the choice is easy 😁

Pursuit 5 - Single Match Contest goal keeper


For defenders, you should usually choose the 2 cheapest options from this team to maximize your pursuit bonus. However, if one of them usually exits games before the 60’ mark you should avoid them. Of course, if you predict a more expensive defender to score or assist, you should pick them instead.


For midfielders, you should usually pick the cheapest one. This is for two reasons: they’ll give more pursuit bonus, they usually are defensive midfielders, who tend to play the full 90’ and will get the precious extra point.

Forward / Attacking Midfielder

For your last spot, you are looking for the player who will score the goal or give the assist – either an Attacking Midfielder or a Forward

Now you are left with one last, but crucial decision:

Who to Captain and Vice-Captain?

This is a tricky decision, as Captains & Vice-captains score double points, but also cost double! That means that you may either want to maximize their scores or their pursuit bonus.

As a rule of thumb, you should prefer Defenders over defensive midfielders, and Goalkeepers over Defenders.

If you predict a defender to score or assist, you should definitely Captain that one – the CS bonus plus the goal or assist points will single-handedly carry your team!

If not, you should usually captain the player you expect to score (Forward or Attacking Midfielder), as they’ll get the 90’ participation points + the win bonus + the goal points + the 1 point CS bonus if it’s a Midfielder.

Goalkeepers are very popular picks for Vice-captains. That is because they usually score more than defenders due to the Saves, and cost relatively low. As an alternative choice, you can pick a Goalkeeper as a Captain instead, especially if you feel there’s a possibility of them making 6 or more saves or saving a penalty. 

Also, there’s always the possibility of nobody scoring (goal coming from the bench or an own goal) 😉

Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contest Tips

The key takes for your Daily Fantasy Strategy on How to beat Pursuit 5 – Single Match Contests

  1. Pick 5 from the same team
  2. GK + 2 DEFs + 2 MIDs or GK + 2 DEFs + 1 MID + 1 FW
  3. One goalscorer
  4. Captain the goalscorer
  5. Vice-captain the Goalkeeper

I am looking forward to your feedback, questions and strategy tips in the comment section below.

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About the author


Nikos is a fantasy sports enthusiast, active in daily and season-long contests. Football, Formula1, and NBA are his favorite DFS games.
A poker and engineering background helped him apply game theory to understand the games on a deeper level. He enjoys applying & analyzing underlying strategies to convert them into beginner-friendly tutorials.

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