Football Strategy Guides

Daily Fantasy Football Strategy – How to pick a good team

In this article, we will cover the most effective strategies you can use in FanTeam’s Daily Fantasy Football contests.

Needless to say, there is a lot to consider when you start the process of piecing together your final lineup, but how do you know when it’s ready, or where to even start? In contradiction to seasonal games like the 1 Million Cash Game, daily fantasy is usually played on 1 match day.

We’ll explore that and all of the strategies you’ll want to consider as we dive into how to pick a good team in daily fantasy football.

Daily Fantasy Contest types

Another thing to consider is what kind of daily fantasy football contest you’re engaging in. Single match Pursuit 5 contests are so different from fullround Pursuit 7 format when it comes to strategy and upside, so be aware of the difference and what kind of team you need to build for a realistic shot at success in a given week.

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

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. 😉

Daily Fantasy Football Strategy

There isn’t a specific way to draft a successful team, and anyone telling you there is probably not telling the whole thruth. You can follow some beginner guides to improve your game, like our Football DFS Strategy Guide.

The fact is, there are just too many variables in fantasy football. There are too many lineup possibilities, and depending on the fixtures, there are many correct answers and a huge list of incorrect decisions.

Possibly the most important part of how to pick a good team is deciphering all of that. But there is so much that goes into building your team, that merely knowing there isn’t only one way which is the best is a good start.

There are experts and data and all kinds of sources that can give you ideas, but every DFF player is unique because they typically have their own methods. Taking one person’s way of building your team could be a mistake.

Instead, put the pieces together yourself and create your own way to draft and finalize a line-up. Ultimately you’ll find comfort in both being able to take bits and pieces of advice and data for other sources, while also relying on your own research and instincts.

DFF Tip #1: Predicting the 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?

Based on the answers to the above questions, you can choose the right setup for our team.

Daily Fantasy Football Strategy  / Predicting the match / Anytime goalscorer
Goalscorer Odds – The lower the number, the higher the chance.

For instance, Lukaku has odds of 2.30 to score a goal. You can easily transform odds into a probability by dividing 1 by the figure. In consequence, Lukaku has a chance of 1 / 2.30: 43,48% to score.

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

The probabilities or odds for the upcoming matches are freely available and you can find them too on the Sportsbook on Fanteam.

DFF Strategy #2: Find Synergies

Secondly, if you want to win a contest and take down all your opponents, your team has to be spot on! Little details decide about your ranking so you better find synergies in your player constellation. These might be a set piece taker and a big forward or a quick winger and his partner in crime up front. If you are a football fan, you will know who is most probable to deliver assists on whom and this can be your key to success in Fantasy Football!

DFF Strategy #3: Find Top Targets

Pursuit or not, single-match or fullround, a huge key to building your daily fantasy football lineup is picking out the pricey elite options you covet the most.

When choosing those top targets, consider the following:

  • Price
  • Perceived Value
  • Matchup
  • Projected Points
  • Health
  • Ownership

Price is obvious, but you don’t want to go spending top money all over the place. If the guy isn’t going to be worth it, you want some actual value (or even upside) with your pick. These players ideally have a positive matchup and will be healthy.

Another huge aspect is projected ownership. Is a player impossible to use, or so promising and so set up for success that you can’t possibly fade them? Or is a player so contrarian based on price/matchup/health that using them could push your draft over the top that week?

These are some of the questions you must consider, in addition to whatever situations, data and insight you consider on a weekly basis already.

DFF Strategy #4: Prefer Cheap Players

It works the same with the intermediate and cheaper options. If you’re going to spend big cash on some guys you’re really high on, you’re probably going to need to find a few sleepers or cheap options to round out the rest of your team.

You want these two sides (Elites & Budget players) to be working in unison, of course, so it’s important to jot all of your favorites down and carefully decide which ones you should use together.

Which intermediate options have the talent and matchup to not only exceed their perceived value, but to best some of the guys priced over them? Which of the dirt cheap options are in a great situation, have a temporarily increased role or are on a hot run and could crush their given price tag?

The hope is to find a handful of players that you like from both spectrums, narrow down your top picks, and try to fit them onto your final draft.

DFF Tip #5: Do your research!

Of course, going with your gut and your own research is just the start. There are countless times where some other expert or even a DFS player finds some crucial information or statistic that can dramatically change the way you view a team or player in a given week.

How to use odds to predict matches like a pro

Locate the guys you like the most, regardless the reason and price, soak up all the data and analytics you can get your hands on, and go make your final decisions. How to download Premier League Season Stats 2019/20

How you go about acquiring said data and expert advice is up to you. Playing around with rankings, projections and lineup optimization are a few directions you should look to go in. If you aren´t all about making the research on your own, you can use the match day previews for the upcoming tournaments. If you simply look at the players we recommended each week and put together random lineups based on mixing and matching those players you should do very well.

In other words, you will want to have your own idea of what is best for the week ahead. But you also want to see what the numbers, matchups, best fantasy tools and top fantasy football experts all have to add, as well.

DFF Strategy #6: Manage Your Bankroll

No matter what anyone says, playing Daily Fantasy Sport is gambling.  The best daily fantasy football strategy in the world does not guarantee a win.  It only improves your odds.  You need to develop a bankroll management strategy so that you can play responsibly.  You need to determine a daily fantasy bankroll, which is the amount you are willing to gamble and potentially lose.

This might sound negative, but it isn´t. Having a solid bankroll management will free your mind and you will be able to focus on the details of your daily fantasy strategy.

How to use Free Tickets from Promotions & Satellites (FAQ)

DFF Strategy #7: Finalizing Your Draft

The research is done and no stone is left unturned, correct? Now you have your personal feeling on every player and matchup you’re interested in, you’ve listened to all of the outside information enough to allow yourself to go in a direction you perhaps weren’t open to. Now you’re ready to submit your final daily fantasy football lineup for the upcoming match.

Some weeks the daily fantasy football lineup you’re going to use is going to be obvious. The budget picks and top targets will be easy to see. The numbers will point you in the right direction, the matchups will be clear.

However, the process of building out what eventually will be your final lineup for the week is one you’ll always want to go through. Testing and researching, listening to podcasts, running through spreadsheets and scanning website after website. It all can be more than worth it if it leads to that one perfect lineup that wins you big cash.

Doing all of that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right or wrong, of course. And it doesn’t mean you will win. However, the likelihood of you winning big or even small on a consistent basis naturally decreases with the less time you put into Daily Fantasy Football Strategy.

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About the author


Herbert, the former poker professional & author, Head of Education at is all about Daily Fantasy Sports now. Herbert creates content with best practices and guidelines for Fantasy Sports Newcomers.

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