Football Strategy Guides

Pursuit 7 DFS Strategy – How to do well in contests with many matches

In this Pursuit 7 DFS strategy article, we will cover one of our most popular contest types, events that include multiple matches that happen the same day or weekend. The leading question is: How to do well in Pursuit 7 contests with many matches?

In our previous articles, we covered other popular DFS Strategies like

In this one, we will teach you how our best players draft their teams for more complicated situations when four or more matches are played at the same time. 

The format – Pursuit 7

Contests that include between 4 and 6 matches are played in our Pursuit 7 format. In this format, you need to pick 7 players in total, with the limitation of picking up to three players per team

As always, you can pick up to

  • 1 Goalkeeper
  • 5 Defenders
  • 5 Midfielders
  • 3 Forwards

DFS Strategy: Pursuit 7

Pursuit is our unique format where you can pick any 7 players, but depending on the budget you leave unused you get a points bonus. That means that you are rewarded for picking cheap players that overachieve, in contrast to picking stars who perform as expected. 

“Up to three players per team”

What affects your strategy most is the “three per team” rule. This rule limits your opportunity to stack many players from a team that will win by a lot.

Let’s see an example, where we will study the first Gameweek of the 20/21 Premier League games played on Saturday and Sunday:

DFS Strategy: Pursuit 7 analyzing fixtures

We surely expect two or three teams to perform exceptionally well… Last year’s champions, Liverpool, and two of the hottest teams, Arsenal and Leicester, play against the three newcomers, Fulham, Leeds, and West Brom. All three of them are overwhelming favorites, but Liverpool, who plays at home is expected to do best. 

If we didn’t have the “3 per team” limitation, we could use one of these two strategies:

  1. Pick as many Liverpool players as possible, to leverage the many expected goals in this game. Probably we’d end up picking 5 or more players from Liverpool, plus an Aubameyang or Vardy from the other games.
  1. Take advantage of the huge pursuit bonus the newcomers’ players will produce and hope for a surprise! If we could pick 7 players from West Brom and they manage to keep a clean sheet, then we’d most probably win! 

However, this is not the case! To make the game more interesting, with the “3 per team” rule we force you to use players from at least 3 teams, like 3-3-1, 3-2-2, or more of your choosing.

DFS Strategy: Find your synergies

Synergies are very important for your Pursuit 7 DFS Strategy. This is because you need to be extremely lucky to pick 7 players from different teams and positions who will all do well. 

Instead, you can predict that a team with a straight-forward offense will score many goals, and select the goal and assist scorers from their offensive line. Similarly, you can predict a team that will keep a clean sheet, and go with multiple defenders and goalkeepers from it to make the best of the pursuit bonus.

There are many kinds of synergies in Daily Fantasy Sports, but the most important ones to keep in mind are:

  • Goalscorer + Assist: Obvious suspects for assists are the playmakers like Ceballos from Arsenal or wing-backs like Robertson from Liverpool. Match them with the top scorers like Aubameyang and Salah for a nice combo.
  • A goal from a corner header: Another good assist combo is to pick the corner taker and a high-game expert. Look for combos like Alexander-Arnold & Van Djik from Liverpool, or Milivojevic & Zaha from Crystal Palace.
  • Penalty goal: You could combine the penalty taker with someone who’s known to get into the penalty area and dribble a lot. For example, Son and Kane from the Spurs or Lacazzete with Aubameyang from Arsenal would be good.
  • Defenders with a Clean Sheet: The CS bonus is rewarded to all defenders (including Goalkeeper) that play more than 60’. Therefore, it’s a good tactic to pick 2 or 3 players from a team that you expect not to concede a goal. Morgan & Schmeichel from Leicester or Gomez, Van Djik & Alisson from Liverpool would be good choices.

Avoid competing teams in Pursuit 7

As a rule of thumb, you want to pick winners. The +1/-1 points from the player’s influence in the game are too important to ignore – you don’t want players who counter-affect these points. For example, if Crystal Palace – Southampton ends 2-1 and both Ayew & Ings score, Ayew will get 8 points, while Ings will get only 6 points.

For that reason, the best fantasy players tend to prefer picking players from only one team from each match. After all, there are 6 matches on the schedule and you need to pick 7 players – you can select 3, 4 of 5 teams that you expect to win, and pick players only from those. It is ok to ignore their opponents, except crazy situations where someone from the losing team scores twice!

How to use odds to predict matches like a pro

In our scenario, we’ll look at the betting odds to guess who will win. Arsenal, Liverpool, Leicester are obvious favorites. Beyond that, sportsbook odds give us a hint that Spurs and West Ham have a slight edge. The last match is very unpredictable, and we’d better avoid it.

DFS Strategy: Pursuit 7 analyzing match odds

How many teams to pick from?

You should prefer to choose players from 3 or 4 teams. Picking 5/5 or more is very improbable and you probably want to stay on the safe side.

3 teams

If you pick 3 teams, you can choose between two combinations: 3-2-2 or 3-3-1

3-2-2

A 3-2-2 strategy can work nicely in two cases, the defensive and the offensive approach:

  1. 3-2-2 Defensive: Go for 2 teams that will get a clean sheet and 1 team that will win by a high margin.

  1. 3-2-2 Offensive: Go for 1 team that will get a surprise clean sheet, and 2 teams that will win.

3-3-1

The 3-3-1 strategy works best when you expect a single player to score many goals in his match, and surround them with teams that will get a good win:

  1. 3-3-1 Defensive: Make the best out of the Clean Sheet bonuses, while also picking the scorers from both teams.

  1. 3-3-1 Offensive: Shoot for the high-scoring matches, and try to pick as many goal-assist scorers as possible.

4 teams

 If you pick 4 teams, the possibilities are more open! You can be more creative and pick one or two players from each team like 3-2-1-1, 2-2-2-1. 

With a 4 team strategy, you are less prone to a bad result in one game… If only 3/4 of your teams win their games, you can still win the contest. This would be extremely hard for a 3 team strategy.

In this scenario, you can be very creative with your teams. Here are just a few ideas to consider:

3-2-1-1

  1. A big upset: Expecting a big upset from a team like Leeds? A good option would be to hedge your bet and surround three Leeds players with some “safe” players that usually score much. 

  1. A large win: You expect Liverpool to win 6-0? Your best bet is to go for 3 Liverpool players and cover the rest of your squad with usual suspects.

2-2-2-1

  1. Three clean sheets: This is especially tough to predict, but if it goes as planned, can score you a lot of points! Add a probable goal scorer and you’ll do great.

  1. Offensive duos: Make the best out of those 2-player combinations that we covered above!

Is it best to pick Favorites or Upsets?

Well… this is the Million dollar question! Chance is all around us and no one can know what will happen for sure, that is the fun of the game!

Who you pick depends on your gut feeling and your risk appetite. Analyzing our best players’ teams, though, we see them picking many different teams in order to cover more scenarios in the same contest.

For example, if you predict that not all 3 of the favorites will win, you can enter 3 teams, one for each of the newcomers! Similarly, if you expect West Ham-Newcastle to be a low scoring match that can go either way, you could pick one team with West Ham defense and another one with the Newcastle defense! Of course one of them will lose, but you maximize your chances for a good placement! 

Ok, I’ve built my team – Who should I captain?

In consequence, and that is a key in any DFS Strategy for Pursuit 7: Prefer defenders or multi-goal scorers. Obviously, the hat trick scorer will be the most valuable piece of all winning teams in the end of the contest. But if no player scores that much, then a defender who will score and get a clean sheet will be your best option.

Therefore, you should either select a player like Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tierney for the defensive choice, or go with the usual suspects like Kane, Aubameyang or Salah for the many goals.

Exceptions to that could be the goalkeepers from a great upset. If you correctly pick Leeds to keep a Clean Sheet against Liverpool, then their goalkeeper is usually the best captain for you. Liverpool will press a lot for sure, leading to many saves, which if you combine with the CS and Pursuit bonus gives you an overwhelming production.

Summing up DFS Strategy: Pursuit 7

  1. Study the matchups
  2. Choose 3 or 4 teams who will win
  3. Select your expected scenarios
  4. Make the best out of the synergies
  5. Captain the multi-goalscorer
  6. Enter different teams to cover more scenarios

Leave your feedback to the article DFS Strategy: Pursuit 7 in the comment section below. What Pursuit content would you like to read next? I am looking forward to your feedback.

About the author

Nikos

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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