Lesson 03 – Stats to Start: Goalkeepers and Defenders

Daily fantasy football is much like all daily fantasy sports in that there are a range of different ways to ensure you win. There will always be the extreme stat gurus with their computer models and algorithms yet many of us have an excellent opportunity to win by just being able to look through the numbers available on plenty of websites dedicated to the beautiful game.

Over the course of a full season trends develop with players in certain positions that shape how valuable players become and by skillfully noticing this before anyone else it ensures you can rise to the top of contests. We’ve broken down the stats that are most meaningful for every position.


The starting point for every good team is a goalkeeper. Obviously the most pertinent stat for any goalkeeper is the amount of saves he makes. Almost all the scoring achieved by the man between the sticks comes from saves and it’s an efficient way to still score points even when a clean sheet disappears early.

Another difference that season-long fantasy football players will find is that goalkeepers are given points for a win, something that is usually not present. A goalkeeper that picks up a win and clean sheet is guaranteed 10 points even before he makes any saves. It makes goalkeepers on teams that are expected to win every week a lot more valuable than those on losing teams and, in essence, the cream definitely rises to the top.


There’s two ways to look at defenders. Those that play on the outside and the others that are on the inside. Daily fantasy football managers will get way more joy from full backs and wing backs thanks to the points offered up for crosses (+0.75pts). As anyone that watches football knows, wing backs and full backs are incredibly important to the attacking strategy of teams and that’s no different when it comes to your lineup.

Crosses are one of the biggest stats besides actual goals in daily fantasy football and full backs tend to indulge in the practice more than most. Leaning on full backs or wing backs playing for teams that attack down the wings is an excellent way to score points and if you can find players at a low enough price point it gives you the opportunity to distribute the money elsewhere.

Centre backs, on the other hand, are far less valuable due to the fact that they have far less influence on a game. The performance of central defenders comes down to the amount of interceptions and tackles they make. Both of these stats score far less often than crosses and, in the case of interceptions, are not worth as much (+0.5pts). Tackles are worth keeping some track of and combining these two stats with a clean sheet makes compelling case for central defenders playing in tough games, especially when the price point is low enough.


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After that, hit the Training Ground and learn even more about daily fantasy football.

For Rookies:

Welcome to Daily Fantasy Football

Scoring and Roster Analysis

The Key Stats for Midfielders and Forwards


Stacking…What Is It?

Exploiting Positional Eligibility and Formations

Balancing Your Lineup

Chances and Opportunities


Using The Transfer Market To Your Advantage

The Importance of Recent Form

The Impact of Out-Of-Competition Games

What Paper Talk Means for Daily Fantasy Football