Home I All Guides I DFS Guides I DFS I DFS Soccer — Draft the Best Defenders
Often, DFS managers will plunge the majority of their salary cap into getting their midfield/attack and utility options in the best shape, with their defensive line-up coming almost as an afterthought.
The tragedy of this approach is that they could be missing out on some really easy points, with defenders bagging three for each clean sheet and a host of others for chipping in defensively and in attack. In many ways, defenders have more opportunities to accumulate points than most other players on the pitch.
After you have read this article, you will know what a good defender can bring to the DFS party.
Understanding the intricate nature of how a defender scores their DFS points will help you to make the most of this section of your draft.
For guidance, here are the top five point-scoring defenders in the 2015/16 EPL:
You may have noticed something of a theme here! Yes, Arsenal London contributed three of the best defensive DFS points-scorers. Coincidence? Not at all: the Gunners kept more clean sheets (16) than any other team in the EPL, and with three points earned for each in daily fantasy sports, that is a nice accumulation.
But is there more to a good daily fantasy defender than just keeping clean sheets?
The best place to start for our investigation is with Bellerin. He topped the scoring charts for defensive players last season, so understanding what he did well will prove to be a good indicator of success.
Bellerin managed just one goal for Arsenal last season, so clearly being able to find the net – hardly a defensive modus operandi anyway – is not that important in terms of daily fantasy point scoring. If your chosen defence does score the odd goal along the way then great.
Here is an area in which he excelled compared to other defensive options. Bellerin conjured up five assists last season – that is 30 points according to the DraftKings points system – and so this will have made a huge difference to his overall tally.
Remember, each shot is worth one point for DFS managers and a shot on target earns an additional point. Bellerin fired in 18 shots in 2015/16, so clearly defenders who are able to get forward and get involved in the final third of the pitch will be of benefit to daily fantasy managers.
Incredibly, the meat-and-potatoes of defending that is tackling is not an area in which Bellerin is that strong. He averaged just 1.6 successful tackles per match last season, compared to the 3+ that most defenders made. We may extrapolate from that then that tackling is not all that important a stat to DFS managers.
Another area in which Bellerin was significantly below the league average was interceptions: he made 1.9 per match compared with a divisional average of around 2.8.
In conclusion…the surprising thing we learn about Hector Bellerin is that, statistically at least, he is better at attacking than he is defending. This is an interesting angle in for DFS managers.
Daily Fantasy Defenders Checklist:
Clearly from the checklist above we have identified that the modern, marauding full back is a better option for DFS managers than rugged centre backs. Full backs still pick up those all-important clean sheet points, but can add to their tally through probing attacking play. From that ‘top five’ outlined above, Bellerin, Monreal, and Fuchs fit this template.
Other options that would have been well worthy of consideration in your drafts in 2015/16 include Manchester City’s Aleksandar Kolarov (three goals, three assists, 15 clean sheets), the Tottenham pair Kyle Walker (one goal, three assists, thirteen clean sheets) and Danny Rose (one goal, three assists, thirteen clean sheets), and West Ham’s left back Aaron Cresswell (two goals, four assists, nine clean sheets).
And despite an injury-ravaged season, this man is surely still the optimum defensive pick in your daily fantasy line ups:
Hopefully, using your new found insight, you will be able to identify the defensive stars of 2016/17. Take full advantage of your new knowledge in your daily fantasy drafts.
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