Forwards are where daily fantasy leagues are won and lost. This is where most of the goals, shots and a good portion of assists come from. However, because of this, a large proportion of your budget will be devoted to forward picks and there is a risk they will fail to justify the price paid for their services.
The most important part of selecting your forwards is to understand the site’s scoring on the site that you are playing on.
You can see the most important stats to chase are goals and assists with fewer points than midfielders for completed passes.
Here are the primary factors to consider when selecting your forwards:
1) Forwards Attacking Skill – Shots, Set Pieces, Penalties
2) Forwards Attacking Skill – Crosses, Touches, Key Passes
3) Forward Quality v. Site Value of the forward
4) Opponent Quality – Projected Possession % for Team
5) Home or Away
Let’s go through each factor one by one:
Forwards Attacking Skill – Shots, Set Pieces, Penalties
Almost all forwards are goalscorers. If they weren’t capable of scoring goals they wouldn’t last very long in the job! Shots on target are the best indicator of future goals so look for this stat. Additionally, set pieces and penalties have a very high probability of being on target and will accrue points.
Forwards Attacking Skill – Crosses, Touches, Key Passes
It is also beneficial to seek out forwards that can do more than just score goals. The opportunity to be a part of scoring moves will give these players a better chance to get you points. As with midfielders, let’s take a look at key passes, which are passes that lead to shots. If forwards are laying it off for teammates, making passes in the area, putting in crosses, etc, on a consistent basis, those will eventually be turned into goals. A player with 5 key passes and 0 assists is more likely to get an assist in the future than a player with 2 key passes and 1 assist. Not to dismiss prior performance entirely but this will often come with an increased price tag on the player and the past does not count in your games.
Knowing who is involved in attack and finding the right matches to use these players is critical. That is why we focus on statistics that indicate heavy involvement in all aspects of attacking play, not just goals and assists as they are less predictable.
Forward Quality v. Site Value of the Forward
Forward quality is built upon their reputation as a goal scorer. There are elite players like Cristiano Ronaldo who can do a bit of everything, there are reliable finishers with creative flair like Alexis Sanchez, and there are poachers, let’s pick on Emmanuel Adebayor, who need help from teammates to set them up but are capable enough finishers given the opportunity. The forwards to target are generally those that have a higher percentage of their team’s touches, shots and key passes, as that is what will lead to fantasy points in the future.
These factors make price the key factor in deciding on your forwards. Top tier forwards will be heavily involved in the final third, take plenty of shots, and assist their teammates. Our strategy is obviously to select forwards whose teams will do a lot of attacking, creating an abundance of opportunities in and around the goal, the points should follow.
Opponent Quality – Projected Possession % for Team
Projecting possession stats is often as easy as seeing which team is heavily favoured, but not always, tactics and style can also influence these numbers.
Teams that possess the ball tend to get more shots and scoring chances and are obviously the preferred option. One often overlooked fantasy value opportunity is when two poor teams meet and one has demonstrated more success in keeping possession. While some sides may struggle to possess the ball against better teams, they may be capable of doing so against poorer teams
Home or Away
Where the game is being played will be considered by the bookmaker’s numbers as well, but in general we obviously like to lean towards home players and avoid those from the away team. Home or away games can serve as a tiebreaker if you are finding it hard to choose between two forwards.