DFF Beginners’ Camp: How to do a match day preview

In this class of the Daily Fantasy Football Beginners’ Camp: how to do a match day preview you will learn the basic steps for building a team on a new game day.

How to do a match day preview

  • Game-day preparation always starts by looking at the fixtures and the bookmakers’ predictions
  • Your player pool is based on players in the promising encounters
  • You always start by choosing the captain
  • Then you choose your starting players, the ones you really want to have in your team
  • Finally, you complete your team using the other players in the pool
  • Shortly before the game you check the official line-ups

Estimating fixtures and odds

Game-day preparation always starts by looking at the fixtures and the bookmakers’ predictions. You want to find out which encounters are likely to generate the most goals and which defence has the highest chance of keeping a clean sheet. There are two key factors in determining this.

You find all relevant information for your match-day preparation in our weekly previews.

General Odds

The general odds for the matches indicate which teams are heavy favourites. Choose your striker from one of these teams. You can also make use of the over/under goal forecasts, which give some indication of how many goals will be likely to be scored.

Clean Sheet Odds

The clean sheet odds, by contrast, specify which teams have a high likelihood of keeping a clean sheet. The defenders in these teams are good candidates for your team.

Through this process, you will already have made a rough pre-selection of your team. You will choose your attacking force from the highest-scoring encounters and your defensive players from the encounters where there are likely to be the least goals as this offers the highest chance of keeping a clean sheet.

Selection of player pools

Players in the promising encounters will form a pool of players, the next step is to use this pool as a basis for selecting your dream team. It is important that you avoid focusing hard on just a few players early on, you need to start with a range of potential players in view, from whom you will then shape your dream team. Of course, it may also make sense to take players from other games in your player pool.

Hint: Look for the cheap players in the encounters with the highest probability of scoring points.

Forming a team

After a solid assessment of the match and the profitable encounters, you are now ready to take the first step to put together to your dream team – choosing a captain.

Daily Fantasy Football Made Easy

Step one: the captain

You always start with the captain. As the captain’s score is doubled, he is the most important player. The team should always be formed around the captain.

Hint: On high-scoring match days, this is almost always an offensive player in one of the matches in which many goals are expected.

Step two: decide up on backbone of the team

Look at the player pool and choose your favourites, the players you absolutely want to have in your team. Together with the captain, they will form the backbone of your squad in offense, midfield and defense.

Step three: completing the team

It is important to keep to the specified order. The more players you already have in the team, the more restrictions there will be in selecting the supporting players. The budget can become tight or you can find that you already have the maximum number of players allowed from any specific team and can’t choose any more. At this point it’s less about bringing in your dream players and more about completing your team sensibly within the framework of the available options.

Step four: check your team again

Once you’ve compiled your team, cast a critical eye over it. Have you set up all the players you wanted? Are you playing in the right formation? Is your team balanced? This final check is important.

Game day

Game day is just about to start, your team is all set up. So there is really nothing left for you to do, right? Wrong, players can always get injured just before a match and therefore be unable to play. Final line-ups will be announced an hour before the match. This is enough time to put the final touches to your team and to compensate for any players who drop out.

Finally you’re in play! The referee has blown his whistle. Sit back and cheer on your favourites in their matches. We wish you all the best!

Where can you play? Bethard, FantasyBet, Fanteam

Back to Beginners Camp Overview


Herbert is a doctor of philosophy, speaks 5 languages fluently and moved to Barcelona to be close to good football... Herbert was Head of Education at Pokerstrategy and responsible for ensuring that 8 million members successfully learned poker. He discusses Instructional Design and Learning Theories on Griffl.org.
As a founding member of 11Heroes, Herbert plays a similar role as at Pokerstrategy.com. You can find him on Twitter as @DrFantasy11

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