How to Play DraftKings Soccer for World Cup 2018

Written By Albert Vartanian on June 14, 2018
Fantasy Soccer


World Cup 2018 is upon us and there will be many a new player trying out DraftKings DFS Soccer for the first time. This article is catered to the people who have no idea how the game of soccer is played and to those who find DFS Soccer confusing and complicated. Throughout this article, I’ll explain the basics of the game of soccer while also giving you a starting point when building your lineups.



Soccer is played with two teams consisting of 11 players on each side. That 11 is made up of one goalkeeper and ten outfield players who are assigned to various positions on the field.

If a team is playing in a 4-4-2 formation, the coach will appoint four defenders – two center backs and two full backs – four midfielders and two forwards. Formation’s vary by team, but it’s very important to know what formation each team uses on any given slate to maximize your chances of winning.

Lineup requirements for the actual game of soccer and DraftKings (DK) soccer aren’t the same. DK lineups consist of one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility/flex player for a total of eight. When it comes to scoring on DK, there are slight differences for each position.

All players excluding the goalkeeper are awarded points for goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, crosses and fouls drawn. Defenders and goalkeepers pick up points for clean sheets (shutout), and one goal allowed while only a goalkeeper can be accredited points for saves and penalty kick saves. There are point deductions as well for red card and goals allowed. See the graphic below for a complete look at DK scoring:

DFS Soccer


You’re given a $50,000 salary cap to fill out your eight roster spots in your DraftKings soccer lineup and one of the most important things to know is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to use your entire budget. Your lineup(s) should be put together based on the match-ups on the slate. Another important thing to remember is to make sure the players you select are in the starting lineups. You can do this by checking each teams twitter account for lineup news and/or selecting players with a green check mark beside their name.

When it comes to picking your team there are a ton of places you can go for advice. Those are definitely good resources, but you need to know more than that to be successful. One of the first things you should do is check betting lines. Know who the favorites and the underdogs are and by how much. For example, if Spain is a -500 favorite against a +1000 Iran you’re going to want Spanish players in your lineup. Why? Because the odds are telling you that Spain is more likely to win the game and by a favorable margin. It is also a good idea to look at goalscoring odds and game totals to get an even better grasp of who is favored to score and how many will be scored in each match.



There are two different ways to approaching your goalkeeper selection at DraftKings. You can either go with a keeper on a heavily favored team that has the best chance at a clean sheet/win combo (10pts) or you can go with the underdog who will be busy all game in hopes that he makes a ton of saves. The former will be the higher priced option, but he’ll also be the safer goalkeeper option.

It sounds like it’s a pretty straightforward move to pick the expensive keeper, but it can backfire. A heavily favored goalie probably won’t face a lot of shots which means the one or two he does face have a chance of going in and blowing your opportunity at win/clean sheet.

If you decide to go with the cheaper keeper for your DFS Soccer lineups, you’re going with the high risk, high reward option that won’t cost you much in terms of salary. With this strategy, you’re accepting the fact that your cheaper keeper will more than likely concede one or more goals, but you’re hoping the play pays off in terms of the amount of saves he makes at two points per save. Six saves and one goal allowed with no win gives you a cool ten points. It’s not a bad play and you’ll save salary for the real point-getters, but just remember that it is the risky play.


One thing to realize is not all players on the pitch do the same thing and that is especially true with defenders. As mentioned above, there are two different types of defenders – center backs and full backs/wing backs.

Let’s focus on the center back (CB) first. A CB’s main purpose on the field is to defend. They play just in front of the goalkeeper and responsible for making sure neither the ball or the player gets through them. They’ll randomly come up with a goal here and there, but it’s one of the most difficult things to predict. You’ll notice on DraftKings that CB salaries are usually the cheapest on any given slate. This is because they offer almost nothing going forward.

This is the opposite for the full back (FB). FB’s also known as wing defenders or wing backs, give you the best bang for your buck at the defensive position. They are tasked with not only defending, but going forward and providing service to their attacking teammates. This comes in the form of crosses and assists. For some teams, the FB’s are sometimes the set-piece takers which means they’ll be tasked with taking corners and free kicks. Both gain you DraftKings DFS Soccer points in the form of crosses and/or shots/shots on goal.


Looking at a list of midfielders can be intimidating for the first time because of the sheer number of them, but once you understand each of their roles, the process becomes much easier. There are attacking midfielders and defensive midfielders.

Defensive midfielders play just in front of the CB’s and behind the attacking players. They’re tasked with breaking up play, winning the ball back and providing cover for the defense. You’ll notice quickly that they’re the cheapest of the midfielders and that’s because of what their job is on the pitch. They don’t have many opportunities in attacking positions which leaves them at the bottom of the list when it comes to selecting midfielders.

Attacking midfielders are your point-getters at DraftKings. These players can either be playing in the middle of the field dictating play or on the wings driving past defenders looking for the cross into the box or the shot on goal. They attack because that is what their responsibility is. One important thing to look out for when watching games is to identify which of these attackers are tasked with taking corners and free kicks as those are the players who will most likely score you the most points.


Forwards (FW) also known as center forwards or strikers are a team’s goalscorers. They play closest to the opponent’s goal with their main objective being to score. The FW is a tricky position to fill. The reason being is that many FW’s are goal dependent. What that means is that if they don’t score, they don’t do anything for you. That isn’t always the case, but it is another reason why you have to do your research to be sure the FW you are taking can offer more than a goal if he can’t find the back of the net.


The one thing I will leave you with is that you need to watch the games. It is the only way you’ll truly understand any sport and it’ll make you a better Soccer DFS player. You’ll start to see certain trends with players and teams that you can’t get from any article or box score on the web.


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Albert Vartanian

Albert is a soccer expert that is an avid soccer sports bettor, as well as an avid DFS soccer player at DraftKings.

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