Understanding How to Pick Yahoo Players

Understanding how to pick Yahoo players takes practice, but there are some useful rules of thumb that you can follow to help you build winning lineups. This article will look at each position (GK, D, M, F) in turn and break down everything you need to know about selecting Yahoo players in daily fantasy football. If you haven’t signed up for a Yahoo account yet, click here to enter your details and get started!

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The graph below shows a comparison of the Yahoo points scored for different player types during each game of the 2016/17 EPL season. It has been split up according to Yahoo position later to make it easier to understand. In this article, we will go through the key statistics for each position to see the types of players that we want to use in our lineups. The following analysis is just a guideline and every slate is different, but remembering these rules of thumb will give you a good foundation to your lineup construction process.

How to Pick Goalkeepers on Yahoo

It can be seen from the graph above that the win and clean sheet bonuses are extremely important for goalkeepers on Yahoo. The salaries for goalkeepers are usually correlated to their win and clean sheet chances, so it often makes sense to spend up at the position in cash games to get the best combination of floor and ceiling, although you will sometimes see cheaper goalies on Yahoo with good clean sheet odds. Keep an eye on backup goalkeepers that draw a surprise start for a heavy favourite – these players often come at a significant discount to their teammate.

Goalkeepers that don’t have a realistic shot at a win or clean sheet can get points from saves, but they will also lose points too from conceding multiple goals and can even score negative fantasy points on occasion. The goalkeepers with the best matchups often won’t need to make many saves, so their ceiling can sometimes be lower than some of the mid-tier options. You can earn points for a draw as well on Yahoo, which makes focusing on good matchups even more important. The table below gives some basic guidelines to help with goalkeeper selection:

Salary TierFloor/CeilingBest Suited For
ExpensiveHigh floor (win + clean sheets)/medium-high ceiling (saves on top of both bonuses).Cash games and GPPs.
Mid-RangeLow-medium floor/high ceiling. Lower chance at win and clean sheet bonuses than expensive tier, but will usually have to make more saves.GPPs. Cash game viable in certain matchups.
CheapLow floor/low ceiling. Low chance to get win or clean sheet bonuses. Goals conceded will cancel out saves.Only if every GK has a bad matchup or there is a desperate need to save salary (but usually preferable to save elsewhere).

How to Pick Defenders on Yahoo

It can be seen from the graph that whilst centre-backs are viable on Yahoo, in general you ideally want to use fullbacks instead when possible. Looking at the per 90 stats confirms this:

CBShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great10.30.40.21.72.71.11.553.21.87.4
Above Average0.70.20.30.11.42.20.81.243.41.56.7
Average0.60.20.201.11.70.60.934.71.26.2
Below Average0.40.10.100.91.50.40.626.40.95
Poor0.200.100.61.10.30.4210.84.4
FBShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great10.31.41.12.32.41.51.550.11.78.9
Above Average0.70.210.81.92.11.11.345.81.47.9
Average0.50.10.70.61.61.60.80.937.31.16.8
Below Average0.300.50.41.31.30.50.732.315.7
Poor0.100.30.20.81.10.30.4290.85.1

It can be seen from the tables above that a ‘poor’ fullback in terms of fantasy scoring will perform similarly to a ‘below average’ centre-back, and a ‘great’ centre-back will still perform worse than an ‘above average’ fullback. Centre-backs do score slightly more goals than fullbacks (0.15 per 90 for a ‘great’ CB, 0.12 per 90 for a ‘great’ fullback), but the difference between the two is small and is therefore counteracted by the fact that centre-backs rarely get assists. Keep in mind that there are exceptions to every rule – there are a handful of centre-backs that are heavily involved in build-up play and/or are a big set-piece threat for a good team, and these players will often be just as valuable as fullbacks on Yahoo.

For fullbacks, it makes sense to target players that are heavily involved in the attack, as they are more likely to generate successful crosses, shots and assists. If using a centre-back, it makes sense to target players that are likely to get the clean sheet bonus and will have a lot of possession of the ball – 20 extra passes from your centre-back will lead to an additional fantasy point. Players on heavy favourites will typically have more opportunities to score from set pieces, too. Defensive actions such as tackles, interceptions and blocks are also valuable, but harder to predict.

This is mostly a position where matchup and salary will play a big role player selection. Good matchups for defenders lead to more opportunities to score points from attacking stats, as well as the clean sheet bonus. Because a lot of defender scoring comes down to opportunity, actual player talent is less important than their salary. Don’t be afraid to use a backup defender if they make a surprise start and are available for a cheap price on Yahoo. In addition, whilst fullbacks are preferable to centre-backs in general, you should prioritise good matchups first. A centre-back on a heavy favourite is often a better choice than a fullback in a bad matchup at the same salary; the clean sheet bonus makes up a big portion of the scoring for defenders on Yahoo.

How to Pick Midfielders on Yahoo

One of the great things about Yahoo is that they have done a good job of making every player type viable. It can be seen from the graph above that DMs, CMs and wingers all performed similarly in the 16/17 season in terms of median fantasy points scored. However, attacking midfielders were still far superior to the other midfielders, so you want to try and use as many AMs as possible in your lineup on a typical slate.

Attacking midfielders are usually taking set pieces, leading to a high floor from crosses and shots. Wingers aren’t as heavily involved in the defensive metrics as DMs or CMs and they don’t make as many passes either, but they make up for it in other areas with shots and crosses. Both wingers and attacking midfielders have upside from goals and assists, too. Shots, shots on target, chances created, and crosses are still the most important stats for midfielders on Yahoo. The best players to use are typically the ones that take set pieces and play centrally in a number 8/10 role.

DMShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great1.20.41.10.22.52.61.6261.71.97.7
Above Average10.30.80.22.22.21.11.7541.77.1
Average0.70.20.50.11.61.60.81.446.21.45.9
Below Average0.500.401.21.20.61.132.81.14.8
Poor0.300.300.910.50.727.70.94.5
CMShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great1.80.61.61.12.22.21.92.161.81.89.4
Above Average1.50.41.30.61.81.71.41.748.71.67.9
Average1.10.30.90.21.41.31.11.238.31.26.6
Below Average0.80.20.60.11.11.10.7133.21.15.7
Poor0.60.10.40.10.90.80.50.6300.95.2
AMShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great3.11.33.21.91.91.22.11.955.71.513.7
Above Average2.712.61.51.311.61.5461.411.9
Average2.10.71.91.310.71.2136.51.29.7
Below Average1.30.51.60.90.80.610.731.40.98.3
Poor0.90.31.30.50.50.50.80.524.30.76.2
WGShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great2.5121.921.42.41.936.61.811.2
Above Average2.30.81.71.41.511.91.6311.29.3
Average1.90.51.50.80.90.71.4124.40.97.7
Below Average1.20.31.10.40.70.50.90.618.50.76.4
Poor0.70.10.80.20.50.30.60.414.70.55.2

How to Pick Forwards on Yahoo

At the forward position, strikers have a lower floor than wingers and attacking midfielders, as they rely heavily on goals and assists to generate fantasy points. However, on Yahoo you usually won’t see many wingers or AMs listed at the forward position. On most slates you will therefore have to use goal-dependent players in your lineup. When using strikers, you ideally want them to have a high shot volume to help increase their floor and ceiling. Typically, you will find at least one very good team on the slate, and it usually makes sense to spend up on the forward from that team, unless they have a particularly bad matchup or there are better players to spend up on at other positions. If you do save money at forward, matchup is extremely important. It is unusual to see cheap forwards that play for a good team, so you only want to use them when they are in an ideal situation.

STShSoTCCCrsTWIntFWFCPassBlkYH Pts
Great3.61.61.60.41.30.72.42.325.71.212.7
Above Average31.21.20.20.80.51.91.720.20.910.8
Average2.40.90.90.10.50.31.31.417.50.88.1
Below Average1.90.70.800.40.20.91.1140.67.1
Poor1.60.50.600.20.10.80.811.10.46

How to Use the Utility Position on Yahoo

At the utility, or ‘flex’, position you want to target the highest floor/ceiling players that you can find; this usually means attacking midfielders or forwards. It is typically not too difficult to fit the ‘star players’ all into the same lineup on Yahoo, so using an extra forward in the flex position is much more viable in situations where there are two or three very good teams on the slate. As always, any player is viable here if they will give your lineup the best overall combination of safety and upside, and if you are using a late game player make sure they are in the utility spot.

Yahoo Cheat Sheet

The table below contains a cheat sheet summary of the tips from this article that you can use to help you create lineups. Remember that this is only a guide and you shouldn’t just blindly follow the recommendations here, but this should at least give you a good starting point.

Player TypeWhat to Look for in CashWhat to Look for in GPPs         
GoalkeepersGood chance to get win and clean sheet bonusesChance to make a few saves as well as the bonuses (but remember more shots faced = more chance to concede)
Centre-backsGood clean sheet potential, makes lots of passesGoal threat from set pieces, players that will have to make lots of blocks and tackles to keep a clean sheet (riskier but higher upside)
FullbacksCrosses frequently and creates chances, good clean sheet potentialAssists
Defensive MidfieldersSalary relief onlyIdeally avoid (low ceiling)
Centre MidfieldersCheap set piece takers in good matchupsGoal and assist potential (rare for most CMs though)
Attacking MidfieldersSet piece takers that also shoot and create chances from open play, average or better matchupGoal and assist potential, don’t always avoid tough matchups (AMs are often matchup proof, but are lower owned in worse matchups)
WingersCrosses and shoots frequently, ideally cheap and in a good matchup, forward eligibilityGoal and assist potential (but unusual for most wingers to score multiple goals)
StrikersPlayers that shoot often and are very likely to score (i.e. great matchup and/or elite talent)Potential to score multiple goals

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