Telegraph Fantasy Football World Cup Tips – Defender and Goalkeeper player rankings


Here’s our telegraph fantasy football world cup tips article where we rank the defenders and GKs based on their Group stage clean sheet odds

 Telegraph Fantasy Football World Cup Tips – Defender and Goalkeeper player rankings

This is the first of the Telegraph  player rankings articles. You may have already seen our rules article and Stephen Troops excellent strategy article


The approach has been simple. I’ve taken the clean sheet odds from 1 bookie for each game and then totalled them up. The teams are sorted into the best odds prospects and then 2 defenders are suggested and a goalkeeper. Their price is given next to them.


Team: the teams are ordered by the total clean sheet odds with the team with the best total odds at the top

Rd 1, Rd 2, Rd 3: These are the clean sheet odds for each game the team plays in Rds 1 Rds 2 and Rds 3.

Tot: The total odds of the 3 rounds. The lower the total the better the odds.

Def 1 and Def 2: Def 1 is either the best attacking player or the most gametime secure player but I’ve also taken into account the potential player ratings points which are reasonably significant. Def 2 will be a cheaper version but I have still only tried to pick players with a decent amount of gametime security. They are then priced as per the Telegraph site.

GK: This is who I think will be the first choice GK.

n/a: I’ve used this when I’ve been in doubt about the GK selection.

I’ve used the clean sheet odds when they first came out over a week ago so they were the result of analysis rather than being overly effected by betting patterns and meaningless friendlies.


The schedule maybe hard to read on a phone so here’s the link to the google spreadsheet. You can copy and paste it and then amend as you wish. There’s also an additional Tab which gives the clean sheet stats in the Groups as opposed to sorted by best total.  That will come useful for choosing any block defence strategy which I’ll talk about later in the article

telegraph fantasy football world cup tips

Stephen Troops Defensive Block strategy

I’m going to put in 2 teams.  1 “normal” team and 1 block defence team.  I’ve not done it before but it sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a go.  This is my interpretation though I haven’t discussed it with him.

Thinking about it I thought with only 26 transfers in the Group stages before the transfer amnesty for the knockout stages.  Therefore  you could afford to do 4 sets of 4 block transfers in the Group stages.  You would have to set it up with 4 defenders for the first game Russia v Saudi Arabia.  I would probably just do 4 defenders and not a GK although I don’t have a particular rationale for that.

The good thing with the Telegraph version is that you can make transfers between games on the same day so you can always see the lineup before setting your team.  Therefore no transfers wasted.

Here’s my thoughts on the fixtures (times in UK time):

Russia v Saudi Arabia – 4pm Thursday 14th June

France v Australia – 11am Saturday 16th June

Belgium v Panama  – 4pm Monday 18th June

Uruguay v Saudi Arabia – 4pm Tuesday 19th June

Spain v Iran  – 7pm Wednesday 20th June

You’re then left with a decent prospect of Spain v Morrocco so no further defence changes needed for round 3.  Plus 10 other transfers to change things before the knockout amnesty

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2 thoughts on “Telegraph Fantasy Football World Cup Tips – Defender and Goalkeeper player rankings

  1. I think I can improve on the block strategy.
    You have unlimited transfers after the group stage so there is no advantage of have a team that can go far
    If you keep a team for a whole round you can get extra games so with a 4 block strategy you can have:
    Russia v Saudi Arabia
    France v Australia
    Argentina v Iceland
    Belgium v Panama
    Belgium v Tunisia
    Germany v Sweden
    Germany v S. Korea
    2 extra games for only a small loss of favourable fixtures. You might loss a couple of players to rotation but I think it is a far better tactic.

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