Formations 101: How to spend your cash

4-4-2, 3-4-3, 5-4-1… When it comes to the best formation, everyone has an opinion.  It’s a good idea to try to build your team around the formation you plan on going with. You always have the option to make adjustments as the season goes on, but at the start, it can definitely help you spend your money wisely.

For the KFC team, there are two formations that we think stand out above the rest, the 3-4-3 and the 4-4-2.  But before we get into the pros and cons, let’s take a look at how points were distributed last season.

In the 2012 season, players generated over 26,000 points total.  Here’s how they were divided over the positions. Explanation after the break.

In both breakdowns, Keepers were the lowest point generating position and Midfielders generated the majority of the fantasy points. What we found surprising was how close Defenders were to Midfielders. Around 1%! In the Premiere League, Defenders are currently about 10% behind Midfielders so this was definitely not a number we expected (but it has been a great year for Midfielders). Forwards were lower than expected when looking at the entire league, but got a big boost when you just look at the top 30.

So how can a manager try to take advantage of this?


The classic formation and one this tends to get dismissed as not being attacking enough. But because Defenders and Midfielders are so close in point generating ability, we believe the 4-4-2 becomes a lot more viable as a point generating formation for Fantasy MLS managers because you are able to dip deep into both areas.

Keepers: Go with a good budget option. We’d recommend looking at the article over at MLS Fantasy Blog about keeper pricing. It’s a good breakdown of keeper combinations and total cost. We’re recommending spending Under 11m.

Defenders: For this formation, you do not have to worry about the premium 6m Defenders. We thought it was easy to find 5 players from the top defensive teams, but you can also choose to go with one budget defender to help spread some more cash around. We’re recommending spending Under 30m.

Midfielders: If you’re willing to go with a throw away player here, or used some extra cash on Defense, you can grab 4 good players that are all over 8m. Add a few more to your watch list; because you will need to use trades to keep ahead of weeks when teams have No Game (Check out out Charts). We’re recommending spending Under 40m.

Forwards: There are a lot of good options here, but you only need 2 good forwards. Grab 1 of the 10m+ players and then another player who will get reliable numbers. Your 3rd forward is a throw away. We’re recommending spending Under 26m.

If you decide to go with a 4-4-2, you’ll need to keep a close eye on when players have No Game.  You will have to try to minimize the chance of playing one of your bench players (except keeper) so keeping 4 strong options on the field is a must. This could be a bit overwhelming to newer managers, but definitely manageable. Adding players to your watch list can be very helpful to accomplish this. We also recommend writing some things down to help you visualize your transfers.


A popular fantasy formation that focuses on attacking and can also be a little friendlier to new players. This formation will let you focus on the area where the majority of points come from, the Midfield.

Keepers: Again, go with a good budget option and keep an eye on rotation. We’re recommending spending Under 11m.

Defenders: You’re looking for field 3 solid players here, so you’ll want to have at least 1 attacking 6m Defender from a solid team. You’ll want to supplement him with a couple of other good choices, but your biggest concern will be shutouts for them. Your last 2 Defenders will mostly be on your bench. You can go cheap with these players, but we recommend having at least 1 be a player who sees a good amount of playing time. We’re recommending spending Under 28m.

Midfielders: You’ll want to focus on attacking players. You can go big on one player by spending between 8.8m-9.5m, but you’ll need to supplement your midfield with other players that bring budget attacking performance. Look for players over 7m. Your 5th players will be a throw away. We’re recommending spending Under 40m.

Forwards: Depending on how much money you spend here will determine if you can upgrade any Midfielders. You’re going to want 3 players who had a good chance of getting points each week. There are definitely options that work for three players between 7.5m and 10.5m.  Again, grab 1 of the 10.5m players and pick two more solid options. We’re recommending spending Under 29m.

If you decide to go with the 3-4-3, you need to make sure your forwards are going to produce goals and assists. Since they get fewer points for a goal, you can’t afford to have them miss out. You’ll also need to make sure you find some attacking Defense players so you can handle those weeks when you have Midfielders and Forwards not playing.  Depth is going to be your concern.

So what formation are you planning on going with? Leave a comment and let us know why!

About MLS Fantasy Boss

Founder of MLS Fantasy Boss, moderator of /r/FantasyMLS, freelance contributing writer for Passionate about all things MLS and growing the Fantasy MLS community.

Check Also

2023 Discord Player Rankings: Round 24

The MLS Fantasy Boss Discord community is not only a fun place to get fantasy …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *