This article is part of our Ask the Shark series.
Statistics are the core of playing daily fantasy sports, and those not utilizing this data to the fullest extent possible are likely leaving money on the table. Goals and assists are obvious and at the forefront of one's decision-making in DFS soccer, but it's the peripheral stats that add context to situations that wouldn't easily be seen by just looking at the scoresheet of a match.
The newly released soccer stats package here at RotoWire bridges this gap better than no other. Player game logs on DraftKings or FanDuel are definitely useful, but can't be sorted, compared or put into context with the match as a whole. While the resources at WhoScored and FourFourTwo can get quite in-depth, they aren't geared towards a DFS-playing audience and lack the ability to drill down to what really matters.
Raw data, in and of itself, is only helpful in a limited capacity when using it to predict future outcomes. A striker scored a hat-trick last game; a fullback has put in 14 crosses over the past four games; a midfielder has created seven chances over the past three games. What can you even really do with this information? Statistics mean nothing until they're put into context. Away versus home; opponent strength; minutes played; formation used. There are a multitude of variables that need to be taken into account when weighing the performance of a player.
Sometimes the makeup of a team's lineup can drastically affect the output of certain players. This is especially