Why Daily Fantasy?
I'm sure you've heard of it by now. You've heard the commercials on your radio for DraftKings or for FanDuel, perhaps you've even seen some of these commercials on TV. You might even know some friends or family who subscribe to My Fantasy Fix, but you're still a little unsure about just what daily fantasy sports is and if you should be a part of it. I know exactly how you feel... because I have been there.
I have been a subscriber to Sirius XM for several years and I don't think my tuner has ever moved off XM 87 - Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio. A couple of years ago I remember feeling inundated with radio commercials advertising something called Daily Fantasy Sports. At first I immediately thought that the advertised winnings weren't real and that the people were fake. Upon investigating further, however, I soon realized that these websites were real and everyday people like you and me were hitting it big by playing fantasy sports.
What are daily fantasy games?
Daily, or weekly, fantasy games are just fantasy contests with shorter time horizons than season-long fantasy leagues. All daily, or weekly, fantasy games use points-based scoring with each daily game provider having their own set of scoring guidelines (which can differ significantly site-to-site). Contests vary in their game type and payout structure but all contests payout shortly after the conclusion of the final day's games. This short timeframe allows you to play one week but maybe take the next week off. Daily fantasy sport (DFS for short) has revolutionized the fantasy industry and allows more people access to fantasy sports games. You're no longer tied to your computer or tablet night in and night out, scouring the waiver wire, or proposing trades after your star player gets hurt. You choose the days that you want to play without the consequences of losing your place in the standings!
What types of games are played?
The most common form of daily or weekly fantasy games comes in Salary Cap contests in which you're given a set salary cap to fit a roster of players within. Each player in the available player pool is tagged with a salary and all of your opponents will be faced with the same roster construction decisions you are.
Snake Draft leagues are what most people in season-long leagues are accustomed to. You participate in a league where draft position is randomly generated and the order for picks "snakes" each round. For example if you were participating in a three-person snake league, the draft order for round 1 would be randomly generated and then round 2 would reverse the order. So round 1 would go: 1-2-3 and round 2 would go: 3-2-1 and the draft would continue in this fashion until each team has a roster filled with players.
Pick-em or Rapid Fire:
Many of the daily fantasy sites also offer a game that's typically referred to as Pick-em. In these games the player is presented with a group of players to choose from and mandated to select one of those players per group. Often the groups are referred to as tiers and a roster is filled out with one selection from each tier. The number of available players in each tier will vary by site and vary by the number of games on the schedule each day.
What types of game structures are offered?
Winner-Take-All (H2H, 3-Man, etc):
In these contests a user constructs their roster against one other opponent and competes in a "winner-take-all" prize pool. This same structure can also be mimicked for "3-man" contests where you play against two other users for a winner-take-all structure.
Double-up games simply reward users who finish in the top half of their field by "doubling-up" their entry fee. For example if you're in an $11 10-man double up, users who finish in the top five will get paid out $20 (two times the entry fee, with $1 going to the daily game provider for site fees). Double-ups do not reward the "top" finisher with a larger piece of the prize pool than the 5th place finisher (in the 10-man example), which makes the game unique compared to other large field contests which heavily weight the best overall performers.
Often referred to as GPP's (Guaranteed Prize Pools) most sites host a few large tournaments a day in which they "guarantee" the prize pool, ensuring that the full payout happens even if the tournament doesn't fill. The payouts vary in number of places paid, but typically the prize structure is heavily weighted towards the very top finishers.
Satellite or Qualifiers:
These are tournaments wherein the top finishers are awarded entries into bigger prize pool contests.
Now that you know, how do you get started?
After developing a better understanding of what daily games are and how the industry has been shaped, I decided to start playing. I started by playing free games that are offered by many sites as a way to make users comfortable with the game set-up and structure. I can't stress this enough. Take advantage of the free games offered by the sites, as they're a great learning tool. After playing a few weeks of free games, I made my first initial deposit and started off by playing low stakes contests ($5 and $11 games). Double-ups are an excellent way to "dip your toes in the water" of DFS because they provide you with a much higher chance of cashing out at the end of the night. In this format, you don't have to make all the best picks, you just need to be better than half the league (or half the league needs to struggle more than you).
If you struggle in your first experience with daily fantasy sports, don't worry, I've been there too. Much like the development of a minor league baseball player, I typically struggled at each new level and challenge I took upon myself. As you move up to higher stakes games or large GPPs, you might encounter stiffer competition. There are many phenomenal daily fantasy players out there and it can sometimes feel discouraging when you see the same names winning night after night. Use those players as an example for yourself. Look at their lineups and try to get inside their head to understand why they picked a specific player (did they stack a specific team, did they spend on stars and fill the rest of their roster with value punt plays, etc). Eventually you'll develop a process that works for you and you'll adjust to your competition, just like a minor league baseball player does.
If nothing else, the excitement of DFS is enough to justify your initial and future investments into your DFS accounts. As I've grown as a daily fantasy sports player, I've tried various strategies or processes to reach the outcome we all want - to win and make money. I've had hot streaks and I've had cold streaks but I have developed a process that has helped me become successful at building my bankroll rather than shedding my bankroll. Now I'm ready to share these tips with our subscribers. So why should you make the jump to daily fantasy? Because you can essentially get paid for being entertained and watching sports! DFS is both fun and challenging. Let us help get you started off on the right foot! By changing the results of just one head-to-head or double-up matchup a month, our subscription will pay for itself! Try us free for a week, a month or jump in for the rest of the season - welcome aboard!