The idea of playing daily fantasy sports is difficult for many with too many concerns. This is where this guide to daily fantasy sports will make it easy for anyone to play from the first time player to someone who is looking to make the leap from season long leagues to one or more of the daily fantasy sports sites that might be out there.
Before we get started we would like to take a minute to give you a quick rundown of what you will get in this guide. Think of this guide as a set of steps that you will climb from the decision on what site to join up to the day you start playing actual fantasy contests. In between you will learn the ropes of what contests are the best to play and how much you should play.
What is DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports?
Daily Fantasy Sports is a simplified version of season long fantasy played on a daily basis. For example if you like to play fantasy football you get a chance to set a new lineup each week using a salary cap format. After the final game featured in the league you join is complete you are paid to your account for your earnings if you placed.
While the NFL & College Football is a week to week basis the rest of the major sports including the NBA, MLB and NHL are played on a daily basis giving you a chance to win daily. Daily Fantasy Sports sites do have the option to play for free but most of the sites get a ton of action in their cash games that payout real cash.
Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal?
In most parts of the United States DFS is legal but some states including Arizona, Montana, Louisiana, Iowa and Vermont have restrictions. The reason DFS gets the free pass as it is grouped with the fantasy sports industry that is considered a game of skill and not of luck. This might be the one biggest reason you haven’t signed up. Now that we have that cleared up you can sign up now and start drafting your league.
Now that we got past the two questions that we hear a lot we can get back to helping you get on your way with Daily Fantasy Sports. So the first step is finding which of the DFS sites you might want to join from a long list including sites like FanDuel, DraftKings and Draftday to name a few. We will give you a quick rundown of a few of the sites as well as what you want to look at before signing up.
FanDuel: This might be the largest of all the daily fantasy sites with advertisements on key networks like ESPN, Fox Sports as well as all the sports talk shows across the country. In return this gives them a ton of fantasy players playing which in return allows for bigger cash prizes and payouts. FanDuel offers salary cap structured format leagues for the NFL, College Football, NBA, College Basketball, NHL and MLB.
Pros – IPhone App, Top Prize Tournaments ($1 million dollar payout), easy to navigate website
DraftKings: The other major player in the daily fantasy industry is DraftKings. DraftKings made history this year paying out $1 million dollars to one lucky winner each week over the course of the NFL season. Much like FanDuel, DraftKings is built around a salary cap structure but has all the same fantasy options but also has fantasy soccer, PGA and MMA. DraftKings one small perk that will benefit the new player is their $0.25 cent tournaments.
Pros – IPhone & Android App, Top Prize Tournaments ($1 million dollar top payout)
Draftday: Draftday is a little newer to the industry but has slowly started to creep into the fantasy option picture. The biggest perk with Draftday is their signup bonus which is unlike other sites as they do not make you earn it but actually match it the day of deposit. This is also a great site to get started with lower max cash games as tournaments.
Pros – Instant Signup Bonus, Lower Max Cash Games & Tournaments
Other notable daily fantasy sites: FantasyAces, 24/7 Drafts, Drafthero and FantasyFeud.
Now that you have taken the time to sign up to one or more of the sites above we can help you figure out what types of games you want to play as well as how much money you might want to play in each contest as well as each day.
Here are the different types of leagues you can enter:
H2H – This is simply head to head against one opponent with the winner taking home the cash prize minus what the site earns. This is one of the best ways to play on the site based on the 50 percent odds.
50/50 – These leagues can be as few as 10 players and upwards of a few thousands but with the same end result. Half of the league takes home the same cash prize for example a 10 person league the top 5 scores would earn money. The odds sit at 50 percent making them a great opportunity to win cash.
GPP – GPP are larger tournaments that start between $1 and run upwards of a few thousand. These tournaments can be for a few hundred people up wards of 100 thousand people. The odds vary based on the tournament with payouts typically in the 20 percent of the top scorers winning. The nice side though is the top spots typically can take home around $1000 but can go up to $1 million dollar.
Satellite or Ladder – We typically hear of satellite tournaments in poker but they are also in daily fantasy sports. These leagues typically do not have a cash payout but more of a buy in to a larger tournament. This is how you get to the final big payout tournament for both FanDuel and DraftKings which ends in Vegas during the last week of the football season with the winner taking home a $1 million dollars.
The sites are all set up a little differently but on the same salary cap format. For example if you are entering an NBA contest on FanDuel the roster size is nine players (2 point guards, 2 shooting guards, 2 small forwards, 2 power forwards, 1 center) with a salary cap of $60,000 leaving you $6,667 per person. The catch is players range from $3,500 upwards of $11,000.
DraftKings on the other hand is built around an eight player team (1 point guard, 1 shooting guard, 1 small forward, 1 power forward, 1 center, 1 guard, 1 forward, 1 flex) and a $50,000 salary cap leaving you with a $6,250 salary per person.
How much to bet and bankroll management:
This might be the most important part of playing daily fantasy and something that could scare you away from the action. Take your time to learn one site at first from top to bottom including how you score points, which leagues you might want to enter and what you feel comfortable spending per contest.
For beginners we like the $0.25 cent enter games on DraftKings to get your feet wet as well as $1 contests. This gives you a chance to learn the ropes, build up a strategy and have a chance to win some money. For many individuals the amount of money they play per contest is really built around what you might be able to afford each week.
That money you enter is called your bankroll which will allow you play in fantasy contest. I personally don’t like to spend more than 15% of my roll. This means if I have $100 in my account I would allow myself $15 to spend each day. This could vary based on how much I am winning and losing.
Now that you have an overall aspect of daily fantasy sports sites lets run down a few tips to remember when playing each day.
– Never wager all of your bankroll in any given day.
– Look at the league sizes and the amount of prizes being paid out. A league with a higher percentage of payouts gives you the best odds of winning. For example you join a league with 100 people and the site pays out the top 40 making it a 40 percent chance you can win compared to a site only paying out the top 20.
– Monitor your lineup till just a few minutes before tip off for players who might be ruled out at the last minute. This will not only hurt your fantasy team but could cost you a lot of money in the end.
– Look at stats daily to help you build your lineups including stats such as the Las Vegas line and point spread, points allowed per position as well as recent trends in a teams success.
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