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2 years ago

What is Daily Fantasy Sports?

In Daily Fantasy Sports players compete against others by building a team of professional athletes from a particular league or competition while remaining under a salary cap (fictional money you are allowed to spend on players) and earn points based on the actual statistical performance of the players in real-world competitions.

To put it in a nutshell — you spend money on players — they score points — your fantasy team wins... or loses.
 

SEASON-LONG AND DAILY GAMES

Season-long fantasy sports games have been around for a while. You know, those games where you and your buddies or workmates create a mini-league, pitch in a few bucks, draft a team at the beginning of the season, lose your interest half-way through and forget about it. On the last day of the campaign, it turns out that some Mrs. Bricks from Accounting has won it.

There is no season-long commitment in Daily Fantasy Games, thus — no loss of motivation, no missed deadlines, no wasted transfers. Typically, a DFS tournament takes 1 or 2 days to complete. You create your line-up, watch the action live, boom — the tournament is over — you pick up the winnings, or sigh at the losses, and move on.

Rinse and repeat the next day, week or month. You can play whenever you want, wagering as much as you want. Typically, DFS sites offer tournaments that are as cheap as €1 to enter and freerolls are available on most of them as well. If you have the funds, tournaments with a buy-in as high as a couple of hundred euros may tickle your fancy.
 

HOW IT WORKS

You are given a salary budget that must be spent on players to form your fantasy team. Depending on the sport, there are line-up requirements that you need to abide by. In football, for example, you might be required to field 1 goalkeeper, at least 3 defenders, 2 midfielders and 1 forward. The number of players in your lineups varies with different sites the same as the maximum number of players allowed for selection from the same team.

Players you have selected will accumulate points based on their performance in real-life competitions. Goals, assists, time spent on pitch/court/rink etc. yield points. Keep in mind that players might yearn negative points as well for fouls, own goals, yellow cards, and other infractions. Make sure you read the scoring rules carefully as understanding the scoring is crucial to your success.


TOURNAMENT TYPES

While the lobby might seem overwhelming at first, there is nothing to fear. There are 3 major types of daily games available on most sites:

  • Traditional Guaranteed Prize Pool  (GPP) tournaments, with big prizes and many players, most of them entering multiple line-ups;
  • Double-Ups (also knowns as 50/50 games) where 50% of the users win, all doubling up their money;
  • Heads-Up games (also known as HeadToHead or H2H) where you play against one opponent with all the money going to the victor.

We will talk in more detail about the strategy and how to be successful in any type of tournament in a different article.


WHY PLAY IT?
 

  • Be the manager. It’s fun being in complete control of your team. Will you choose proven goalscorers or players that are “hot” at the moment? Will you look for undervalued and underappreciated players who can give you the edge?  Will you bank it all on one player who could explode with a huge amount of fantasy-points? You make that call. You are the boss, it’s your vision, it’s your team.

  • Compete against other fans. Fans with their own take on team compositions, value picks and team creation. It doesn’t feel like you are competing against a bookie — something bulky, vague and giant, and extremely difficult to beat. It’s all about people and whether you can use your sports knowledge to beat your real-life rivals. Ah, that feeling of being the best of the pack!

  • Turn knowledge into money. We’re not saying being an expert in a given sport is enough to win — you have to familiarize yourself with the scoring system, carefully manage your bankroll, consider your strategy, how other managers are going to approach a gameweek etc. But one thing is certain — if you know your stuff, you can get paid. Nothing can be better than watching a game you love and earning a few euros while doing so. While making some spare cash may sound like an attractive possibility, remember to play responsibly and be sure to check out our bankroll management articles.
  • Watch sports differently. Without a shadow of a doubt, Daily Fantasy adds a new dimension to watching sports. Suddenly, all those players from all sorts of teams begin to matter as you cheer them on in chase of a clean sheet, a goal or an assist for your fantasy lineup. Watching any game with at least one of your fantasy selections on the pitch becomes a rollercoaster of emotions. It stops being simply about team A losing or winning, you have so many more things to get excited about. Goals, assists, blocks, interceptions, a yellow card in the final minute, a clear-cut chance missed — you get a 90-minute (insert any time period for your favorite sport here) package full of emotions. Who called a 0:0 draw a bore? Those clean sheets are a thing of beauty!
  • Crunch numbers. Stats geeks can really shine in Daily Fantasy. Numbers do matter in sports and a smart DFS player spends his share of time crunching them. Even if you are not really into a certain sport, but math, data analysis, and stats is your calling — it’s worth checking DFS out. Lots of data to work with, and there certainly are people who use it to their advantage, becoming successful fantasy players.

Try it out, create your line-up, watch the action, and may your fantasy team become the best!

You can check out daily fanatsy tournaments on FanTeam and Bethard.

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Alexey Bobrov
Author

Alexey Bobrov

Alexey, also known as KJIIOIIIKA, has been playing daily fantasy football since 2015 on various European sites. Scratches his fantasy itch on FanTeam, where he has a net profit of €6000+ with more than 2500 tournaments played and a 30%+ ROI. FanTeam's 2018 World Championship of Fantasy Football finalist. As Head of Content at DraftGym, his mission is to help our young European fantasy community grow. A proud father of two, plays ice-hockey at the regional level, loves board games.

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