Daily Fantasy Sports

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Read Our Ultimate Guide to Winning at DFSWe decided it was time to create a page dedicated to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). In fact, we are considering this the Ultimate Guide to DFS. We’ve been in this area of sports for a very long time and it’s our turn to help those in need. We will do our best to answer all the questions you may have as well as share some things you may not even know exist. As we progress with the site, we will continue to add more and more information that will help you become a better contestant in DFS. We hope you enjoy the content below and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Table of Contents

What is DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports?

Where to Play DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports?

How to Play DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports?
How is player salary calculated?
How to pick DFS players?
Strategy for Cash Games vs Tournaments (GPP’s)
Is It a Scam or Is It Legit?
Eligibility
Tools to Make Line-ups
Scoring for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Cash Games and Tournaments (GPP’s)
FanDuel Scoring
DraftKings Scoring
Yahoo Scoring
Free Games and Start Your Own League
Bonuses and Promo Codes

What is DFS or Daily Fantasy Sports?

Playing some DFS FootballDaily fantasy sports appeals to many contestants due to a single investment of time and money played over the course of a day as opposed to an entire season like traditional fantasy sports leagues. Players are drafted using a salary cap system. All contestants must operate within an equal salary cap amount while balancing all choices to form a complete team. Choosing the right team is an art form in daily fantasy sports.

Whether you are researching and reviewing the 40 different types of TV’s to buy from Amazon or in the grocery store laboring over which type of endless bread or cheese options you’re going to buy. What are the ingredients? How much more per ounce is this product compared to another? Do I sacrifice quality for price? These are the types of decisions we make constantly in our daily lives whether we realize it or not.

With so much information available at our fingertips due to smartphones, we can have informed decisions all the time making the most of our hard-earned money. Plus there is something rewarding about a great value buy even if it means being called cheap by of our friends and family. Conversely, nobody likes to be taken for a sucker and ripped off buying a lemon car or bad fruit. “Fruit is a gamble” Jerry Seinfeld once said, “but I know that going in there”. Every decision in life is a gamble whether we realize it or not and this is essentially what daily fantasy sports or DFS is all about. Can you make smart choices when it comes to players? If you can find great value buys, then daily fantasy sports could be a successful endeavor.

Where to Play DFS?

Daily fantasy sports initially started in January 2009 when FanDuel launched as a web-based service and is now the largest daily fantasy sports site. There are three main daily fantasy sports providers: Fanduel, Draftkings, and Yahoo. There are several others we will mention in the future but this is a good place to start.


Play Daily Fantasy Sports at the Biggest SiteFanDuel – The DFS giant operates 10 sports including football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, soccer, NASCAR, college football, college basketball, and tennis. FanDuel is the most popular of the three and tends to have the biggest games available. FanDuel DFS Review coming soon.

Play Daily Fantasy Sports at DraftKingsDraftkings – Offers contest across 13 sports including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA Tour, Soccer, CFL, NASCAR, MMA, and E-Sports. Draftkings is very similar to FanDuel and Yahoo but with minor scoring differences. Draftkings offers great free events to enter with prize money up for grabs. DraftKings DFS Review coming soon.

Open a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports AccountYahoo Daily Fantasy – Offers contest across 6 sports including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA Tour and Soccer. Yahoo’s daily fantasy sports are considered the most beginner-friendly daily fantasy sports website. Yahoo also runs the NFL and NBA Yahoo Cup which is a season-long daily fantasy tournament. It is free to enter and has a first-place prize of $10,000. Yahoo DFS Review coming soon.

How to Play DFS?

Each daily fantasy sports provider has its own specific rules but the overall prevailing strategy is always the same. Find or pick players with value for their potential scoring in the game. We break all of this down below.

How is player salary calculated?

How to Keep Players Under DFS Salary Cap?This salary cap system prices players on a scoring projection for the contest day. Player salaries are correlated to the player’s fantasy points projection. So let’s say an NBA player normally produces 20 points and 10 rebounds a game and priced at a projected production of $6,000. An NBA player who is projected to have 40 points and 20 rebounds would then have a correlating salary of $12,000 in this example. Player salaries are projected by the daily fantasy providers to a certain fantasy point total for the day. The projected total is then correlated to or equal to the price or salary of the player.

How to pick daily fantasy sports players?

Let’s again assume the NBA player is projected for 20 points and 10 rebounds at a price of $6,000. However, hours before the game teammates of the player are ruled out. The injuries will create more scoring opportunities for the player and therefore increase scoring potential while maintaining the same price. This would be one such scenario where a player would be a good choice for their price. There are many scenarios and variables creating advantageous buying opportunities for players.

How to Target Games?

Target the Best Values in DFSThe smartest strategy for DFS is to start by looking at the game slate for the day of the DFS game(s) you are going to play. Looking at the over/under line of Las Vegas is a great place to reference first. In general, the higher the over/under the greater the chance (in most cases) more fantasy points will be available. There can be a personal feel element to this as well, so target the games resonating the most with you and/or use the Vegas lines to help aid.

How to Check Player Positions?

After looking over the game slate it’s always smart to look at which positions are thin for players and which positions are stacked with players. If a position is stacked then chances are greater a value buy will be there. If a position is thin, then there is less opportunity for value and as a general rule, this is where you will want to spend more money to achieve a balanced team.

How Should You Target Players?

Target the Best Values in DFSAfter picking games next target players in those games. A tendency for most new players is to buy superstars at high price tags. Like everything else in capitalism, the more popular a product then the more you will pay retail. As stated above, the goal is to find value and more times than not big-name players will have a high price tag. This makes it tough to find value (also high ownership percentage in tournaments or GPP’s). The only time superstar price tags are justified is if the game has a ridiculously high over/under or the superstar’s team is short-handed with injuries opening up more fantasy point opportunities to exceed the high price tag.

Side Note: There is a prominent feel element in balancing the first three steps and figuring out how to fit all the players together into a team. This is where the daily fantasy sports artist is required.

How Do You Factor In All Other Variables?

Now it is time to take in all the subtle variables and add them up. When it comes to examples of these, the most important questions are:

  • How healthy or fresh is the player?
  • Is the player home or away and how does their performance compare?
  • For outdoor sports, is the weather a major factor such as wind, rain or snow?
  • How has the player’s performance been trending up or down?
  • Is the team short-handed opening up more opportunities compared to the salary price?

This list can be endless so it is best to factor in just the bigger questions and save yourself the paralysis analysis.

How do You Make Your Ultimate Team Soup?

It's all about the right ingredients to make the best DFS lineupSo you’ve found your target games, combed the thin and stacked positions, picked target players and factored in all the other variables. Now it’s time to put it all in a pot and let it marinate. At this point in the process step away from your line-up and then come back. Like any purchase, it is always wise to come back a second time with fresh eyes. A lot of times when piecing a team together it is easy to overlook something broader and a second look will alleviate poor value choices.

How to Season the Team to Taste?

Before making your DFS purchase final it is good to do one last rundown of your player purchases. The question to always ask is do I trust this player? So many bad DFS teams are due to wishful thinking a player will do well. As a fan, it’s easy to let emotions get in the way of picking your favorite players. The key is to ask yourself, would I spend my own money on this player having a good outcome? Many times your gut will say no and most times it will be right. If you put the analytical time in then you will know which players are safer bets than others so always pick players you trust not hope will do well.

Strategy for Cash Games vs Tournaments (GPP’s)

  • What is a cash game? A cash game is considered a 50/50 tournament or a head-to-head (H2H) contest on the DFS websites.
  • Strategy for cash games – The best strategy for a cash game is to pick players fitting the basic criteria mentioned above and to find players with value relative to their price. The players who fit this criterion tend to have high ownership (which is not great for tournaments). It is not as important to have a low ownership percentage in cash games. Since cash games (H2H) are essentially a double or nothing bet. The most prudent course in cash games is to seek out value relative to price regardless of ownership percentages.
  • What is the tournament? – A tournament in daily fantasy sports is a contest where multiple players compete for a very top-heavy purse similar to a PGA Tour event. The winner of a tournament or GPP will receive a payout of multiple times their entry fee and usually around 20% of the total purse. The total amount of payouts in a tournament usually goes to about 10-15% of the field as opposed to a 50/50 which pays half the field.
  • Strategy for tournaments (GPP’s) – Tournaments have a similar strategy to cash games in that you always want to find value. It is best in a tournament, however, to find players with value and low ownership. If 50% of the field owns the same player then it will be hard to separate yourself from the group. The key is to find unpopular players with value so you can separate yourself from the field by picking players with low ownership. Tournaments usually take a very high score to cash or win so a mixture of high-risk high reward players is a good strategy for GPP’s. Finding boom or bust players is key to tournament success where it would be a poor strategy in cash games.

Is It a Scam or Is It Legit?

Is DFS a Scam or is is Legit?Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is considered by many to be a game of skill as opposed to a game of chance which defines classic gambling. There is no question it takes skill to pick players well enough to win and there are professionals consistently finding their way to the top. A great correlation to daily fantasy sports (DFS) would be Texas Hold’em. It does require a lot of skill to be good yet there is a significant element of luck or chance coming into play as well. As far as the individual US states are concerned, it is hard to define and there are multiple designations within the legal context.


Eligibility

Can You Play DFS in the State You Live In?A detailed map can be accessed here defining the designations and whether your state is legal or not: You can look at each state and see what you can and can’t do within the borders. Sites like FD and DK have strict tracking systems to ban people coming from states that don’t allow DFS. Here is the State of Play

 Tools to Make Lineups

There are a lot of resources available to help research and build lineups. One of the best websites is rotogrinders.com. They have a ton of free tools to use when building your lineup plus products you can pay for to take your lineups to the next level. Just register for a free account to gain access and then decide if the products are a smart investment for your fantasy needs. Rotoworld.com is another site with an abundance of free research tools.

Scoring for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Cash Games and Tournaments (GPP’s)

As mentioned above, there are three main websites providing daily fantasy sports:

  • FanDuel
  • Draftkings
  • Yahoo Sports

Each website has the same core scoring aspects with minor differences. Below are some of the scoring breakdowns for the three main daily fantasy websites.

FanDuel’s scoring and basics from their website:

Rules and Scoring:

  1. https://www.fanduel.com/rules
  2. https://www.draftkings.com/help/rules/overview
  3. https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN26317.html

To make things easier on you, we decided to add the scoring guides of our four favorite DFS games. There are plenty of more listed on each of these sites but this breaks it down one one page.

FanDuel Football Scoring

Get the NFL Scoring Breakdown Here

FanDuel Baseball Scoring

Learn about Baseball Scoring at FD

FanDuel Basketball Scoring

Learn How FD Keeps Score in Basketball fantasy

FanDuel Golf Scoring Guide

We Have PGA Golf Scoring Guide Here


DraftKings Football Scoring

Learn About Football Scoring at DraftKings

DraftKings Baseball Scoring

Check Out the Scoring of MLB Games at DK

DraftKings Basketball Scoring

We Take a Look at Basketball scoring at DraftKings

DraftKings Golf Scoring Guide

We Have a DK Golf Scoring Guide Here


Yahoo Daily Fantasy Football

Get the Info on Yahoo Fantasy Football

Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Scoring

We Have Some Daily Fantasy Scoring at Yahoo - MLB

Yahoo Fantasy Basketball Scoring

Play Yahoo Basketball Fantasy

Yahoo Fantasy Golf Scoring

Get in the Yahoo Fantasy Golf Game

Free Games & Start Your Own League

For those not wanting to wager money there are free options available. Fanduel, Draftkings, and Yahoo all run free leagues daily of 2 or more and oftentimes they have free prize pools for bigger event days such as NFL Sunday or NBA Friday nights or even The Master’s golf tournament.  You can learn about creating your own league or playing free games at each site. You also have the opportunity to create a head to head match and compete with your friends or random people. You can send requests to other users and see if they are up for the challenge. Some times it’s more fun going against a buddy. This way you can talk about things after the games are all over.

Bonuses and Promo Codes

Each of the three major sites offers some kind of bonus or promo code for when you make a deposit into your DFS account. A lot of people look for this bonus money to help support their learning curve when getting started. These promotions will change often as the companies see fit. We will try and update you with the latest information to getting free money as we can. For now, we recommend you check out this DraftKings promo code.

Daily Fantasy Sports is a booming industry. With the legalization of gaming and sports betting spreading into more states, the big sites are growing every day. FanDuel and Draftkings are partnering with major sports leagues as well. This is a big indication that this industry is here to stay. Whether you choose to play for free or for money always remember to spend wisely under the salary cap. Daily Fantasy Sports can become a great experience from novice to expert just remember to play responsibly. We hope this Ultimate Guide will put you on the path to winning more match-ups. Good luck and let us know if there is anything we can add to make this guide better. Be sure to check out other site reviews here.

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