Daily fantasy sports are huge right now, and for many good reasons. They are fun, they’re exciting, and they are really easy to take part in. They don’t have the huge time commitment that season long leagues have, so there’s less stress, and they make watching the games later in the day that much more exciting. Each sport has a slightly different scoring method, but in the world of one day fantasy leagues, the basic premise is pretty much the same throughout: you are given a salary cap and need to draft a full team while staying within that cap limit. This can be harder at some times than it is at others. Regardless, the end result is a lot of fun, and if you do it right, there’s potential to make a lot of money. Here’s a quick guide or even a fantasy for dummies look at this fun action.
There are a few daily fantasy sports sites to consider, but we recommend playing these games at FanDuel, DraftKings, or DraftDay. Wherever you choose to go, you will want to have a solid basic understanding of how to master the draft.
How Does Daily Football Leagues Work
The NFL is the most popular sports league in the United States, and it only stands to reason that daily fantasy football will be the most popular fantasy sport. If you’ve ever played fantasy football, you know how intense it can get over the course of a season. Now, cram that intensity into just a single day, and that’s what you have here. to be successful, you will need to consider many of the same things as you would in a season long league (passing yards, touchdowns, rushing, completions, etc.), but you have new things to worry about, too. You want to avoid negative stats in most leagues, such as sacks against, loss of yards, fumbles, and so on. Quarterbacks will be your biggest resources, but that just the beginning of drafting a team. And to get a top QB isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Draft a top performer like Aaron Rodgers or Andrew Luck, and suddenly the rest of your team is negatively impacted. A balancing act is needed if you want to start winning money. Luckily, this is not a tough thing to learn.
Daily Baseball Games Equals Tons of Fun
Baseball used to be the top fantasy sport out there, but the long grind of the season was too much for some people. That’s where daily leagues step in. It takes the long dull parts out of the season and makes it exciting again. You can choose to play only when you feel like it, rather than have to worry about whether you will still be motivated to check your roster every day three months from now. Also, you can adapt your roster every day if you’d like. If you draft a Bryce Harper or a Mike Trout only to see him get hurt in the second week and lose a ton of playing time, your season could be ruined in a season long league. If you draft him in a daily league and this happens, you can just not draft him for the rest of the season afterward. You have a lot more freedom to do what’s best for your roster and make adjustments as you see necessary. Read more about daily baseball fantasy here.
PGA Fantasy Golf
Golf’s not one of those sports that people think about as exciting, but when you play it as a fantasy sport, it really is. Even more so when it’s a daily fantasy sports league. Usually, golfers are broken down into three tiers, and you need to draft two from each tier–depending upon the site you use. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because of the salary cap. You want golfers that will last an entire tournament without missing the cut, you want them to keep their stroke count low, and you want them to finish as close to the top as possible. Combine this with the fact that you can’t draft 6 superstars, and suddenly things get very complicated. Sure, you can have Jordan Spieth on your roster, but then you have a tougher time with the quality of the remaining five slots. Balancing your roster to score the most points possible is almost as exciting as watching each of the events unfold.
Basketball is Strategic
The NBA season is exciting, but it is even more so when you have a vested interest in each game. Daily leagues let you do this. Like baseball, one day basketball leagues help you to avoid the grind of a long season with the freedom to change your roster around each day. You can look to LeBron James or Kevin Durant one day, and then James Harden or Russell Westbrook the next. Whatever works best for you one day might not work a few days later, so there’s plenty of chances for you to mix things up. And if you want to take a week or two off, you can also do that without being penalized at all. That’s the beauty of daily leagues.
Hockey Comes to Life
Fantasy hockey has a rabid fan base, and daily fantasy hockey is only intensifying that. Hockey has a long, and often very cold, season, and one day hockey leagues take the doldrums out of it. You can play at the beginning of the year, every day, or just when things start heating up right before the postseason begins. It’s all up to you. Regardless, you want to draft players that are quick and aggressive offensively, while also solid on their defensive skills. A player like Jamie Benn that can score goals and pass effectively into an assist is a great asset to have, but if he gets hurt, or you simply can’t afford him within your salary cap on a given day, there are other choices. Fantasy leagues also help you to account for the inevitable slump that a player might experience. You can choose not to draft Benn if he goes through a dry spell, and then pick him back up a couple weeks later, usually at a cheaper price, once he starts performing well again.
NASCAR is for All
Fantasy NASCAR is quite similar to golf in how you should approach it. You have a few individual drivers to draft, usually 6, and a limited amount of salary to use on them. Breaking the drivers down into performance and price tiers is helpful at approaching this. What you might not know, though, is that a great way to find breakout success in a one day league for NASCAR is to look for those drivers that can transcend tier. So, if you’ve already drafted Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson and you need to start thinking about mid-tier talent, you want to pick that driver that has the potential to break into a top-tier performance level. You want someone that you don’t need to spend much on, but that has the potential to finish in the top 10 or better of the race. A Jeff Gordon or Kasey Kahne would do well here, although because of Gordon’s popularity, he might be too expensive still. It really all depends on the weekend and what the site has determined for each player’s pricing. Pay attention, and you will find little opportunities here and there that can translate into big cash.
MMA is a Battle
Daily fantasy MMA leagues are moving up in popularity almost as fast as the sport itself is. The scoring is slightly different than other individual based fantasy leagues just because of the nature of MMA. You want to pick a fighter that will win, preferably by a KO, and you want someone that will win quickly as extra points are awarded for swift victories. The bigger the favorite in a match, the more expensive that fighter will be. That’s why you see Ronda Rousey often being the top priced fighter, even when male fighters are involved. She’s just so dominant right now that she has been winning all of her fights very quickly. Make sure that her big price tag, or any other favorite that you draft, will pay off by giving you a lot of fantasy points.
Whether you are new to this type of action or a seasoned pro, we feel like the rest of the site will really help you get your feet wet. We tried to make this site along the lines of fantasy for dummies, but wanted to give more advanced topics. Keep checking back for more great advice.