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An Overview of Daily Fantasy

Fantasy sports have been around for decades, tracing its roots back to 1980 when the original fantasy league started around America’s pastime, baseball. From that early league, known as the Rotisserie Baseball League after the restaurant where the players would gather to compete, fantasy sports have grown to encompass a huge variety of sports.

Whether it is something as popular as football or more niche like America’s NASCAR circuit, fans can find fantasy leagues to compete in. While players enjoyed being able to indulge their desire to own and manage their own teams, occasionally the format left something to be desired due to the lengthy time commitment it requires. Enter the newest innovation in fantasy sports: Daily Fantasy leagues.

What is Daily Fantasy?

Daily Fantasy is just what the name implies; fantasy sports games that can be played start-to-finish in a single day. In traditional fantasy sports, players draft a team before their chosen season starts and then create lineups using those players for the entirety of the season (with the option of trading players and picking up free agents along the way).

In such a format, a winner does not emerge for months, and if a player isn’t lucky or skilled enough to have one of the better teams in their league, those months can feel even longer. Daily Fantasy games are designed to avoid the malaise that accompanies a lengthy fantasy season by focusing on a single day or week of competition at a time.

Is Daily Fantasy Legal?

This section is mostly for players in the United States, where the legal status of Daily Fantasy has become a hot topic. To that end, we have compiled a massive article and map that tracks the legal status of these games throughout the country. That link will be regularly updated to reflect the rapidly changing legal landscape.

How Does Daily Fantasy Work?

Once players decide which sport they wish to compete in they are given a budget, which they then use to compile the roster they will use to compete against other users. The better an athlete is performing, the more of a player’s budget will be needed to get them on their team.

For instance, if one were to engage in a one-day EPL game a player like Diego Costa could eat up as much as 20% of the team budget (maybe even more if he is on form or going against a weak opponent), meaning that sacrifices will need to be made in terms of quality elsewhere on the squad to fit the Chelsea star into the lineup.

For this reason, being able to budget resources as well as having knowledge of some lesser-known players are very important factors when seeking Daily Fantasy success. As with traditional fantasy sports, real-world on-field performance determines fantasy scoring. It is recommended that players carefully review the specific settings before entering a contest.

Daily Fantasy Contest Styles and Formats

Players can also choose the style of contest they want to compete in. Most sites offer a wide variety of play types and entry costs. Some of the most common games are:

  • Head-to-Head | Simple winner-takes-all contests against another user.
  • Leagues | Compete against two or more opponents for a set prize pool. Smaller entry fields compared to most other game types.
  • 50/50 | Finishing in the top half of registered entrants is all that is required to win cash in these contests.
  • Qualifiers | Larger contests with small entry fees where free entry to larger stakes contests is up for grabs.
  • Multipliers | Games where it is possible for the top finishers to win up to 10 times their initial entry fee.
  • Freerolls | Free entry games where entry tickets to other games on the site are on the line instead of cash.

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