It’s nearly a requirement now if you watch football - Fantasy Football is one of the hottest games in the US every season, with millions of players now taking part. From the most experienced players to people only just learning the game, fantasy football is something for everyone to enjoy.
With the rise of the internet and more and more stats being given to fans, it’s no wonder fantasy football has taken off and begun to sprout offshoots. One of these offshoots is daily fantasy football, which was the US answer to the federal gambling ban. Now with the ban lifted, daily fantasy football stands only to grow as the market begins to expand to those who might have been turned off otherwise. Here’s our tips for being successful at daily fantasy football.
Recommended Daily NFL Fantasy Sites
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Daily fantasy football is branch on the tree that is fantasy football, which began way back in the 1960’s. The most popular league for daily fantasy is National Football League (NFL), which is where fantasy football started.
Daily fantasy is played similarly to regular fantasy football, but rosters, as the name suggests, only last one day. Daily fantasy players can pick a new roster every day, and aren’t locked into a roster for the entire season. They also allow multiple players to use the same players in their daily entries. Instead of a regular draft, players instead have a set salary to stay within, with players costing a part of their salary cap.
In addition to the one-day rosters, daily fantasy offers more than just a simple league for players. There are many different contests for players to enter, some which can provide a bit of a cushion for players that are new to daily fantasy sports or football as a whole. The various contests are listed below.
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Types of Daily Fantasy Contests
Head-to-Head | Straight-forward, winner-takes-all game vs another user.
Tournaments | Largest, highest-paying contests with guaranteed prize pools for the top finishers
Qualifiers | Contests that feed the winners into larger tournaments
50/50 | Small contests where those who finish in the top half split the prize pool evenly.
Multipliers | Similar to 50/50, larger contests where the
Freerolls | Free entry games where entry tickets to other games on the site are on the line instead of cash.
Research is always key to any fantasy sports, and daily fantasy is no different. That might not be what new players want to hear, so many sites do what they can to make it easy to figure out the key players. Of course, more experienced players will know how and what they want to research, but newer players will want to do a bit of outside research before starting.
Key things to research would be starters, matchups, and offensive styles of teams. Some teams are going to be more pass-heavy than others, making their QBs and WRs more valuable. Of course, there are always a handful of players that are never bad options. Consistent, superstar QBs can usually be counted on to put up good numbers for any team, if you’re willing to spend the salary on them.
Daily Fantasy Starters
The starters you pick for your daily fantasy entry might vary from site to site. The standard format found at FanDuel and DraftKings is:
A Defense/Special Teams
The flex position is an offense player who isn’t a QB, and is arguably one of the most important positions. Because of the freedom to pick any player, correctly using the flex position can make an entry the winner in any pool. This can be especially tricky for players, seeing that the best players will usually already be in their designated positions.
Picking a high-performing flex player is a testament to a player’s research to know what matchups will be the highest performing across the entire league. When it comes to a flex player, finding the right matchup is usually the key to playing the right player.
Understanding Daily Fantasy Match-Ups
Knowing how to play match-ups is crucial for the success of daily fantasy football players. Because of the salary cap, entries can’t just load up on star players and call it a day. Players might be able to afford a single star, but a successful entry will have good matchups all the way down the roster.
Being able to spot favorable matchups at a good price range is a huge piece. Just like finding a bad line in sports betting, pounding of cheap mismatches is critical to success. Even playing stars won’t always pay off if they’re facing a team that can counter said stars properly. If a star RB is facing the best rushing defense in the NFL, it might be best to leave them off the roster regardless of how effective they’ve been up until that point in the season.
Accounting for Injuries
Keeping up with major injuries is, obviously, a big thing. Beyond making sure you’re not starting an injured player, one needs to know how an injury is going to affect the stats of the rest of the team. Players on the team could play better or worse without the injured player in reality.
If you deem the injured player’s backup could put up similar numbers, you might find a bargain on their backup and be able to afford to spend a larger chunk of your salary on a higher quality player in a different position. Successful daily fantasy players will be able to analyze how an injury is going to affect the stats of the players surrounding them.