Tips, Strategies, and Contest Logs
SportsClash is about daily fantasy sports. I won’t be talking about the traditional fantasy football gambling on this site. All of us mastered that hobby long ago. This site is about a new phenomenon.
For its first few decades in existence, fantasy sports was played on a yearly basis. To win prize money, owners selected a team of individual players from the NFL or Major League Baseball, then competed against friends and enemies for a cash pot at the end of the season. The competition played out over months of grueling struggle in the local league.
That style of fantasy sports is still the major way Americans compete. About 30 million people every year enjoy fantasy football and its analogues in other sports. Many of those local leagues are free, but most involve some form of gambling. In most cases, owners pay an entry fee, which build a prize pool for the winners. Payment is made either to the Top 3 finishers (often in the 50%/30%/20% format) or to the league champion–winner take all. These leagues take many forms: redraft, keeper, dynasty, IDP, standard, and high performance–to name a few.
None of that matters in daily fantasy sports. Contests don’t play out over the course of a season; they occur over the course of one day. This requires an attitude adjustment for veteran players, because many of their tactics from the yearly leagues won’t work. On this website, I’m going to blog about my experiences when entering daily fantasy football (and later, fantasy basketball and baseball). I hope to learn some tips for winning. If and when I do, I’ll give other owners the fruits of the knowledge and experience I’ve gained. I’ll keep spending pretty low at the start. My suggestions should be scalable, though. Whatever works at $1 a pop is likely to work at $100 per contest.
Those new to this form of gambling are likely to have questions, so expect many answers. In fact, when I start to get a few readers, I intend to answer the frequently asked questions I receive through email. I hope to build a nice Q&A section that way. For now, I want to answer some of the basic questions you might have. If this site is meant to be a guide to the hobby, then view the SportsClash homepage as a basic introduction to fantasy sports.
How Does Daily Fantasy Sports Work?
In daily fantasy contests, owners pay a fee to enter. They compete against one or more opponents. In heads-up play, the owner win the prize pot. In multi-player contests, the top 2 or 3 players collect money. The service which hosts the events gets a small cut of the action, usually in the 10% range–for instance, $1 out of every $10 entry fee.
Which Is the Best Daily Fantasy Sports Website?
Frankly, I don’t have a clue at the moment. I sure intend on finding out, though. When I learn, I’ll write about it here.
At the moment, FanDuel and DraftKings are the two biggest and most popular online daily fantasy sites. This might change in the future, but they are the Coke and Pepsi of the industry. They are by no means the only options you have. In fact, big name corporations are starting to invest in the industry, including Sports Illustrated and USA Today.
FanNation is the online daily fantasy sports service from Sports Illustrated, the top sporting magazine in America. USA Today Fantasy Sports is a similar service from one of America’s most famous newspapers, USA Today. I don’t know much about the rest of the competitors. There are dozens of other legitimate websites you can use to play against friends, family, or other sports fans. As I play at and learn more of the players, I want to discuss each one. Maybe I’ll give reviews of each of the sites.
Why Is NFL Football Called “Daily Fantasy Football”?
Technically, gambling on NFL fantasy contests is a weekly fantasy football, because the contests happen on Sunday’s throughout the fall and early winter. The people you fill out your starting lineup with are drawn from NFL players who play on Sunday (usually), so it does occur during one single day’s games. Whatever it’s called, scores are tallied in much the same way weekly showdowns in your local fantasy football league are scored. That’s the great thing about this type of gaming: those who’ve played in yearly leagues for many years will have no adjustment period. That’s important, because real money fantasy sports is taking place. I recommend you pay small entry fees until you learn the software interface, though.
Is Fantasy Sports Betting Legal?
Fantasy sports betting is totally 100% legal under U.S. federal law. In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The UIGEA banned online poker, casinos, and sportsbooks, but carved out exemptions for three other forms of gambling. These three carve-outs were for fantasy sports, betting on horse races, and lottery gaming. Playing fantasy football online is every bit as legal as going down to the convenience store to buy a lotto ticket.
Some opponents of gambling grumble that daily fantasy sports should be outlawed, because it’s sports betting in another form. A federal law would have to be passed for that to happen. While such legislation might happen in the future (as of November 2014), it isn’t a remote possibility at the present. If you want to know the difference in sports betting and fantasy sports, keep in mind that sports betting involves gambling on teams or individual performers. Fantasy sports betting involves squads or “starting lineups” with multiple individuals that are not normally on a team together. On daily fantasy sports sites, you couldn’t fill out a starting lineup only with New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys. If you bet on fantasy basketball, it might involve players from the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, and Cleveland Cavaliers.