If you are just getting into the daily style fantasy football games then this page will show you an overview of most of the different style of contest you can play. Each contest offers different levels of risk and reward. For example, you can enter a $2 large field tournament and the first place prize can be $2000. Of course you will have to score better than the thousands of other entrants, but the payout can be huge if you pick a great team. Contrast that with a 50/50 league where all you have to do is outscore half of the other players and you double your entry. Let’s take a look at the different types of fantasy leagues, contests, tournaments and games you can play.
Types of Contests You Can Play
You can play the following types of contests with any of the sports. If you are playing baseball you could play a big field tournament or a head 2 head matchup. The same with football or basketball. Each type of contest offers players different levels of risk and reward.
- Big Tournaments (GPP’s)
- Heads Up, 1v1 (cash game)
- Double Up Tourneys (cash games)
- 3x, 4x, 5x your money tourneys (cash games)
- Leagues (10 person + cash tourneys)
- Beginners Only (at Draftkings, 50 games or less in that sport)
- Satellites (small buy-in’s to qualify for big contests)
Big Field Tournaments / Large Prize Guarantees (GPP’s)
I personally love playing in these style of tournaments because of the huge payout potential if you pick an awesome team that clicks all at once you can make serious money by winning with very little risk up front. There are a lot of $1, 2, $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100 tournaments going daily at the the big sites. The big field tourneys are the biggest daily fantasy games in terms of numbers of players and prize money awarded. During football season, each week there thousands of players playing with buy-ins ranging from $0.25 up to $1500. I love these because of the small up front risk and huge payout potential and I think you will too.
Head 2 Head.
Man to man, head to head. You vs 1 other player. These games are not for newbies or new players. I advise avoiding the head to head matches when you are first starting out unless you are a fantasy wizard. Even if you are wizard it is recommended not to post your own head 2 head match as it will almost certainly be filled by a sharp experienced player. If you want to play head to head you will need to find an opponent you are comfortable playing against by looking through the current heads up matches listed.
50/50 – Double Up Games
If you can beat half of the field you double your buy-in. Great way to reduce risk. The upside is limited. I like playing in the larger field versions of these, with around 100 or more players. I recommend these for new players, just watch your bankroll. There are sharp players in these. Just start out small not risking more of your bankroll than you are comfortable with.
3x, 4x, 5x Contests
A continuation on the double up concept are the 3x, 4x and 5x games available. You can triple, quadruple or quintuple your buy-in in a progressively higher contests. In a 5x league, The top fifth of the field wins, in a 4x league, the top fourth of the league wins, in a 3x league, the top third wins. The winning players also triple, quadruple or quintuple their buy-in depending on which contest they played.
10 person tournament
Essentially a sit-n-go for fantasy. Top 3 get paid progressively more for 1st. The others walk away empty handed. These are recommended for new players.
10+ person league
Essentially the same as a 10 person tourney just with a larger field usually up to a few dozen. Higher number of finishers make the money depending on the size of the contest. These are recommended for new players.
Depending on which fantasy betting site you sign up at will determine what they mean by beginner style games. For example, at FanDuel there are beginner games available that offer a higher salary cap for you (and everyone else) to spend in order to draft your team. Other contests are only for newbies, or new players, who haven’t played before and the only entrants to this contest would be new players. Read through the site reviews of each site to see how they treat their beginner games and find out if there are any worthwhile edges to take advantage of IF you are a new player at a certain site.
Leagues – Tournaments – Contests
Playing daily fantasy sports you are inevitably playing in what people call tournaments, contests, leagues or games. Most people consider a tournament to be a big field / large player base contest. I think of them similar to the larger poker tournaments in the way there are a lot of players and the top of the field gets paid out. With 1st place winning the lion’s share down through the smaller ‘in the money finishes’. Players also call the smaller events like the sit-n-go’s, head 2 heads tournaments and other competions tournaments.
Styles of Contests
You can play the above types of contests in different styles. The most common type of game is the salary cap game. The other styles are less common.
Salary Cap Games
Most all daily fantasy games are done via salary cap. This is useful because your draft is independent of everyone else’s. It does not matter who or when you draft your team as long as you do so before the tournament begins.
Roto Style Games – Snake Drafts
Worth a quick mention is the snake style draft games offered at DraftStreet. These work where each player takes a turn drafting teams in a turn by turn basis and where each player can only be chosen once. These work similar to a sit-n-go in poker and can take a while to complete as you are waiting on everyone else to make their picks. Everyone has to be online at the same time or have a draft card set.
These games work by providing you a choice of 3-8 players for each given position you have to fill. IE if you are playing basketball and you have to pick a shooting guard, you can pick from a selection of 6 guards. Then when you need to pick a center, there are 6 centers available to choose from. There are no salary caps or roto drafts in these contests, just a “pick the best player from the group” for each of your positions and put your team together that way. These are only available at DraftStreet and DraftDay. You can see our pick’em fantasy guide here.
Beat A Points Threshold
The fantasy site sets a certain number of points to score. If you score that many or more you win if not you lose. These were offered at a now out of business site called DailyJoust. They are not currently offered at any of the fantasy sites we list. If and when they become available we will update this page.
Stock Market With Fantasy Sports Players
Buy shares of a player low and sell when they are high. Or hold them all season and get the return at the conclusion of the season. These are offered at StarStreet and function much in the same way as a traditional stock market. We will review this style of fantasy sports trading at a later date since it is not really a daily or weekly style of game. Still cool, but not what this site is focused on.