The Beginner’s Guide To FanDuel DFS
Rejoice! Not only is football back, but so is NFL DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports). Yes, there’s nothing like season-long leagues. Drafting with your buddies, talking smack, racing to the waiver-wire to add the next Odell Beckham, engaging in trade negotiations, and agonizing over who to start and sit each week as you work tirelessly to claim that #FootClanTitle (Spelling on that hashtag?) are traditions that are never going away. However, all of that fun and excitement can fade quickly if a few early round busts or injuries to some of your studs derail your season. Few things are as depressing as staring at a season-long fantasy roster that has been eliminated from playoff contention.
That’s where DFS comes in. DFS is a weekly game, not a season-long game. Every week is essentially a brand new football season. No matter what happens, you’re able to start fresh the following week. This ensures that injuries and bad performances can’t affect you long-term. Plus, unlike in season long leagues where you can get sniped in the draft or outbid in an auction, every player in the NFL is always available to you in DFS for the right price (More on that later). Streaming and playing matchups through the waiver-wire adds a strategic element to season-long fantasy football that we all love. DFS only amplifies that by allowing you to utilize these strategies for every player in every game.
There’s no such thing as too much fantasy football and DFS is a way to add to and supplement our season-long leagues. There is plenty of fun to be had and money to be won this NFL season, but step one is knowing the ins-and-outs of the daily website you will be utilizing. If you’re new to the wonderful world of DFS or just wanting to refresh your memory after a long offseason, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re breaking down everything FanDuel.
- If you’re new to FanDuel, you can start by playing in Beginner Contests. These contests are only available to players who have entered less than 51 contests regardless of when they registered and set up their account. More experienced players are not allowed to play which will allow you to get up to speed at your own pace while playing against others with similar experience levels. These contests are labeled and are easy to find.
- Clear contest entry limits have been set to put a cap on the amount of lineups one user can enter into a single contest. This has been done to help maintain a competitive balance for all involved.
- Experienced players are now designated on the website with either an “Experienced” icon or a “Highly Experienced” icon. This will allow you to see beforehand whether you’ll be going up against one or more experienced players and help you decide whether you ultimately want to enter that contest or not.
- The rules and details of every possible contest are clearly defined. Information such as the scoring system, prize pool, payout structure, and entry cost are all available in advance of every contest. This allows you to do some research before deciding on which contests to enter.
- You get to choose how you want to play. There are many different contests (Which we will get to in a bit) offered at many different entry costs. You can play for free just to have some fun or test out FanDuel to see if it’s right for you, compete one-on-one against a buddy for a few dollars, play against everyone in your home league to try to earn some extra cash and bragging rights throughout the week, throw down $25 in hopes of turning it into thousands, or even compete in high stakes contests with lots of money on the line (This should go without saying, but only bet what you can afford).
Roster Requirements and Scoring System
- You’re given a $60,000 salary cap which equates out to about $6,667 per player.
- You must fill a starting lineup that consists of 1QB, 2RBs, 3WRs, 1TE, 1K, and 1D.
- Every player involved in the games within the contest you enter are available to you.
- Every player costs a certain dollar amount. The most expensive (Generally considered to be the best) players at each position cost way more then $6,667 and the cheapest (Generally considered to be the worst) players at each position cost way less than $6,667.
- You must complete your lineup while staying under the $60,000 salary cap budget.
- You may not pick more than 4 players from the same team.
- You must pick players from at least 3 different teams to fill out your roster.
- Lineups lock when the first game involved in a contest starts. No more changes to your roster can be made at that point.
- The NFL FanDuel scoring system is as follows:
Types of Contests Offered
- Multipliers – These contests do just what the name implies. They give you a chance to multiply your entry fee if you’re able to cash. There are a few different kinds:
- Double Up – Those that finish in the money win 2x their entry fee. Around 43-45% of entrants cash in these contests. This percentage is not at 50 because FanDuel keeps the rest of the money.
- Triple Up – Those that finish in the money win 3x their entry fee. Around 29-30% of entrants cash in these contests. This percentage is not at 33.33 because FanDuel keeps the rest of the money.
- Quintuple Up – Those that finish in the money win 5x their entry fee. Around 17-18% of entrants cash in these contests. This percentage is not at 20 because FanDuel keeps the rest of the money.
- 50/50 Contests – Exactly half of the field wins money and nearly doubles their entry fee in these kinds of contests. Those that finish in the cash don’t completely double their money because the house (FanDuel) takes a small cut. For example: a $2 50/50 contest with 100 entrants would see 50 players finish in the money. However, rather than all 50 players winning $4, each player only wins $3.60.
- Head to Heads – In a head to head, you play against a single opponent. It’s your lineup vs. theirs and whoever scores more points takes home the cash. Winners can see anywhere from an 80-90% profit while FanDuel gets the rest.
- Tournaments – Tournaments often times can be referred to as GPPs. They mean the same thing. GPP stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool. Every single GPP tournament has a limit on the number of entries allowed. However, these contests always run and pay out money to the winners regardless, whether the contest completely fills up or not. All GPP tournaments have a blue dot to the left of the name of the contest identifying them as such. These are absolutely my favorite contests and in my opinion the most fun. The field of entrants is usually much larger in tournaments compared to other contests offered. Entry fees are relatively small compared to the prizes handed out to those that finish at the top of the standings. That’s because only about 19-25% of entrants cash, depending on the specific contest. Those that don’t cash are essentially donating their money to the winners and FanDuel itself. Many times the prizes at the top can even consist of life-changing amounts of money. For example, FanDuel already has a tournament open for Week 1 of the NFL season consisting of $2,000,000 in total prizes. The entry fee is $25 and 92,485 entries are allowed into this contest. Only 23,381 of those entries will cash, but first place takes home a whopping $200,000.
- Satellites and Qualifiers – With these contests, you pay a small amount of money to enter and play to win tickets for entries into contests at later dates. Without a ticket, these contests would normally cost you a lot more money to join. Essentially, satellites and qualifiers are very similar to tournaments. You generally have to finish at the very top of the field if you’re going to win a ticket.
- A few more things:
- Contests can be filtered by single entry on the left side of the FanDuel home page. This will then show you all of the contests where each player can only enter one lineup.
- Some structured contests require the maximum number of entries allowed to completely fill up or else they will not run. This information can be found by clicking on the contest details. If you enter one of these contests that does not run, FanDuel puts the entry fee right back into your account.
- Guaranteed contests run and pay out regardless whether the contest fills up or not. Most tournaments that allow large numbers of entrants are guaranteed contests. This information can be found by clicking on the contest details.
More To Come
This is the first of many DFS articles we will be putting out. Moving forward, we will focus more on strategy and creating/utilizing a winning process. Of course, when the season starts we will break down which players should be in your lineups each week based on matchups, projected opportunity, game flow, etc. For now, head on over to FanDuel and start familiarizing yourself or getting comfortable again with the website and all of it’s features. Week 1 is right around the corner!