DFS 101: The Beginner’s Guide To DraftKings

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What up #FootClan!? We’re now diving into more specifics of the big three DFS sites. Our next installment: DraftKings.

The Basics of DraftKings

If you’re new to DraftKings, you can start by playing in Beginner Contests. These contests are only available to players who have entered 50 contests or less, 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. The entry caps vary by contest:

  • Single entry contests – Just as the name states, only one entry is allowed.
  • Multi entry contests – These contests allow players to submit a lot of lineups. However, there are still limits. In order to find multi entry contests, look for the M next to the number of entries like so:

In order to determine how many lineups each user can enter, you’ll need to click on the number of entries. That will bring up a page that looks like this:

The number right next to the words Multi-Entry is the maximum amount of entries each user is allowed. Therefore, in this specific example, each user is allowed 20 entries max. This maximum entry number fluctuates depending on the size of the contest.

Experienced players are now designated on DraftKings. This allows you to see beforehand whether you’ll be going up against more experienced players and it will help you decide whether you ultimately want to enter that contest or not. The levels of experience and badges that accompany most of them are as follows:

  • Beginner – Have not entered more than 50 contests
  • Casual – Have entered more than 50 contests but have yet to earn an experience badge
  • 500 Contests – Have competed in more than 500 contests
  • 1,000 Contests – Have competed in more than 1,000 contests
  • Big Win – Have had more than 3 entries payout $1,000 or more OR won a total of $2,500 or more and have payouts from 5 or more entries
  • 500 Plus Big Win – Have competed in more than 500 contests and won $1,000 in 3 or more contests, or w0n a total of $2,500 in 5 contests
  • 1,000 Plus Big Win – Have competed in more than 1,000 contests and won $1,000 in 3 or more contests, or won a total of $2,500 in 5 contests

The rules and details of every possible contest are clearly defined. Information such as the entry cost, number of entrants, scoring system, prize pool (how many people get paid), and payout structure (how much the winners win) are all available in advance of every contest. This allows you to do some research before deciding on which contests to enter. In order to find all of this information, simply click on the name of a contest and it will all pop up for you like so:

 In order to determine the specific games (slate) involved in the contest, you can either click “DRAFT TEAM” in the bottom right corner and have this pop up:
Or filter by slate when looking for a contest on the NFL homepage by looking between the Create a Contest, Create a Lineup, Strategy & Research, and Refer a Friend tabs and the actual contests themselves like so:
Roster Requirements and Scoring System
  • You’re given a $50,000 salary cap which equates out to about $5,555 per player.
  • You must fill a starting lineup that consists of 1QB, 2RBs, 3WRs, 1TE, 1FLEX (RB/WR/TE), and 1D.
  • Every player involved in the slate (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 $5,555 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 $50,000 salary cap budget.
  • Lineups must include players from at least 2 different NFL teams and that represent at least 2 different NFL games.
  • You are allowed to pick up to 8 players from the same team.
  • “Late swap” is allowed. This means each individual player in your lineup is not locked until their specific game starts, regardless if some of the other games in the slate (games within the contest you enter) have already started or not. This allows for more roster flexibility.
DraftKings Scoring

The NFL DraftKings scoring system is as follows:

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  • Notable scoring settings:
    • FULL PPR
    • 3 points for a 300-yard passing game
    • 3 points for a 100-yard rushing game
    • 3 points for a 100-yard receiving game
    • 4 points per TD pass
    • Only -1 point per INT

Feel free to hit me up on twitter @BenCumminsFF if you have any questions and look for my similar breakdowns of FanDuel and Draft.