Fantasy Sports: Football

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Of all the fantasy sports, fantasy football is undoubtedly the most popular. In the United States alone, football makes up about 40% of all the fantasy teams. That’s twice more than any other sport. That’s a crazy number if you consider how many other sports there are. From basketball to hockey, baseball, golf, volleyball and many more sports.

Daily vs. season-long

In fantasy football, you can choose between playing season-long fantasy football or daily fantasy football. Both are very different in characteristics. Season-long fantasy football takes place an entire season, so naturally, the commitment is a lot stronger. Daily fantasy football, on the other hand, is a daily contest to join. The process for both is essentially the same, where the draft is the most important part of the game. Season-long fantasy football has a stronger social aspect, you’ll notice that the hardcore daily fantasy sports players are much more in it for the money.

Advantages of daily fantasy football

Advantages of daily fantasy football are for example that the turnaround is a lot quicker. So if you draft bad, you’re not stuck with a lousy team an entire season. Because these daily contests are short, you can join several each week and have more chance of winning. Daily fantasy football also is a lot less demanding, because you can play according to the amount of free time you have. But do keep in mind, if you want to win money with daily fantasy football, you need to invest time. Doing the research, comparing stats and creating mock-drafts is more time consuming than you might think. In that sense, daily fantasy football is really nothing like gambling. The amount of preparation and skill it takes to become good is a serious investment.

Fantasy football sites

The big players, FanDuel and DraftKings, provide plenty of information about the fantasy football contests they have going. On the home page, you will find highlighted the top contests. It’s smart to compare entry fees, total prize money, and other conditions. Some contests only give money prizes to the winner or the top 5, which decreases your chances dramatically. However, there are also plenty of daily fantasy contests that have a money prize for the top 50. Once you have done your research and found the best fit, it’s time for the real thing.

Reading stats

Fantasy sites provide a wealth of information about football players. That is extremely valuable for the draft process because it guides your strategy. However, using statistics in the correct way is not as easy as it looks. Many fantasy players shop around quite a bit when it comes to statistics. This way you gather the most accurate information. Like with most things in life, it’s not smart to just blindly trust one source. So if you want to make use of the information on fantasy sites, do so, but make sure you have a couple of sources to draw from.

Types of fantasy football

There are different types of daily fantasy football you can play. What makes them different is the entry fees, the number of winners, and of course, the total prize money. On fantasy sites, you’ll see contests with so-called GPP’s, which are Guaranteed Prize Pool tournaments. These contests often attract a lot of players. Although these contests are appealing, there also is a lot to say for smaller contests. They usually attract a lot fewer participants, but that makes your chance of winning higher.

Other contests

Another contest option is the so-called 50/50. Perhaps this is one of the most attractive contests. That’s because like their name says, 50% of the participants will win. The prizes aren’t always very high, but if you’re good and take part in several contests a week that can add up to a nice amount very quickly. An example could be a contest with 20 entrants and a $900 prize pool. The top 10 highest scoring participants will get $90. For smaller strategies than this, a different strategy is required in comparison to big contests. So look into the best approach before you blindly follow what you do in other fantasy football contests.

How does the draft work?

The draft is the process in fantasy football where you pick your team of players. Depending on how many people take part in the contest, you’ll have different rounds. In each round, you get to pick a player. In the rounds, you get to rotate with other players when you pick first. So if you picked first in the first round, you get to pick last in the second. Of course, there is always a small portion of luck involved that you get the players you want. However, with there being several rounds to choose, you’ll always get the opportunity to draft some good players.

Mock draft

In preparation of the draft, many sites offer the chance to create a mock draft. This way you can practice your strategy and who to pick in different rounds. If you know a little about football, you know how important it is for a team to have exactly the right balance of players with different qualities. A mock draft is helpful because you get to practice your first, second and third choice of player for different rounds. It helps to refine your strategy in such a way that when you have the real draft, you’ll know what to do.


Rule number 1: never underestimate the importance of getting good quarterbacks. There are different strategies for the draft, the first one emphasizes on positions rather than players. Making sure you have a good set of quarterbacks on your team and not the leftovers from round 10 can make all the difference. Most drafts come with a budget, so you’ll need to make smart decisions when it comes to players.  When you’ve bought some great players with 60%-80% of your budget, you can use the rest to achieve the right balance in your team.