How Do I Play Daily Fantasy Sports: Salary Cap Games and More

Written by:
Tyrone Black
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How Do I Play Daily Fantasy Sports: Salary Cap Games and More

You have heard all the rage about Daily Fantasy Sports but how many of your actually know how to play? 

It’s easy and fun but takes some amount of skill.  Unlike traditional fantasy leagues where one has to play out an entire season, daily fantasy sports allows an individual to participate for real cash prizes on a daily or weekly basis and get paid within that time frame, sometimes next day.  In other words you can draft a new roster each day without any long term commitments.

You simply select a contest from a vast menu, pick your team while staying under the salary cap, then compete against others from around the globe.

With the NBA and Hockey you can draft a new team each day with a winner declared later in the evening once all games have completed.  For the NFL, contests are weekly.

One of the key components of Daily Fantasy Sports is that injuries won’t destroy a roster since the fantasy owner can retool next day.  A perfect example highlighting the benefit of this concept over season-long leagues is when Adrian Peterson ended up suspended early on in the 2014 season.  A rather large chunk of NFL season fantasy owners had Peterson on their rosters.  They were essentially wiped out within the first month of the season. Folks playing Daily Fantasy Sports may have gotten stung the week the news broke.  By the following week, Peterson’s suspension had very little impact.

Daily Fantasy Sports games consist of different concepts and themes.  The Salary Cap game is just one example and it is the most common format.

Here you are given a budget (say $50,000) and every single player is assigned a value.  The idea is to find the best value players without going over the salary cap or budget.

Sure it would be great to have Peyton Manning, Arian Foster, Eddie Lacey and Demaryius Thomas all on the same team, but that would be too easy (and way too costly).

Andrew Luck would cost fantasy aficionados $10,000 in Week 13 at most sites.  The smart player looks for opportunities at reduced price tags. 

Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Calanzaro will cost half of what Luck would.  With his team going up against an Atlanta squad that is dead last in total defense, you gotta believe Calanzaro is going to have plenty of opportunities and, unless he blows said chances, Calanzaro should rack up plenty of fantasy points.

In terms of quarterbacks, a wise choice during Week 13 might be someone the likes of Miami’s Ryan Tannehill.  He'll face off against a Jets team that has one of the worst pass defenses and, as such, allows a significant number of fantasy points per game.  Last week, Tannehill had a four-touchdown effort.  That wasn’t enough to win the game but fantasy owners and sports bettors certanly made out well thanks to Tannehill’s efforts (the Dolphins did manage a cover).

It’s interesting to note that Andrew Luck had one of his worst outings of the season versus the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, yet the Colts still managed a win.  Tannehill had a solid effort against Denver but his Dolphins lost.

Daily Fantasy Sports games typically cost $2 to $200 to enter.  The larger the buy-in, the bigger the prize money (similar to poker).

- Tyrone Black,

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