Drafting Rules & Scoring Systems

The drafting rules and scoring systems for daily fantasy
sports are, for the most part, straightforward and easy to
understand. They’re similar to those used in season-long fantasy
sports, so if you’re familiar with playing them then you should
have no problem getting to grips with the daily contests. There
is one thing that might take some getting used to though, and
that’s the inclusion of a salary cap. Most season-long contests
don’t tend to use them.

Even if you’ve never played fantasy sports at all, it’s
really not hard to learn the drafting rules and scoring systems
used at daily fantasy sports sites. If you read through this
page then you’ll have pretty much all the information you need.

It’s important to note that the drafting rules and scoring
systems do vary at different sites though. Most of the
differences are fairly minor, but there are a couple of bigger
ones too. This page illustrates the kind of differences you
should expect, as we’ve explained the exact drafting rules and
scoring systems used at two separate sites. We’ve covered all
the major sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey),
and a couple of other ones as well.

We’ve used FanDuel and DraftKings for the purposes of our
explanations, as these are currently two of the biggest daily
fantasy sports sites. They’re also both sites that we highly

Drafting & Scoring for Daily Fantasy Football

Drafting Rules

The drafting rules for daily fantasy football contests are
mostly the same at all the major daily fantasy sites. One of the
few areas where there is some variation is the size of the
salary cap. For example, there’s a $60,000 salary cap at FanDuel
and a $50,000 salary cap at DraftKings.

Please note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s
easier to pick a strong team at FanDuel. There might be a bigger
budget, but daily fantasy sports have their individual
methodology for assigning salaries to players. On average,
players are going to be more expensive at FanDuel, so it’s just
as hard to get the right balance in a draft.

At both these sites, the salary cap is used to draft a 9
player team. The following table shows how the rosters have to
be made up.

FanDuel DraftKings
Quaterback Quaterback
Running Backs (x2) Running Backs (x2)
Wide Recievers (x3) Wide Recievers (x3)
Defense Defense
Tight End Tight End
Kicker Flex Player

As you can see, there’s just a single difference here. At
FanDuel you have to draft a kicker, but at DraftKings you get a
flex player. This flex player can be another running back,
another wide receiver, or another tight end.

These kind of minor differences are common across all daily
fantasy sites, and they don’t really affect the way the contests
are played. They perhaps have a small impact on strategy, but
that’s about it.

No matter which site you use, you’ll find that it’s always
forbidden to draft all the members of a lineup from a single
team. You have to use players from at least two different teams,
and those teams must be participating in at least two different

Scoring Systems

Your lineup will be awarded points based on how the players
you’ve selected perform in the real games. Players can earn
points for the following.

  • Touchdowns
  • Yardage
  • Receptions
  • Sacks
  • Recovering fumbles
  • Allowing Points
  • Field Goals

Players can also lose points for interceptions and fumbles,
or if the team allows too many points.

Let’s take a look at exactly how points are earned and lost
at FanDuel and DraftKings.


Rushing and receiving touchdowns are worth six points at both
FanDuel and DraftKings, as are kickoff and punt return
touchdowns. Passing touchdowns are worth six points at both


Players get yardage via rushing and receiving. At both
DraftKings and Fanduel, rushing yards and receiving yards are
worth a point for every 10 yards gained. Players also gain
yardage via passing. At Fanduel, passing yards are worth one
point for every 40 yards. DraftKings, on the other hand, awards
one point for every 25 passing yards.

At DraftKings, players can earn bonus points for achieving
certain milestones. For example, a game in which a player gets
over 300 passing yards is worth 3 points. Also, over 100
receiving or over 100 rushing yards is worth 3 points.


Most daily fantasy contests are PPR (points-per-reception)
leagues. That means a player earns points for completed
receptions. At our two example sites, players get one point for
each reception.


One of the main ways that a team’s defense earns points is
for sacks. Each sack is worth 1 point at both of our example

Recovering Fumbles

Players also get points for recovering fumbles. That’s worth
two points at both DraftKings and at Fanduel.

Allowing Points

How many points the defense allows is a big scoring factor,
too. If a team’s defense can keep their opponents beneath a
certain number of points, they get points for that. On the other
hand, if their opponents score a lot of points, the defense can
lose points for your fantasy team.

At Fanduel, a defense that allows zero points earns ten
points. A defense that allows 1-6 points earns seven points.
Allowing 7-13 points earns four points, and allowing 14-20
points earns one point. Allowing 28-34 points loses one point,
and allowing 35 points or more loses four points.

DraftKings’ scoring system for their defense is exactly the

Field Goals

At Fanduel, players earn three points for a field goal. For a
field goal of over 40 or over 50 yards, they get four points or
five points instead. At DraftKings you don’t have a kicker, so
there’s no scoring for a field goal.

Interceptions & Fumbles

Throwing interceptions costs your team points. Interceptions
usually result in a one point deduction, and fumbles usually
result in a two point deduction.

Drafting & Scoring for Daily Fantasy Baseball

Drafting Rules

As with football, the drafting rules for baseball at FanDuel
and DraftKings are similar but not identical. The salary caps
are different, for one thing. FanDuel gives you a $35,000 salary
cap, while DraftKings gives you $50,000. The salaries for
individual players differ at each site, too.

Another difference between the sites is the size of your
roster. At FanDuel, you only get 9 players, but at DraftKings,
you get 10 players.

FanDuel DraftKings
Pitcher Pitcher (x2)
Catcher Catcher
Shortstop Shortstop
Basemen (x3) Basemen (x3)
Outfielders (x3) Outfielders (x3)

Once again the difference is very minor. At FanDuel you get
just one pitcher, while at DraftKings you get two.

The rule about not drafting all the same players from the
same teams applies to daily fantasy baseball as well as
football. You must again choose players from at least two
different teams, and who are playing in at least two different
games. At DraftKings you have to get hitters from no less than
three different teams.

Scoring Systems

Scoring for fantasy baseball is a little simpler, because you
can divide point-earning activity into two categories. These are
pitching and hitting. Let’s look at how the scoring works at our
two example sites.


At Fanduel, pitching is scored as follows.

  • A win earns 4 points.
  • A strikeout earns 1 point.
  • Each inning pitched earns 1 point.
  • Pitchers lose 1 point for each earned run against them.

At DraftKings, pitching is scored differently.

  • A win earns 4 points
  • A strikeout earns 2 points
  • Each inning pitched earns 2.25 points
  • Pitchers lose 2 points for each earned run against them.
  • Every hit against a pitcher deducts 0.6 points.
  • Every time a pitcher allows a player to get on base for
    balls or for hitting a batter, that’s also a deduction of
    0.6 points.
  • 2.5 bonus points are awarded for a pitcher who completes
    a game.
  • 2.5 bonus points are awarded for pitching a shut-out.
  • 5 bonus points are awarded for pitching a no hitter.


At Fanduel, hitters score as follows.

  • Singles earn 1 point.
  • Doubles earn 2 points.
  • Triples earn 3 points.
  • Home runs earn 4 points.
  • RBIs earn 1 point.
  • A base on balls (BB) earns 1 point
  • A hit by pitch (HBP) earns 1 point.
  • Stolen bases earn 2 points.
  • Each out deducts 0.25 points.

At DraftKings, hitters have a significantly different scoring

  • Singles earn 3 points.
  • Doubles earn 5 points.
  • Triples earn 8 points.
  • Home runs earn 10 points.
  • Hitters earn 2 points for every run batted in, and 2
    points for every run.
  • A base on balls earns 2 points.
  • A hit by pitch earns 2 points.
  • Stolen bases earn 5 points.
  • If a hitter gets caught stealing a base, it’s a 2 points

The differences in the scoring systems stem directly from the
different make-up of the rosters. Having an extra pitcher
changes the situation dramatically, so the hitters’ abilities to
score points are upped at DraftKings compared to Fanduel.

Some other sites have even more dramatic differences in how
they score games.

Drafting & Scoring for Daily Fantasy Basketball

Drafting Rules

As usual, our two example sites have different salary caps.
It’s $60,000 at Fanduel and $50,000 at DraftKings. Naturally,
the salaries for individual basketball players also differ at
each website.

On both sites, you get the same number of players on your
roster (9). The make-up of the rosters is the same too, and is
as follows.

  • Point Guards (x2)
  • Shooting Guards (x2)
  • Small Forwards (x2)
  • Power Forwards (x2)
  • Center

Again there is a rule that you have to choose players from
different teams who are playing in different games. You’re not
allowed to draft all the players from a single team.

Scoring Systems

Scoring for fantasy basketball is simpler than for fantasy
baseball or fantasy football. Let’s take a look at how it works
at FanDuel and DraftKings.

At Fanduel, points are awarded as follows.

  • A 3 point field goal is worth 3 points.
  • A 2 point field goal is worth 2 points.
  • A free throw is worth 1 point.
  • Rebounds are worth 1.2 points each.
  • Assists are worth 1.5 points each.
  • Blocks and steals are worth 2 points each.
  • Each turnover is -1 point.

At DraftKings players score for the same things for the most
part, but the values are different in some instances.

  • Each point scored is worth 1 point.
  • Each made 3 point shot is worth an additional 0.5
  • A rebound is worth 1.2 points.
  • Assists are worth 1.5 points each.
  • Blocks and steals are worth 2 points each.
  • A double-double earns 1.5 points.
  • A triple-double earns 3 points.
  • Each turnover is 0.5 points.

Daily Fantasy Hockey Scoring

Drafting Rules

Daily fantasy hockey contests are growing increasingly
popular as the sport continues to grow, and

Fanduel and DraftKings both offer hockey contests. At Fanduel
you get a $55,000 salary cap, but at DraftKings you get a
$50,000 salary cap. As you’d expect, you’ll find different
prices for different players as a result of this subtle
difference in the rules.

On both sites you get a 9 player roster, but the lineup
differs slightly from one site to the other.

FanDuel DraftKings
Left Wings (x2) Wings (x3)
Right Wings (x2) Centers (x2)
Centers (x2) Defensemen (x2)
Defensemen (x2) Utility
Goaltender Goaltender

The utility position at DraftKings can be filled by any
player other than goaltenders.

You’re required to draft players from different teams in
hockey too. For this sport, it must be at least three different

Scoring Systems

Scoring in fantasy hockey is simple in the same way that
scoring for fantasy basketball is simple. We’ll now demonstrate
exactly how it works at our two example sites.

At Fanduel, players besides goalies score as follows.

  • 3 points per goal.
  • 2 points per assist.
  • 1 point per Plus/Minus.
  • Penalty minutes are worth 0.25 points.
  • Power play points are worth 0.5 points each.
  • Each shot on goal is worth 0.4 points.

Goalies have their own scoring system.

  • 3 points for a win.
  • 0.2 points for each save.
  • 2 points for a shut-out.
  • -1 point for every goal against.

At DraftKings, the scoring is exactly the same for
goaltenders. It’s a little different for the other players

  • 3 points for each goal.
  • 2 points for each assist.
  • 0.5 points for each shot on goal.
  • 0.5 points for each blocked shot.
  • 0.2 points for each shootout goal.
  • 1.5 point bonus for a hat trick.

The scoring system for goalies is very similar.

  • 3 points for a win.
  • 0.2 points for each save.
  • 2 points for a shut-out.
  • -1 point for every goal against.

Other Daily Fantasy Sports Scoring Systems

Those are the four most commonly played daily fantasy sports
games, but some sites offer a wider variety of sports. These
other sports also have their own rules and scoring systems.

For example, at DraftKings, you can participate in fantasy
golf contests. You get to spend $50,000 to draft a team of 6
golfers. Each golfer earns points depending upon where they
place in each tournament, and also earns points based on their
score on each hole.

  • 20 points for a double eagle.
  • 8 points for an eagle.
  • 3 points for a birdie.
  • 2 points for a par.
  • -0.5 points for a bogey.
  • -1 points for a double bogey.
  • -2 points for anything worse than a double bogey
  • Streaks of three or more birdies earn 3 bonus points.
  • Bogey free rounds earn 3 bonus points
  • Scoring all four rounds in under 70 strokes earns 5
    bonus points.
  • A hole in one is worth 10 points.
  • Placing first in a tournament is worth 30 points.
  • Second is worth 20 points.
  • Third is worth 18 points.

You can also play fantasy MMA at DraftKings. You draft 5
fighters with a $50,000 salary cap, and those fighters score
points based on how they do in their fights that week. The
scoring system is as follows.

  • Significant strikes earn 0.5 points each.
  • Advances earn 1 point.
  • Takedowns and reversal/sweeps earn 2 points each.
  • Knockdowns are worth 3 points each.
  • Fighters also score points for which round they win in.
  • A first round win is 100 points.
  • A second round win is 70 points.
  • A third round win is 50 points.
  • A fourth or fifth round win is worth 40 points.
  • A decision is worth 25 points.

As you have now learned, drafting rules and scoring systems
for daily fantasy sports all work according to the same basic
principles. Players get points for achieving certain milestones
in each game. Players also cost a certain amount of money, so
managers have to balance how much they think a player will score
against how much it will cost to draft that player.

The differences occur in the details, so it’s advisable to
familiarize yourself thoroughly with the scoring system for any
contest you enter before drafting your team. Fanduel and
DraftKings are the two sites we used as examples for this page,
but other sites can also be different. If you want to look at
some alternatives to these two sites, please check out the
following page.