Top 10 Reasons to Play Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports betting has been labelled as the "next big thing" on the Internet. In the same way that we saw an explosion of interest in poker a few years ago, we're now seeing an explosion of interest in daily fantasy sports contests. In our view, this is not something you want to miss out on.
There are lots of reasons to try daily fantasy sports betting. It has several advantages over traditional season-long fantasy sports, and even over other popular forms of gambling. Playing daily fantasy sports is not particularly time consuming, and it offers you a chance to win money on a consistent basis. It's completely legal too, and depositing and withdrawing money is a breeze. There's basically very little downside at all.
If you're a compulsive gambler then you should stay away from this hobby, as it is a form of gambling, but otherwise you really should consider getting started right away. There's not much initial risk involved, as many of the sites that run these daily fantasy sports contests offer a money back guarantee. If you play in a contest and decide you don't like it, they'll refund your money.
You presumably already have at least some interest in daily fantasy sports betting if you've visited this page, but if you're not sure if it's for you then please read on. Below we explain all about what we believe to be the ten best reasons for playing daily fantasy sports.
It's a Lot of Fun
It's fun to play daily fantasy sports. It's fun to play season-long fantasy sports too of course, but there's something about the daily contests that makes everything that much more exciting and enjoyable. There's more variety for one thing, and it's possible to experiment with different strategies and line-ups every week. This helps to keep things interesting.
In a season-long league you can often get stuck with a lot of the same players from week to week, especially if no-one else is willing to make trades. This can make it difficult to recover from one or two early mistakes, possibly to the extent that you have no chance of winning. In daily fantasy sports, every day and every week, you start with a clean slate.
One of the most fun aspects of daily fantasy sports is the speed with which winnings are paid out. In a season long contest you're going to wait three or four months before getting any winnings, as nothing is settled until the season is over. With daily fantasy sports contests, however, winnings are paid out literally overnight.
It's Completely Legal
When the United States, in its infinite wisdom, passed the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), they included specific provisions exempting fantasy sports from the regulations. In other words, fantasy sports aren't considered "illegal gambling" by the US federal government. To the best of our knowledge, they're not considered illegal anywhere else either.
The daily contests use the same rules that season long fantasy sports have used for years. And no one is worried about the legality of season long fantasy sports contests. In fact, a huge percentage of Americans participate in season-long fantasy sports every year. They're popular in many other parts of the world too.
Why not get involved in the equally entertaining and entirely legal version of the game where you get your winnings in 24 hours instead of having to wait several weeks for the end of the season?
You Can Win Real Money
These reasons for playing have not been written in any particular order, and it's fair to say that this is actually going to be the number one reason for a lot of people getting involved with daily fantasy sports. There's real money up for grabs, and anyone can have a chance of winning. There are even some players making a full time living from entering contests.
It's hard to pin down exactly how much profit the top fantasy sports players are making, but there's evidence to suggest that the elite players could be earning at least $10,000 a week. It's very unlikely that you'll start off earning that much of course, as there's a learning curve to go through. There's no reason why you can't end up there though, if you're committed and prepared to put in the time and effort.
If you're new to playing daily fantasy sports then you probably don't want to worry too much about what it takes to turn a consistent profit. It's more important to just get used to playing. However, it doesn't hurt to understand a few things right from the start. You can skip this section of text if you want, but we'd recommend reading it through.
The first step towards making money is figuring out the percentage of contests you need to win in order to be profitable. Let's look at head to heads and 50/50s to explain this further. These are low variance contests, where you should win approximately 50% of the time if you're up against people of a similar ability.
If you did win 50% of the time, you'd near enough break even. Not quite though, as DFS sites take a commission from all entry fees. This is only fair of course, as they are in business to make money. It's no different from bookmakers charging vig and poker rooms charging rake. All it means is that daily fantasy players have to win enough to cover the commissions they are charged, in the same way that sports bettors have to beat the vig to make a profit and poker players have to win enough to make up for the rake.
Luckily, the commissions are low enough that maintaining a high enough winning percentage to show a profit is achievable. For example, a typical head-to-head contest will work something like this.
In order to break even, you need to win 55.56% of these contests. If you can do better than that, you can achieve a profit. The higher your winning percentage is, the greater your profit will be. Here's how the math works with a win percentage of 56%.
This is obviously not a great return. By increasing the win percentage to 60%, though, the profits look a lot better.
When you start increasing the entry fees, these numbers start getting really big. If you play in $100 contests instead of $10 contests, for example, a 60% win rate across 100 of them will return an attractive $800 in profit.
These are just the contests where you stand to win about half the time. Guaranteed tournaments can have top prizes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, offering the chance of some serious bank. It takes a different approach to win those kinds of tournaments, and you won't win as often, but a positive return is more than possible. You don't even have to be especially smart. You just have to be willing to do the work involved in learning the strategies that will help you to win.
It's a Great Alternative to Online Poker
Playing daily fantasy sports has a lot in common with playing poker. For one thing, it's a contest that rewards skill more than chance. For another, the structures of the tournaments and the payouts are similar to what you'll find in a poker tournament. There's also plenty of strategy involved.
There's a big difference too though, and it's one that's especially relevant for anyone living in the United States. There's no confusion about the legalities of playing fantasy sports online, as we've already mentioned, which makes it possible to participate safely without having to worry about where sites are based or whether they can be trusted.
Daily fantasy sports basically require a similar skillset as poker, but they are a lot less hassle. And, these days, you're just as likely to find juicy action in the fantasy sports niche anyway. A lot of people have stopped playing poker online, for various reasons.
It's Not Too Time Consuming
If you've played much season-long fantasy sports then there's a good chance you know people in your leagues who have problems with their wives and loved ones because of the time commitment involved. Just carving out the time for multiple drafts can be a big hassle, and then there's having to submit a line-up every week and deal with trades and free agency.
With daily contests however, the time commitment is minimal. Drafting and picking a line-up are done simultaneously for one thing, and can probably be completed in less than hour. Compare this to a fantasy football draft for a season-long contest, which might take four hours or more to complete. You also don't have to worry about whom to bench, or deal with trade offers or waivers. It's just a case of picking a team and paying the money.
It Makes the Games More Interesting
Everything is more interesting when there's money riding on it, for the majority of people at least. The most boring football matches or baseball games can be very entertaining when there is some money on the line, even if it's just a few bucks. Having a stake in the events makes watching them unfold that much more interesting.
We're not saying that it's impossible to enjoy sports without entering daily fantasy contests of course. We're just saying that participating in daily fantasy sports will probably enhance the overall enjoyment of watching games. And even if it doesn't, there's no commitment involved. One and done is a perfectly fine approach to a daily fantasy sports hobby.
It's Easy to Deposit & Withdraw
Transferring money to and from your online account is super easy at most daily fantasy sites. You can usually just use PayPal, or major credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard. Transactions couldn't be simpler, and they get approved within seconds. If you've ever experienced the frustration of trying to get money into or out of an online casino or sportsbook, which is likely if you're from the United States, you'll understand immediately why this is such a big selling point.
There's one thing to note though. When you're winning, and want to withdraw, the site will send winnings back in the form of a refund to your deposit method first. After that you can get a check or a PayPal deposit, but the amount of the initial deposit is always paid back as a refund. It's particularly important to be aware of this if using a prepaid Visa or MasterCard gift card. You shouldn't throw these away, but if you do then be sure to contact the site BEFORE making a withdrawal.
Other than that single minor issue, it's unlikely that you'll have any problem with the financial transactions related to playing daily fantasy sports.
There's a Wide Variety of Sports
Most fantasy players are interested in football and baseball, and these are available at most daily fantasy sites. Basketball is also popular, along with hockey. Many sites offer contests for several other sports too though, including the following.
It Can Improve Your Sports Betting Skills
Sports bettors make projections regarding the outcome of sports events. If they can find a difference between their projections and the line offered by the sportsbook, they can potentially create profitable situations for themselves and make money. If you're already a skilled sports bettor, your experience may well help you to find value when drafting a fantasy team.
By the same token, any experience you gain in playing fantasy sports may help with your betting. Successful betting requires paying close attention to teams and players, and daily fantasy sports will get you elbow deep into the statistics of these teams and their players instantly. Having to deal thoughtfully with the kinds of projections and statistics involved in determining player value will almost certainly improve your betting.
You might find out that you're better at fantasy sports than you are at regular sports betting. Or you might find out the opposite is true. Either way, it's worth finding out. Anything you can do to increase the amount of insight you have into these sports can help you gain an edge and earn a profit.
It's a Less Passive Form of Entertainment
One of the problems with the world in the 21st century is how passive we humans have become as a race. Being truly active in sports would involve actually playing of course, but playing a fantasy version makes you more of an active participant than the couch potato who sits there in his underwear smoking a cigar and screaming for the Cowboys to win.
You may have noticed a lot of people writing and talking about "mindfulness" these days. It's a popular concept in Eastern philosophy. The idea is that you should be paying attention to what you're doing in the here and now. By increasing that focus, you get more value out of life.
Nothing increases the amount of attention you'll pay to sports more than having some kind of financial stake in them. Even a small amount of money can ramp up how much notice you're taking of what's happening. In a sense, playing daily fantasy sports turns watching sports into a kind of active meditation.
If reading through these reasons has convinced you to give daily fantasy sports betting a shot, then it's time to think about the next step. You need to sign up with a daily fantasy site, and we strongly suggest checking out our top recommendations before doing so. Most sites are pretty good, but our recommendations are the very best places to play.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: September 2015
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