What Types of Bets are There in Daily Fantasy Sports?

What Types of Bets are There in Daily Fantasy Sports?

Published Date · March 29, 2022 · Last Updated · July 5, 2022 ·Read Time · 5 mins

Types of Bets in Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a popular alternative to sports betting. DFS is a more recent alternative to traditional fantasy sports, the main difference being the time frame they are conducted over (one day/ week as opposed to a season). While winning at either fantasy or sportsbook bets requires a combination of luck and skill, thereare some key differences. At its most basic, traditional sports betting requires picking the winning team in a sports game, while DFS is fundamentally different. In DFS, the player would select and build their own theoretical team of participating athletes in their chosen sport’s league or tournament. A player’s chosen roster must remain under a salary cap and earns points depending on their selected athletes’ performances in real-world matches (i.e., goals scored). Another key difference between DFS and traditional sports betting is that the former is player vs. player, while the latter is player vs. the house or sportsbook. Finally, another significant difference is that, unlike sports betting, DFS is completely legal in the case of federal law. This means that besides state-specific laws, DFS players have fewer barriers to overcome when it comes to playing legally.

What Fantasy Sports Can you Play?

DFS has its roots in traditional fantasy sports, which first surfaced in the United States as far back as the 1960s, courtesy of baseball and football fantasy. Fantasy sports and DFS have become incredibly popular since the late 2000s, with an increasing number of available sports. With over 50 million people playing fantasy sports in the US, it’s pretty obviousthat all of America’s favorite sports will be well represented in fantasy sports. This is certainly the case for NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, Golf, and UFC. College football and college basketball are also incredibly popular but can be subject to state-by-state restrictions. There are also other options such as Soccer, Tennis, Nascar, and eSports, which, although not as established as the previously mentioned sports, still enjoy a sizeable DFS following.The selection of fantasy sports will undoubtedly continue to adapt to the demands and interests of DFS and sports fans.

What types of DFS games are there?

Given the huge growth of daily fantasy sports, it should not be surprising that many options and types are available for those looking to play. The numerous typesof DFS games offered can vary by sport and some by state. Despite this, there are some overarching types and categories common in most, if not all, DFS. DFS types tend to be split into two categories: Cash Games and GPP (guaranteed prize pools, sometimes known as tournaments). One key difference between these two is that cash games are typically a safer and simpler experience for DFS newcomers. This is due to its single entry, flat payout structure, and comparatively smaller contest sizes. In contrast, GPPgames are more complex but more rewarding for experienced and knowledgeable DFS players -they offer significantly higher payouts as there are fewer winners. Furthermore, GPP games tend to have multiple entries, a tiered payout structure, significantly more players entering the contest, and larger numbers of experienced players participating.

Best DFS Types for Beginners

There are a few tournament options DFS beginners should look out for within cash games. These include H2H (Head-to-Head) and EPE (Experienced Players Excluded) tournaments. Both of these afford newcomers a much lower risk when learning the ropes of DFS. In H2H matches, you can compete against low numbers of opponents, or even a single opponent, dramatically increasing your chances of winning money. EPE events are only open to novice and intermediate users, creating a fairer environment for new players and removing the risk of competing against DFS veterans. Double-ups are another type of cash game suitable for novices as they pay out twice the cost of registering to the top 45 percent of participating players. 50-50s are very similar except for payout to the top 50% of players (minus entry fees). Although there are many more participants in 50-50s and double-ups compared with H2H competitions, there is no distinction between coming first or last in the qualifying winner bracket (top 50% or top 45%). So while 50-50s tend to pay out slightly less than double-ups, mathematically, you have better chances to win. However, in practice, whether you’re more likely to win a 50-50 or a double-up will depend considerably on the sport, which of the two options more experienced players prefer, and where you choose to play.

DFS for Experienced Players

For more experienced and knowledgeable DFS players, GPPsoffer the chance to win some serious money. So naturally, these contests are more competitive and complex than cash games. The higher payouts are due to their tiered payout structures, which also means that only the top 10 or 20 percent of payers win anything, and the closer to first place you get, the larger share of the winnings you receive. In GPPs, the prize pool is guaranteed by the tournament hoster, typically an online sports betting site. While the entrance fees usually cover the prize pool, there are rare occasions where they won’t. In these cases, the host will cover the difference -this is known as an overlay. Keep an eye out for overlays as they create positive expectation wagers. Without breaking down the math, all you need to know is that overlays are great news for you. Even if you never get better than average at roster selection, you can nearly always make a profit if you exclusively compete in tournaments with an overlay.

There are a few other options experienced players should make sure they are familiar with. Leagues are one of these. Although they have a lot in common with GPPs, they typically have smaller contests, with some leagues having a less top-heavy prize pool distribution. Other DFS types worth looking out for are satellites, qualifiers, and steps. These have a lot in common and essentially are competitions where the prize is one or several vouchers to compete in a more expensive cash tournament. Satellites can be a great option for players with limited funds or those looking tosave their bankroll for bigger tournaments. These three typically allow a small number of entrants to participate and have a similarly restricted amount of vouchers available to win. Qualifiers and steps are more of a pre-requisite for players to take part in larger, high prize-pool tournaments and typically require multiple top-percentile placements before moving on to the main event. There are, of course, many other types of DFS out there, but we’ll have to save them for another time.

Final Thoughts

Daily Fantasy Sports are a fantastic alternative to traditional sports betting and a thrilling way to enjoy some of the best sports the US has to offer. It can be a lot of fun for a beginner, enjoyed with and against friends; DFS can also be pursued to a high level. Professionals and experts will invest their time and rely on their skills, research, and sporting knowledge to make the best decisions possible. However, no amount of analytics, skill and research will guarantee a win; at the end of the day, DFS will still rely somewhat on luck. While we recommend doing your homework and trying some beginner-friendly cash games before you sign up for any big DFS tournaments, there is a lot of fun to be had in simply learning the ropes. There isn’t necessarily an overall best bet type in DFS, so you should play however suits your mean and gives you the most enjoyment. No matter how you choose to enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports, remember to play responsibly, have fun. We hope you make some profit along the way!


Chris Singarajah

Content Writer