Even the most casual of sports fans has heard the term ‘fantasy sports’ or ‘fantasy team’ thrown around throughout the year. As a major league sports season approaches, fans scramble to assemble a team in groups run with local friends or via online services. But fantasy sports can be complex for those who’ve never participated. In their simplest form, read guide to fantasy sports and know that fantasy sports leagues (also known as roto) are imaginary leagues that run concurrent to an actual sports season. Participants create teams from actual players on rosters for that season, then use their actual stats to see how this ‘fantasy’ team performs against other fantasy rivals.
In other words, fantasy sports use real data to build out imagined seasons created by their self-built teams. According to actual stats, one fantasy team wins at the end of the season. Today, most play fantasy sports online, though a few of the old guard still tabulate their fantasy leagues according to the methods used in the 1960s and 70s when roto first began.
Today, fantasy leagues are considered one of the primary sports offerings alongside DFS and Online Cricket Betting ID. DFS (expanded upon below) shortens a fantasy league into a single-day contest, hence the term ‘Daily Fantasy Sports’.
Like sports betting, DFS can end with real-money payouts. Top brands like DraftKings and FanDuel offer both DFS and sports betting services. Since the Supreme Court repealed a federal ban on oddsmakers in 2018, more and more states have begun to include both options for fans.
For example, New York City recently became the latest state to legalize online sports betting. This means DFS services can also launch their platforms online alongside offers like New York free bets from leading sportsbooks. In some cases, free bet offers can be used for DFS services.
Still, not many sports fans trying out a fantasy league for the first time will be ready to dive into DFS or money lines. Keep reading for more information about fantasy sports.
Fantasy Sports vs. DFS
Earlier, we mentioned that DFS services condense fantasy leagues into a single day’s event. But what does this actually mean? Typically, a fantasy league will slowly develop as a league’s season occurs. In the NFL, the most popular DFS league, this means weekly updates to fantasy leagues based on Sunday’s results.
A DFS service will condense the contest into a single week or a single day. Participants build a team according to DFS rules (which often shift according to contest type), which concludes later that day according to the day’s sporting outcomes. FanDuel and DraftKings are two American companies, based in New York and Boston respectively, that conduct a wide variety of contests for a range of sports.
Five Tips for Getting Started Today
So, what does it take to build a competitive fantasy league? And what’s a reliable company to start competing in a fantasy league with? As mentioned above, roto has been around for decades, which means there are plenty of entry levels for beginners. To get started today, take a look at the advice below on the guide of fantasy sports.
Tip One: Study up on stats. Fantasy leagues function according to individual player stats, which means it doesn’t matter whether a player’s team wins or loses in a real match. What matters is how they perform. For this reason, build a team based on player stats.
Tip Two: Contextualize these stats. Not all stats are created equal. For example, Shaquille O’Neal was considered an incredibly valuable player… who could never quite handle the stress of the playoffs. Opt for reliable players just as much as breakout stars.
Tip Three: Find a tipster. Whether building a fantasy team, playing DFS, or betting on outright winners, sports fans tend to have a favorite analyst or tipster. Find a pundit with valuable insight into a sport, team, or player, and consult them before making any major moves.
Tip Four: Shop around. Fantasy sports have a long history in the US, which means there are plenty of companies that have built out intuitive, easy-to-use fantasy platforms. Some of the most famous are Yahoo! Sports, ESPN, CBS Sports, and leagues themselves, such as the NFL.
Tip Five: Take notes. Those building their first fantasy teams are bound to encounter a few bad weeks. Be sure to take notes related to decision-making and results, especially if trying out new strategies. And remember to graduate to DFS slowly, as shortened contests will quickly reveal any flaws in fantasy team-building.