By now you’ve heard the endless commercials on ESPN and every other sports talks show advertising daily fantasy football games for FanDuel and DraftKings. This past weekend I decided to sign up for a FanDuel account to see what all the rage was. After just one day playing daily fantasy football with FanDuel I was hooked. This is my one day fantasy football experience.
I’ll start this off by saying that I am a fantasy sports junkie. I play in numerous leagues for fantasy football (both college and pro), fantasy basketball (both college and pro), and fantasy baseball, and am the commissioner in many of them as well. Since I love all things sports, all the time, fantasy sports are a way that I can use my sports knowledge to have have fun while also potentially winning some coin. For me it’s more about winning than it is the money, but after my experience with FanDuel that might change.
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I started off depositing $100 and was happy to see that I received a $60 sign up bonus right out of the gates. I then went to sign up for a league and this is where things got kinda overwhelming. I’m a dude who can figure most things out online and know that often times it just takes reading something for about 30 seconds and I’ll figure it out, but that being said I’ll also just push a bunch of buttons and hope that I’ll figure it out on my own. There were what felt like a hundred different tournaments to choose from all varying in entry fee, prize pool, and number of entries.
After a few button pushes I ended up in a $10 – $500k Sunday NFL Kickoff league. From what I gathered it was a $10 entry fee and they’d be giving away $500,000 in the prize pool including $40,000 to the winner, and payouts to the top 20%.
After I was in that tournament I read the scoring settings, which were pretty standard + half point PPR. I highly recommend that you are comfortable with the scoring settings before you select players. It’s just the smart thing to do.
It was now time to draft my team. The roster makeup is QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, D. You’ve got a $60,000 cap to spend on your team and the players who have the highest points per game averages cost more than the ones who don’t perform as well. Pretty simple stuff. Just field the best team within those constraints.
Since I’m only playing this tournament for one week my strategy was to play good matchups and try and find value in players that are either hot or their per game averages didn’t accurately reflect their dollar value. Here’s what my team ended up looking like and the scores for each player.
What killed me was Fred Jackson’s injury early in the Bills game (I was watching as he was being carted off the field), and Andre Homes pretty much being a turd all game. I knew that there was some risk in selecting Andre Holmes but my strategy for this was to go boom or bust. If he stayed hot then I’d be money, especially since his price was relatively low.
I made good calls in Andre Ellington (there was a ton of value in him plus I wanted to play him while he was healthy, since he is an injury risk), Golden Tate (who needs Megatron?), and Jordy Nelson (business as usual). Cam was a bit of a dud as I expected way more out of the Panthers coming off their 37 point performance versus the Bengals.
I really liked seeing what percentage of teams owned a player. In subsequent weeks this will allow me to play off who I believe the average to above average sports fan will likely be taking, and zig when they zag. Just look at Jordan Reed and his 22.8% ownership and disappointing 7.9 points output. Just because lots of people think something will happen doesn’t always mean it will.
The thing that I probably liked most about playing FanDuel was their live scoring feature. All day I was able to track how my players were doing, and where I was in relation to finishing in the money. This became a constant game of how many spots away am I from the money. In fantasy football we are always rooting for our team, but knowing the exact impact that a Golden Tate 73-yard TD has on you actually winning straight cash homey was a whole new ball game.
Late in the day before the Broncos/49ers game I was in the money and even had a 3000 entry buffer (the top 10,000 or so were getting paid out).
Unfortunately after Peyton Manning dismantled the 49ers I slipped out of the top 10,000 and did not finish in the money. Despite this I’m already looking forward to playing in several tournaments next week, likely for both college and pro football.
So there you have it, that’s my first experience playing daily fantasy football with FanDuel and it far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend it for anyone who digs fantasy football or wants to add some extra special spice to their already action packed gambling + regular fantasy football + watching NFL football Sunday routine.
Watch this video if you want to know more about how FanDuel works.