Get Rich From Fantasy

Beginner’s Guide to Draft Kings Fantasy Football

DK Fantasy Football Guide

Daily fantasy is taking over the world and Draft Kings is one of the select few that are paving the way for this to be possible. The idea is the same as any other daily fantasy sports, every player is assigned a value based off current projections, the better players will obviously cost more than less productive players. Utilize your salary cap ($50,000 in DK) and select a rag-tag group of champions without exceeding the cap and you can win big money of your players perform. Just like every other fantasy game, NFL on Draft Kings has a scoring system where everything a player does on the field can either gain or lose points, except on Draft Kings, you can get rid of your team the very next day if your boys under perform. In this user guide, we will start with the scoring structure and go into some game modes that Draft Kings offers. Every site has their own subtle differences and Draft Kings is no different. You’ll notice a flex position and a full PPR variation as well. For now, let’s start with the basic roster structure and work our way up from there.

Draft Kings Roster Positions and Salary Cap

Right from the beginning, we will notice a difference between Fanduel. Draftings made a bold decision before the 2015-2016 NFL season, they made me a fan by removing the kicker! That’s right, no kicker in DK formats anymore. Instead, we have a flex option that offers players to put an extra RB, WR or TE into their line-up rather than a kicker. The rest of the players remain fairly similar to all other fantasy football leagues. Here is the position rundown:

QB
RB1
RB2
WR1
WR2
WR2
TE
D/ST
FLEX (RB/WR/TE)

The fact that you only have $50,000 may same a little daunting at first but compared to most other daily sites, the prices of players are relatively low. The most expensive players rarely, if ever, reach $9,000 and there are tons of players in the $4500 to $6000 range that would be in the $8,000 range on other sites. If they’re not going to support having kickers in their game models, then they have to make skill players more affordable, so it evens out in the end. Another quick little fact, the cheapest options in a typical NFL week can get down to as low as $2,000. These are usually poor plays obviously but if you front load your skill players and want to take Chicago’s defense versus Green Bay in hopes that it will overshadow the negative points, you can do that.

Scoring Structure

Like stated in the lovely intro above, Draft Kings has a slightly different scoring structure than it’s competitors as well. First off, it is a full point PPR league where each reception nets a receiver a point for the catch itself. Other sites usually will have .5 point PPR settings and others have no PPR variations. In addition to the PPR scoring, Draft Kings also provides bonus points for players performing well. For example, if a QB chucks for over 300 yards, they receive 3 extra points. Similarly, if an RB or WR get 100 yards, they get three points. This is not found in Fanduel formats.

Here is the offensive point breakdown:

Passing TD = +4PTs
25 Passing Yards = +1PT (+0.04PT/ per yard is awarded)
300+ Yard Passing Game = +3PTs
Interception = -1PT
10 Rushing Yards = +1PT (+0.1PT per yard is awarded)
Rushing TD = +6PTs
100+ Yard Rushing Game = +3PTs
10 Receiving Yards = +1PT (+0.1PT per yard is awarded)
Reception = +1PT
Receiving TD = +6PTs
100+ Yard Receiving Game = +3PTs
Punt/Kickoff Return for TD = +6PTs
Fumble Lost = -1PT
2 Point Conversion (Pass, Run, or Catch) = +2PTs
Offensive Fumble Recovery TD = +6PTs

Defense and Special Teams:

Sack = +1PT
Interception = +2PTs
Fumble Recovery = +2PTs
Kickoff Return TD = +6PTs
Punt Return TD = +6PTs
Interception Return TD = +6PTs
Fumble Recovery TD = +6PTs
Blocked Punt or FG Return TD = +6PTs
Safety = +2PTs
Blocked Kick = +2PTs
0 Points Allowed = +10PTs
1-6 Points Allowed = +7PTs
7-13 Points Allowed = +4PTs
14-20 Points Allowed = +1PT
21-27 Points Allowed = 0PTs
28-34 Points Allowed = -1PT
35+ Points Allowed = -4PTs

Nothing too crazy with the above. You’ll notice when your game begins, your defense will always start with 10 points. For points given up that number will go down but if they score on a pick-six or get a few sacks, you will see that number rise.

Game Modes and Strategies

Tournaments/Leagues

By far the most popular game style, tournaments can provide some massive returns, if you know how to play them right. The basic idea behind these leagues is a large amount of competition with a large amount of money involved. Every week, Draft Kings hosts a $20 buy-in tournament that is capped at 400,700 rosters and pays out a total of $7,000,000 with $1.2M going to first place. Sounds appealing, right? It is by far the toughest tournament to win so if it seems a little farfetched to begin your fantasy journey, there are other options.

The number of entrants in tournaments and leagues range from 3 players to over 400,000 with buy-ins ranging from free to $10,600. In a 3 or 5 player league, it will be winner take all with Draft Kings taking a small cut. For example, if it is a 5-man league and the entry fee was $1, the winner will win $4.50 and the site takes $.50. Obviously with more money involved, the bigger the amount that the site takes but the percentage of the pot stays fairly consistent throughout all game types.

The art of winning these tournaments can vary between size of tournament. If I am entering the Million Dollar tournament, I need to be sneaky with a few of my plays because ownership percentage is a huge deal. If you have players that all have high ownership percentage, it is tougher to gain ground on opposing fantasy players. By ownership percentage, I am referring to how many of those 400,000+ line-ups will own the same player. You’re trying to beat everyone else, not just score a few points. Try to get a few players in the line-up that will produce but also may fly a little under the radar. When it comes to winning the smaller tourney’s, ownership percentage is still important but the biggest advice I have is to not get fancy. You don’t need to beat a million people, you only need to beat a few. Be smart.

Head-To-Head

Bring us back to our roots with this one. Classic head-to-head match-up against one other dude (or chick) and 1 line-up. Entry fees range from free to $10,600 and it is obviously winner take all with the exception of the website fees. There are a few different ways to play these. A very popular strategy is to play one line-up but multiple times in the same week against multiple different opponents. People who have the means will set their line-up and then create numerous head-to-heads with the goal of maximizing their profit while have some sort of a safety net. When it comes to picking players in this game style, it is very smart to take “sure-things.” Same advice as above, don’t get fancy with it, play great match-ups with great value and don’t be that guy who starts Matt Asiata because you think he will have a vulture week. Just don’t be that guy. Another strategy is to make multiple line-ups so that you have a sense of security within the game. One line-up could flop and one could go off, ya never know. But if you both of them flop you’re in trouble… But what if both of them go nuts?! You’ll be rich!

50-50 and Double Ups

Similar game modes here but with a slight variation. With 50-50 games, all it means is that your goal is to finish in the top half of the entire field. Entry fees range from $1 to $5,300 and the entrant number can range from 4 to 30 entrants. In the 50-50 game mode, if you finish in the top half of the field, you win! In this game style, you don’t win double your money but roughly 90-94.5% of your money back. For example, if the entry fee was $1 and you finish in the top half, you will win $1.80 or if the entry fee was $25, you will win $45. The rest of the money goes to the site.

In the double-up format, it is very similar but you do actually win double your money. The catch is that only the top ~45% win. If there are 11 entrants, you need to finish 5th or better and you will receive 100% of your entry fee. The number of entrants in this game mode range from 4 to over 90,000 with entry fees being anywhere between $1 and $1,000.

As for as strategy, there really isn’t anything crazy with this game mode, you want to take points where you can get them. Ownership percentage isn’t important here because it doesn’t matter if you finish 1st or 50th in a 100 player contest, you still win the same. So take points where you know you’ll find them, use the defenses that are guaranteed to not get lit up and don’t take a lot of chances. I will usually throw one line-up into these multiple times and hope for the best. It works more times than not.

Multipliers and Satellites

Just like 50-50s and double-ups, there is another mode called multipliers. Basically, the idea is to triple-up or in some game modes, win 10X your entry amount. Multiply your money… Get it? Good. If it is a triple up, the top 3rd of the field will win 3X their entry amount and that algorithm stays true throughout. Example, if it a 10X booster game, then 1/10th of the field will win their money back X10.

Satellites are a different game mode that don’t always just pay money but can pay a prize or a free entry ticket to a high dollar entry tournament. They are just like tournaments but with a different prize structure. There are satellites to enter tournaments every week and some are free! Take a look.

Draft Kings Formats and Special Game Modes

The number of game modes available on DraftKings is truly endless. Depending on which sport you’re playing, you may have the ability to throw a new roster into the mix every single night. When it comes to NFL on DK, there is actually a few different ways you can ways where you can submit multiple line-ups into one single week based off the number of games within a certain time frame. For example, there is a “Prime-Time” only format where you can only pick players from the teams that are playing Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. You only have 4 rosters to choose from so these games get competitive but there are some decent strategy for this mode and other modes. On the flip side, there are other filters that let you pick from all the teams playing from Thursday night through Monday night football. There are some large scale tournaments in this Thursday-Monday format but a majority of the large tournaments, including the Millionaire Maker tournament. There are a number of other roster limiting formats that I will share below, along with some strategy that may need to differ between formats.

1PM Only Games

I actually like these ones. As most football fans are aware, a lot of the week’s games start at 1PM Eastern time. The reason people like these games is simply because it offers another option to find more profit and they don’t have to wait until Monday night to cash out or see if they won any cash. In a typical week, there are 8 games or so at the 1PM Start time. These games do require a little research and skill.

All over the internet there are multiple sources for research and you would be shocked to see who plays better in day games compared to night games in the NFL. I use this strategy every week and have had success. Some players are terrible in prime-time but great in the day and others are the exact opposite. I will avoid players who will be heavily owned and don’t have great numbers in day games.

In addition to checking game day stats, I also check the weather reports for games and how certain players play in colder games versus heat. For example, when the temperature is under 40 degrees, Tom Brady is 41-7. And he plays in New England where cold weather comes to him all the time. Now some people will want to say its because he is a cheater but heck no, he is a winner. Others aren’t so good. Look into things like this, especially when less games are available. This will help you avoid poor performances from highly owned players.

Prime-Time Games Only and Monday-Thursday Contests

There are a number of contests that only have a pair of games involved. These are extremely competitive as most folks seem to have similar rosters. After all, there are only 4 QBs and RBs to choose from so smaller options equals more ownership percentage, ultimately. When it comes to these games, I will tend to find the starting running back that is struggling the most, and choose his backup. Just a few weeks ago, I took Ronnie Hillman over CJ Anderson and sure enough, Ronnie outscored 2 of the 4 starters from that week. And the best part? He was also one of the cheapest backs as well.

The opposite of the above is what I suggest doing with the QB position, TE and Defense. Obviously, there is no back-up defenses but rarely do we have competitive games on Prime Time these days so therefore, we can assume the better team will dominate. I usually save money at the RB and WR position in these situations and then go ahead and splurge on these 3 positions. Ownership percentage, while we can avoid the bulk of it, will always be an issue on daily fantasy formats. If you can limit that, while maximizing production, will help you separate from the field.

If you check your rosters and realize that you have 6 players with all high ownership percentages, don’t panic. Especially within 50-50, double-ups, head-to-head games and small tournaments. Ownership level is not a huge factor here but if you’re looking for big money, then we suggest trying to limit. Within the 50-50 and double up games, I don’t worry about it at all. All you need to do is finish in the top half in these and you win. 1st or 50th, you win the same so it is not as important. Therefore, if we go ahead and select the obvious choices, it won’t be as big of deal in large tournament formats where everyone will own Devonta Freeman and while he may put up 30 FDPs a game, he won’t provide any value due to his ownership percentage being so high. If you look at the millionaire tournaments on many daily sites, they usually are won by rosters with a majority of 17% or less owned. With everything, there are exceptions but this is what we’ve seen so far.

Check Ya Later

Well there it is. If you’re a beginner, use this guide for awhile and you will eventually become your own player and find your own strategies and contests to play. If you have any questions, please comment below and I will be glad to help! Every player finds their own strategies at some point or another within their fantasy life and I am sure you will too. Try some free games and get a feel for what works and someday you may become the next DraftKings millionaire.

GRFF Staff

GRFF Staff

Where the hell am I and where are my shoes.

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