DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports. In an NFL context, it means fantasy football played over a day or week instead of an entire season.
NFL DFS games appeal to football stat junkies who like to pit their player analysis skills against the masses but don’t want to wait until the fantasy playoffs to claim their prize. Every week of the 2023 NFL season could find you as a winner.
The prominent players in the space are DraftKings and FanDuel. These sites let you create NFL lineups and enter them into contests for real money. Sometimes, that money can be enormous, like $1 million or more for first place.
Pros of NFL DFS
- Small buy-ins, big payouts: The prize pools are astronomical for some of the biggest tournaments in DFS. In round numbers, the biggest events pay out a staggering $1 million or more to first place. That’s a pretty good payday for an enjoyable pursuit.
- Variety of games: There are numerous types of games available in DFS, including head-to-head matchups, 50/50 A cash game refers to a DFS contest in which roughly half the field wins a prize. The last place winner wins the same prize as the first place winner. While the prize payouts aren't as sexy as tournament contests (GPPs), the probability of placing in the money is usually higher. ... More, and large tournaments. This variety allows you to choose the type of game that best suits your playing style and risk tolerance.
- No worry about changing odds: The odds board is the guide in sports betting. However, in DFS, the primary variable is player salary, and salaries don’t change once they’re set on Sunday nights.
- A fresh A slate is a list of games, typically starting around the same time of day. The most popular NFL slate in DFS is the "Main" slate, which usually has 10 or more games in the regular season. This is an example of DraftKing's main slate for NFL Some slates includes as few as one gam... More every day: Unlike season-long fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports offer you the opportunity to start fresh every week (or day) with DraftKings and FanDuel regularly releasing new DFS tournaments and A cash game refers to a DFS contest in which roughly half the field wins a prize. The last place winner wins the same prize as the first place winner. While the prize payouts aren't as sexy as tournament contests (GPPs), the probability of placing in the money is usually higher. ... More.
- No long-term obligation: Unlike season-long fantasy sports, where you are committed to managing your team for the entire season, DFS lets you play whenever you want—with zero long-term commitment.
Cons of NFL DFS
- DFS isn’t easy: With such a large number of users and so many different variations of the game, finding a winning DFS strategy can take time. The market is relatively efficient, and the pros make most of the money. In other words, the people you compete against are usually smarter than the average bear. They use football analysis tools (like DFS Hub and others) and read a lot of player and strategy news. Unless you want to take it seriously, you’re probably better off trying to take your friend’s money than pitting yourself against avid DK and FanDuel participants.
- Requires trial and error: Scoring is different than it is in season-long Fantasy games and understanding the pricing system—and how to take advantage of it—takes some trial and error.
- There’s risk of loss: DFS can be addictive, and most DFS players lose money. Albeit, most consider it just entertainment and play money. Many, however, believe they can beat the game given enough time and experience. Either way, make sure you only play with money you can afford to lose and play within reasonable limits.
DFS is replete with opportunities if you put in effort to study the game, read all the news that matters and develop a consistent winning approach. That’s easier said than done, but beating the large majority in any game takes a commitment.
For those of you just getting started with DFS during the 2023 NFL season, check out our weekly Free NFL DFS Contest to learn how to play with no strings attached. You can win up to $100 in a week, with zero entry fee.