You are here

NFL DFS Tournament Preview Logo  Fantasy Football has become a typical activity in society today, no longer in the shadows of sports geeks and mathematical nerds.  The problem that some people have is that there isn’t a gambling aspect attached with a lot of the leagues around for one reason for another, and if your team has a major injury you could be sitting on the sidelines for the rest of the year.  Daily Fantasy Sports (or DFS) is changing that though and this year is going to be even bigger and better than years past.  We will break down the biggest events from the two giants of the industry!

Daily Fantasy Sports Gears Up for NFL Season

While we are known for being top quality rakeback providers, we also delve a tad bit into other markets such as sports betting, casinos online, and most notably, DFS. Daily Fantasy Sports made a huge move last year into the mainstream of American culture, not just gambling culture.  Constant commercials on ESPN and other stations helped it grow much like poker back in 2003-2006.  That growth has set this year up to be a huge year for Daily Fantasy Sports, especially with PokerStars entering the market and officially offering games to those in the United States.  There is still going to be a large amount of non-serious players in the pools, but this kind of value won’t last forever as the market gets more mature.  The next few years are likely going to be seen as the golden era for DFS.

Background and Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

For those that are not that familiar with DFS, it is fairly simple to grasp the idea, but very difficult to master, much like poker.  On the day of the event/events you pick a team that meets the criteria of the particular game you are looking to join and attempt to get the most points.  It is much like regular fantasy sports, but you are not stuck with your team after the week is over.  Each player is assigned a particular salary and you can spend your salary cap as you please.  Different games have different payout structures from very top heavy to completely flat.  It really just depends on what you want to get involved in.  While the NFL might be the most popular sport for DFS, it is hardly the only one with the NHL, NBA and MLB having very healthy DFS ecosystems that offer great prizes and tournaments.

The best thing about DFS right now is that it is completely legal in almost every state.  Michigan has recently said that DFS is illegal under their state laws, but this ruling is new enough that not much is known about what that actually means.  It’s important to make sure you know how your state views DFS, so we strongly suggest you do some searching on the internet if that is something that worries you.  On the positive side though, credit cards, PayPal and other pay methods work quite easily with the major DFS sites, so it is clear that those companies still feel comfortable with the legality.  All of these factors make DFS very popular with all sorts of players, because there aren’t lots of hoops to jump through to get money on a site.

The Market Leaders

As with the US poker market prior to Black Friday two major sites head up the Daily Fantasy Sports business.  FanDuel and DraftKings are like the Full Tilt Poker and the PokerStars of the DFS market, at least prior to black Friday, or more aptly for our current readership, the Ignition and the BetOnline of our current real money US poker markets.  The smaller of the sites is FanDuel, but they still offer a lot of great Football tournaments that range in buy-in from $2, or less, up to $300.  FanDuel offers four major NFL tournaments, which all take place on Sunday.  They have the $5 Million NFL Sunday for $25, the $1 Million Sun NFL Rush for $5, the $1 Million Sun NFL Monster for $300 and the $750k Sun NFL Kickoff for $10.  As you can see they have a little bit of something for everyone and entering them is simple and cheap with great rewards opportunities.

DraftKings steps it up even more though with some serious prizes up for grabs.   DraftKings also has four major tournaments with a $10 Million tournaments with $2 Million for first that is $20, a $1M Play-Action for $3, a NFL Massive $25 Double Up for $25 and a $1M Blitz for $300.  All of these tournaments are also a Sunday start, but there are plenty of Thursday and Monday tournaments available, but they just have smaller prize pools, for obvious reasons.  The major take away should that you can win a lot of money from these tournaments and with being able to enter multiple times, skilled players do have a major advantage.

StarsDraft Allows PokerStars to Reenter the American market

We won’t get into the specifics quite yet on this site, because there is going to be a lot of changing happening even during the first few weeks of the NFL season.  The important thing to know is that PokerStars bought Victiv, which is a fairly small DFS site, and is interested in expanding the reach of the site, but rather slowly.  That being said they are going to enter the US market, with the exception of a few states, which will surely cause some ripples in the market as many will remember PokerStars as the site that paid them their money quickly after Black Friday.  This goodwill should be interesting to see in action as it might be a non-issue or might drive the site to be much bigger than previously thought.  We suggest waiting a little while to see what happens with the site and what kind of players are attracted though.  There are better choices for value oriented sites, at least at this point.  But hey, who knows, maybe they will decide to offer rakeback at some point?  That would liven things up a bit!


Daily Fantasy Sports took a huge step forward last year and really entered into the mainstream of American culture.  With commercials playing even more, more sites talking about DFS popping up and the market growing rapidly it should continue to get even better for players, especially those who want to make an early move on this growing market.  FanDuel and DraftKings  provide the best opportonity to win big prizes while reaching some of the softest fields.Much like the poker boom in 2003-2006 there isn’t going to be much time to really take advantage of all these promotions and value oriented tournaments, but while it is still early we highly suggest getting involved, as even if you don’t like sports a lot the math side of the game is just as interesting.  What DFS site do you play on?  Where do you get your information for the best DFS tips?  Tell us on Twitter and Facebook!