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There is no denying that fantasy sports have become a major thing. When Daniel Okrent invented a simple version of fantasy baseball, he surely didn’t have in mind the billion dollar market it would become. As a matter of fact, nowadays about 42 million people play fantasy sports in the US and Canada alone. When we look at the sheer value for just fantasy football, it has been estimated that fantasy football is a market running somewhere between $40 and $70 billion.

What is fantasy sports?

Fantasy sports is a game of skill where participants compile a team of players in a particular sport. That could be football, basketball, tennis, golf or almost any other sport. As a fantasy sports participant, you draft a team on the basis of your knowledge who’s performance will be best. In sports like fantasy football, for example, you do need to keep to fill certain positions as there is a quota for each.

Fantasy sports users graph

Contest entry

After the draft, the contest begins and your team will start collecting points based on the performance of its players in real life. You buy into a contest on a fantasy site like DraftKings or FanDuel starting from as little as $1 or $2. Prizes can be high, especially for high-profile contests. For some contests, especially the ones with higher stakes, the buy-in is usually a little higher. For example around $10 or $20. With the arrival of special Fantasy Sports apps, everyone can participate in their own time.

The process

If you’re interested to start playing fantasy sports, that’s easy. What you need first of all is to sign up for an account. Fantasy sports sites often offer a nice bonus for new members, so you might want to shop around a little and compare offers. When you sign up for an account, you need to fill out your contact details and payment method. Additionally, you likely have to provide your preferred pay-out method for when you win.

Highlighted contests

On a fantasy sports home page, you usually find highlighted contests. These are often the most popular or most high-profile contests, for example, the Super Bowl or Wimbledon. Of course, it’s tempting to take part in those types of contests, but there is also a lot to say for smaller leagues.

Choosing your contest

First of all, it’s important that you only take part in fantasy sports that you actually have some good knowledge of. Remember, fantasy sports are a game of skill and not of luck. Therefore expertise, understanding stats and keeping up to date with the latest news is absolute key. In order to win, you need a solid strategy and consistency. When you first start out playing fantasy sports, you might want to stick to the contests with a low buy in. You can enter fantasy sports contests from as little as $1. This will give you some practice so that when the time is right you can consider to take part in a high stakes contest.

Choosing which fantasy sports to play

Different fantasy sports

Unlike you might think, fantasy sports rules differ quite a bit per sport. First of all, there is a different draft system for fantasy football in comparison to fantasy tennis. That makes sense considering the inherently different nature of the sport. But it’s important to be aware of. There is an automatic draft or an auction draft, for example.

Rules and quota

In fantasy football, you’re required to have a certain quota of players for each position. A sport like fantasy baseball offers more freedom in the draft when it comes to the type of players to pick. To each their own but it’s best to go with the sport you’re most naturally interested in. Daily fantasy sports but also seasonal leagues can be quite consuming as you have a line-up to take care of and make smart decisions based on current events.

NHL fantasy sports

Perhaps the most popular of all, fantasy football, has taken over America in recent years. It takes fanhood to an entire new level where families and friends take part in the seasonal leagues. It can be said that fantasy football has given the general popularity of the sport an entire new dimension. While fans would normally only watch the high-profile matches, now suddenly all matches are interesting. Ofcourse it is,when your own money and position in the league is at stake!

Bankroll management

Although fantasy sports is a game of skill, it has nevertheless some sensitive qualities when it comes to spending. It’s easy to get hooked on the game and even though there are many low-cost entry contests, it can easily add up when you go overboard. That’s why, just as with sports betting or gambling, it’s a must to have good bankroll management that is in line with your financial situation.

Mock Drafts

Before you pick out your contest and start playing, practice the art of the mock draft at one of the many online sports sites. ESPN offers an excellent model. The purpose of a mock draft is to refine your strategy and picks in preparation of the real draft. Practicing will help you filter which players to pick, in what order and who to leave out. Also in the light of bankroll management, using mock drafts is an important step to consider.

Popular Fantasy site DratftKings

Fantasy sites

The biggest fantasy sites in the business, making up for almost a combined 95% market share is DraftKings and FanDuel. Players usually have a preference for either, but it’s also not uncommon for fantasy players to have an account at both. From our experience, these sites are pretty similar in terms of what they offer. However, both sites do have a very different ‘feel’ to it. So it’s really about what works for you.