Daily Fantasy sports is a common phrase heard in conversation, online, or in TV commercials (thank you for that FanDuel and Draftkings), but is it..really? Let’s start with the most obvious question.

What are Daily Fantasy Sports?

Daily fantasy football is a form of fantasy sports in which players draft a team of real-life players for a single game, rather than a whole season. The players earn points based on the performance of their chosen players in real-life games, and the team with the most points at the end of the game or the contest wins.

To play daily fantasy football, one first needs to sign up with a daily fantasy sports website or app. Once signed up, you can either join a public contest or create a private contest with friends.

Before the start of the game, you will have a “salary cap” to draft a team of players. Each player has a salary assigned to them, and the total salary of your team must not exceed the salary cap. You must pick a quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, tight end, kicker and a defense/special team.

The emphasis here is on the player not the team or teams. You are creating a team of individual players from different teams. Usually a QB, two RB’s, three WR’s, a tight end, one team’s defense, and a FLEX position (that, depending on the rules, can be a RB, WR or TE).

After the game, the fantasy points earned by your players will be added up, and the team with the most points wins. The prize money is typically distributed among the top finishers, and the amount of the prize depends on the entry fee and the number of participants.

It is important to note that daily fantasy football is considered a form of gambling and is regulated as such in some jurisdictions. It is always advisable to check the laws in your area before participating.

When did Fantasy Sports Begin?

Fantasy sports first became popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The concept of a fantasy sports league, in which participants draft and manage their own teams made up of real-life players, was first proposed by a Canadian businessman named Bill Winkenbach in the early 1960s. He created the first fantasy football league, known as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League (GOPPPL). Wondering how it predated computers?

If you can believe it, fantasy sports were very common (also known as rotisserie leagues) before computers. Groups of men would get together and have a fantasy draft (see below), and draft their favorite players. Then they would get together and computer their team’s scores, often by manually checking and revising each other’s work.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) have come a long way since its inception in the 1960s and 1970s. The industry, which allows players to draft and manage their own teams made up of real-life players, has experienced several major developments in recent years.

One of the biggest developments in DFS has been the rise of online platforms. With the advent of the internet, DFS companies began to launch online platforms that made it easier for players to compete against each other from anywhere in the world. This increased accessibility has led to a surge in popularity, with millions of people now playing DFS on a regular basis.

Another major development in DFS has been the introduction of guaranteed prize pools. Some DFS companies began to offer guaranteed prize pools for certain contests, which meant that even if not enough players entered, the promised prize money would still be awarded. This helped to attract more players and increase the size of the prize pools, making DFS even more attractive to potential players.

The legalization of DFS in most states in the United States has also played a significant role in the industry’s growth. In the past, DFS was considered a form of gambling and was illegal in many states. However, as states have begun to legalize and regulate the industry, more companies have entered the market and advertising and sponsorship deals have increased.

In addition, mobile app development has played a huge role in the growth of DFS. Many DFS companies have developed mobile apps, making it easy for players to play and manage their teams on the go. With the rise of mobile usage and internet accessibility, these apps have made it even more convenient for users to participate in DFS.

Another trend that emerged in recent years is the integration of DFS with sports betting. With the legalization of sports betting in some states, some DFS companies have integrated sports betting options into their platforms. This has increased the appeal of DFS, attracting more players and increasing revenue for the companies.

However, with the growth of the industry, DFS has also faced increased scrutiny over issues such as advertising, consumer protection, and the use of data and algorithms by companies. These concerns have led to some changes in regulation and business practices, and will likely continue to shape the industry in the future.

Overall, daily fantasy sports have come a long way since their first appearance in the 1960s and 1970s. With the rise of online platforms, guaranteed prize pools, legalization, and mobile app development, DFS has become a multi-billion dollar industry enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

What other types of Fantasy Sports Leagues Are There?

One must remember that Daily Fantasy Sports only compromises a small percentage of the general category of Fantasy sports. In fact, there are many different types and variations of Fantasy Sports. Some of which are below:

  1. Traditional Draft Leagues: These are the most common type of fantasy football leagues, in which participants draft a team of players at the beginning of the season and compete against each other based on the statistics of the players on their teams.
  2. Keeper Leagues: Similar to traditional draft leagues, but in Keeper leagues, participants are allowed to keep a certain number of players from one season to the next.
  3. Dynasty Leagues: Similar to Keeper Leagues, but in Dynasty Leagues, participants are allowed to keep all of their players from one season to the next and also have a Rookie Draft each year.
  4. Daily/Weekly leagues: In these leagues, players draft a new team every week or every day and compete against other players in that specific week or day.
  5. Best Ball Leagues: In these leagues, players draft a team at the beginning of the season and the computer will automatically start the best lineup each week based on player’s performance.
  6. Survivor Leagues: In these leagues, participants are eliminated from the league when their team loses a certain number of games.
  7. Auction Leagues: In these leagues, instead of a traditional draft, teams are built through a silent auction process, where each team is given a salary cap and bid on players.
  8. IDP Leagues: IDP stands for Individual Defensive Players. In these leagues, instead of only using offensive players, you also draft defensive players and score points based on their performances.
  9. Two-QB leagues: In these leagues, teams must start two quarterbacks, which changes the strategy and adds more depth to the position.
  10. SuperFlex Leagues: Similar to Two-QB Leagues, in SuperFlex leagues, teams must start one quarterback in a flex spot which can be either a quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or tight end.

However, with all of this said, the most common type of fantasy football league is the traditional draft league. In a traditional draft league, participants draft a team of players at the beginning of the season and compete against each other based on the statistics of the players on their teams. The draft order is usually determined by a random draw or by the previous season’s standings.

In these leagues, participants are usually required to select a certain number of players at each position (e.g. quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker, and defense/special teams) within a set salary cap or budget. Points are then awarded based on the performance of the players on each participant’s team. The participant with the most points at the end of the season is declared the winner.

Traditional draft leagues are popular because they provide a balance between skill and luck, allowing participants to build their own teams while also leaving room for unexpected performances from players. Additionally, they are easy to set up and manage and can be customized to suit the preferences of the participants.