Daily Fantasy Sports Basics – What is an Overlay?

DFS overlay

In “Daily Fantasy Sports Basics,” we give you quick answers to questions you might have about terminology and basic strategy from the world of DFS.

You should always be on alert for overlays in a daily fantasy sports. But do you know what they are, or how to find them?

Quite simply, an overlay means there is free money being handed out by a site for a given contest.

An overlay will happen when the amount of cash prizes that a site is offering for a given contest exceeds money that has actually been put into the contest, in the form of entry fees. When buy-ins equal or exceed the guarantee, there is no overlay.

One site known for consistent overlays is FantasyDraft.com.

Find Overlays at FantasyDraft.com

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So, say a site is guaranteeing a million dollars for a fantasy football contest, but the entry fees only cover $750,000 of the prize pool. That means the site will be adding $250,000 of its own money to the prize pool, which benefits you, the player.

At the same time, an overlay also means that there are fewer players than expected for a given contest. The means more players will cash, as a percentage of the field, than usual, making it easier to field a winning lineup. You can learn more about the value of overlays at Rotogrinders.

But how do you tell if there is an overlay? A post over at dailyfantasysports101.com tells you exactly how to identify overlays. If you are playing at the big two sites of FanDuel and DraftKings, you can use a website called Daily Fantasy Lobby to figure out overlays. It will tell you exactly how much of an overlay there is for every single contest, in terms of both money and percentage.

Overlay Screenshot

FanDuel often doesn’t feature many overlays, at least in the past year. DraftKings, infrequently, has. Because of increased competition this football season, some DFS sites are offering huge guarantees in an attempt to draw more customers. You should be on the lookout for these contests all season. To help you, keep an eye on our overlay related posts.

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