When you go to the DraftKings lobby, you will see a selection of different contests types available. Each of these contests have unique rules, payouts and strategies. GPPs with their huge fields and huge prize pools get most of the headlines in the daily fantasy football world, but the other DFS contests can be just a fun and profitable for their own reasons.
So what are the different types of contests and how are they different? Here’s what you can expect to see for DraftKings DFS contest types when you join the site.
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A Look at DraftKings Contest Types
From the left hand side of the lobby you will see six categories of contests you can join when playing daily fantasy football at DraftKings: Featured, Tournaments/Leagues, Head to Head, 50/50s and Double Ups, Multipliers, and Satellites and Qualifiers.
If you want to compare how DraftKings stacks up against other daily fantasy football sites, check out of 2015 NFL DFS guide. If you want to learn more about what DraftKings offers, read on…
Featured – DraftKings Featured contests types are a collection of the site’s most prominent tournaments and leagues, almost all of which have guaranteed prize pools. This is where you want to be to see the best of what DraftKings has to offer.
Tournaments and Leagues – Tournaments and Leagues are daily fantasy football contests that allow anywhere from 3 players to hundreds of thousands to join. The primary difference between tournaments and leagues is that tournaments do not have a cap on entries and can often reach very very large prize pool. Leagues, on the other hand, have a set number of entries allowed and a prize pool that is predetermined (versus a GPP which varies on the number of entries). In addition to a 3 entry league, leagues size can vary from 10 to 2350. Tournaments, especially those with guaranteed prize pools are limited only by the number of players that want to join them.
In edition to regular GPPs and leagues, the DraftKings League and Tournament tab also includes some 50/50, Winner Take All and other types of contest with more than 3 players. To find featured tournaments in the Tournaments and League section, note the “star” icons next to these contests.
Head to Head – As the name would suggest, DraftKings’s Head to Head contests are played between two players. Buy-ins for these contests range from $1 to $10,600 and because of the large traffic at DraftKings, there is always games available to join at each buy-in level. Head to Head are one of the lowest variance contests in daily fantasy sports because you only have to beat one other player. You can start your own head to head contest or join an existing contest.
50/50s & Double Ups – DraftKings’ 50/50 and Double Up contests are very similar in that in each about half of — or exactly half — the prize pool roughly doubles their money.
In 50/50s, exactly half of those who enter will receive double their money. With Double Ups, everybody who cashes will earn twice their buy-in. This sounds pretty much the same, doesn’t it? The difference is that in Double-Ups fewer than 50% will double their money. To explain it in example form, in a $10 buy-in 50/50 with 20 entries, 1st through 10th will receive $18 (the rest taken as rake by DraftKings). The equivalent $10 Double Up contest at DraftKings has 34 entries and only the top 15 will double their money — $20 in prizes. Because of the structure, the rake is also slightly different – 12% in Double Ups versus 10% at 50/50s. For this reason, DFSC recommends players stick to 50/50s, everything else being equal.
Multipliers – In DraftKings’ Multiplier contests, a specific percentage of those with the highest score will earn a multiple of their buy-in. It’s like a Double-Up contest, but with higher multiples. At DraftKings, they offer multipliers of 3x, 5x, 10x or even 40x the buy-in. You can find these contests with buy-ins ranging from $0.25 up to $250 and fields with 10 players all the way up to 23,000. In a typical Triple Up contest, lets say a $10 Triple Up contest with 60 entries, the top 18 players would receive 3x their buy-in, or $30 each.
As you move up in multipliers, it obviously because more difficult to earn a prize, but your reward if you cash will be higher.
Satellites & Qualifiers — Satellites and qualifiers are contests that feed into another larger contest. Sometimes players may prefer to play a satellite contest with a smaller buy-in when you don’t want to buy-in to the main event because of cost. Simply put, satellites will allow you the chance to play in contests you may not either want or be able to join.
The satellites and qualifiers on DraftKings are available for many of the biggest contests and events. Occassionally, the satellites offered at DraftKings award a large buy-in contest ticket that can be used anywhere.
Step contests, also considered a satellite, are quite popular on DraftKings. These work by awarding top finishers either a ticket to a higher buy-in event or tickets to the existing step. For instance, a DraftKings Step 3 entry fee is $25. The 10-man contest will pay a Step 3 ticket to 3rd and 4th place and a Step 4 ticket worth $88 to 1st and $2.
Final Thoughts on DraftKings Contests
DraftKings is an excellent DFS site to explore the various types of daily fantasy football contests. This is due to the fact there are so many contests running at DraftKings, it will be easy to discover the nuances of each to help you make the best decision on what types of contests are right for you.
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