Daily Fantasy Sports Basics – What is a Satellite?

Satellite DFS

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

If you don’t have an unlimited amount of money to play every daily fantasy sports contest out there, you should probably know, or learn, what “satellite” or “qualifier” contests are.

What are they? They are contests with a small buy-in that allow players to gain entry into a contest with a larger buy-in.

For example, a daily fantasy sports site might offer a satellite contest to another contest with an entry fee of $20. The satellite contest that feeds into the $20 contest features an entry fee of just $1. The prize for winning or earning a top placing in the satellite contest is a ticket that gains a player entry into the $20 contest.

DFS sites use satellite contests to make sure their larger contests fill up with entries.

The satellites that DFS sites run allow players with smaller bankrolls to have a chance to play in contests they might not otherwise be able to afford, or to do so at a cheaper price point. Satellites can vary wildly in how much they cost to enter, and in the buy-in of the larger “target” contest.

Satellite contests can feature an overlay if a small number of players enter; an overlay happens when there are more contest entries guaranteed than entry fees paid to cover the cost of the prizes. You should always seek out these types of satellites.

In some contests, if you have multiple winning entries, that will earn you multiple entries to the target contest, allowing you to enter more lineups, thus having a better chance of winning the bigger contest.

If you like to play the large, guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests, then you should definitely be looking at playing satellites regularly. If you play well in the satellites, you can save money in the long run as compared to buying into the GPP contests directly. Of course, playing satellites can also demand more of your time, as you have to take time setting those lineups, in addition to setting lineups for the target GPPs.