November 26, 2014
Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece, and I don’t guarantee that you’ll actually win any money – but I hope you do!
This year at Thanksgiving I’ll be incredibly thankful for football. Hell, every Sunday morning I’m thankful for football (aka RedZone), but this year I started digging into the world of daily fantasy football contests. If you’ve watched any NFL game this season then you’ve seen the commercials for FanDuel, DraftKings, and DraftDay Review, some of the leading sites for the daily contests.
While you might be in a fantasy football league playing for money, these daily contests are a great way to dig even deeper into the world of fantasy football. They’re also nice because the payout is immediate when you ultimately win money.
Now, I was pretty skeptical back in week 1 of the season when I first heard about these sites. After all, I’m a big believer in the “If it looks too good to be true, than it is” philosophy. And here were these companies touting the fact that they’d give away millions of dollars over the course of the season. All I had to do was play fantasy football?
All I had to do was, in fact, play fantasy football. And while I haven’t grossed more than $15 from any one contest I’ve entered, I can safely say that it’s totally legit. Plus I was playing in the cheaper $2 and $5 contests, so that’s not a bad payout. Although, I dream of being the guy who totally nails the fantasy lineup and takes home the multi-thousand dollar pot.
This Thanksgiving, Thursday 11/27, might be the day I achieve that dream.
Here’s how the contests work:
- Create an account at the site you most like (I prefer FanDuel, tough they’re all pretty good)
- Deposit funds into your account (most have a deal where they’ll match your first deposit dollar for dollar up to $200)
- Select a contest to enter based on how much you want to buy in (ranges from FREE all the way up to $10K)
- Select your lineup
Now the lineup part is the tricky part, and if you’ve ever played normal fantasy football you know that it can be a huge headache. These daily sites have implemented a balance protocol though, giving each contest entrant a fictitious $60,000 salary cap. Each football player is assigned a dollar value amount based on their matchup and overall skill; Peyton Manning will run expensive for a QB option where Drew Stanton will be relatively cheap.
It’s all about prioritizing your salary cap for the guys you think will perform the best for the cheapest dollar amount. That way you can go big on the skill positions that you need to. A typical lineup will have a nice balance of superstars and run of the mill, boom or bust players.
Sunday games can be difficult to perform well in because of the sheer amount of players you have to select from. However, to circle back around, this Thanksgiving may be the day I, and hopefully you, take home some big bucks. Why? It’s simple: there are only three games of football on Thursday.
- Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
- Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
- Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
These are good matchups, promising to be shootouts in some cases, and each team has their fair share of super stars. And since the actual number of players is reduced to six total teams, your probability of picking winners is much higher. Granted, it’s that way for everybody, but if you’re a fantasy football ace you can absolutely knock this one out of the park.
And if worse comes to worse, you can always fall back on the NFL Perfect Challenge, which is still un-won. If you pick the perfect lineup, meaning the highest scoring players for all teams playing across the league that week, you can win $1 million.
I know who I’ll be slotting for tomorrow’s matchups, and I wish you all the best of luck! Forget the food, Thanksgiving is all about football this year.
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