One-Week Fantasy Football FAQs: Getting Started, Picking Teams, And Dominating Your League
It’s the hottest trend in fantasy sports. Daily and weekly fantasy football contests have become a huge draw for NFL bettors who lack the time to play in traditional leagues. But as with any new trend that quickly gains popularity, one-week fantasy football has generated a lot of questions.
If you’re used to playing in conventional leagues, the concept of a daily or weekly contest may seem confusing. How is it possible that a league can start and end in a single day or weekend? What’s the point in playing in a season-long league if you can pick a new team each week?
We’ll clarify these and other questions below. The most important thing to remember is that playing in weekly or weekend fantasy football games is drop-dead simple. You can get started in minutes, even if you’ve never drafted a fantasy team.
“Is Betting On Weekly Fantasy Football Legal?”
First things first.
One of the most common questions that beginning fantasy gamers ask is whether they can get into hot water (legally) for gambling on fantasy sports. Is betting on real-money weekly fantasy football legal or will they need to constantly look over their shoulders for “big brother?”
Here’s the bottom line: it is definitely legal. In fact, the legislation that essentially outlawed gambling on the internet – i.e. the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) – points out that it is.
The actual text of the UIGEA defines a “bet” or “wager” as NOT including the following:
“any participation in a fantasy or simulation sports game, an educational game, or a contest, that… has an outcome that reflects the relative knowledge of the participants, or their skill at physical reaction or physical manipulation (but not chance), and, in the case of a fantasy or simulation sports game, has an outcome that is determined predominantly by accumulated statistical results of sporting events.”
Clear as mud, right? Basically, the legislation defines fantasy sports as games of skill. So, betting on them is fine.
“Do Weekly Fantasy Football Leagues Take A Lot Of Time?”
The contests only take as much time as you decide to put into them. That’s part of their beauty. They’re low-maintenance. Unlike getting involved in a traditional league, which ropes you in for the entire season, you can take a minimal-effort approach to one-week fantasy football.
The players you draft stick around. You don’t trade them to other owners. Nor do you drop or add players during the NFL season. The “season” doesn’t matter since your team is only relevant for the next few days. You’ll pick a brand new team next week, or whenever you decide to play again.
One of the reasons so many busy people are drawn to daily fantasy football is because they can play without devoting a lot of time to it.
“Where Can I Play Free Weekly Fantasy Football?”
All of the top weekly fantasy football sites offer freerolls. They cost nothing to enter. And even though there are no entry fees, you can still win cash prizes.
FanDuel hosts freerolls each week for bettors who make a deposit into their accounts.
DraftKings hosts freerolls on a daily basis.
DraftDay hosts periodic freerolls that give you a chance to win cash prizes worth $1,000 or more, or entry into qualifying events.
Having said that, the real action is in the paid leagues. You have to pony up an entry free, but don’t panic; the fees are as low as $1. Meanwhile, you’ll get a shot at much larger cash pools. So even though you can play for free in the freerolls, you’ll eventually want to graduate to the for-fee contests.
“How Much Money Can I Win In The Weekly Leagues?”
That depends on two factors: the number of participants and the size of the entry fees. The more people who compete in a league, the bigger the prize pool will grow. Likewise, the larger the entry fees, the larger the pool.
For example, a daily fantasy football contest might have fewer than 50 participants and charge each person a small $5 entry fee. As you can imagine, its prize pool will be much smaller than a league with 3,000 participants, each of whom paid $25 to enter. Some leagues have prize pools that measure in the hundreds of dollars. Others are much larger. For example, DraftKings recently announced a $3 million contest where the winner walks away with a cool $1 million.
Most leagues pay out to the top three positions. Some have a winner-takes-all format while others split the pot among a larger group. First place gets the largest share, of course. The rest of the pot is split among the other winners.
“What’s The Best Way To Get Started?”
The best way to get started is to jump in with both feet! It’s not nearly as daunting as it sounds. Here are the steps:
2 – register an account
3 – make a small deposit
4 – pick a contest
5 – draft your team
You don’t even need to monitor how your players perform during the week or weekend. The best weekly fantasy football sites will do that for you, listing your players and the points they’ve accrued. Just log into your account at the end of the day/weekend/week and see how your team measured up against your competitors.
“How To I Put Together A Winning Team?”
There is an art to drafting high-value players with a salary cap. We’ve posted an easy-to-use, step-by-step tutorial for you right here.
The good news is that once you learn the basics of drafting a winning team, you can apply them over and over each week. Different players, same principles.
“Daily Vs. Weekly Fantasy Football… Which Is Better?”
When you visit sites like FanDuel, you’ll notice that you can choose between daily and one-week fantasy football leagues. A lot of folks want to know which is better.
In truth, neither is better than the other. Both options are consistent with what makes these contests shine in comparison to traditional leagues. Both finish in a short time frame; both require minimal time and attention; and both let you dump poor-performing teams rather than worry about making trades or riding them out until the season ends.
A more appropriate question is this: “Daily and weekly fantasy football vs. a traditional league… which is better?”
We play in both, though most folks will probably prefer the daily and one-week contests for all of the reasons highlighted above.
“What Are The Most Reputable Daily Fantasy Football Sites?”
The best 1-week fantasy NFL sites are as follows:
- FanDuel – Check out our review
- DraftKings – Click for the review
- DraftDay – Our review for you
As you can see, we’ve written extensive reviews for each site. More importantly, we revisit their strengths and weaknesses on an ongoing basis to make sure the details we’ve provided are still valid. If you’re just getting started, we highly recommend checking out any of the 3 sites above.
“How Can I Play In Leagues With My Friends?”
If you know the account names your friends are using on sites like Fan Duel or Draft Kings, it’s simple. Just look them up and join the leagues they’re participating in. If you want a quick way to meet up with friends, join our private FREAK leagues. Five bucks reserves your place at Fan Duel; two bucks gets you into our league at Draft Kings. Check out this page for more details.
Bottom line: getting started is easy. Participating is a blast. This site gives you all of the information you need to hit the ground running, from promo codes to grab sign-up bonuses to tips on drafting players. The only step left is to make a deposit and pick a league.
Fair warning: winning your first weekly fantasy football contest is likely to get you hooked!