A big concern for DFS players who enter paid contests is whether they can viably be making money with daily fantasy sports. As well as the enjoyment of playing itself, winning cash prizes can be a great incentive to get involved!
We’re going to level with you – regularly making money with daily fantasy sports is not easy. DFS is competitive, the hugely experienced players are out there to win big, and the operators have got to make their cut too. But if it was easy – well, where would be the fun in that?
Whether you want to play every now and then or become one of the people who play daily fantasy sports for a living, there are ways to win money while fantasy managing for your favourite sports.
The Two Paths to Making Money with Daily Fantasy Sports
The way we see it, there’s two main paths to making significant amounts of money from daily fantasy sports. You can become a Daily Grinder, or a Tournament Chaser. You can also become a tactical mix of both, as we will explain below.
These two types of money-making player are significantly different. Firstly, let’s dive into the life of the Daily Grinder…
Part 1: The Daily Grinder
The advent of daily fantasy sports means you can enter contests afresh each day. This has resulted in the emergence of the ‘Daily Grinder’.
This type of DFS player uses a simple method for trying to make money with daily fantasy sports. The Daily Grinder enters contests regularly, but only the ones where they are most likely to win.
For a better chance of winning at DFS you generally need a larger margin for victory – enter the 50/50 game. This is a type of cash game where the upper 50% of players double their money, and the lower 50% lose out. This is more generous than tournament games, which may have a smaller winning cut or use a progressive payout structure.
The Daily Grinder chooses to enter 50/50 cash games, and sometimes other multiplier style games (though note that with a triple or quadruple multiplier etc., this necessitates more players losing their cash). The winnings are not often big, but the Grinder cares more about slowly but surely adding to their bank balance than holding out for a big and more competitive prize.
To follow the path of the Daily Grinder, here are some cardinal rules to stick to:
- Focus on 50/50 cash games and, less often, triple or more multipliers.
- Choose contests with many participants.
- Avoid head-to-heads. You can sometimes get very experienced players wading in, seeing them as an easy win.
- Prepare for the long haul. It’s all about small cash wins accrued over time.
- Last but not least, set a weekly/monthly budget and stick to it. The last thing you want to do is blow your cash!
For strategies on how to win a 50/50 cash game, see our guide on How To Win A Football 50/50.
Part 2: The Tournament Chaser
The Tournament Chaser is like the thrill-seeking, idealistic sibling of the Daily Grinder. This player has their eyes set on the big prizes when it comes to making money with daily fantasy sports. The best place to find such prizes are GPP Tournaments.
Though they have a smaller margin of victory (usually 10-20%), Tournaments are where you can find cash prizes in the thousands and even millions. Some tournament games will only have one or a handful of winners. Others will have a big top prize followed by a series of smaller ones (see the PlayON website for an example of this progressive structure).
The Tournament Chaser needs patience, to wait for a big win. Climbing up the Tournament contest table can involve making risky picks which few others will, in the hopes of defying the odds and skyrocketing into the top places.
If you want to try your hand as a Tournament Chaser, here are some ground rules to stick to:
- Focus on GPP tournaments with big grand prizes. And preferably small entry fees!
- Don’t expect to win anytime soon. The odds are against you after all.
- Be responsible with your money. You should still set out and stick to a budget, even if you’re not playing as frequently as a Grinder.
- Persevere. Keep going (within your means) and wait for your moment.
For more info on how to win a tournament, see our guide on How To Win A Football GPP Tournament.
Part 3: The ‘Blended’ Approach
It’s more than possible to use elements of the Daily Grinder and Tournament Chaser approaches to making money with daily fantasy sports.
Some find it useful to increase their bank balance through daily grinding before going onto the tourneys. Others will play cash games and tournaments on the same day, and edit their lineups according to what’s needed for each contest format.
When it comes down to it, there isn’t a perfect formula for making money with daily fantasy sports. Try out grinding, try out chasing those tourneys, and see what works for you.