What is Daily Fantasy Sports? A Quick Guide for Beginners

Welcome to our Daily Fantasy Sports guide for beginners. This Daily Fantasy Sports guide can give you a taste of what this hugely popular game is like and why people enjoy playing it.

Fantasy Sports Header - Rules 101

Imagine you’re watching a football match with your friends. You might shout out ‘Ronaldo’s going to smash this game!’, and your friend might exclaim ‘Nah! You’re mad – it’ll be Rodriguez!’ Then the conversation turns into a match between the two of you constructing teams of the best players.

This is essentially what a Fantasy Sports game entails – except you do it online. You create a virtual team, based on professional sports players in real life. Other users do the same, and who wins depends on the real life statistics of each player in your team. If your players have the best statistics, you score the highest, and you win.

Traditional Fantasy Sports games span a month, whereas a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) game can be started and finished within a single day. This makes for very popular play; you get to experience the rush and excitement of completing a game in a much shorter time. Take that, with a nice cash prize, and it’s no surprise why DFS is gaining so much recognition.

General gameplay

The first stop in our Daily Fantasy Sports guide for beginners is how gameplay tends to work. Rules and scoring differ amongst DFS games, so here are a few basic pointers for the main ones:

Fantasy Football
  • Players earn the most points by scoring goals. The value of each goal can vary by position on some websites. On other sites, goals are awarded the same number of points no matter the player’s position.
  • Players can also receive points for minutes played. This is true of sites like Mondogoal and PlayON, but not others like DraftKings and FanFeud, the latter wherein appearance/partial appearance are awarded set points.
  • You lose points by getting red and yellow cards, similar to regular football. You also lose points by conceding goals.
  • The league winner is the owner with the most overall points at the end of the season.
  • As a fantasy manager, you usually get a salary cap when assembling your team. It may seem like a generous budget, but once you take a look at the player list, you’ll soon see that it is not enough money. Forwards usually cost the most.
  • After you have picked your initial list, there can be a transfer allocation. The rules vary from game to game, and most leagues restrict you to certain transfer windows.

Fantasy Premier League Soccer/Football Screenshot

In the UK, football fantasy games are the most popular for DFS. The top sites include Mondogoal, PlayON, FanFeud, Sky Sports, and the Premier League’s official game.

You have a virtual salary, generally of 100 million, to create a team of between 11-15 players. This includes goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders, and forwards. You get scored based on a positive and negative point system. A goal scored by a defender may be +6 points, whereas a red card could be -3 points.

You can choose to play for cash, or for free. You can also create private leagues to play with friends, or join public ones.

Fantasy Cricket
  • You’ll need to select 14 players. There are 11 to play and 3 substitutes. You can select a maximum of 8 players from 1 team.
  • Change the bowling and batting orders of your playing 11 using your own strategy.
  • Winning a fantasy cricket match is just like winning a real match. The total runs scored by your batsmen should be more than the total runs given to your bowlers.
  • There are two types of fantasy cricket matches, Rounds and Daily Games. Rounds take place over multiple days, so you can select players from any team. On the contrary, players for daily games must be playing on that day.

Fantasy Cricket

Similar to football, daily cricket fantasy games set a starting virtual budget of 100 million to construct a team of 7 players. These include a wicket keeper, two batsmen, two all rounders and two bowlers.

There are not many daily cricket fantasy games in the UK, apart from PlayON, who also offers football and baseball. The Telegraph offers an official fantasy game, but it is not a daily one; users play according to the current season.


To play a daily fantasy basketball game, you pick a team of 7 players using a 100 virtual million budget. The players include point guards, shooting guards, a centre, a small forward, a power forward and flex positions.

Quick-Fire Daily Fantasy Facts

  1. DFS is like traditional Fantasy Sport’s more modern grandchild. You can complete a game in a day, instead of a month or more.
  2. The players you choose are measured against their real life statistics.
  3. The market for DFS is huge over in the US – but it’s picking up speed fast in the UK, especially football fantasy games.
  4. Top UK Sites for DFS include DraftKings, FanDuel, and Mondogoal.
  5. You must be at least 18 years old to win cash prizes.

This has been our beginner’s Daily Fantasy Sports guide. For more tips and tricks in all things daily fantasy, make sure to head to our Guides section.

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