Fantasy Sports Betting: A Beginner’s Guide

Millions of people enjoy playing fantasy sports. It’s fun to combine your knowledge of the game with some friendly competition and maybe even make a little money on the side.

If you’re new to fantasy sports betting, we’ve got you covered. This guide will teach you everything about getting started, from choosing a league to drafting your team.

What Is Fantasy Sports Betting?

fantasy sports betting

Before we go into all the intricate details of fantasy sports, let’s first cover the ground rules.

Fantasy sports betting is a type of online gambling in which you assemble a virtual team of real-life players to compete against other player-created teams. In a fantasy contest, your fantasy team earns points based on their performance, not by playing against another team, as in a traditional sports betting format.

There are many fantasy sports games, but the most popular ones are football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and hockey.

The fantasy sport of choice typically varies by location. For example, fantasy football is enjoyed by 78% of North Americans, which isn’t that surprising since it’s the most popular sport in the US, but if you go over to Europe, the fantasy sports game of choice would be soccer.

How To Take Part in Fantasy Contests

To participate in fantasy sports contests, you first need to sign up for an account with a fantasy sports betting site. Once you have done this, you can choose to join a public league or create your own private league.

If you choose to join a public league, you will be matched with other players with similar skill levels. This is a great way to learn the ropes of a fantasy sports league.

If you would prefer to set up your own league, you can invite friends or family members to join. You can also set up a league with strangers, but we recommend only doing this if you are comfortable with the people you are playing with and if you’re not playing with them for the first time.

You should also consider whether the league you want to join is exclusive or open and how long the competition will last. We’ll get into detail in a bit. For now, note that there are some differences.

The open format allows all the players in the league to pick whomever they want to be on their fantasy team without any restrictions. This means all league members can have the same player on their rosters.

The exclusive format is, just as the name suggests, exclusive. In such leagues, each player can only be selected once. Because the open format mode has so many players, the exclusive format is mostly used in private matches.

How To Draft Your Team

Once you have found a league you want to join, you’ll need to draft your team. Each fantasy sports betting site has its own rules for how this works, but the basic idea is that you will be given a set amount of money to spend on players.

If this is a private league with an exclusive format, you’ll use the money to bid on players in an auction-style draft or take turns picking players. Each player in an open-format league will have a price, and your chief goal will be to fit all of the players into your budget.

In addition to considering the budget, you’ll also be limited by the player’s position on your team. You can’t fill your team only with quarterbacks. You’ll have to mix them with other players. The number of player positions you need to fill can differ between sports fantasy sites.

No matter your budget and player positions, you will want to try and create a well-balanced team that includes top-scoring players and silent workhorses. Once you have drafted your team, you can’t just leave them be. You need to manage them.

If a player is injured, you will have to find a replacement for them. Some sites have a bench of players you can choose from, while others let you pick up free agents that no one else has drafted yet.

You will also want to keep an eye on your team’s performance. If some players are underperforming, you may want to consider dropping them and picking up someone else. You can never change players during a match. A fantasy betting league is a great way to add an extra layer of excitement to your favorite sport.

The Scoring System

The scoring system is usually determined by the administrators of the fantasy sports league before the start of the season. Knowing how the scoring system works is important because it will help you make better decisions when drafting your team and managing your players.

The scoring system can be anything from a simple point-per-game metric to a more complex one that considers a variety of statistics. Most fantasy sports sites use the points per game metric. This is something that you will need to check before joining a league.

The points per game award points to players based on their statistical performance in a game. The specific statistics used to award points can vary from sport to sport.

For example, in football, a touchdown may be worth six points, while in baseball, a player may get four points for each home run. The number of points awarded for each statistic can also vary from league to league.

No matter what metric is used, the scoring system will usually be designed in such a way that the best players in the league are the ones who score the most points. This is why it is important to draft a team of good players if you want to have a chance of winning your fantasy contests.

Checking the scoring system before joining a league is important because it can greatly impact how you draft your team. If you are in a league that awards many points for touchdowns, you will want to draft players who score a lot of touchdowns.

The Length of a Fantasy Betting League

Most fantasy leagues are season-long, weekly, or daily. Season-long leagues are the most common type of fantasy contest because they give you more time to manage your team and make necessary changes. They also allow you to follow your team throughout the entire season.

Daily and weekly contests are becoming more popular, however. These contests are usually shorter, lasting only a week or a day. This can be a good option if you don’t have the time to commit to a season-long league.

This is a good option for people who don’t have the time to commit to a whole season. It is also a good way to get started in fantasy sports if you are unsure if you want to commit to an entire season. You can usually find daily fantasy sports betting on most fantasy sports sites.

How Fantasy Sports Betting Works

So why do people play fantasy sports? Yes, it’s fun, but there is also a way to earn money. Betting on fantasy sports can be divided into cash games and tournaments.

Cash games can be played head-to-head where you are pitted against only one person, and the winner will double their money. Another method in which cash games are played is in large groups, where the top 50% of players receive money at the end of the season.

The cash prize pool is usually distributed 50/50, meaning if there are 100 players, the top 50 will get the buy-in from the bottom 50 as prize money. Strategy-wise, you have a lot of leeway with your roster since you only need to finish in the top half to win.

Tournaments, also called “guaranteed prize pool” contests, usually have higher stakes than cash games. Some US fantasy sports betting operators guarantee a prize pool of $1 million. In tournaments, there are significantly fewer winners than in cash games. Depending on the tournament, the prize will go to the top 15% to 3% of players.

With the bigger prize pool, the competition really heats up. As such, it is important to have a game plan going into them. When selecting players for your tournament lineup, you want to target high-upside players. These are players who have the potential to score a lot of points, even if their matchup is not ideal.

You also want to make sure to include some contrarian selections. These players may not be the most popular picks, but they have the potential to outperform their opponents. When you set it up, you want to ensure that your lineup gives you the best chance of winning the tournament.

What Is the Difference Between Fantasy Sports and Traditional Sports Betting?

The biggest difference between fantasy contests and traditional sports betting is that you are not betting against a bookmaker in fantasy sports. You are playing against other people in your league. This means that the odds of winning are not as fixed as with traditional betting. The game is much more skill-based than regular casino games, where the house always has a slight edge and will win in the long run.

Fantasy sports betting is legal in most countries. However, there are a few exceptions. Fantasy sports are not allowed in some countries, like China and India. The legality of fantasy betting in the United States depends on the state.

Most states have no problem with fantasy sports, but a few have banned them. These states are Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington.

Fantasy Football Online Leagues – Tips for Beginners

Now that you know how fantasy sports contests work, it’s time to get started. If you are new to the game, here are a few tips to help you get started.

Value of the Player

One of the most important things to consider when drafting a player is points per thousand. This is the difference between the value of the player being drafted and their projected points.

Let’s say you want to take one of the most picked quarterbacks in fantasy football – Patrick Mahomes costs $8,500, and it’s projected he’ll get 20 points. We would divide his projected points by the price but remove all the zeros. That would be 20/8.5=2.35 in our example; this amount indicates his points per thousand and represents his true value.

Now, let’s compare him with another often picked quarterback in fantasy football online leagues – Josh Allen. Let’s say he costs $6,000 and is projected to bring 15 points. Quick math tells us that his true value is 2.5, which doesn’t look like a lot, but you save $2,500, and that money can now be invested in another player.

Don’t Waste All of Your In-Game Money on Star Players

It can be tempting to spend all of your money on star players like Tom Brady, who holds multiple NFL records, but that’s not always the best strategy. Instead, focus on building a well-rounded fantasy team.

This means taking some risks with cheaper players who have high upside. It also means avoiding players who are overpriced and will limit your further picks. You can still have star players on your team, but you don’t want them to make up most of your roster.

Avoid the Bandwagon

Just because a player has had a good week doesn’t mean they are worth drafting. In fact, the opposite is often true. Such players are unpredictable and can often be a waste of a pick. Instead, focus on more consistent players. Slow and steady wins the fantasy football online league.

Do Your Research

It is important to do your research before you draft a player. You want to know everything about the player, from their stats to injury history. The more you know about a player, the better your chance of drafting a winning team.

Avoid Injuries

Injuries are always a risk in any sport, but they are especially costly in fantasy football. An injured player can miss weeks or even the entire season, which can ruin your chances of winning. When drafting players, it is important to avoid those who are injury-prone.

Multiple Team Lineups

Having multiple lineups is a frequent strategy used in daily fantasy sports betting. In addition to the positive expected value that comes with having multiple lineups, there is also the benefit of diversification. When you have multiple lineups, you are essentially spreading your risk out.

This is important because no one lineup will be perfect, and even the best players in the world will have bad days. If you only have one lineup, a bad day can really hurt your chances of winning. By spreading your risk out, you are less likely to have a bad day and hurt your chances of winning big.


Sports fantasy leagues can be a lot of fun, but they can also be very competitive. If you are new to the game, these tips will help you get started with fantasy football online leagues or any other sport. Remember to draft well-rounded teams, do your research, and avoid injuries. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to having a successful fantasy sports season.


Can you make money playing fantasy sports?

Yes, you can make money playing fantasy sports. However, it is important to remember that it is a game, and there is always the potential to lose money.

Do people bet on fantasy football?

Yes, people bet on fantasy football. In fact, there is a growing industry around fantasy sports betting in general, not just fantasy football betting.

Is fantasy football skill or luck?

Fantasy football is a game of skill. However, like with all games, there is always an element of luck involved.