So, you want to try this Daily Fantasy Sports thing…
All you have to do is create a lineup…
The whole idea behind Daily Fantasy Sports is creating a unique lineup. Once you find a contest and click ENTER or DRAFT TEAM you will be taken to the lineup screen.
You can also create lineups with the DraftKings app but this article will focus on the DraftKings website. If you have the technical expertise to get your browser to draftkings.com, you can probably figure out how to make a lineup on your own if you fool around with it for a little while. But let’s take a look at the important parts of this screen and discover some helpful tips.
There are some slight variations for each individual sport but the lineup screen is composed of a few main parts.
At the top of the screen, you’ll see the name and description of the contest with the time left to fill out your lineup in the right corner.
Below all that you’ll see the games or events that will be scored in this fantasy contest.
Pro tip: click on individual games to show only players from that game in the player pool.
The bottom left of the screen shows the player pool and the bottom right is where your lineup will be assembled. Let’s take a closer look at these parts.
The player pool contains all the possible players you can add to your lineup for the current contest.
Some sports like golf and MMA don’t have positions and just list all the players available. Other sports like football and basketball list players by position. Click the tabs to see players that are eligible at that position. The “Util” tab lists all the players that are eligible for the Utility spots on your roster. The Utility position is like a wildcard and you can pick a player from multiple other positions.
Pro Tip: Some players are eligible for more than one position. This gives you a little more flexibility when creating a lineup.
The search box is really handy. If you know a player you want, start typing in the name. Usually after a few letters the player will be the only choice left in the pool.
Pro Tip: When you start searching, the tab usually changes to the “All” tab and your search will include the entire player pool. Sometimes the tab stays on the current position and doesn’t change to All so it looks like your player isn’t there. When I erase the name and start typing again it usually goes to the All tab and I can find my player.
Each sport will be a little different with regards to what information is presented. You will see the players position (if applicable), the player’s name, the player’s fantasy points per game/contest average and the player’s salary. Below is a brief explanation of what kind of information may be available and what it means.
POS = Player Position: what position or positions the player is eligible to be used in the fantasy contest.
Player = Player Name: You may see some icons or letters after the player name which indicate the player’s status. Depending on the sport you may see icons telling if the player is in the starting lineup or not. You may also see letters indicating injury information. For example: O=out, D=doubtful, P=probably, etc. No status means the player is not on the team’s injury report. You may also see a little note icon. Click the note or the player’s name to open the player information box:
Here you can see the latest news about the player, stats, recent results etc.
OPP = Opponent: The individual or team the player will be facing.
OPRK = Opponent Rank: This is basically an indicator of what kind of matchup the player has for this contest. The number is the ranking in the league based on the average fantasy points the opposing team gives up to this player’s position. So, a green number means that the opposing team gives up more fantasy points to the player’s position and a red number means the opposing team allows less fantasy points. White numbers are in the middle.
FPPG = Fantasy Points Per Game: The average number of fantasy points that this player scores per contest or event.
Salary = How much you have to pay from your budget of $50,000 to add this player to your team.
AVG = Average Finish: The average finishing score or position this player has finished in recent real world contests.
TOP 10’s – Top 10 Finishes: The number of times the player has finished 10th or better in a real world contest for the season.
CUTS MADE = The number of cuts a golfer has made out of the total number of events.
OPP SP = Opponent’s Starting Pitcher (baseball): The starting pitcher for the team the player will play against.
+ = Add Player: Click the green plus sign to add the player to your lineup. If you are in one of the position tabs, the player will be added to your lineup in that position if it is open. If you are adding from the “All” tab or search results, the player will go into the first eligible spot in your lineup.
As you start to pick players, they will move from the player pool to the lineup box.
There are a few things you need to know:
Rem. Salary = Remaining Salary or Salary Cap – This is the total budget for your lineup. As you add players to your lineup their salary is deducted from your salary cap. Generally, better players cost more than less talented players or players that don’t get as much playing time.
Avg. Rem. / Player = Average Remaining Salary Per Player – This just tells you how much you can spend on average to fill your remaining roster spots. You can keep an eye on this as you add players to get an idea if you can get more expensive players for your remaining positions or if you’ll have to start looking for cheaper options.
As you can see in the image, when you don’t have enough money left for a certain player, their salary turns red.
Clear = Clear your lineup and start over.
Import = Choose a lineup that you’ve already made for the current slate (or contest time-frame). For example, if you make a lineup for the early slate (earliest games of the day) and enter it in a free contest, you can import the same lineup into a paid contest instead of finding all the players and adding them individually.
Pro Tip: You can create standalone lineups without entering them into contests. Just click on the “Lineups” link in the top navigation menu or “create lineup” above the list of contests in the lobby.
Reserve = Save your spot in a contest. Paid contests fill up most of the time. If you wait until right before the contest starts (to get all the injury information, see starting lineups, etc.) you probably won’t find many paid contests to enter your lineup. Click the Reserve button to save a spot in a contest even if it fills up before you fill out your lineup. But be careful! You still have to pay the entry fee even if you don’t go back and fill out your lineup.
Enter = Submit your lineup. Pay the entry fee listed on the button and enter your lineup into the contest. If there is a problem with your lineup you’ll get a message that tells you what you need to fix. For example, you may have used more than the Salary Cap or you have too many players from one team.
You have to fill every position in your lineup. One thing I like about DraftKings is the flexibility in creating your lineup. In some sports (especially basketball) some players are eligible at two positions. For example, James Harden can be played as a Point Guard or as a Shooting Guard.
DraftKings also offers a Utility position in many sports. This lets you pick a player from almost any other position. This extra flexibility allows you to shuffle guys around to fit all your best picks into the lineup.
X = Remove Player – If you want to remove a player from your lineup, just click the X to the right of the player’s name and info and the player will be taken away from your lineup and put back in the player pool.
So, now you should have a pretty good idea about how to create a lineup for DraftKings. Good luck making your picks!