Fantasy football has grown considerably since its inception in 1963. You read that right, the first fantasy league is more than 50 years old! That means the original pigskin pioneers and the 57 million other Americans who have already signed up to play fantasy football have an advantage over newcomers to the game. But don't let their fantasy familiarity stop you from getting in on the action.
The football season is long. The first games kick off this week and will stretch into 2020. That's more than five months of obsessively watching games and analyzing player stats. Fantasy football newbies aren't likely to thrive if they have to go head-to-head with gridiron gurus who have been playing for years. So FanDuel has introduced a ton of new features making it easy for beginners to play fantasy football.
There isn't a single way to play fantasy football with FanDuel. There are dozens of contests, including some tailored specifically to novices. But the majority of FanDuel's contests are played with a nine-man roster. All you have to do is pick the nine players you think will score the most points. The only twist? You only have so much money to put together a team. A player's value is based on how many points they are projected to score. The more projected points, the higher the player value. So you have to think about how to balance projected points and player values.
FanDuel wants to make it fun for every player on the site. And that means lower levels of difficulty for certain games. There are three recommended ways for beginners to play: Beat the Score, Beginners Only contests, and Friends Mode.
In Beat the Score, players don't have to worry about how their team matches up against someone else's. The only thing to know is the score to beat. To play, pick a 9-player roster that you think will score more than the 90, 100, 110, 125, or 135 points needed to win. If your team meets or beats the points total, you win and you get a portion of the guaranteed prize money.
Under the Beginner Contests tab, newbies don't have worry about matching against football fanatics. You can only play as a beginner up to 50 times, which gives you time to understand how the different contests work. This is a good section for someone who wants to try out several different types of contests before they start betting the big bucks.
In Friends Mode, fantasy footballers can set up their own private league. These contests last the entire season, but you get to control who's involved.
You can! There are currently two free fantasy football games: Gridiron Pick 'Em and Survivor. The games are similar and simple to play.
In Gridiron Pick 'Em, players make their picks every week of the NFL season. If you pick every game correctly, you'll split the week's $10,000 prize with all the other winners.
In Survivor, players only have to pick the winner of a single game every week. But each team can only be picked to win once, so you have think ahead about the games you want to bet on. Because this game involves a bit more strategy, the payout is higher. The person to survive longest gets a $100,000 payout!