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Daily Games Introduction: Different Game Types Offered

An overview of the daily games at FanDuel

In Part 1 of this 6 part series we were introduced to the Daily Fantasy Games site FanDuel and went over some of the advantages and disadvantages of the site. One of the big advantages of playing fantasy football on a weekly basis is that with FanDuel you have options of what type of game you want to join and how many opponents you want to compete with. The variety of different game types include; head-to-head, leagues, 50/50's, and tournaments (GPP). The main thing to take from this is that you have endless choices on a week to week basis of how you want to play and invest your time and money. The entry fees also range from $1-$535 and you even have the options of playing for free to get your feet wet to start out and get familiar with the site and its rules and scoring system. Another nice option at FanDuel is that they allow the user to create their own custom contests and leagues, and give you the choice of the selecting the date and time along with the number of entries, entry fee, and how the prizes are awarded.


If you are new to FanDuel, I would recommend trying the head-to-head option first. It is probably the safest option when it comes to starting out and will not harm your initial bankroll the same way some of the bigger tournaments will. If you know your stuff on a week to week basis playing in a head-to-head matchup will give you one of the best chances to make a steady profit. The downfall is that the return on your money is much smaller than it would be if you hit on one of the bigger leagues or tournaments. The one thing you always want to be aware of when it comes to playing on FanDuel is what the rake percentage is for the particular contest you are entering. For example you are entering a h2h contest for $1, you will be hit with a 10% rake and if you win that particular h2h matchup you will win $1.80 as FanDuel would take 10% ($0.10) from each player in the contest. This is the case until you hit the higher stakes $109 - $535 games where the percentage of the rake favors the players a little bit more.

Entry Fee Total Buy-In Total Prizes Rake %
$1 $2 $1.80 10.00%
$2 $4 $3.60 10.00%
$5 $10 $9.00 10.00%
$10 $20 $18.00 10.00%
$25 $50 $45.00 10.00%
$50 $100 $90.00 10.00%
$109 $218 $200.00 8.30%
$270 $540 $500.00 7.40%
$535 $1070 $1000.00 6.50%


The standard league sizes on FanDuel are 3-man, 5-man, 10-man, and 20-man. You also have the option of creating your own league size anywhere from 3-20 players with using a winner takes all approach, top 3 gets prizes, or the top third gets prizes. With the standard 3-man and 5-man leagues the winner takes all (minus 10% rake), and in the 10-man and 20-man contest you can either play winner takes all or the top 3 get prizes. These are all fun formats and are in the middle of going from a head-to-head contest to a full on tournament GPP style of contest. The one advantage that the league formats have over h2h is that the rake is less of a factor as you can win more money and have a better return.

Prizes 3-Man 5-Man 10-Man 20-Man
1st x 2.7 x 4.5 x 4.5 x 10
2nd     x 2.7 x 5
3rd     x 1.8 x 3

50/50 Leagues

When first starting out on FanDuel, many will try to give you advice and tell you to first try out the 50/50 games before you dive into anything really big. Initially it sounds like a safe, low key option where in a 50/50 league of 50 people 25 will be winners and 25 will be losers. So what you are looking for with this type of lineup is players that are low risk and consistent and ones that are going to score some points for you to try to play it safe and getting into that first half of the standings. Over the past two seasons the 50/50 games have grown and the players (well at least a majority) that are playing in them are the sharks on the site and are looking for easy money to help balance out some of their other entry fees. I would recommend sticking to more of a low entry h2h game when first trying to figure things out. The theory of the 50/50 game sounds pretty easy but when playing against guys that are grinding out the Daily Fantasy games on a daily basis, your back is up against the wall just like any of the other formats. Also when playing the 50/50 style of game if you put up a great score that week and take 1st place it really is the same as getting 25th place, and leaves you feeling unsatisfied and wishing you submitted that lineup into one of the bigger tournaments.


When it comes to playing tournaments on FanDuel it can sometimes feel like you are buying a lottery ticket with so many entries and a prize pool that is top heavy. These types of tournaments are also called GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool), and often have the most desirable prizes. Since 2010 FanDuel has been offering a trip to Las Vegas to compete in their annual FFFC Championship which is the granddaddy of all the football contest on FanDuel. Why do we all play fantasy football? Well I believe it is because we love the game of football and the thrill that comes with feeling that we are emotionally tied to these players each and every Sunday. You also play to win, and I view winning at the tournament leagues in Daily Fantasy as a much bigger deal then just winning in your standard redraft or dynasty leagues as you are competing against 100's or even 1000's of other players. It is pretty hard to resist buying into one of these types of tournaments and having your lottery ticket for that week. The nice thing is you have 19 weeks (Weeks 1-17 + Weeks 1-2 Playoffs) worth of chances to hit the lottery.

GPP Entry Fee Total Entry Fees Total Prizes Rake %
$1 $2,790 $2,500 10.4%
$2 $5,580 $5,000 10.4%
$5 $11,175 $10,000 10.5%
$10 $22,350 $20,000 10.5%
$25 $55,750 $50,000 10.3%
$100 $22,000 $20,000 9.1%
$270 $10,800 $10,000 7.4%
$535 $21,400 $20,000 6.5%