If you’re new to Fantasy Sports (FS), you may have noticed there are two distinct schools of thought regarding how it works. These seemingly opposing perspectives often arise from different sides of the daily vs season-long camps. Though there’s some cross-over, many FS players have one version they focus on. There are a number of key elements that differentiate the two games. Consider the following before deciding where to put your energy.
Time Frame in Play – How to Choose: Season-Long or Daily Fantasy Teams?
Season-long is a self-explanatory term, but daily games is somewhat of a misnomer. Also known as weekly leagues, these lineups cover a week at a time. In cases such as Fantasy Football, much of the action is concentrated on Sundays. The result is that although the “week” runs Thursday-Monday, some leagues only allow players to submit lineups Sunday morning. In these cases, you are constrained to the NFL players on the field that day. This is a much more concentrated process than season-long scenarios.
Season-long leagues allow players to choose their team at the start of the season and see it through until the end. The result is a low time commitment each week. You need only select which of your team members will be in each starting lineup. In daily games, every player in the NFL is an option every week. This makes for a larger time commitment on an ongoing basis. FS players aren’t required to participate every week, however. They can cherry-pick which they’d like to be a part of and which to pass on.
Calculating Injury Risk
Though many of the overall principles are the same, there are some aspects that vary in how players are chosen. One of the major ones is the impact of player injury. In a season-long league, players prone to injury are generally avoided. This is because over the course of a full season, the likelihood of getting hurt for someone with a bum knee is pretty high. In daily leagues, injury matters much less. The odds that the player in question will get hurt during that specific day are much lower. It’s therefore statistically less vital to consider an injury record.
An important note to consider when contemplating injury-prone players is salary. Injuries are calculated into the costs of the player in FS. Their “salaries” tend to be lower. So in a daily game, a player with solid stats at a lower cost may be worth the risk despite an injury record.
The Importance of Salary Caps
Salary caps come into play in daily leagues only. The standard is to begin with $50,000 of FS money. Each player is then given a “salary” based on stats, injury record, and other vitals. It’s your job to spend the budget allotted to compile the best team. Players in perfect health who play consistently solid games will be worth more money. Everyone will want them on their team.
However, it’s important to balance out how much money that leaves to acquire the rest of your lineup without going over the hypothetical $50,000.
The Difference in Finance
As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pointed out, there’s another inherent difference between season-long and daily games: money. For FS players to make any significant profit in a season-long scenario, they’d need to play very high stakes. This is simply because odds are spread across an entire season. The result is a low-risk, low-gain scene. Players who don’t have a huge amount of time or money to invest can enjoy the fun of Fantasy without the fear of major losses.
Daily FS is on the other end of the spectrum. The odds and stakes are more concentrated. In many cases, they’re boiled down to one day of play per lineup. The result is the possibility for a much higher turnaround and very real profit. Highly skilled Fantasy players have been reported to make six figures a year in winnings from these leagues. The key word here is “skilled.” Daily games require much more research and understanding of player matchups to be successful. For those who are, it can be extremely rewarding.
Which FS League Is Right for You?
As you embark on your Fantasy adventure, consider which road is best for you: season-long or daily. Depending on how much time you have to commit and what you hope to get out of it, one is likely a much better fit than the other. Whichever way you choose to play, good luck!