Looking to try out Daily Fantasy Sports in Pennsylvania? Then you’ve come to the right place. Our DFS guide provides a full overview of playing real-money Daily Fantasy Sports in PA. Learn how to play DFS, discover the best daily fantasy strategy for beginners and a list of the best fantasy sports sites!
Playing Daily Fantasy Sports – How Does it Work?
Daily fantasy sports is a type of fantasy sports game that uses short time frames for contests, usually 1-3 days. As with traditional fantasy sports games, players compete against each other by building a team of professional athletes. The teams then earn points based on actual statistical performances in real-world matches. The points are added up and winners are decided at the end of the contest. Winners receive a share of a predetermined prize pool funded by the entry fees to the contest or league.
Fantasy Sports Basics
Before we get into how to play DFS, let’s go through some basics.
Most DFS sites give players the chance to choose from a variety of contests and sports. Popular fantasy sports available in PA include:
The sport you choose to play will determine how the contest scores points. For example, basketball fantasy contests are generally decided through points, rebounds, assists, blocks and turnovers. Football on the other hand is decided by touchdown, yards, receptions, interceptions etc. How exactly each contest is scored will be outlined in the contest description before entering. Be sure to read the rules to make sure you set up how to DFS.
After entering a contest you must draft your team. In most contests a salary cap system is used. The system assigns each athlete a specific salary. You must build your team completely without going over the salary cap to enter the contest. Changes to your team are usually allowed up until the commencement of the contest.
When the matches begin the operator will automatically tally up the points from your athletes. A leaderboard will be available in real-time for you to check your position in the contest. Winners will be decided when all matches are completed.
Types of Daily Fantasy Contests
Not all daily fantasy contests follow the same format. DFS sites provide players with a variety of contest types which can seem overwhelming at first. Luckily you can follow our daily fantasy advice to help clear things up. Here are some of the most popular contests available at the moment when learning how to DFS:
H2H contests are one-on-one competitions in which you face a single opponent for a set buy-in. The goal of the contest is to score higher than your opponent to scoop the prize money. That’s all there is to it, just beat your opponent.
Head-to-heads are one of the most common Fantasy contest types. Our daily fantasy advice is to try out H2H as one of your first contests. By only having to focus on beating one opponent you have a much higher chance of winning compared to bigger leagues. Therefore, if your daily fantasy strategy is to make slow and steady gains, H2H is the game type for you.
In 50/50 contests players who finish in the top half of the field split the entry fees of those in the bottom half. In other words, the top 50% at the end of the contest almost double their entry fee and the bottom half get nothing. These types of contests can have anywhere between 10 to thousands of participants.
The advantage of playing 50/50s over H2H is that the sample size creates more variance. You won’t be stuck playing against just one super strong team. All you have to do is beat the average score to win in 50/50s. Our daily fantasy advice is to start off with 50/50s if you’re a beginner, as it will give you the highest chance of winning.
Similar to 50/50s, operators also provide triple up, 4X and 5X contests. They work pretty much the same way as 50/50s but only payout 33%, 25% and 20% of the players respectively. While they might be harder to win, the payouts are larger!
Tournaments are contests that typically attract a large pool of entrants which in turn creates big prize pools. Unlike 50/50s and H2H only a small percentage of the entrants will ultimately become winners. Also, the amount of money won in a tournament varies based on the position you finish.
A tournament may have a prize pool of $10,000 dollars where only the top 10% of entrants get paid. First place for the tournament would get $3000, second place $2000, third place $1,000 and so on.
The chance of winning in tournaments is lower than other contests but the payouts are much higher. Our daily fantasy advice is to steer clear of the larger tournaments until you get a feel for DFS. While the prize pools may be very tempting, your chances of beating out loads of skilled fantasy players may be unfavourable. On the other hand, if your daily fantasy strategy is to win as big as you can, tournaments are the way to go!
Satellites and qualifiers are tournaments in which players compete for entry into bigger more lucrative tournaments. These types of contests are great for players who’s daily fantasy strategy is to strike big in tournaments they normally couldn’t afford.
Most satellites and qualifiers only award one winner entry into a larger tournament however, some super satellites offer multiple entries. Our daily fantasy advice is to always try out satellites for larger tournaments if you have the opportunity. Tournaments can be very hard to place in and entering with a relatively small investment always feels good.
Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in PA
With the boom in popularity of DFS in the past five years, many new operators have begun to spring up. The older daily fantasy sports sites however, have still been able to keep a stranglehold of the American market. Right now, FanDuel and DraftKings are considered to be the biggest players in DFS, followed by Monkey Knife Fight.
FanDuel has been running since 2009 and is currently the second biggest DFS service provider in the US. The brand was acquired in 2018 by Irish bookmaking giant Paddy Power Betfair and now offers sports betting.
FanDuel offers a wide range of daily fantasy sports which includes football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and golf. Thousands of contests are available daily giving users a huge choice of game types regardless of their daily fantasy strategy.
Mobile users will be happy to hear you can access the platform via mobile app from anywhere within Pennsylvania. The app is free to download and available on both iOS and Android devices.
FanDuel also has an online sportsbook, read our review of the FanDuel Sportsbook PA here.
Known as the largest DFS provider in America, DraftKings has long been the top choice for fantasy players. The site offers a similar selection of contests as FanDuel with a great help section with daily fantasy advice on how to DFS. Users may also take advantage of the DraftKings Sportsbook, available for sports betting on thousands of betting markets.
Again, a mobile app version of the platform is available on iOS and Android, so you can play DFS from anywhere. Don’t forget to check the promotions section for a Welcome Bonus and weekly free contests!
Also, why not take a look at what the DraftKings Sportsbook PA has to offer?
Monkey Knife Fight
Monkey Knife Fight hasn’t been around as long as the other two DFS brands but is one of the fastest growing. The platform offers a top selection of sports and contests along with one of the better Welcome Offers.
Where Monkey Knife Fight attempts to separate itself from the competition is by eliminating salary caps and introducing second half contests. The site also makes an effort to ensure pro players aren’t in the same contests and amateurs. Overall, Monkey Knife Fight is a great way to get started in DFS no matter what daily fantasy strategy you’re using.
How to Get Started with DFS
To get started playing DFS, you will be required to register at a fantasy sports site and make a deposit. Some sites also provide free-to-play contests if you’re looking to try it out without any commitment.
After you have successfully funded your account you can pick a contest you would like to enter. Funds will be withdrawn from your account when entering a contest and credited upon winning. A small portion of all entry fees goes to the provider as a rake.