This is my favorite time of the year. It’s getting a bit cooler out, the leaves are changing color, and…it’s football season. To be more specific, it’s fantasy football season. I enjoy playing in leagues with co-workers and friends, but this year I was looking for something more. I wanted to try my hand at fantasy football on a much larger scale, so I joined Draft Kings (DK).
I signed up through the app, which was effortless. All I had to do was create a username, provide some basic contact information, and make a deposit into my DK account using my credit card. A word to the wise, keep an eye out, or an ear out, for the DK commercials because they usually give you a key word you can enter when you register that gives you a bonus. I used a key word and got free entry into a million dollar game (a value of $3.00). Additionally, DK matched my deposit of $25.00 (no key word necessary).
Now I wasn’t immediately matched $25.00 by DK. The way you are matched is this: each game you play is assigned a number of points and after you accumulate 100 points DK matches you the first dollar that they owe you. Most of the games I play cost either a $1.00 or $3.00 to enter. The $1.00 games give you about 4 points to put things in perspective.
What I like about DK is that as a beginner I can play games with other beginners. I’m not immediately thrown into a game with a bunch of seasoned vets. I like that. I believe you can play up to 50 beginner games to give you a feel for what to expect before you graduating to playing guys who have been around the block awhile.
In my opinion, the app is more appealing visually and therefore seems easier to use than the web site. What’s nice is that DK app and web site give you search options making it easy to find the games that you want, as well as, the games that you already entered. So far, the majority of my success has come from playing 50/50 games – if you place in the top 50% you are guaranteed the win, which is usually double your money.
Another useful feature is the recent history selection. When you click recent history you can see how well your prior teams did, compare your team to those you faced, and so on. I like this feature because it gives me an understanding of where I messed up and how many points I need to get from players (or the team) in order to find success. From what I can tell so far, it seems like your team needs to average over 200 points to see some big money payouts. Below is a screen shot of one of my teams. You can see I placed 887th, what percentage drafted the players I did, and so on. Pretty cool, huh?
I haven’t played any other fantasy games other than those associated with football. DK fantasy football games that I have played have you draft 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLX, and 1 D. Gone are those useless kickers. You have a salary cap of $50,000.00 to play with. That sounds like a lot but when Julio Jones is going for $9,000.00 (almost 1/5 of your cap and you still have 8 other positions to draft) things can get pretty complicated, pretty fast. Another word to the wise, try to keep your team balanced. Loading up on a specific position isn’t going to get the job done. Believe me, I’ve tried. The art of the game is trying to find low priced players that have a high point ceiling (something that is hard to do) so that you can splurge on a couple high priced guys that you know are money.
I’ll be honest, the amount of information that DK provides you with is impressive. When you click on a player you can see how well they did in games before, how they size up against the team they are going against (stat wise not theory wise), etc. Additionally, you will occasionally get emails from DK letting you know how you are drafting based on current trends. For example, DK sent me an email letting me know how much money I am spending on positions compared to others. Based on that email, I realized that maybe I was spending too much on QB position and not enough elsewhere.
Probably my favorite features of DK are those related to live scoring. I can see (in real time) what place I am in, how much money I am guaranteed, as well as, what players those ahead of me in the standings played (only those that played, not those that have yet to play). More often than not, I am about two or three players off from those in the lead. But when I won, “BOOM” (as Madden would say) the money hit my account without delay.
Playing DK has been a lot of fun. No longer am I facing the novice co-worker, but a slew of competitive guys (and gals) that are in it to win it. DK’s slogan of “welcome to the big leagues” is definitely well deserved. Consume. Review. Repeat. gives DK a 9 out of 10 kick off returns that guarantee you millions in winnings.