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My name is John and I'm a DFS addict

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"Like someone who has only eaten Salisbury steak their whole life, and then being introduced to prime rib, the second I stuck my fork into DFS, I realized what I was missing."

I didn’t think it could happen to me, but I became a DFS addict. Ok, ok. If you know me at all, you already know I love fantasy sports, so I guess it’s not a stretch. But still, at the rate it happened, it was alarming.

DFS, or daily fantasy sports, are the future the fantasy sports and if you haven’t noted its impact on the fantasy world, you have not been paying attention. And any fantasy player that hasn’t embraced it is the old school, flip phone holdout, wandering around the Apple store.

I resisted the siren’s call of DFS because I was so entrenched in my regular leagues, I figured I didn’t have the time to invest any more into fantasy. That was pretty much true, but as a very dedicated fantasy player (football, hockey, baseball), I wasn’t recognizing what a revolutionary world DFS was opening up.

Like someone who has only eaten Salisbury steak their whole life, and then being introduced to prime rib, the second I stuck my fork into DFS, I realized what I was missing.

After my season long leagues had ended I decided to sign up for Draft Kings and tried my hand at some playoff football in the DFS format. Being the moron that I am, I convinced myself I wasn’t going to stick with it and I declined to double my deposit and just stuck with a free entry I was given. It only took one week of daily football and I was willingly coughing up a $25 deposit and cursing myself for not taking advantage of the bonus.

Tip number one: You’re going to want to keep playing, so go ahead and take the bonus ya dingus.

Another practical bit of information is to learn the rules of the particular games you’re entering and the different types of contests. I wasted a lot of money right off the bat not knowing what I was getting into and you’ll save yourself some trouble if you do the research. Like any fantasy league, read the rules and settings for that particular league/contest. If you’ve joined a football league that uses PPR and you didn’t draft based on that, that’s on you. If you spend some money entering a contest you didn’t know was a GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool), don’t get upset when your money is gone.

With that said, there are different ways to approach the different types of contests in DFS. There are plenty of great pieces out there describing the different strategies, but really the first thing you need to know is the difference between the 50/50 contests and GPPs. In 50/50s, half of the entrants win and half don’t. In GPPs it’s a tournament with a lot more people involved which can lead to higher stakes but a different strategy than the 50/50. This is a very quick and basic way to describe it and I recommend reading up on the differences.

Tip number two: know what you’re getting yourself into before you lay out the cash.

I’m strictly a low stakes player. I’ve never wagered more than $5 in a contest and I don’t plan on going too far over that unless I’ve amassed enough money for it to be practical. But I’ve been grinding away on the same $25 I deposited back in December and while it’s not a way to make a living (I’m just about breaking even), I’ve derived far more entertainment out of that $25 than I ever did dumping money into a slot machine. It’s become a hobby (nay, obsession) of mine which has incorporated my love of sports, both real and fantasy plus the titillation of seeing if that bank roll inches up every day.

And I do mean every day.

While I was waiting for the next round of football to start, I decided to play some daily NHL. And this is where the hooks sunk themselves in deep. I’ve been playing daily NHL non-stop since I first made the deposit at Draft Kings. I had no idea what I was doing at first and made some horrible missteps that evaporated a lot of my bank roll, but as I kept playing, I learned a lot about playing daily NHL and I got better at it.

I slowed down a bit as my bankroll got dangerously low and while I contemplated pumping more money into it (something I didn’t want to do in fear it would signal I had a gambling problem), I stuck to the free games featured every day to bide my time while I made a comeback. Then when I got back on my feet, I played a combination of 50/50s and the $.25 Quarter Arcade to climb back in the saddle. I use a combination of the resources at Rotogrinders.com, the daily section at Rotoworld.com and the value charts at Numberfire.com and Rotowire.com. It sounds like a lot of work, but you can really peruse the information on your lunch break at work, monitor the lineups on Twitter and make some decent decisions, all without impacting your real life too much.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I’m going to play daily NHL until the season ends and then I’m going to dabble in baseball which I believe is where some of the real sharks swim. Once I’ve got a foothold in that, I will report back and let you know how much money I’ve lost.

As someone who resisted the allure of DFS for so long, I’ve been nothing but happy and amazed at this aspect of fantasy sports. I regret not playing daily NFL this season because I could have done well at it, but I really regret not investing in site like Draft Kings. There is a lot of money being made on these daily sites and just like Las Vegas, I’ll give you one guess who’s making the most.

If you love fantasy and haven’t dabbled in daily, take it from someone who lives and breathes it: Daily is the wave of the future and if you don’t embrace it, you’ll be that person with a flip phone in a room full of touch screens. And just try checking to see who’s on the Islanders top line with that piece of crap.

John Reidy

I never really liked sports until I had a religious conversion when the Broncos lost to the 49ers in that one Super Bowl. Now I'm obsessed with all aspects of the Denver pro sports world. Oh yeah, hate college football. And I used to write a column for AV Club Denver but now am a full time contributor to this here site.

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