3 Pros and 3 Cons of Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports Pros And Cons

Daily fantasy sports has grown immensely since it began taking hold around 2014. The two major DFS players, FanDuel and DraftKings went from relatively unknown brands to internationally-recognized billion-dollar businesses that dominate this space.

Sports fans have been enjoying fantasy games for decades, but it’s still too early to say if daily fantasy is here to stay or just a trend that comes and goes. To be fair, the technology necessary to support DFS is new, so the future is looking bright.

In this article, I’ll dive into some of the pros and cons of daily fantasy sports so that you can get an idea of why they are becoming so popular at online sportsbooks.

1. Con: It’s a Competition (Not a Bet)

Betting on sports in the traditional sense isn’t easy. To win consistently it takes a lot of time to research your plays, discipline to manage your money in a way that lends itself to long-term success, but at least you don’t have to beat anyone else’s picks in order to win money. This is the primary challenge of DFS.

You can pick a great team but if enough of your competitors do too, you can still lose. Instead of only having to be concerned with your picks and the results on the field or court, you have to worry about your picks, how they perform during the game, and how the picks of other players in your contest perform as well.

Though it can be a good thing at times (the players in your contest could pick bad teams, giving you an easier win), there’s a loss of control in DFS that might not be as significant with traditional sports betting. In my opinion, it evens out over time, but in the moment it can be frustrating to lose even when you’ve picked a lineup that would typically be enough to win.

1 . Pro: The Fun Never Stops

Obviously, the biggest appeal of daily fantasy sports is that if you got beat yesterday, today is a new opportunity to win back your cash and then some. In the same way that traditional sports bettors love to at least have the option to make plays on a daily basis, the same can be said about DFS.

If you have the time to evaluate the players in your lineup carefully, you can get the upper-hand on the competition who is simply logging in and throwing together the first lineup that looks like a good use of the payroll. DFS pits veteran sports fans (and experienced bettors) against anyone over 18 with a debit card. This can cause a serious power imbalance that benefits those who have some experience both in fantasy sports and betting on sports.

For players who have amassed a good amount of knowledge of things like bankroll management and proper risk vs. reward gambling strategy, the daily nature of these games can be a huge advantage.

2. Con: The Payouts Aren’t Consistent

When you make a regular bet on sports, you know exactly what you’ll be paid out if a certain result happens. With DFS, how much you’re paid out depends entirely on where you finish in the standings, which can make money management more complicated.

If you’re someone who bets on sports casually this might not be an issue for you, but if you’re the type of gambler who treats it more as a way to make money than to simply have fun, inconsistent payouts can be a headache. In terms of the payout process, it’s hard to say that one is better than the other, but DFS is much different than regular sports betting, and that should be noted before you start playing consistently.

When you’re betting on sports in the traditional way, there are only three outcomes – you lose your entire bet, you win an amount that was predetermined, or you push and get your initial wager back. In DFS, any number of results can happen, and it’s necessary to be prepared to create your money management strategy around this reality.

2. Pro: You Win More Often

Winning a measly $5 or $10 might not seem like much to write home about, but it sure beats losing money. If you enter the right type of fantasy contests, you might find that the best plan is to accumulate these small wins in hopes that they’ll add up to something significant over time.

Much in the same way that it can be frustrating to pick a good lineup only to lose because other contestants picked better, you’ll occasionally catch a break and finish in the top half of a contest when you’re team wasn’t that great. When you pick wrong in regular sports betting, this isn’t going to happen.

To be fair, these lucky wins are usually few and far between, but just the fact that it’s possible for you to benefit off the bad decisions of others makes it enough to chalk one up in the “pro” column for DFS. Just don’t rely on this to help you win consistently.

3. Con: The Field is Huge

Everyone has seen the commercials with regular guys holding up checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Make no mistake about it – this absolutely happens in daily fantasy sports. With that being said, it should be noted that it’s such a small percentage of players that it might be a little misleading in terms of how likely you are to find yourself with a half-million-dollar check.

First, the contests with the payouts that end up on TV are few and far between. Second, there are literally thousands of contestants, and only the top handful receive the big bucks. Yes, there’s something to be said for having a chance (especially when you’re entry fee is only a couple bucks), but it’s important to recognize just how unlikely it is that you’ll wind up at the top of the leaderboard.

I’m not saying this to be discouraging. In fact, some gamblers might like the chance at winning a huge prize more than they like the slow grind of traditional sports betting. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before you make your initial deposit.

3. Pro: Perks and Bonuses

As online sports betting becomes legalized on a widespread basis, there has been a huge push by companies that run betting platforms to gain their share of the market. Millions of first-time sports bettors might be considered “free agents,” and sports betting sites know that once they get an initial sign-up, they could have a customer for life. What does that mean? Bonuses are everywhere!

Betting sites have started to offer very generous sign-up perks like deposit matches, free play money, and in the case of DFS platforms, free entry into tournaments. As a bettor, any time you’re in a position where you can win money without having to risk anything, that’s an extremely desirable situation.

Of course these sites wouldn’t offer these deals if they didn’t think they’d pay for themselves (read: you’ll eventually lose) over time, but it is inevitable that some players will wind up parlaying these perks into big bucks.

Please Note:
With nearly all sites you’ll receive some type of bonus upon signing up, but DFS tends to have more ongoing promotional deals that are actually worth taking advantage of. If you’re into low-risk, high-reward situations, DFS takes the edge over traditional sports betting in that department.


If you’re a sports bettor who’s never given daily fantasy sports a chance, I’d recommend at least trying it out. Sports gambling purists might turn their nose up at it, but it’s wildly popular for a reason.

It makes the games fun to watch, and there’s always a slight chance you’ll walk away the big winner at the top of the leaderboard.

Even if you don’t take to DFS, the risk involved is relatively small. Take advantage of the deposit bonus, give it a week, and you’ll know for sure if you’re team DFS or the type to stick to traditional sports betting.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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