How Daily Fantasy Sports Are Reaching New Fans

Baseball fanatic? Cash in by playing daily fantasy sports ... photo by CC user Ed Schipul on Flickr

For years, fantasy sports had been the playing field of diehard fans. The commitment was lengthy and the financial risk was high. After all, in traditional fantasy sports leagues, the competition wasn’t over until the season was as well, meaning that you only had one chance to make your picks and hope for the best.

An injured player could spell disaster, laying waste to your money and your time and leading to an agonizing season of hoping for the best and expecting the worst.

It’s no wonder fantasy sports attracted only the biggest fans. But that has changed with the rise of daily fantasy sports. Now, it’s often “regular” fans who join up and end up becoming avid fans through playing daily.

The Major Differences Between Traditional and Daily Fantasy Sports

Perhaps the most obvious difference between these two playing methods is evident in the name. Daily fantasy sports are played, well, daily. So you chose a bad line-up today?

No worries.

You get a clean slate tomorrow—and another shot at the cash prize. This means you can make a smaller financial commitment versus joining a season-long league, because if you decide this isn’t for you, you can quit at any time, having forked over less cash to join.

The time commitment difference can be a bit deceiving. On the outset, it may seem like traditional season-long fantasy sports leagues require a greater time commitment, but in reality they simply require more waiting time. And that also means less instant gratification, something which today’s Internet generation has come to expect.

On the other hand, you don’t have to wait any more than 24 hours to know whether you won or lost a daily fantasy competition. But that means you have to start over again each day with a fresh analysis.

You can use apps and authority sites to give you projections and suggestions for stats in order to spend as little as 10 minutes a day figuring out your latest team.

Or, you can go in-depth and pore over figures and statistics for hours each day, as many people who have made daily fantasy sports their main source of income are prone to do.

Ultimately, whether you play daily or traditional fantasy sports is, like anything, a matter of preference. But the truth is that the advent of daily fantasy sports has led to an explosion of players, so clearly the preference is for short-term games.

For those who like a bit of both worlds, there are now weekly and monthly competitions available that present a fresh challenge.

The Challenges of Weekly and Monthly Competitions

For those looking to balance the shorter time commitment of season-long leagues with the instant gratification of daily games, you’ll find your calling with weekly and monthly games.

In baseball, for example, the game schedule is far more important in daily games than in season-long games because you can add players to your team who have a favorable history against certain pitchers or batters in the upcoming game.

In an entire season, powerful and weak players will meet all the time, so this metric isn’t one that is commonly taken into consideration.

In a weekly or monthly competition, however, the schedule becomes an important element once again. It’s reasonable to plan your line-up based on the upcoming week or month of games.

And if things go awry, you can start over next month, giving you more time to enjoy the analysis process without getting overwhelmed by the frequency of daily games.

After all, pro players say that the key to winning from daily games is to play them as often as possible, meaning you have to be either very organized or a bit obsessive (or perhaps both) to make meaningful gains.

Daily, Weekly or Monthly—It’s All About Engagement

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which format you choose to play. Daily, weekly and monthly fantasy sports have the ability to turn passive fans (who tune in to watch a game on TV or perhaps head to the ballpark a couple times during the summer) into engaged fans, actively watching games and keeping up with the latest developments.

In the end, that level of passion is what sports are all about.