The fantasy sports industry is one of the fastest growing industries on the web and in 2014 there were over 41 million fantasy sports players in both daily and season-long leagues. So what makes fantasy sports such an exciting past time and how do you succeed in this new game of skill? Here are the basics to fantasy sports and how you can win, even as a beginner.

Know the Difference

There are two main types of fantasy sports: Daily Fantasy Sports and Season Fantasy Leagues.

Daily Fantasy Games

There is a lot of debate as to whether daily fantasy should be legal because it walks a thin line to gambling. However, daily fantasy sports won an exception in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act because it is consider a “game of skill”. Daily fantasy is legal in every state except Arizona, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana or Washington in the United States. The main difference between daily fantasy and season long leagues is that daily fantasy allows you a low commitment opportunity to draft and play a team for daily or weekly increments.

Season Fantasy Leagues

More well known, season fantasy is the process of drafting a team initially and then devoting the entire regular professional season using that initial lineup or making changes through waiver wire or trades with other teams. This type of fantasy league is a much longer commitment and often the choice for many traditional fantasy players.

Find What Works Best for You

Fantasy sports has a variety of different games and you need to try out several of the variations to see what fits your playing style the best. Even within the two main types (Daily Fantasy and Season Fantasy) there are several options of games. Here are a few breakdowns for each.

Daily Fantasy Games

Within daily fantasy you have the following game options. Here are a few of the more popular daily fantasy game options, keep in mind that there are different game settings among each of these:

  • Head-to-Head: H2H is a game that has you set your lineup and then compete directly against one other player’s lineup.
  • Leagues: These are larger entry contests have a variety of different settings and number of entries. The payout depends on the settings.
  • Tournaments: Similar to leagues, a tournament can have a large number of entries and various payout options

Season Fantasy Leagues

There are much more fantasy options with daily leagues than season. With that said, season fantasy leagues still have some variations which different people may favor of another. For instance, in fantasy football there are PPR (Points Per Reception) and IDP (Individual Defensive Player) which offer a much different fantasy experience than standard leagues.

Try playing a number of different options to decide what fits your style and level of commitment. Once you find a fantasy preference that matches your interest then you can spend the time learning tactics to match that type of game.

Stay Committed

The best way to succeed at daily or season long fantasy is to stay committed. With season long leagues this can be difficult because you may not start out strong and could feel the urge to throw in the towel, but if you stop paying attention to your team you can ruin the league not just for yourself but for the other players. For daily fantasy leagues the commitment comes with rolling with the punches. Odds are that you will not win every daily game you play, and if you are not able to handle the tough losses you may get the urge to stop playing. However, if you can manage to win more than you lose then you will see the long-term value.

Remember to Do Your Research

The key to both daily and season fantasy success is devoting time and energy into researching. Follow fantasy advisers on Twitter and monitor fantasy sports sites for advice, injury reports and daily or season tips. Winning at fantasy sports is very much dependent on gaining a competitive advantage. The best way to gain that advantage is by finding valuable draft picks, waiver wire adds and leveraging trades. For daily fantasy it is about monitoring trends, injuries and finding valuable draft picks that will contribute without breaking the bank.

Daily and season long fantasy sports are some of the fastest growing past-times on the web. With the increased in popularity, comes an opportunity for early adopters to capitalize. If you are looking to find a fun, challenging and rewarding way to spend your free-time then you should look into fantasy sports.

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