How Does Fantasy Football Betting Work?

How Does Fantasy Football Betting Work

Fantasy football is a common form of sports-related competition where people draft NFL players onto their fantasy teams and earn points based on their performances each week. Although not technically gambling, fantasy football is a game of skill in which players can stand to win large amounts of money.

There are various types of fantasy football leagues where participants compete against one another to win the league championship and earn money. Keep reading to find out all about how fantasy football works and the best ways to make money.

How Does Fantasy Football Work?

Fantasy football works by eight or more players, called owners or managers, drafting imaginary teams from the pool of actual NFL starting players. The fantasy players earn fantasy points every time the corresponding real-life player takes a relevant action in an NFL game. For example, players earn points for scoring touchdowns and for recording rushing or receiving yards. The fantasy teams face daily or weekly matchups against other teams in the league; the team that scores the most fantasy points wins. Some leagues skip matchups and award prizes based on the total points earned.

How to Bet on Fantasy Football

As fantasy football is not technically gambling, fantasy managers do not, in fact, bet on fantasy football. Certainly, friends may enter into side bets regarding the performance of their fantasy teams, but these bets are mostly for bragging rights and not common. Additionally, playing daily fantasy sports (DFS) is often referred to as betting, as paying a daily entry fee that you will forfeit if you lose the matchup feels very much like a bet.

Even though it is not gambling, fantasy football is a game of skill that you can make a lot of money by playing. Find some of the best types of money leagues for fantasy football below:

Standard League

Fantasy Football Standard League

In a standard league, participants each pay an entry fee to join the league. Throughout the season, teams compete head-on each week and at the end of the season, the teams with the best records in each division make the playoffs. In terms of the NFL season, the fantasy football regular season usually concludes with a few weeks remaining in the NFL regular season. This leaves the remaining weeks of the NFL regular season for the fantasy football playoffs. The playoffs are held in a bracket format, with the winners each week advancing until there is a league champion. At the end of the season, the top finishers are awarded a percentage of the total money collected.

Standard League Buy-Ins

Standard fantasy football leagues run on “buy-ins,” another term for the entry fees participants pay in order to join the league. These buy-ins form the main “betting” structure of the league, as the participants are wagering their buy-in fee in order to earn a chance at winning a major payout. Depending on the size and sophistication of the league you join, buy-ins may be small or large. A fantasy league can have a buy-in as low as $10 or even as large as $3,000. The higher the entry fee, the bigger the payout!

Super Bracket Money League

In a super bracket money league, participants pay to enter and, after forming their teams, are placed into a league wide bracket. Similar to March Madness, the winners each week move on while the losers are eliminated. The tournament continues until there is one undefeated team left that is named the champion. Depending on the league, the payout amounts and the number of top finishers that earn money vary.

Super Bracket Money League Payouts

Super Bracket Money Leagues have a payout structure similar to standard leagues, typically with one grand prize and several smaller prizes. Payouts are predetermined due to the price of the entry fee and the set number of entrants required to make the bracket work, whereas standard leagues operate slightly differently, as there is no set number of teams required.

Best Ball League

A best ball fantasy football league is similar to a standard league in terms of format, but the scoring style is different. Instead of earning points based on the team’s starting lineup for a given week, teams are awarded points each week based on the top performing players for each entire team. This changes the strategy from standard leagues, as managers focus on having the best possible lineup each week, rather than worrying about what fantasy team they will face in their next matchup.

Best Ball League Payouts

Best ball leagues are slightly different from standard and bracket leagues, as they often have smaller entry fees and thus, smaller payouts. As a result, they may be seen as a wiser bet for some participants, as there is less of a potential loss involved if you do not win.

Terminator Money League

A terminator fantasy football league is similar to a best ball league in that points are calculated based on a team’s top-performing players each week. However, in a terminator league, teams start with 26 players, and participants must select one player to be removed from their team each week until they only have 11 players left at the end of the season.

Terminator Money League Payouts

Much like a bracket league, Terminator Leagues are often high-paying and thus have high entry fees. For a $350 entry fee, participants may have a chance at a grand prize of up to $25,000. This certainly is a great payout and may seem like a solid bet, but it is important to remember that these leagues typically have a large pool of entrants, reducing the likelihood of winning.

Daily Fantasy Football Sites

There are many different money league sites that people have to choose from when playing fantasy football. These sites vary in the types of leagues offered, scoring systems, and payout formats. One action that all money league sites execute is to collect entry fees. This helps to ensure that all participants in a given league pay before a matchup starts. Another step that sites take is filling their leagues to full capacity. By filling their leagues, the sites make more money and can also offer greater payout values. At the end of each day, the sites are tasked with awarding prize money to the winners.

Daily Fantasy Contest (DFS) Wagers

Daily fantasy contest wagers are bets placed on an individual fantasy matchup. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting allows players to draft a new team each day and pay an entry fee which is essentially a bet that their fantasy team will win the matchup. Two of the biggest DFS sites are FanDuel and DraftKings.


Which fantasy football leagues have the highest payout?

Two fantasy football money leagues that have substantial payouts include the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) and the FootballGuys Players Championship. The FFPC Main Event has a high entry fee of $1,850 and over 1200 participants. However, the winner of the event is awarded an impressive $500,000. The FootballGuys Players Championship costs $350 to enter and has a prize pool of over $2,000,000 with a top payout of $250,000. Underdog Fantasy offers the largest first-place payout with a grand prize of $2 million.

What are some affordable money leagues to enter?

A few affordable fantasy football money leagues include DataForce and Fuzzy’s Fantasy. DataForce offers leagues with a small entry fee of $20 with an 83% payout. The first place prize is $122, while second place is $58 and third place is $20. Fuzzy’s Fantasy also offers leagues with a small fee of $25 and a 60% payout. For these leagues, first place is awarded $125 while second place receives $30, and third place receives $25.

What are the best daily fantasy football sites?

One of the best daily fantasy football sites is DraftKings. DraftKings is the largest global daily fantasy sports site and is very popular in the United States. The site currently offers users $20 of free play on their first deposit and up to a $500 deposit match. Another prominent daily fantasy sports site is FanDuel. FanDuel also has a large number of users worldwide and pays out more than $1 billion each year in prize money.

How do you choose a fantasy football money league?

There are many different fantasy football money leagues and sites to choose from. A fantasy football league should be chosen based on how much the player is willing to pay and their experience level playing fantasy football. Additionally, it is important to consider the potential payouts of each league when deciding to join. To learn more about each league and determine if it is the right fit, participants should research the league rules beforehand.