Game On! A Rookie’s Review of Daily Fantasy Sports

LEHIGH VALLEY, PA — What’s my game, you ask? Blackjack, Texas Hold ‘Em, betting the ponies, and the occasional “max bet” on the slots. I don’t hit the casinos very often (it’s been years for me, in fact), but on the rare times I’m in one those are my go-to choices.

Sure, there’s plenty of online betting I could choose from, but that’s never been an attractive option to me. Consider me cynical in thinking that “the house always wins” is exponentially more true when the house is an algorithm.

What About Fantasy Sports?

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to fantasy sports and haven’t looked back. In a normal year, I’m the gal in three fantasy football leagues, two NFL picks pools, two NFL survivor pools, and a fantasy hockey league. Some of it’s for cash, most of it’s for bragging rights. And believe me I take full advantage of those bragging rights the years when I win!

I’m a stingy fantasy manager, though. If you read my colleague Mike Raschle’s recent article, Unmasked: Types of Fantasy Hockey Managers, which lays out practically every kind of fantasy sports manager you’ve ever encountered, I’m a solid “Chemistry Builder” style. I draft well (because I’m sports savvy and do my research, duh!) and that means I’m sticking with my team through thick and thin. Injuries aside, I don’t add to my roster, and I definitely don’t do trades. You want Carey Price and Sean Couturier off of my lineup? Well, you shoulda drafted them.

With fantasy sports, I’m in it for the long haul once I complete that draft. Which is perhaps why I never considered playing daily fantasy. Draft every day? No thanks. Go through my selection process over and over and over again? Nope, don’t wanna.

Give Daily Fantasy A Chance

But who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The recent partnership affiliation reached between our two Rocket Sports Media podcasts, “Canadiens Connection” and “The Press Zone“, and the Hockey Podcast Network gave me the last push to finally give daily fantasy a try, thanks to our sponsorship by DraftKings. After signing up about two weeks ago, and using promo code THPN, my only thought now is, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

Now I’m not one to lay down big bets; I’m too wallet-conscious for that. So I deposited ten dollars, and selected a daily fantasy hockey contest that cost four dollars to enter. When I woke up the next day, I had won eight bucks. Wow!

Since then, I’ve entered roughly one or two contests each day, spending as little as ten cents on entry fees, but usually no more than a dollar or two. Sometimes I win, plenty of times I don’t, but I’m still UP over my initial deposit. I even get an occasional notice that I can claim some free entry money, which I gladly accept!

How Does It Work?

I like the traditional nine-player draft contest, but I find that the “Showdown” contests where you form a team based solely off the rosters of two NHL teams playing against each other, or the “Tiers” contests where you select your players based off what DraftKings offers at several different quality levels of players, are really fun and require you to have a good base of knowledge about the NHL and players in general.

Hockey isn’t the only sport I’ve dipped a toe in, either. I entered a contest last week for a PGA tournament, compiling a team of golfers that did decently well. And the Free Pools are tremendous fun. It doesn’t cost anything to enter a contest predicting weather, Oscar or Emmy award winners, even curling!

The Verdict

It boils down to this: I never gave daily fantasy a shot because I thought it would be too expensive and too time-consuming. I’m happy to admit that I was wrong on both counts. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it definitely adds something to your nightly hockey viewing when you’ve got a little extra on the line.

Will I ever be a big spender? Not likely. But I’m glad I’ve discovered a new way to have some fun and test my hockey IQ, all while getting the thrill of the win every now and then. You can even listen to a recent segment on the Canadiens Connection podcast where Mike Raschle and I join host Rick Stephens to talk about our experiences as DraftKings newbies! Now excuse me while I go check my rosters…

By Amy Johnson, Lead Correspondent
The AHL Report
Copyright © 2021 Rocket Sports

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