I woke up Saturday morning with a dollar and a dream, as they say. Well, really six dollars in a fantasy pot that had the potential to pay out $1,000 for a first place finish. Where can such an opportunity come from you ask? Draft Kings, where the streets are paved with gold. So many sports fans enter fantasy pools with their friends with a buy-in that can promise them a significant gain on their investment with a first or second place finish. Draft Kings offers that every day if you so choose to play. This isn’t meant to be an endorsement of Draft Kings, but for the Premier League, I’ve found it to be an exciting way to play fantasy soccer that’s different from the marathon of managing a team from August to May. For the uninitiated this article will serve as an intro, for experienced draft kings players, you might find some helpful tips along the way.
So how does Draft Kings offer their daily Premier League games? Well, each game day you’re able to select from the pool of players that have games that day, so usually the best day to enter a contest is Saturday as that usually has the largest pool of players because most of the teams have matches that day. I’ve entered competitions on Sundays but the margin for error is a lot smaller. Each day, you’re tasked with selecting a goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards, and a “utility player.” Each contestant must choose an eight player squad that cannot exceed a salary cap of $50,000. Contestants cannot choose more than three players from a single team but are able to enter as many line-ups as they want to pay for. Let’s check out the squad that I got the highest position with on Saturday.
I had a pretty decent outing this weekend. Most of my players performed well, with Hazard and Theo Walcott being standouts. Martial has been a bit of a disappointment in terms if Draft Kings so far this season, I’ve chosen him for the last two weeks but might have to drop him the next game week until he gets his feet under him. Overall I was relatively happy with this Saturday, even though I came in 774th place, it’s not as bad as it seems because I was only 34.5 points off the leader, maybe two different players and I could’ve been right up at the top of the table with $1,000 in my pocket.
The scoring in Draft Kings is a lot different than most other fantasy sites. On a good day, a player can score between 25 and 30 points. Players get rated for so many things it’s almost hard to keep track of, points are won for goals, assists, crosses, tackles won, shots, shots on goal, clean sheets, fouls drawn, passes intercepted and the list goes on. Of course points can be lost for fouls conceded, goals conceded, yellow cards, red cars, missed penalties and so on. What this does to scoring is interesting, you can have a player with no goals or assists but he can still end up having a good day if he gets a bunch of shots on goal, draws a lot of fouls, and makes a number of crosses. It really opens up your options for player choices besides strikers and midfielders that score a lot of goals.
How can you go out next game week and possibly win some money in Draft Kings’ “games of skill?” First and foremost it’s important to pay attention the the fixtures and the forms of each team. Have Man City scored more than two goals in the last couple weeks? Have Man United kept a clean sheet in a majority of their matches? Which player has been assisting or scoring like a mad man? Who takes free kicks and corners on each team? Knowing these facts is essential to scoring well in Draft Kings. For me, I try to find players who have a relatively easy match each week. For instance, I chose Diego Costa and Eden Hazard last week because I knew the likelihood of at least one of them scoring or assisting against Burnley was high. I chose Luke Shaw because I know that he likes to get forward and put crosses in and I know that United have been defensively solid so far this year and that would continue against Hull. I also find that there’s wildcard players that can come up big for a squad in any given game week that can get you from 776th place to top 5. An example of this from last week is Scott Dann. The second place player in my contest had him on his team, he scored only three points the first week and five the second. Week 3? twenty points. Who honestly would’ve seen that coming based on the previous two weeks? Sometimes these wild cards take a little luck or a little wizardry to choose, but they’re absolute game changers.
Hopefully after reading this you’ll have a good understanding of Premier League fantasy in Draft Kings and will feel confident enough to dive headfirst into a contest. Comment down below if you like Draft Kings, have any questions, or any other tips for new players. Good luck!