Back in the 1960s, the first fantasy sports league took place between diehard fans of the Oakland Raiders NFL team. A group of supporters decided to build out their own ‘fantasy’ roster, then use real-life data from regular-season games to simulate a separate ‘fantasy’ league.
Aside from the MLB, the idea didn’t take off at first. For the next few decades, like-minded fans that wanted to test their knowledge of individual players and teams built out their own fantasy leagues between friends. Eventually, data-heavy publications like 1989’s Fantasy Sports Magazine brought the new pastime to the masses and helped newcomers build out their own leagues.
Today, fantasy sports have evolved into two separate branches: traditional fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports (or DFS). The first follows the entire regular season of a league before concluding, while the latter will cover a shortened period of time for more stimulating competitions. Unlike traditional fantasy sports, DFS solely exists online.
Given the availability of options, a quality daily fantasy football site will differentiate itself from traditional fantasy sports with a few features and opportunities. Aside from an easy-to-use platform and a range of bonus offers for specific tournaments, DFS sites will also need to make aspects like targeting matchups and valuating lesser-known players a breeze.
However, not all fantasy sports fans will find themselves endeared to a DFS site—and vice versa. So, what are some of the pros and cons of each type of fantasy sport, and which type of sports fan will enjoy each? Let’s take a closer look.
One of the reasons traditional fantasy leagues have proved so popular is that they complement a regular season. In other words, fantasy football buffs aren’t just following their favorite team every Sunday—they’re also tallying scores and points for their fantasy team during the live-action.
In this way, it’s a way to expand and stretch out the aspects of a sport that a fan loves the most. However, this also makes traditional leagues more of a hobbyists pursuit than a competition for major payouts. In fact, many of the competitions aren’t paid—they’re simply hosted for glory.
A DFS competition will run for a week or, in some cases, a day. Given it’s a competition, there are varying ranges of payouts depending on the tournament type and field size. While this also applies to certain traditional fantasy leagues, DFS competitors tend to be gamers looking for winning payouts—even if it’s just a few bucks.
The emphasis here is on winning rather than following a real-life league. This is an incredibly rewarding experience for some fans, who look to apply their latest analysis in DFS that will conclude shortly. Recently, there’s also been a boost in eSports coverage; in general, DFS is more adaptable for new sports than traditional fantasy sports.
As explored above, both types of fantasy sports cater to different types of fans. Still, that doesn’t mean a traditionalist or a DFS fan won’t enjoy trying out a new experience. Given the range and availability of DFS options, there’s very little risk involved for someone looking to try their hand at a shortened competition.
In fact, a background in traditional fantasy sports provides a great foundation for expanding into DFS. Fans are familiar with how the competition works, how points are allocated, and which players they’ll likely want on their roster. However, they’ll need to watch out for season-long stats, as a player’s most recent performance matters most in DFS.
On the other hand, a DFS competitor who wants to try out a long-form fantasy league might enjoy a more relaxed approach. They don’t need to worry about single-game matchups or a player getting injured, as there’s a full season to fall back on. Just keep in mind there aren’t bonus structures to leverage in traditional fantasy sports.