Friday, September 19, 2008

Advantages of Salary Cap Drafts in Daily Fantasy Sports Leagues

We have used a salary cap style draft at since our launch in June 2007 for many reasons. We have many more salary cap versions defined and in the queue, as well as some other alternative draft methods waiting to be developed. We will also have a live draft in the future. We do not have a live draft now because it would take a bunch more traffic to get them to fill up in real time (we don’t want people waiting for hours or days to draft), and a live draft is too time consuming in general for daily contests. When we do launch live drafts at FSL we do not expect their popularity to come close to that of the salary cap drafts. Live drafts are great for season long fantasy sports where you hang on to your team, and have an entire season to leverage the time spent preparing for and executing the live draft. With daily fantasy contests you keep your roster for just a day, so it becomes much less worth it to spend that kind of time and effort. Some of the many advantages of Salary Cap Drafts in Fantasy Sports contests are listed below.

Salary Cap Draft Advantages

The Draft Is Asynchronous
That’s a pretty big word. What it means is that you can draft on your time and your schedule. You do not need to coordinate with the others in the contest when the fantasy football draft will take place. If you have some free time at 2AM you can jump on and enter a fantasy contest and draft your team, even if everyone else is asleep. Live drafts require a coordinated effort from everyone in the fantasy league by definition. This is not required at all on our site.

There Is No Draft Order Advantage
A salary cap levels the playing field. The draft order luck factor is completely removed from a fantasy contest that uses a Salary Cap draft. All competitors get the exact same cap to work with allowing their skill in building a competitive fantasy team to shine. Why let a random number generator decide your fantasy league?

You Can Always Draft Your Favorite or a Must Have Player
Every year there is always some fantasy player who just blows up. It might be L.T., or Randy Moss, or Tom Brady. If you do not have them on your team, you may have no chance due to the huge numbers they keep putting up. You may also want to draft a favorite player. With a salary cap draft, you can’t be shut out of drafting a must have or favorite player. If the player has a large cap value, you simply must spend less on the rest of your team. With a live draft, a lucky pick-up of a must have player can decide the entire season. With a Salary Cap Draft, your skill gets to decide.

The Draft Is Much Faster
Using a salary cap draft, you are only waiting on yourself to complete the draft. With a live draft you are waiting on 10x the decisions and people vs. a salary cap draft. An equally prepared individual can complete a Salary Cap Draft in 2 minutes on our site vs. 20-60 minutes on a competing live draft site. If you are trying to profit from fantasy sports, this extra time and effort can crush your win rates.

There Can Be More Variety with Salary Cap Drafts
A live draft is a live draft is a live draft. With a salary cap draft you can play around with the cap levels and cap types to add a ton of variety and choices in fantasy sports contests. We currently offer a cap based on performance (ranking cap), a cap based on pay (salary cap), and a cap based on the New York Yankees payroll (no cap). By playing with the values in the ranking cap games and salary cap games the whole complexion of the typical fantasy team can be changed. If you like a bunch of stars on your team we can accommodate you. If you like a bunch of sleepers on your fantasy baseball team we can help you out there as well. When we add the other four cap types we have defined in the future you will have even more choices.

Salary Cap Drafts Advantages for Compressed Season Fantasy Sports

You Can Update Your Team Post Draft

If you use a live draft to select just starters for a Daily or Weekly Fantasy Sports Contest, and one of your starters has a late injury you take a zero for that player. You do not carry a bench like in a season long league to make a change with. With a Salary Cap draft, you can adjust your roster with the entire draft pool available at any time prior to the start of the contest. You can now make the customary Sunday morning adjustments to your fantasy football team even if you drafted the previous Thursday.

Salary Cap Drafts are Faster
I touched on this above, but this is even more important for daily or weekly fantasy contests. If you take an hour live drafting for a season long fantasy football league, at least you can keep your team for the entire season, and are really only spending about 5 minutes/week drafting over the season. For fantasy baseball you draft once and compete over 180 days or so. For a daily contest your draft is tossed out at the end of the day. Do you really want to spend an hour building a fantasy team that you do not get to keep? The time that you save helps you to earn more money. Let’s say you have an hour to spend drafting and are well prepared. You can enter about 30 contests on out site and about 2 on a live draft site. At similar stakes you can win 15 times as much per hour of work with a salary cap draft. This has always seemed like a massive advantage to us, and why we based our site on Salary Cap Drafts.

On a final note, there are a few advantages of compressed season fantasy leagues regardless of if they use a salary cap or live draft to generate the fantasy teams. With compressed season fantasy contests, you only need to draft starters for one day, and can forget about all of the hassles and hidden costs associated with season long fantasy sports. First off there is no trading, or picking up players on waivers, or the fees associated with roster moves. If an in game injury happens to one of your key players you are only penalized for one week. Think Tom Brady here, and what his injury would have done to your season in a season long contest. You can’t be hurt by a bad draft or key injury for more than one week. You can fully adjust the composition of your team from week to week, fully account for match-ups and other information maximizing the level of skill that can be brought to a fantasy contest. The playing field is also leveled every week. So somebody who has an excellent draft one week loses that advantage the following week.

Those are our thoughts on Salary Cap Drafts in Daily contests like those offered at Fantasy Sports Live. They are a bit different, and take a little getting used to, but the advantages are so large it is well worth it. Jump into a Daily Salary Cap Fantasy Sports Contest on FSL today!

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