Of the four major professional sports, hockey is by far the least popular in the US. It’s a shame, too, because it’s one of the most rewarding games from a fantasy sports perspective. And hockey fans are just as passionate about the daily fantasy version of their sport as they are about the on-ice product.
Here are some questions and answers about playing daily fantasy hockey:
Best daily fantasy hockey sites 2020
How does daily fantasy for NHL work?
In an NHL contest, each player is assigned a salary and grouped by position:
Users construct a lineup using a combination of positional players. Requirements for lineup composition vary from site to site, but most employ one to two goalies plus two to four skaters from each category. Some sites, like DraftKings, also have a Utility slot which can be occupied by any skater.
Most DFS contests utilize the salary-cap format. Users can concoct any valid combination of players they want, as long as the sum of the salaries falls under the designated cap.
Here are the lineup requirements for some DFS sites:
Draft offers daily fantasy hockey in its snake-draft format, as well, with five-man rosters.
Users’ lineups are then pitted against each other in contests across a variety of formats and buy-ins. Edits are usually permitted until the start of each player’s game, but some sites lock all players when the contest begins.
What kind of daily fantasy NHL contests are there?
All contests require paying an entry fee to compete for a set amount of prize money. (Some contests are also free to enter and may or may not feature a prize.) The site takes a percentage of each entry to generate revenue.
Contests fall into a handful of categories:
- Guaranteed prize pools (GPPs): A fixed prize pool is offered by a site with a maximum number of entries, often in the hundreds of dollars at the largest sites. They run regardless of whether they fill up or not.
- Cash games: Players can either join an existing contest or create their own. These are smaller than GPPs and not guaranteed to run.
- Head-to-head: A contest that pits two players against one another; the winner receives the entire prize pool.
- 50/50: The top half of the field doubles their investment; the other half of the field receives nothing.
Contests run across a wide range of buy-ins, too. On the major sites, there are tens of thousands of dollars guaranteed every day. The daily lobbies mirror the league’s schedule, though; there are busy days and slow days.
What’s in store for daily fantasy hockey?
The 2017-18 NHL season is framed by a lot of movement at the legislative level. Nearly 20 states have legalized fantasy contests, and a handful of others seem likely to do so by the time the Stanley Cup gets its next inscription.
Daily fantasy sports are still largely prohibited in Nevada, but the eyes of the whole hockey world are on Las Vegas. The city’s expansion franchise, the Golden Knights, began play at T Mobile Arena, just a stone’s throw away from the sportsbooks of the Strip. You can bet on Knights games in Sin City, but you can’t get any DFS action if you’re a hometown fan.