So, you love your AFL and you’ve heard about Daily Fantasy Sports but don’t know how to get started? We’ve got you covered! Below is a step-by-step guide to getting started on your DFS journey from Student to Stud in Aussie Rules.

(If you’re looking for more advanced pointers, check out chrisedd999’s How To Win At AFL DFS series.

What is DFS?

DFS stands for Daily Fantasy Sports and is the lucrative big brother of the more traditional Australian fantasy competitions like AFL Fantasy and Supercoach – with two big differences…

Firstly, DFS contests span anywhere from a single game to an entire weekend of sporting action. No more riding the same stale squad for an entire season – your DFS teams are created for that specific contest only, giving you all the highs and lows you would normally experience over a full year in a single day!

Secondly, there is real-life cash involved. Most contests require an entry fee, and those fees (minus the “rake”, which cover the platforms’ running costs) are then combined to create the prize pool for that contest. If your team (or teams) perform well, then you could walk away with a huge payout!

Where Can I Play DFS?

Draftstars is the official home of AFL DFS, providing an exceptional playing experience and large prizes every weekend. Since the unfortunate departure of rival offerings DraftKings and Moneyball, our content at DraftStuds is aimed strictly for Draftstars contests.

How Do I Join A Contest?

Head to your chosen provider and once you’ve selected AFL as your sport, you should see a lobby that looks like this:

Once you’re here, you need to choose your contest type. There are many different ways to play DFS; all designed to suit your budget, experience level and play style.

Here are a few common examples of contests you can choose from:

  • GPP’s. This stands for Guaranteed Prize Pool, which are typically large tournament-style contests. They have low to medium entry fees (typically $2-$15 per lineup) with the ability to enter multiple lineups, which allows the prize pools to swell to the big bounties! Prizes cover the top 15% of entries, with a drop-down payment structure.
  • Single entry. Lower prize pools with fewer entries of course, but a higher test of skill with just the single bullet allowed.
  • Head to Heads. Winner takes all, minus the rake.
  • Double-ups. Top 45% of lineups double their money! Easy (but slow) way to build a bankroll if you know your stuff.
  • Targets. These are contests that pay out if you reach a nominated total, rather than simply besting your competitors. With every contest that the Target doesn’t go off, it jackpots on the next slate. When it does get toppled, all lineups that hit the target share equally in the (often massive) bounty.

As a beginner, we recommend the $2 Mini as a great place to start if you want to take down big prizes while dipping your toes into some low-stakes H2H’s and double-ups is the starting point if you want to grind out a bigger bankroll while you learn the ins and outs of DFS.

How Do I Create A Lineup?

Once you have chosen your contest, you’ll be given a salary cap of $100,000 and asked to pick 9 players under that cap that satisfy the lineup constraints. Salaries are assigned to players based on past production and projections but generally speaking, the better players are more expensive and vice versa. It’s up to you to find where the value is.

Let’s look at the DraftStars ‘Create your lineup’ page for a clear picture:

You have a $100,000 salary cap to purchase 2 FWDs, 2 DEFs, 1 RUC and 4 MIDs. A few select players are assigned dual-position eligibility, which means you can select them in multiple positions, which is how Draftstars promotes their variety between lineups.

You can mix and match players as much as you like as long as it fits under the salary cap, and you can keep editing your lineups right up until contest lock.

Each player earns a final score for their effort, and when you add all 9 of these scores you’ll get your Total Score for each lineup you enter.

How Do I Win?

Basically, you want the Total Score for your team to be as high as possible! Specifically though, it depends on the contest type, as outlined in the above “How Do I Join A Contest” section.

Broadly speaking, there are 2 different types of contests – “Tournament”  and “Cash” games.

Tournaments are your GPP’s and Target type of contests, where you’re just looking to enter the highest possible scoring lineups. Whether it’s coming first in a big pool of players or reaching that huge target score, you’re shooting for upside.

Cash games are your H2H’s and double-ups, contests where you only need to finish in the top bracket of lineups to double your money. You want to look for value here, but specifically, you’re focused on picking the players with the best floor. Remember, you don’t need to finish first, just in the top 45-50% to cash!

How Do I Win Regularly?

That’s what we’re here for! Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the basics above, DraftStuds will help you take your game to the next level.

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