Daily Fantasy Saturday: Primer on Single Game Fantasy Contests

Stephen Dotzel

2020-08-08

How fun has this first week of hockey been since the return to action last Saturday? Thanks to the bubble setup we've had games staggered for practically the entire day, every day. I don't know about you, but I had some doubts about the quality of hockey we would see, considering how long of a layoff there was, but that has not been the case. Even the round robin games, outside of a few big names missing in action, have been highly contested. Things should only continue to pick up in intensity as we progress towards the Stanley Cup.

From a fantasy perspective, both DraftKings and FanDuel have been doing multiple slates per day. Usually a main slate consisting of 4-5 games and then another smaller two or three game slate. However, the biggest surprise for me has been the single game contests. On DraftKings this is called "Showdown" and really took off in popularity during the previous NFL season. They have expanded it to NHL this year and have been emphasizing it during the playoffs thus far with a showdown slate for nearly every game of the day. FanDuel has their own version and simply call it "Single Game". Many of these contests are $10 or less to enter, have a reasonably sized field, and feature a four-figure payout to first, which can really give you a bang for your buck. With only three games on tap for Saturday and since it won't be long until this few of games is the norm, I thought giving a crash course in showdown/single game contests could be beneficial.

If you've never played this style of fantasy game before, here are the basics. On DraftKings, the format for showdowns are pretty simple. It is still a still salary cap game but instead of filling out nine positions like a standard contest, you only pick six players. All fantasy scoring is the same as it is in the standard contests. But here is the kicker, each lineup must have one captain. Your captain's salary will cost 1.5x what it normally would, but you also get 1.5x the fantasy points that you normally would. This makes your captain the most important play