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What Are Single-Player Fantasy Sports

June 9, 2022

When people think of daily fantasy sports (“DFS”), they often envision massive pools with thousands of other people where you compete to build the best roster within a salary cap. These games can be fun and every once in a while might lead to a win. But more often than not, these games are dominated by pros and sharks, with the average sports fans left competing against each other for increasingly smaller pieces of the pie. 

However, these traditional salary cap games are not the only version of DFS - Single Player Daily Fantasy is an easier, simple, and more fan-friendly daily fantasy experience. It’s not you vs the pros or you vs. the masses. It’s just you and your skills vs. the numbers.

When did Daily Fantasy Sports Start?

Before diving into the specifics of single-player fantasy, and how it differs from traditional DFS, you should understand how it all started. 

On June 22, 2007, Fantasy Sports Live launched, becoming the earliest major DFS gaming site in history. The idea here was that users could build lineups consisting of their selected players, and compete against other people's lineups for a chance at a substantial cash prize. It became a completely new style of sports gaming that revolutionized how fans experience their favorite sports.

Fast forward to 2009, and FanDuel, the largest DFS company in the world, was founded. Expanding on the functionality of DFS, FanDuel created more ways to compete against other people's lineups, with bigger and broader prizes at the end of the tunnel.

Like many industries in the United States, once the seed of an idea is planted, the industry grows into a blooming ecosystem with tons of variety. One progression of the DFS space is the concept of 'single player fantasy sports.'

What is Single Player Fantasy?

Single Player Fantasy (“SPF”) is a real money game that requires the participant to build a roster of athletes solely based on whether or not each athlete achieves a given statistic or fantasy score (think LeBron over/under 28 points or Josh Allen over/under 300 yards passing). 

Instead of working within salary caps like traditional daily fantasy sports providers, users create entries consisting of two or more player stat predictions. The more props you pick correctly, the more money you win. 

For example, a single-player fantasy roster may look like this:

Photo of a PrizePicks fantasy sports entry

Single player fantasy is the purest way for you to flex your sports knowledge and fantasy skills to win money on sports, but if you’re used to playing traditional daily fantasy, there may be a learning curve. If you still can't wrap your head around how this works, don't worry, the rest of this article will provide more context!

‍How Does Single Player Fantasy Work?

With traditional DFS, you're always competing against other people. Those people could be friends, a random person, a massive pool of people from all over the country, or more. Some DFS pools can exceed 100,000 players. Sounds fun, right? However, it is much less enjoyable when you have no chance to win because hundreds of other people outperformed you. In traditional DFS, you could be competing against sports analysts, math wizards, sharks, and even faceless algorithms! Sometimes it can be extremely difficult and frustrating to play traditional DFS.

Enter the creation of single player fantasy, where the only person you have to compete against is yourself! Leading single player DFS platforms like PrizePicks allow you to create an entry by selecting the over or under on two or more player stat predictions. The more picks members correctly predict, the more money they win! Payouts on PrizePicks can be as high as 10X - 15X. 

In traditional DFS, your 'fantasy score' is decided based on certain weights attributed to player statistics. For example, a point scored in an NBA game could be worth 1.25 fantasy points, depending on the lineup. The more points you accrue, the better your lineup performs. With single player fantasy, you succeed if your player goes over their projection. For example, if you select Lebron James over 25.5 points, and he gets 26 points, you are rewarded. Your entry in single player fantasy is a combination of player props and your win is totally based on how many props you correctly select.

Another main difference is in single-player fantasy, you aren’t restricted by salary caps. You can load up on all the biggest stars! A single entry can contain Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Luka Doncic, and Tom Brady.

Is Single-Player Fantasy Legal?

Yes! Single-player fantasy is a game of skill (as opposed to sports betting and gambling which are considered games of chance) and, no different than your grandfather’s old fantasy baseball league, these games of skill are perfectly legal.

Single-player fantasy is often referred to as “Hybrid Fantasy” because it shares many characteristics with sports betting. It is a “hybrid” of the sports betting feel with fantasy rules that force the player to use their knowledge and skill to win. Looks can be deceiving - just because single-player may look similar to sports betting at first glance, the two are markedly different. 

Single-player fantasy participants must construct a roster of athletes and winners are determined solely on the statistical accumulation of that roster. Compare this to sports betting where there not only are no roster requirements, there’s absolutely no rules about picking a whole team (think Bills -3). Single-player fantasy puts the player in total control of the athletes they pick, the stats they accumulate and how big you want your roster to be.

Want to put your fantasy sports skills and knowledge to the test? Check out PrizePicks! With great reviews, generous promotions and payouts, and a wide variety of sport offerings, PrizePicks is the leader in the single player daily fantasy sports category.

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