DraftKings Offers Virtual NFL DFS Because Pretend Football Is Better Than No Football

The Indianapolis Colts won’t play any games for several months yet. Regardless, you might be able to roster your favorite Colts players in simulated NFL contests soon.

DraftKings has begun a series of such contests for daily fantasy games players. The games are free to play and, therefore, give only DK Dollars to winners. They still provide a valuable opportunity for DFS players.

How to get in on DraftKings’ simulated NFL contests

Simply register for or sign in to DraftKings from your computer or mobile device. From there, you can follow the app’s/website’s prompts to enter the free game.

DraftKings is posting one matchup between two real NFL teams for each day the company runs this contest. The available players will include all who played at least eight games for those teams in the 2019-20 NFL season.

Fill out your roster like you would in any DraftKings’ single-game NFL Captain Mode contest. You could win part of up to $10,000 in DK Dollars.

DK Dollars, for those who are unfamiliar, are DraftKings’ form of “currency.” You can use them in lieu of an entry fee for any DraftKings DFS game.

You can’t cash out DK Dollars, but if they lead to playing a DFS contest later for real money, it makes them essentially as good as cash. Winning this game requires knowledge about how the contest works.

How DraftKings will run the simulated NFL games

To simulate an NFL game, DraftKings will randomly select players’ statistical single-game performances from last season. Even if the two real teams played each other last season, the stats used for this content might not be from that specific game.

No player will receive zero points, however, as DraftKings excludes such performances from the options. That means every player on your roster will contribute.

For example, if you choose Marlon Mack as one of your RBs, you may get his stat line from Week 1 or Week 15. Against the Chargers to start the 2019 season, he scored 25.4 fantasy points. In the Colts’ penultimate game of the season, he only put up 1.9.

While some players could argue this makes it more a game of chance than skill, there is still an element of skill. The trick is balancing your roster of choices who have consistent performances from week to week with players like Mack, who can bring in a lot of upside but also pose significant risk.

Additionally, you can try out some unconventional ideas to differentiate your roster from the crowd. In these ways, these contests are an opportunity to practice your strategy for the real thing with no money at stake.

It may be March, but DraftKings is giving DFS players a way to get ready for September now. If you can win some DK Dollars in the process, it will be more fun.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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