What is Daily Fantasy Sports?
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a beefed-up variant of traditional fantasy sports that are conducted over short-term periods, such as a week or single day of competition rather than seasonal fantasy sports leagues played across an entire season
Is Daily Fantasy Sports legal in Illinois?
Participating in Daily Fantasy Sports is not explicitly legal in Illinois, but there is no law that forbids it either.
The Illinois Supreme Court has declared that at least certain DFS contests involve skill on the part of the players. Hence, Daily Fantasy Sports cannot be ruled out as illegal under Illinois gambling laws.
Consequently, major DFS providers like FanDuel and DraftKings are available to state residents who want to participate in these contests and place bets.
Popular DFS leagues in Illinois
DFS contests exist for pretty much every popular North American sport out there. Below is a walkthrough of the most popular DFS leagues in Illinois:
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in Illinois
Tips when playing DFS in Illinois
Below are our best tips if you want to succeed when playing DFS in Illinois:
Single entry vs. Multi entry
The majority of DFS contests are either single or multi-lineup GPP events, and Illinois DFS gamblers need to understand the difference between the two.
Generally speaking, taking down a GPP Tournament requires rostering low-owned players who exceed their value by 2.5 times their assigned salary. If Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields has a salary of $6000, the DFS GPP player expects Fields to score a minimum of 15 points or 2.5 times his salary.
The DFS player would then build the rest of his lineup with the same expectation for each player; all nine roster spots must exceed 2.5 times value to take down a large GPP event usually.
Our best advice for DFS players hoping to take down a significant GPP player is to consider players in exploitable matchups that no one else is talking about. It could be a QB like Fields, or it could even be the Bears' defense. Whoever it is must be in a good matchup in a game where Las Vegas has posted a high-point total.
Cash game advice
Playing cash games, double-ups, and 50/50’s are a terrific way of building an Illinois DFS bankroll, and there are some ways an Illinois grinder can enhance their chances of winning.
Unlike the GPP Tournaments, cash games are smaller tournaments where the top 50% of the field usually doubles their stake. Winning players aren’t interested in value as consistently, and the best selections are generally players with a high floor or minimum average of points.
In the previous example, we used Fields as the QB, but he isn’t consistent enough to play in a cash game, and a successful cash game player would usually side with the safer, consistent play like Jalen Hurts or Patrick Mahomes. The Illinois DFS player would then select players with similar high-floor players throughout the DFS roster.