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Beginner NFL DFS: Game types

We continue our breakdown of the basics for NFL DFS. In this section, we look at game types, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Davante Adams #17 of the Green Bay Packers reacts to fans cheering in the first half of the 2020 NFL Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium on January 26, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In daily fantasy football, like in most things, getting the fundamentals down is integral toward laying a foundation of knowledge to build from as you progress as a player. For DFS, that means understanding the game formats available at DraftKings.

Game types


Draft 9 players, QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex, DST, under a $50,000 salary cap.


Choose players from one game only. Lineups consist of 6 FLEX players and must include at least 1 player from both teams. The FLEX spot consists of all players, so Showdowns are the only games where you can use two quarterbacks

Showdown, Captain mode

Showdown rules remain, but we add a Captain’s Slot in this game type, which earns 1.5x points instead of the 1x for the other FLEX spots.


In the Tiers game type, there is no salary cap. Instead, you pick a single player from a group or tier that you believe will score the most DK points of that group, then you pick another from the next tier and so on. The number of tiers depends on the size of the slate. The idea is that each grouping is of players who have similar projections, and your ability to pick the best of the group is the challenge.


Each of these types of games have their own challenges and specific strategies. Scoring remains the same across the board, which does help, as we don’t need to change our projections, instead, we need to think more about game strategy.

We won’t go deep into individual strategy for these games. but the basic differences is total number of players in the player pool. The more players you have to choose from, the more variance you have in lineups and the better odds you have for a strong system, where you take the longterm approach, to be profitable.