Crazy (but realistic) Tournament Ideas

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If there’s one thing in daily fantasy that has unlimited potential it is big field tournaments by far. There’s only so much you can tweak with a h2h game and small multi-player leagues (salary caps, shared player pool vs. draft style, no kickers, etc.), which over time can make them get a bit monotonous, especially for action junkies.

There is so much you can do with tournaments that I had trouble narrowing down ideas to just my favorite 4, but hopefully there are some others out there that want to see some of these ideas come to life, which would no doubt bring new users to the industry and help keep regulars around who are looking for something new with unique twists to challenge them.

Multi-Entry Bracket Tournament (Football):

So DraftDay has really been the only site I’ve seen to tackle any type of bracket style tournament (sorry if I missed another site who has tried it), and with them introducing a $215 buy-in one starting week 10 only makes me more excited that they could actually make this idea possible. Each person gets 5 entries max, starting week 1 with the finals being say week 14. If my math is right it would need 32,768 entries to have 2 people left for a week 14 finals. Yes that seems like a ridiculously impossible amount of entries to fill, but after another entire offseason of DFS growing and hopefully thousands of people entering the 5-max entries, if this opened pretty soon after NFL this year ended, I think it could fill by kickoff 2013. If sites think it would be impossible then make it 12 weeks, 10 weeks, 10 entries max, etc., plenty of ways to make it possible.

I think it would be awesome to figure out strategy on what lineups to use against certain opponents, how to hedge your 5 entries or just go with the same team on all remaining entries each week, and so many more potential decisions depending on which entries get knocked out/move on each week. All of the entries would be randomized at the beginning, so you could end up playing yourself on a couple of your entries on any given week, which would be both good and bad (knocking one of you out but guaranteeing one moves on), so yes some people could get “lucky” and have their 5 entries spread out the most, but they still would have more risk each week with no guarantee of having at least 1 team moving on that playing yourself would. I know this is probably the hardest tournament to set up which is why I put it first since I think it would be beyond awesome, and could even become a way to determine a “daily NFL champion” over a season, with an epic $100k or so heads-up finals.

Lowest Scoring Position Player Dropped (K and DEF always play if available):

I think this would be a pretty cool tournament concept for all sports, giving all teams a chance to go deep even with one major bad pick, injury, or bust. Probably the most common question/complaint from new users is can they switch players who were late scratches or that a 1st quarter injury ruined their night. Well, this tournament format would solve that. McFadden scratched late with a right nipple laceration? No problem, his 0 gets dropped (unless someone scores negative then they’re score would get dropped). Megatron dropped 7 passes in the end zone and finished with 1 catch for 2 yards? Bye bye lineup killing bust. Really want to see a site try this, I think it could be extremely popular.

PPG (points-per-game) Cutoff Player Pool:

This could easily be done for any sport, just need to determine a set PPG cutoff (with a minimum games played for a player to count), and then eliminate all players above the cutoff line, making a very competitive player pool that would force users to make some pretty unique sleeper-heavy lineups. Each position would have to have its own PPG cutoff line to allow for different weighted scoring at different positions as well as to keep enough options available for smaller player pool positions. The total team salary cap would have to come down too, or individual player salaries would have to readjust to make it hard to use all the “top” guys (even though everyone would hopefully be average or still sleepers). This type of tournament would likely eliminate the possibility of one or two high PPG guys going absolutely bonkers (Martin and Marshall last week), which in turn kill any chance of teams without them from finishing high. A field of inconsistent, mediocre scoring players would make for an extremely competitive tournament, forcing users to really dig deep and get a chance to play those ultra-sleepers.

1st to 2nd Margin of Victory – Prizepool Carryover:

I like the concept of having a tournament prizepool carry over week to week until a certain stipulation is met, so this would just be another type of that. For any money to be paid out, the 1st place lineup has to score a pre-determined amount more than the 2nd place team. If that condition is met, then the prizepool will be given out, but the pool would be distributed to each consecutive team that beat the next lowest opponent by that set point margin.
Example: $100 prizepool, margin of victory set at 5 points. 1st place 210 pts, 2nd place 201 points, 3rd place 195 points, 4th place 194 points, and so on. Since 1st beat 2nd by 5 or more points the prizepool will be released. Next up, 2nd place beat 3rd by 5 or more, so they get a piece of the pool, but since 3rd place didn’t beat 4th by 5 or more, only 1st and 2nd would split the $100 (adjusted % split with higher finish getting more money obviously). Say 6th place beat 7th by 5 or more points, doesn’t matter, if the streak is broken anywhere starting from 1st to 2nd, then the prizepool stops distributing. If 1st doesn’t beat 2nd by the set point margin, then the prizepool carries over to next week.


I know most of these ideas just probably aren’t feasible with current website programming technology, but hopefully these will get sites thinking about differentiating themselves more from other sites and being the first to come out with the next big thing. Please share more tournament ideas in the comments!

Good luck in week 10 everyone!


About the Author

  • Erik Wardenburg (naapstermaan)

  • Erik Wardenburg, fantasy alias naapstermaan, has been playing fantasy sports since 2005 and DFS since 2010. He’s made multiple live finals in MLB, NBA, and NFL on a variety of sites and enjoys grinding small/medium stakes every day.


  • gibbathy

    2014 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year

    • Blogger of the Month

    A crazy tournament that might be realistic could be a multi-sport tourney across say NFL, NBA and college football.

  • Cameron

    RG Co-Founder

    • 2014 FanDuel NFL Survivor Champion

    • 2016 RG Season Long Champion: NFL

    love the creativity here! the PPG one is really intriguing to me as it would completely change the dynamic of how i narrow down a player pool. We NEED to get a “Naap Game” going in the forums stat!

  • Nbt702

    Why not do a bracket tournament for basketball on a weekly basis? I’m thinking more nba where either Friday or Wednesday would be the final since more games are played on those days.

  • briguy13

    Love the drop lowest score idea.

  • sfgiant

    just found your blog, read em all, never have i laughed so hard.. “right nipple laceration” and “explosive diarrhea” too funny… keep up the good work!

  • naapstermaan

    Panda Grinder

    • 2014 DraftKings FBWC Finalist

    • x2

      2012 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    lol thanks sfgiant!

    P.S: I’m from the Bay Area. GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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