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DraftStreet Daily Fantasy Review

By Michael Rathburn, RotoWire.com

DraftStreet arrived on the daily fantasy sports scene in 2010 with a different take on the industry: With the most competitive salary algorithm, DraftStreet was more appealing to expert level players. There's a saying amongst Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) player that "if you can win on DraftStreet, you can win anywhere."

Along with a "tight" salary algorithm, DraftStreet also carved a niche in providing weekly fantasy sports contests, pick ‘em style games (no salary cap), Snake Drafts and Survivor games.

The rosters on DraftStreet are also different from other DFS sites, as DraftStreet was the first site to offer deeper rosters, forcing users to rely more on skill while also having more open roster requirements (guard and forward for NBA, instead of just PG, SG, SF, PF).

Sports Offered

DraftStreet offers games for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, college basketball, and college football.

Rosters / Salary Cap

All sports are based on $100,000 salary cap.

NFL     QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, K, D
MLB    SP, SP, P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, UTIL
NBA    G, G, G, F, F, F C, UTIL
NHL    LW, LW, RW, RW, C, C, D, D, FLEX, G
CFB     QB, QB, RB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, FLEX
CBB     G, G, G, F, F, F, UTIL, UTIL
PGA     GOLFER x6

Game Offerings

HEAD-TO-HEAD
$1-$2100

LEAGUES
3, 6, 8, 10, 20 Team

TOURNAMENTS (GPP - GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)
Ranging from $2-$420

50/50 or DOUBLE UPS
4-220 teams

Qualifiers/Satellites
You can win tickets that can be used for free entry into a higher stakes contest

Survivor
Survivor Tournaments will last for 3 days. For Days 1 and 2, the top half of the field* will advance to the next day. Final standings and payouts are determined on by Day 3 results. Points do not carryover from one day to the next (each day is independent of other days). Users who qualify to advance to the next round will be automatically entered into the league for the next day shortly after all games are final at which point Draft Rooms will be accessible.

*The "Field" is predetermined once the league is offered. If a Survivor league does not fill to the listed capacity, the unfilled entries will be marked as 0 but still counted as entrants in determining advancement.

Pick Em
Like Salary cap leagues, you can start building your team immediately after joining a Pick 'em league. In the draft room you will be presented with 8 tiers of players. Each tier will consist of anywhere from 2 to 10 players which DraftStreet deems to have similar fantasy value for the upcoming scoring period. You must choose exactly one player from each tier to make your team of 8 players. You can adjust your roster up until the first game of the scoring period at which time all rosters are locked and scoreboards will be available to view your opponents' picks.

Big Score Contests
Large GPP leagues in which entries can be one via satellite leagues. Big Score leagues are massive GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) leagues. Multiple Satellite leagues will be offered daily leading up to the Big Score. Top finishers in the satellite leagues will earn vouchers for free entry into the Big Score. Users will also be able to buy-in directly to the Big Score once it available in the Draft Lobby (usually the day before the scoring period). The combination of entries earned via satellites along with direct buy-ins will allow for some very large payouts. Users will be allowed a maximum of 10 entries into any Big Score. Any extra Big Score Vouchers earned will be exchanged for standard vouchers of the same value.

Snake Drafts
Live "instant" snake-drafts are shown in the lobby as: "Snake - Instant". These drafts begin five minutes after they become full.

After joining a snake-draft league, you can see the league details appear on the right side of the homepage in your Active Leagues section. If you hold your cursor over the Draft Room text you can see what time the live draft is set to begin. Click on the Draft Room link to enter the Draft Room.

Once the league is filled, draft order will appear on the top carousel and you will see a countdown to draft time at the top of the Draft Room.

When the draft starts, you will have a maximum of 45 seconds to make each pick. If you fail to make a selection within the 45 second timeframe Auto-Pick will be put into effect for the current pick.

If you allow the time to run out on two consecutive picks the Auto-Pick will be enabled for all future picks until you click the TURN OFF AUTOPICK button. You can turn on Auto-Pick by clicking the checkbox in the upper right corner.

Auto-Pick is set to take a player based upon your personal rankings (in the My Queue section) or, if you have not set any rankings, DraftStreet's rankings will be applied. Positions of need will be considered.

To use the Queue section to pre-rank players, simply select a player from the player pool then click the Queue button to add them to your list of queued players. You can drag and drop to re- order your queued players. When set on auto-pick, queued players will be automatically selected in order.

For Snake-Draft leagues, all rosters will have two Reserve (RS) spots. You can use the Set-Lineup page by clicking the Set-Lineup or Scoreboard link in the Active Leagues section of the homepage. You can swap a player in or out of their starting lineup until that player's team has started a game. At that time the player's status (active or reserved) is locked for the duration of the scoring period.

Software and Interface

DraftStreet recently underwent a few changes to their software and interface. The first update revamped their roster management page and simplified things for the user. Also, they moved away from mostly green/grey to a better color scheme that is easier on the eyes.

The second and most recent was the improved changes to their lobby. They cut down on the number of columns that were unnecessary, made it smaller, and added in more icons to describe each contests. This is a much improved user experience.

DraftStreet is also one of the few sites that provide the player stats while you're making a roster. Most sites require you to dig into a player card to get more than just fantasy points per game. For MLB, DraftStreet provides confirmed starting lineups, so if a player is in or out, there will be an icon next to the player.

My DraftStreet

Probably the best feature on DraftStreet is this section. It's by far the best in the industry and I wish all sites adopted how they do it. My DraftStreet is broken up into four sections (My Leagues, Performance, Recruiting, and Transactions).

My Leagues

Your entire history on DraftStreet is at your fingertips here. You can filter by sport, draft type, entry fee, duration, players, and status. DraftStreet even goes so far as to give you the contest link so you can see the results. This is great for doing research as you can see who finished at the top of a tournament and which players the winning owner selected.

Performance

This is my favorite section of all on DraftStreet and is the one I wish all sites had. You can see your results and actual winnings right at your fingertips for any type of contest, sport, duration, draft, entry fee and number of entrants. To the right, is the leagues entered, leagues won, leagues cashed, average entry fee, average players, gross earnings, average score, top score, opponents average score, and the most picked player.

Multi-Matchup Blocker

This feature is also in the My DraftStreet section on the bottom as a check box. It is important to use this feature so you don't get matched up against the heavy hitters on the site in more than one head-to-head contest on a given night. The last thing you want is for all of your head-to-head contests to be scooped up by a "shark" thus eliminating your opponent variance, which is needed to be a profitable player.

Bonuses and Promotions

Deposit/Pending Bonus

Your deposit bonus is first set in your bonus money account and will be released into your real money account as you participate in cash leagues. The funds are added to your main account immediately after the leagues you enter fill up and are released at a rate of 5% of the league buy-in. For example, if you join a $22 league, $1.10 (%5 of $22) will be released from your bonus account into your main account once that league becomes full.

The reason this money is not immediately available for you to play with is as protection from users immediately withdrawing the bonus money without playing in a single league.

You can see your "Pending Bonus $" on the right side of your My DraftStreet section.

Street Creds

Street Creds are DraftStreet's version of frequent player points. You can earn Street Creds by winning free leagues or simply playing in cash leagues! Upon entering a league, you will see a "Perks" popup that includes all benefits of joining that specific league. Street Creds can be redeemed in the DraftStreet Store for great merchandise. Click the VISIT STORE button on your My DraftStreet page to check it out.

DraftStreet Store

DraftStreet has the best store in daily fantasy sports because it combines merchandise along with vouchers that can be used to enter contests for free. The layout is very simple and easy to follow. The most popular item by far is grabbing a DraftStreet T-shirt, often times the XL is sold out.

Flagship Championships

$2,500,000 2013 Fantasy Football Championship
1st Place $1,000,000; Live Event Las Vegas

$500,000 2012 Fantasy Football Championship
1st Place $100,000; Live Event in Las Vegas

$500,000 2014 Fantasy Basketball Championship
1st Place $100,000 (3/14/14)

$400,000 2013 Fantasy Baseball Championship
1st Place $100,000 (8/16/13)

$250,000 2013 Fantasy Basketball Championship
1st Place $50,000; (3/15/13)

$220,000 2012 Fantasy Baseball Championship
1st Place $35,000; (8/24/12)

Matthew Berry

In September 2011, the daily fantasy sports engine was just starting to rev up when DraftStreet inked Matthew Berry to an exclusive endorsement deal. While he couldn't promote them on ESPN's channels, the power of social media was enough to pull the trigger. Berry's followers have gone from 300K to almost 600K now. The image of Berry in banner ads plastered all over the web showing him with a sign "I told you not to draft him" standing over a player became something that you could not avoid. So much so, that the same image was used on Berry's book "Fantasy Life".

Cashier

DraftStreet allows deposits and withdraws via PayPal, Visa, MC, American Express, and Discover. There is a $10.00 minimum deposit. Withdrawals are typically processed within 24 business hours, so please be patient if you submit on a Saturday/Sunday, and the minimum withdrawal is $20. Their customer service can be reached at cs@draftstreet.com or 1-888-272-1730.

Scoring

Baseball (MLB)

Daily Contests
Hitting Pitching
1B 1 pt BBI -.25 pts
2B 2 pts HA -.25 pts
3B 3 pts HB -.25 pts
BB .75 pts ER -.75 pts
HR 4 pts IP .9 pts
HP .75 pts K .7 pts
R 1.5 pts L -.75 pts
RBI 1.5 pts S 3 pts
SB 2 pts W 1.5 pts
KO -.75 pt CG 1 pt
GDP -.75 pts BS -.75 pts
CS -1 pt
SAC .75 pts
Weekly Contests
Hitting Pitching
1B 1 pt BBI -.5 pts
2B 2 pts HA -.5 pts
3B 3 pts HB -.5 pts
BB .75 pts ER -1.5 pts
HR 4 pts IP 1.8 pts
HP .75 pts K 1.4 pts
R 1.5 pts L -1.5 pts
RBI 1.5 pts S 3 pts
SB 2 pts W 4 pts
KO -.75 pts CG 4 pts
GDP -.75 pts BS -.75 pts
CS -1 pt
SAC .75 pts
Note: Pitchers will not receive any hitting stats, nor will hitters receive pitching stats.

Football (NFL)

Offense Defense
Passing TD 4 pts Defensive TD 6 pts
Passing Yard .04 pts Return TD 6 pts
Rushing TD 6 pts Interception 1 pt
Rushing Yard .1 pts Fumble Recovery 1 pt
Receiving TD 6 pts Sack .5 pts
Receiving Yard .1 pts Safety 2 pts
Reception .5 pts Point Allowed -.5 pts
2pt Conversion 2 pts
Interception -1 pt
Fumble Lost -1 pt
Return TD 6 pts
Rosters: QB, QB, RB, RB, FLEX, FLEX, WR, WR, TE, DST

Basketball (NBA)

PTS 1 pt
REB 1.25 pts
AST 1.5 pts
TO -1 pt
MFT -0.5 pts
MFG -0.5 pts
STL 2 pts
BLK 2 pts

Salary Cap Rosters: 3 F, 3 G, 1 C, 1 U
Snake-Draft Rosters: 3 F, 3 G, 1 C, 1 U, 2 RS (maximum of three Centers per roster)

In Weekly Basketball Leagues, Player scoring will reflect the TOTAL points scored throughout the 7 day period, and will NOT be based on their average points per game.

Games required for certain leagues to be offered:

Snake Drafts: Maximum of 3 Centers available per team
Daily Salary Cap: minimum of 2 NBA games
Weekly leagues: 45 NBA games minimum

Hockey (NHL)

Skaters Goaltenders
Shot 0.3 pt W 3 pts
Goal 3 pts GA -1.5 pt
Ast 2 pts Save 0.3 pts
+/- 0.5 pt SO 2 pts
PIM 0.25 pt
PPG 0.5 pt
PPA 0.5 pt
SHG 1 pt
SHA 1 pt
BS 0.3 pt
Rosters: 2 LW, 2 RW, 2 C, 2 D, 1 G, 1 FLEX
Snake-draft leagues include 2 Reserve (RS) spots
Users are allowed a maximum of 4 skaters from any one NHL team

Golf (PGA)

Albatross 4.5 pts
Eagle 2 pts
Birdie 1 pt
Par 0.2 pts
Bogey -0.6 pts
Double Bogey and over -1.6 pts
1st Place 8 pts
2nd Place 5 pts
3rd Place 4 pts
4th-10th Place 3 pts
11th-25th Place 2 pts
26th-50th Place 1 pt

College Football (NCAA)

Passing TD 6 pts
Passing Yard .04 pts
Rushing TD 6 pts
Rushing Yard .1 pts
Receiving TD 6 pts
Receiving Yard .1 pts
Reception 1 pt
2pt Conversion 2 pts
Interception -1 pt
Fumble Lost -1 pt

College Basketball (NCAA)

PTS 1 pt
REB 1.25 pts
AST 1.5 pts
Salary Cap Rosters: 3 F, 3 G, 2 U
Games required for certain leagues to be offered: minimum of 3 CBB games.