DFS Contest Types: Tournaments vs 50/50s

Now that we have talked about the differences between FanDuel vs DraftKings scoring, we need to discuss the different type of contests. Tournaments and 50/50s are the two most common contest types if you want to enter a full roster MLB contest. FanDuel does also offer other contest types, like Head to Heads, Multipliers, and 3-100 Players, but those are less available and less popular than Tournaments and 50/50s. Plus, the payout structure for Head to Heads and Multipliers are very similar to 50/50s. As a result, I’m only going to go into detail on the main two contest types.

There are two main differences between these contest types we will discuss: the number of lineups in the contest, and the payout structure.

Number of lineups in Tournaments vs 50/50s

Generally, Tournaments are going to contain a lot more lineup entries than a 50/50 contest. There are small tournaments with fewer than 20 lineups, but they are usually going to be much larger. There are typically going to be tournaments with several hundred or thousand entries for the main slate of games each day throughout the MLB season.

It does depend on what the cost to enter the tournament is with lower entry fee Tournaments usually allowing more lineups than those that cost more to play.

However, 50/50s are much smaller. 50/50 contest range anywhere from 10-100 total entries typically. You don’t really see any larger than 100, like you do with Tournaments. I will touch on how we might expect the different sizes of contests to impact our optimizer in the next post.

Payout Structure in Tournaments vs 50/50s

50/50 contests have a simple payout structure in FanDuel. 50% of entries win, and 50% do not. The amount you win is 180% of whatever the entry fee is. So, if you enter a 50/50 contest with a $1 entry fee and finish in the top 50% of entries, you get back $1.80. In a 50/50 contest, FanDuel is paying out 90% of total entries paid, and keeping 10% for themselves.

The payout structure for a Tournament is a bit more complex. It’s more top heavy, so the winner gets a lot more than they paid to enter. And a lot more entries finish “out of the money” and receive nothing. The exact payout structure can vary depending on the entry fee and number of lineups allowed, but they all payout a larger amount of money to a smaller number of players than 50/50s. Here is an example of the payout structure for a FanDuel Tournament with a $2.22 entry fee in the 2022 MLB season. There was a total of 5,362 entries in this Tournament.

Place FinishedPayout per Entry
6th – 7th$75
8th – 10th$50
11th – 15th$40
16th – 20th$30
21st – 30th$25
31st – 50th$20
51st – 75th$15
76th – 100th$10
101st – 200th$8
201st – 400th$6
401st – 675th$5
676th – 1,350th$4

In this case, there would have been $11,903.64 paid in entry fees by the players, and about 84.01% of that was paid out to winning lineups. The other 15.99% was kept by FanDuel. The top 25.18% of lineups entered in this contest won something.

What’s Next?

In the next post we will start discussing how these differences will impact the strategy for entering different types of contests. We will need to keep this in mind as we set up the rules for our optimizer so it picks players that give us the best shot of winning in the specific contest we enter.

If you want to play along and enter some FanDuel lineups of your own as we conduct this investigation, you can use my FanDuel referral link here to get a deposit bonus. You should just need to deposit at least $15 within 30 days of signing up, and you’ll get a $15 bonus added to your account if you use that link.

Click here for previous post: How Scoring Differences in FanDuel vs DraftKings Impact Our Optimizer
Click here for next post: Lineup Strategy Differences in Tournaments vs 50/50s
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