Daily fantasy sports has become big business, giving sports fans new and exciting ways to wager money on the sports, teams, and players that they follow. Unlike simply betting on which team will win any given game, daily fantasy sports events allow bettors to channel their inner GM, building a roster of players on a limited budget and putting it up against the rosters of the other event participants.
However, daily fantasy sports games also come with some added risks. Unlike betting on the outcome of matches, where your destiny is essentially in your own hands, competing against other players raises the risk of simply being outplayed repeatedly by skilled players who consistently build better teams than you with better odds of success.
With this quiz, we want to test our intrepid readers' ability to build a successful daily fantasy team. You're tasked with building a roster of 25 players, choosing between two options for each question. Included is the cost of the player based on DraftKings' standard system of having a budget of $50,000 to build a team of 9 players. While you're not actually restricted to any kind of budget in this quiz, your choices will be graded based on the value of the pick.
Do you have what it takes to win money on DraftKings? Build your daily fantasy team and find out!
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1Choose A Center
It's hard to bet against Stamkos, but he has hit a bit of a rough patch of late (for him), with just 8 points in his last 12 games. Seguin meanwhile has 7 goals and 11 points in his last 8 games, as Dallas' top line has been red-hot of late.
2Choose A Winger
Taylor Hall's starting to turn it on in New Jersey, with 9 points in his last 7 games, as the surprising Devils try to maintain their playoff pace. After a torrid start to the year, Tarasenko has just 6 goals and 14 points in his last 21 games and played less than 16 minutes in a 2-1 win over Vegas on Thursday, his lowest ice time of the year.
3Choose A Defenseman
The former teammates face off in this challenge, and while their offensive numbers are similar in terms of points, Suter has a big edge in blocked shots (79-53), while Josi more than makes up for that with his 129 shots on goal, 40 more than Suter has taken. Josi has just 3 points in his last 10 games however.
4Choose A Utility Player
Rantanen and linemate Nathan Mackinnon are one of the hottest duos in hockey right now, racking up another 3 points each on Saturday night. For Rantanen, it was his third-straight multi-point game, pushing his points-per-game for the season to an even 1. Eberle's going in the opposite direction, with just a single point in his past 6 games.
5Choose A Center
Barkov's value as a daily fantasy player has taken a leap forward this season, thanks to a big uptick in his shot output and a smaller one in his shot blocking. Of course, he's still racking up points as well, with 35 in 39 games. Couturier's shot output has also jumped this year, which has led to a career-high 23 goals in just 42 games.
6Choose A Goalie
Who would've thought before this season that this question would even need asking? Subban was already being written off as a bust by many, but his move to the desert has sparked his game, as he's gone 11-2 for the Golden Knights, with a 2.38 GAA and .918 SV%. Rask is in fine form himself, with a 2.09 GAA and .925 SV% this year. However, Rask's win-ratio (a vitally important daily fantasy stat for goalies) is nowhere near as good as Subban's this season and Boston also gives up the fewest shots in the league (less saves).
7Choose A Winger
Kessel's shooting the puck more again, which has him on pace for 30 goals for the first time since the 2013/14 season. After being given away by Florida (in fact, Vegas was essentially paid to take him), Smith has responded with a big year, scoring 34 points in 40 games, including 8 points in his last 5 games.
8Choose A Defenseman
Leddy's in the midst of a breakout offensive season, with 28 points in 42 games in addition to averaging over 2 shots on goal per game, well above his career high. Provorov is becoming a force on the Flyers' blueline at just 20 years of age, playing nearly 25 minutes a night and taking over 2 shots per game while also blocking more than 2 shots per contest.
9Choose A Center
Stastny got off to a strong start in his walk year but his production has slowed of late, with December being a particularly rough month for the center, who put up just 5 points and was -11 in 17 games. Larkin hasn't been able to duplicate his 23-goal rookie year, but the youngster is racking up assists this season, with 28 in 40 games.
10Choose A Goalie
Vasilevskiy has been a huge part of Tampa Bay's success, enjoying a dominant breakout season with 26 wins, a 2.04 GAA and a .935 SV%. It's been a few years now since Jones had a breakout performance of his own as a rookie, taking the hockey world by storm with a 1.81 GAA in 19 games in 2013/14. He's yet to duplicate that performance but has done an admirable job as San Jose's starting goalie.
11Choose A Winger
Expected to be a deadline piece for the Golden Knights to move with an eye towards their future, it now appears the team will try to extend Neal and keep him in Vegas given the team's unexpected success. Neal has 18 goals and is firing nearly 3 shots per game on net. Lucic has just one point in his last 7 games and Edmonton continues to flounder near the bottom of the Western conference standings.
12Choose A Defenseman
Ristolainen may be the best defender in the league that no one knows about, playing 26 minutes a night for Buffalo and racking up shots and blocked shots. Petry appears to be making a concerted effort to shoot the puck more, with 28 shots in his last 7 games, including 10 shots against Edmonton on December 23. Petry had just 12 shots in the 13 games prior to that run.
13Choose A Center
Everything's going right in Tampa Bay, and that extends to Brayden Point, who's having a breakout year with 36 points in 42 games. Dubois appears to have found his footing in the NHL after a slow start to his promising career. The 19-year-old 3rd overall pick in 2016 had just 5 points in his first 23 games but has since picked up 16 points in his last 20 games.
14Choose A Utility Player
Couture is on pace to challenge his career-high in goals, with 16 in 36 games. Couture is a strong daily fantasy player when he's on his game, as he takes a lot of shots and blocks more shots than most forwards. Pastrnak continues to establish himself as a star in Boston, with 39 points in 40 games, though his shot output has fallen by nearly a full shot per game this season compared to last.
15Choose A Winger
Puljujarvi is beginning to show some of the skills that made him the 4th overall pick in 2016, with 8 goals in 26 games. However, until his ice time is more consistent, he's a somewhat unreliable daily fantasy commodity. Saad opened the season with a hat trick in his return to Chicago, but has just 20 points in 40 games since opening day and has seen his own ice time gradually decline over the course of the season.
16Choose A Defenseman
Despite playing 5 fewer minutes per game, Theodore has been just as effective as Yandle, averaging close to 0.50 points per game, 2 shots per game, and blocking more shots per game. Theodore also has 8 points in his last 10 games, while Yandle has just 3 in his past 12 games.
17Choose A Winger
Laine has 3, 4, and 5-game goal scoring streaks this season, but is in the midst of a 7-game goalless drought. Laine's production has remained fairly steady from last year despite playing 1:17 less per game. Dadonov is in the midst of a lengthy goalless drought of his own that stretches back two months, during which he has just 7 assists in 18 games.
18Choose A Utility Player
We pit the linemates against each other in this question, and both players are heating up as the Red Wings desperately try to right their ship. Zetterberg has 14 points in his last 14 games, while Nyquist has 6 goals in his last 9 contests as he tries to rekindle the scoring touch he had in 2013/14.
19Choose A Center
Malkin hasn't missed a beat since missing 4 games due to an upper body injury earlier this year. The Penguins star has 10 goals and 21 points in his last 18 games, including a 3-point effort against Boston on Sunday. Kuznetsov has just a lone assist in his last 6 games but is still averaging nearly a point per game this season.
20Choose A Goalie
Schneider's save percentage has rebounded to a solid .918 after an uncharacteristic plunge last season. He has 17 wins for a resurgent Devils squad that is gunning for its first playoff berth since 2011/12. Murray is not having the season many expected, posting a rather dismal 2.93 GAA and .903 save percentage, though he has 15 wins nonetheless. If the Pens get hot (they're due), he'll rack up wins.
21Choose A Defenseman
Byfuglien has just 1 goal in 31 games and his shot output has noticeably declined. However, he plays on a high-powered Winnipeg team that's second in the league in scoring to Tampa Bay, so a big second-half could be coming. Jones continues to carry a big load for a Blue Jackets team that is looking for a return trip to the playoffs. His 26 points rank him 15th in scoring among defensemen.
22Choose A Winger
JVR is getting just 14:30 of ice time per game in Toronto and toiling away on the third line, though his results haven't suffered for it. In fact, he could top his career-high of 30 goals this year. Anderson is playing big minutes in Columbus with mixed results. While he could challenge 30 goals, he may also fail to reach 50 points.
23Choose A Utility Player
Grabner has sniped 18 goals for the Rangers this season, though he has just 4 helpers to go with them, which is about par for his career (63 more goals than assists). Steen is taking more shots than last year but having trouble finding the twine, having only a 6.2% shooting percentage.
24Choose A Winger
Paul Byron could reach 20 goals for the second year in a row, though he has just 5 assists. The Habs are hoping for a bigger second-half from him. Former Hab Cammalleri has been given more ice time in Edmonton than he was in LA, but his PP time has been halved. The result is just a couple of goals in 22 games since he joined the Oilers earlier this season.
25Choose A Defenseman
Vatanen was dealt for Adam Henrique earlier this season in the hopes that the trade would spark each player's game. Vatanen has just 5 goals in the last two seasons despite plenty of ice time (and PP time). Seabrook is no stranger to the net being his archenemy, as he's only hit it 4 times in the last two seasons. Worse for the Hawks is that he's no longer setting anyone else up either.