DFS 101: How To Play DraftKings AFL Contests
DFS 101: How To Play DraftKings AFL Contests

Welcome to the newest addition to the DraftKings menu, Arena Football. The AFL and DraftKings have announced a new partnership that will continue to feed football-hungry fans while the NFL is in the offseason. This marks the inaugural season that DraftKings will dabble with the extra padding, but it's non-NFL football isn't foreign to the site; CFL has been in operation for the last four years.

The plan is to have contests for all 13 weeks of the regular season as well as the playoffs. The schedule for Week 1 and beyond can be found below:

Rule Differences

There are a number of things that distinguish the AFL from the NFL. A brief overview of some of the key differences includes the following:

  • All games are played indoors and there is padding surrounding the outside of the field.
  • The field is typically the same size as an NHL hockey rink (200 feet long, 85 feet wide). End zone to end zone is only 50 yards, half the distance of an NFL field.
  • Arena football has just eight players on the field at a time for each team. Four of the offensive players must be on the line of scrimmage and one offensive lineman must deem himself the tight end for each play.
  • Punting is not allowed. Teams can go for a first down, a touchdown or a field goal.
  • Kickoffs occur from the goal line and can be played off the netting surrounding the goal posts.
  • Like college football, only one foot is required for a catch. A ball that bounces off the sideline barrier is live until it hits the playing surface.
  • One receiver may be moving forward at the time of the snap as long as he hasn't crossed the line of scrimmage.
  • A drop-kick is allowed for four points on field goals and two points after a touchdown.

These are some of the big difference to familiarize yourself with for both fantasy and viewing purposes.

Here's a taste of what's to come courtesy of Malachi Jones:

DraftKings Roster Composition

DraftKings' Week 1 AFL schedule includes a standard three-game schedule that involves all six teams playing and a showdown (Columbus vs. Albany in Week 1). In the classic format, you will be required to pick players from more than one game. In showdown, you will need to select players from both teams.

  • $50,000 lineup budget
  • 1 Captain (QB, WR, FB, TE, K)
    • Note: The captain costs 1.5x normal salary and also earns 1.5x the normal fantasy points.
  • 5 UTIL (QB, WR, FB, TE, K)

Both the Classic and the Showdown sets use the same roster settings, so, theoretically, you could choose six quarterbacks if the budget allows it.

DraftKings AFL Scoring

DrafKings users familiar with NFL and/or CFL scoring from the site will have little issue moving over to AFL, where the scoring identical. However, the roster construction is different and does not require a team defense or any particular position. 

Passing TD4
Passing Yards.04/yard
300+ Yards Passing Game3
Rushing TD6
Rushing Yards.1/yard
100+ Yards Rushing Game3
Receiving TD6
Receiving Yards.1/yard
100+ Yards Receiving Game3
Kick Return TD6
Fumble Lost-1
2Pt Conversion2
Extra Point Made1
Field Goal Made3

General AFL Roster-Building Tips and Strategies for DraftKings

  • The passing game is key in the AFL. Tommy Grady led the AFL last season with a whopping 81 touchdown passes.
  • On the topic of quarterbacks, don't expect the bonus points every week. The 50-yard field limits how many passing yards are racked up every game. While Grady led the league in passing yards last season, he only threw for 300-plus yards once in 12 regular-season games.
  • Sticking with the passing game, the top receivers in the AFL are slightly more reliable to reach the 100-yard bonus threshold. Malachi Jones, last year's league leader in receiving yards (1,156), topped 100 yards receiving in six of the team's 14 games (including playoffs) last season.
  • Evidenced by Adrian Ferns checking in as the top fullback for DraftKings' Week 1 slate at just $4,600, the running game is clearly not a major emphasis. Jeramie Richardson topped the charts in rushing last season, but it amounted to just 131 yards and eight touchdowns.
  • Some skill position players work as returners, but there were just three kick return touchdowns all of last season, so it shouldn't serve as much of a factor in determining your lineup.
  • The top kicker attempted just five field goals last season, with the majority of his scoring coming on extra-point attempts (78-for-83). As a result, all kickers are also cheap ($4,000 in Week 1) for daily purposes.

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Chris Benzine
Chris has been a RW contributor since early 2014, focused on Breaking News, MLB Daily Lineups and occasional NFL Team Previews.
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