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Yahoo Sports NHL DFS Primer: Single-game contests, Yahoo Cup and more

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The days are getting shorter, the weather's getting a little cooler, and the NHL regular season is about to begin.

With hockey returning, now's the best time to learn about all the ways you can get in on the action with Yahoo's NHL DFS options for the 2021-22 campaign.

Note: Paid DFS only available in eligible U.S. states

NHL Daily Fantasy

For those looking to take their love of fantasy hockey to the next level, NHL Daily Fantasy is for you!

In the classic daily fantasy game, participants create a lineup for a certain slate of games that complies with the designated salary cap. On Yahoo, the teams are made up of two goalies, two defensemen, three wingers, and two centers. Your lineup can't feature more than six players from one team and must include players from at least three different teams on the slate.

There are two different types of contests you can sign up for: Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPP) and Cash Games. In a GPP, you'll have to finish near the top of the leaderboard in order to win a prize, but the payouts are much bigger. In this style of contest, creating a unique lineup is recommended as you're typically competing against a large number of opponents and you'll want to differentiate your lineup in some way. Additionally, stacking a certain game, particularly one you suspect many others won't, is a good idea and could just get you in the green.

There are two different types of Cash Games: Double-ups and 50/50s. In a Double-Up, just less than 50 percent of the contestants will win a prize and everyone will receive the same amount — double their money. In a 50/50, half of the pool will win a prize that is just less than double the entry fee. In both types of Cash Games, your goal is to put together a roster you feel will score the most points, regardless of what you suspect a player's rostered percentage to be. The reason for this is due to the higher percentage of competitors winning money and the prize being the same for all winners. The payouts may not be as big, but you have a much better chance to win.

For skaters, the scoring settings in this contest are set up so that goals are worth 6 points, assists are worth 4 points, plus-minus is worth 2 points, shots on goal are worth 0.9 points, blocks are worth 1 point, and power-play points are worth 2 points.

Goalies earn 5 points for a win, -3 points for a goal against, 0.6 points for a save, and 5 points for a shutout.

NHL Daily Fantasy gives you the chance to set your fantasy hockey lineup the way you want on any given night.

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal during the Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates after scoring a goal during the Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Single-game DFS

If you're planning your night around watching the big hockey game, you should make things a little more intriguing by playing some single-game DFS!

After launching during the later stages of the 2020-21 NHL season, single-game DFS will be returning for the upcoming campaign. Single-game DFS contests allow fantasy managers to create a lineup composed of five players from one particular game. The lineup consists of four flex players and one superstar, and must include a minimum of one player from each team. The player in the superstar slot collects 1.5x as many points as players placed in a flex spot, and any of the slots can be filled with a C, LW, RW, D, or G. 

Like standard NHL daily fantasy, you can sign up for GPPs or Cash Games with single-game contests. The scoring settings for this type of DFS are also the exact same and are listed above.

Single-game DFS allows you to lock into one game and track all of your players as you're watching.

NHL Yahoo Cup

If free cash is your thing and you want to put your hockey knowledge to the test, may I introduce to you the NHL Yahoo Cup?

The NHL Yahoo Cup will also be returning for the 2021-22 season, and it's a free-to-enter contest that will be awarding $5,000 in total prizes.

It's a multi-round contest that has 25 total rounds. The top 665 overall entries along with the top 65 per week will receive a share of the $5,000, with the overall winner netting $500. Each weekly first-place finisher is awarded $25.

Contestants will have to set a lineup each and every Thursday — along with the NHL's season-opening two-game slate on Tuesday — and the overall winner is the person who tallies the most cumulative points. Additionally, your six lowest scores will be dropped and will not count against you.

The scoring settings for the NHL Yahoo Cup are the same as the other DFS contests and the rosters are built the same way as standard NHL daily fantasy.

It's a free contest that can earn you some cash. That sounds pretty good to me.

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