August 28, 2022 - 17 min read
DraftKings launched a new NFT-driven fantasy football contest platform called Reignmakers, and Gary V's VeeFriends is hosting a competition with top prizes that include a VeeFriend Series 1. In this article, I'm going to break down the DraftKings Reignmakers x VeeFriends 4-week fantasy football contest and outline the rules, scoring system, prizes, and strategies to give you the best possible chance of winning.
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I LOVE fantasy football and am so excited to break down a new version of fantasy football by DraftKings that combines some of my favorite things: NFTs, VeeFriends, and NFL Football.
DraftKings Reignmakers gives you the opportunity to participate in fantasy football contests for free with some pretty serious prizes, including a Series 1 VeeFriend G.O.O. (Gary V originally owned) to the first-place winner of the VeeFriends x Reignmakers
I’ve gone deep on the platform and have used it myself to build my line-up and create my strategy. DraftKings was very smart about a few things here that will make it fair for everyone, including you, to have a shot at winning cash prizes and VeeFriends-related prizes.
In this article, I am going to break down:
(1) How to get started with DraftKings Reignmakers
(2) The rules of the DraftKings x VeeFriends Reignmakers competition (this is so important and I think a lot of people don’t know the details, so do not buy any Reignmakers cards until you read this!)
(3) The prize structure of the VeeFriends x Reignmakers Fantasy Football Contest
(4) The scoring structure for the VeeFriends x Reignmakers Fantasy Football Contest (it’s hard to see in the DraftKings UI, so I broke it out in this section)
(5) Strategies to win the VeeFriends x Reignmakers Fantasy Football contest
(6) Bonus arbitrage strategy because you can buy and sell your player cards
Before we dive in, this is one of the most fascinating utility cases for NFTs that I’ve seen so far.
Very few NFT projects have figured out utility to incentivize and create a sustained economy, but the ability to enter hundreds of contests with millions of dollars in prizes in a popular medium like fantasy football, is the reason why Reignmakers is doing more sales volume than the top NFT projects on OpenSea and I expect it to sustain the volume throughout the season.
Before I begin, just a reminder that you can use this link to sign-up for DraftKings Reignmakers, you will get $20 to use in the DraftKings marketplace, which is enough to start buying Core cards to participate in the VeeFriends x Reignmakers fantasy competition.
1 — Go to DraftKings.com and create an account — if you use this link, you will get $20 DraftKings dollars for free when you make a deposit — that $20 will allow you to buy player cards (many of the top players in the Core variation, which is what is needed for the VeeFriends competition, are under $20)
3 — Purchase a $9.99 super-star pack (you can only buy 1 of these) which will guarantee you 1 Core SuperStar from the pack (for example, I pulled a Justin Herbert) that you can use in your line-ups (the SuperStar designation will become very important in your strategy later on)
Once you open your packs, you can continue to open more packs or buy player cards directly from the marketplace.
These 3 steps will get you started and ready to participate in the contests for week 1.
This is the most important section to read to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made. The rules were tough to find, so I’ve summarized everything below.
Pay attention, because my bet is most people won’t dig deep enough into this and will find themselves scrambling on game day.
Below are the 3 key rules to pay attention to with the VeeFriends x Reignmakers fantasy football competition:
(1) This is a Core Contest — when shopping in the marketplace, you might see that some cards of the same player are significantly more expensive than others. Core cards can be found for under $20, under $10, etc. so make sure to use this link to sign-up for DraftKings to get a free $20 to spend on player cards.
There are other fantasy contests with rare cards that have higher payouts, but fortunately, the Core cards are very affordable.
Here’s a note verbatim from the DraftKings website about Core Contests — “Core level contests — can include NFTs from any rarity level”
You can use rarer cards if you have them but any core card is eligible.
(2) You can only use players from the 13 eligible games on Sunday in the VeeFriends x Reignmakers contest for week 1 (listed below)
I did not realize that the contest did not include Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, and Monday Night Football.
The beauty of the player cards being NFTs meant that I sold my player cards for the players who were not playing on the Sunday 1 pm and 4:25 pm slots but don’t make the same mistake I did: make sure you have players on your roster from these games:
NO @ ATL — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
IND @ HOU — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
JAX @ WAS — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
PHI @ DET — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
NE @ MIA — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
SF @ CHI — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
CLE @ CAR — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
BAL @ NYJ — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
PIT @ CIN — September 11 at 01:00 PM EDT
GB @ MIN — September 11 at 04:25 PM EDT
LV @ LAC — September 11 at 04:25 PM EDT
NYG @ TEN — September 11 at 04:25 PM EDT
KC @ ARI — September 11 at 04:25 PM EDT
(3) You can only have 1 SuperStar in your line-up
This is probably the sneakiest requirement that evens out the playing field for everyone. Before I read the rules, I purchased cards of the top players — Cooper Kupp (who isn’t even eligible because the Rams don’t play in the designated slots for this competition), Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Justin Jefferson, Josh Allen.
Then I noticed that they all had the DraftKings SuperStar designation, so I sold most of them off.
Skill (and of course, luck) is tracking down top players not designated as SuperStars and making sure you have them ready for your line-up.
Below is an excerpt from the DraftKings website that highlights rules around using Superstars:
“A select group of football players will be designated as “SuperStars.” SuperStars are designated by an icon next to each such player’s name, and such designations may be updated from time to time. Participants may select a maximum of one (1) SuperStar NFT for each lineup.”
I think a lot of people will miss this and not realize there will be a lot of value and opportunities to win by finding non-SuperStar designated players that you think could have bing games for that week.
The designations may “be updated from time to time” — it will be interesting to see if this goes both ways (players getting downgraded while others get upgraded). This is a brilliant play from DraftKings because it helps prevent people who buy the best players and really gives you a chance to win with strategy.
The line-up requirements for the VeeFriends x Reignmakers Fantasy Football competition are as follows:
(1) Running back
(1) Wide Receiver
(1) Wide Receiver / Tight End
(1) Flex Position
The 5 players must come from at least 2 different teams and you cannot use a Quarterback for the flex position.
You can, however, use Defense and Special teams in the Flex position.
Defense is not done by the team, but rather by the player, so it’s highly unlikely you would use defense in the Flex spot.
I’d have to think the safest flex is a running back or wide receiver for most of you, but you may work in a second tight end or take a gamble on a kicker having a big week.
The payout structure here is a little confusing, so I am interpreting what I’m reading and will correct it if I am wrong.
As I understand it, the top 1,000 finishers each week earn a VeeFriends finalist ticket, which is a chance to participate and win the big prizes in week 4 (VeeFriends Series 1, Series 2 NFTs).
The way I read it, if you finish in the top 1,000 in any of the first 3 weeks, you get a chance to compete in the Week 4 “championship”.
Each week, the top 1,000 finishers also win a prize, ranging from a free Core Plus Pack, Rare Plus Pack, Elite Plus Pack, and cash prizes.
You can always sell your packs or the players in those packs that you win as well.
Another big bonus: You can use your Core cards to enter other competitions (for free).
You can head to the lobby and filter by Core competitions:
Make sure to check that you are looking at the right game set — each competition is based on certain slots of games, and has the right Core Variation (there are a few like Field Pass).
If you are going to spend money assembling cards to compete in the VeeFriends x Reignmakers competition, your best bet is to enter every single competition your cards are eligible for, because you increase your chances of winning more prizes.
Below I have highlighted the Offense and Kicker scoring breakdown (there’s defensive scoring but it is by player, not team, so there’s not a scenario where you would want to use those players in this specific competition):
Fantasy Points Scoring System — VeeFriends x Reignmakers — OFFENSE:
Passing Touchdown (“TD”) = +4 Points
25 Passing Yards = +1 Point (+0.04 points/Yard)
300+ Yard Passing Game =+3 points
Interception = -1 point
Rushing TD = +6 points
10 rushing yards =+1 point (+0.1 points/yard)
100+ yard rushing game = +3 points
Receiving TD = +6 points
10 Receiving Yards = +1 point (+0.1 points/Yard)
100+ receiving yard game = +3 points
Reception = +1 point
Punt/Kickoff/Field Goal (“FG”) return for TD = +6 points
Fumble Lost = -1 point
2 point Conversion (pass, run, or catch) = +2 points
Offensive Fumble Recovery TD = +6 points
Extra Point = +1 point
0–39 yard FG = +3 points
40–49 yard FG = +4 points
50+ yard FG = +5 points
Note, that scoring is done in a PPR format. That stands for Points per Reception.
For example, if you have a Wide Receiver who is targeted a lot, and catches 12 passes, that receiver gets 12 points, even if he gained 0 yards on those plays!
Another receiver may get 1 reception for a 5-yard touchdown, and that would be worth 7.5 points versus the 12 points from 12 receptions.
That will impact your strategy for the players you select for your line-up. You want to find players who will get a lot of targets and running backs who are also pass-catchers.
I would imagine there will be a lot of entries for Week 1 VeeFriends x Reignmakers fantasy football, and winning the top prize is low odds and requires luck.
However, you can give yourself an edge through some education, especially in this new dynamic that allows you to purchase cards of the players you want in your line-up versus drafting and trading.
DraftKings was smart to limit SuperStar use to 1 per line-up and will create opportunities if you know how to find the right second-tier players.
I have been playing fantasy football since the 8th grade (before they had live scoring!) and since that time, I’ve won a few league championships and am comfortable with the dynamics of the game.
I am no expert, but these tips are a pretty generally accepted framework to think about your line-up:
(1) QBs are often overvalued (especially in a one Quarterback league like this one) — the 10th ranked Quarterback in terms of fantasy performance in 2021, scored only 2.5 points less than the number 1 Quarterback overall:
This becomes very important considering a lot of Quarterbacks are marked Superstar by DraftKings.
I will consider match-ups, but I do not plan on using any of the top 8 Quarterbacks. I have Jalen Hurts, Trey Lance, and may even grab a Kyler Murray to give my choices and play match-ups and use my SuperStar card for a different position.
There are plenty of choices to grab Quarterbacks who will likely score 19–20 points without using your SuperStar slots and your opportunity cost would only be about 3 points.
It can vary significantly week by week, but try to play match-up and use a non-SuperStar QB.
I’m more focused on using my SuperStar players for either the RB / WR slots given the performance difference between top players and the rest of the pack.
The #1 fantasy running back in 2021 overall averaged ~8 points more than the 10th overall running back in PPR formats:
The tough part about running backs is that every year someone new is the top fantasy leader. In the past 10 years, 10 different running backs have led the league in PPR scoring.
My strategy was to get cards of top guys like Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry, but also of a few guys who could emerge as the number 1 running back.
But the bottom line is that there is more disparity between the top backs and the bottom backs, so I’d rather play my Superstar card on this position than Quarterback, especially against teams with weaker run defenses.
Next up, let’s look at wide receivers in PPR format, which shows even more disparity between the top players:
Cooper Kupp had a historic season last year, so his 25.9 points per game may not be seen in the 2022/23 season.
While his average was more than 10.5 points higher than the 10th receiver on this list, the number 2 and number 3 receivers also scored ~6 points more per week than the 10th player on this list.
Wide Receiver is another position I’d consider using a SuperStar player card. If you had done that with Kupp last year, you would have gotten the highest performing positional skill player.
I still have a Ja’Marr Chase card and will compare match-ups for running backs / wide receivers to determine where I’ll use my SuperStar spot.
Finally, let’s take a look at tight ends:
Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews are not SuperStar cards at the moment, so I bought cards of them both.
Tight-ends can be very match-up dependent, especially against teams with poor linebackers (linebackers are often asked to cover tight ends) so I more than likely will scoop up the top tight end each week based on their match-up.
Mark Andrews, the top tight end, scored 7 more fantasy points per week than the 10th ranked tight-end (by averages, not totals) but there is an added decision point:
Do you use that slot for Wide Receiver or Tight End?
Mark Andrews would rank 6th overall in average points for Wide Receivers, and given that a lot of receivers have the Superstar ranking, I think it’s a good bet to play the top tight-end each week.
Tight ends tend to be more consistent — E.g. Travis Kelce was the top-performing tight-end in 2019 and 2020 and was second in 2021, but week-to-week match-ups will likely yield different results.
There are surprises every season with players and this is a 4-week competition.
The top players in fantasy leagues are consistent over 18 weeks, but there are a lot of boom/bust type players who are more valuable in this type of league.
For example, in 2021 Week 1, Amari Cooper scored the most fantasy points (PPR scoring) out of any player with 38.9 points. Cooper is a talented receiver but ultimately finished the 27th WR from weeks 1–18.
Cooper’s 38.9 points was 9 points higher than the 10th ranked scorer overall (Rob Gronkowski) and those 9 points will make a significant difference in a contest with thousands of participants. Shoot, even a 1-point difference could mean finishing hundreds of spots higher.
In week 1 of 2021, the top performing running back was Christian McCaffrey, who scored 27.7 points and was in position 13, which would almost suggest running back is not a priority in a PPR league.
There’s no formula for success, but my advice is to research match-ups and knows that having the top-ranked players at each position won’t always guarantee success.
For example, in the format of the VeeFriends x Reignmakers league, using 2021 Week 4 stats, the highest-scoring team would have consisted of this roster:
QB — Sam Darnold (who would’ve thought that!?) — 33.5 points
RB — Cordarelle Patterson — 34.6 points
WR — Tyreek Hill — 47.6 points
WR/TE — Deebo Samuel (SuperStar) — 35.7 points
Flex — DJ Moore — 31.9 points
Total Points: 183.3 points
And for the fun of it, in the format of the VeeFriends x Reignmakers league, let’s look at 2021 Week 1 stats, to find the highest-scoring team:
QB — Kyler Murray — 34.6 points
RB — Christian McCaffrey (SuperStar) — 27.7 points
WR — Amari Cooper— 38.9 points
WR/TE — Adam Thielen — 30.2 points — Deebo Samuel had more points, but because he’s a SuperStar designation, we had to go with Christian McCaffrey
Flex — Rob Gronkowski — 29 points
Total Points: 160.4 points
Again, there are 2 players in here that are massive gambles — Rob Gronkowski and Adam Thielen.
Cooper (now on the Browns) was the Cowboys WR 1, so I could’ve seen him be a great non-SuperStar starter, but I think very few people would have played Gronk and Thielen.
Working in 1–2 players with up-side, who not many other people might start, is a good way to play for a chance to finish at the top of the pack.
Yes, it’s a lot of work and luck, but that’s the fun of it and why I think this competition will be such a big draw to the DraftKings Reignmakers Fantasy Football competitions.
I’ll leave you with one final thought: the popularity of these games should continue to grow, and the supply of player cards is limited.
Because of this, I purchased 10 Trey Lance core cards at around $7.50 per card.
His core cards are now between $15 and $19 and I could sell my 9 extras for around $67.50 in profit after fees right now.
Lance is a Quarterback stepping into a good team (rare that it happens) and has mobility, so I think he could be an underrated player.
If he pops week 1, demand for that card may go up, and I could make money by selling off my extras.
I actually made some money by selling some of my SuperStar cards after realizing I could only play 1 per game because of limited listings.
There are a lot of competitions, and I think DraftKings will highlight winners on social media, generating more attention (I still think a lot of people haven’t yet started buying cards).
The other thing to note is that DraftKings takes 10% royalties on the sale of your cards. I didn’t love this at first but then realized that continued monetization of sales on the platform would provide revenue to then be partially redistributed through prize money.
That means more chances to win, more demand for the cards, and more than likely a win-win once football season rolls around.
It’s just like sports cards — people forget about players in the off-season and values go down, but once a player has a big game, demand spikes for that player (usually).
For now, I’ve only done this with Trey Lance, but I will look for arbitrage opportunities throughout the season.
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Sep 29, 2022
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