You don’t have to be drafted in the NFL to make money on football — all you have to do is play fantasy football. This game is played by nearly 60 million people in the U.S. and Canada1, making it a whopping $7 billion industry.2 You can take advantage of this virtual league and potentially make money in the process. Some people have made as much as six figures by taking part. To get involved, start an online search and start managing your dream rosters.

Fantasy football is a fun and competitive hobby to pick up. And there are different avenues you can find online that can turn it from just a hobby, into a potentially lucrative income.

Here’s how you can make residual income from playing fantasy football.

What Is Fantasy Football?

Fantasy football is exactly how it sounds. It gives you the opportunity to be the owner of your own football team. As the owner of your fantasy team, you will scout talent, draft players, and compete against other fantasy owners. Use your knowledge of football and budding management skills to design your dream team and win the championship.

There are public, private, and invite-only leagues to sign up for. You have to prepare for Draft Day by scouting for players and ranking your preferences. To gain points, your player’s real-time statistics are converted into fantasy points every week.3 The goal is to win the most points each week and make it to the playoffs.

As a manager, it’s your job to figure out a game plan that will earn points. You do this by dropping underperforming athletes, replacing them with free agents, and making trade offers with other players in the league.

Some fantasy football leagues are just for fun and don’t involve any money. However, there are ones you can sign up for that have fees, which vary from league to league and give you the chance to make money. For example, OppLoans reports the average amount spent on a league’s draft party was $131 with buy-in costs averaging $50.4

How Fantasy Football Can Make You Money

Despite how entertaining it is, fantasy football is not all fun and games. Participants can join leagues and potentially win lots of money. Most leagues will have first, second, and third place prizes with a median price of $350, but that’s modest compared to what some dedicated players win.

Someone from Fort Worth, Texas made $95,000 in just 12 months while playing fantasy sports.5 He paid a $300 deposit to play on a daily fantasy website and spends 40 hours per week researching and playing. How does he do it?

This player uses Draftstreet, a website that hosts dozens of daily leagues with various buy-ins ranging from two to a few hundred dollars. His dedication to the games has allowed him to take money out of his Draftstreet account weekly as an alternate income. Plus, considering fantasy sports are a game of skill, it’s completely legal.

Aside from regular fantasy football, there are other types of games to play. Cash games, also known as 50/50 plays, consist of 100 entrants and can be played every day. Winnings are split evenly between the best 50 gamblers in the pool. This means whether you come in first or 49th place, you’ll walk away with cash.6

There’s also winner-takes-all games that are harder to win, but where players can walk away with millions. To get these games, you’ll have to work your way up to be successful in bigger tournaments, especially since many players have extensive experience and practiced their skills over time.

Start Playing Fantasy Football Online

Turning fantasy football into a second income takes a lot of focus, skill, and dedication.7 The best players don’t rely on chance or pure instincts. They research, implement math formulas to justify their odds, and use predictive models, line-up optimizers, and other tools to become a winner.

You should also be someone that genuinely enjoys watching the sport, rather than a casual fan who only follows their favorite teams. Consider looking into other types of games if you can’t commit to playing a full season. For example, FanDuel features thousands of leagues with daily contests and instant payouts.

Before joining a league, make sure to know about any fees you’ll have to pay. Take the time before draft day to carefully choose your players and back-ups. That way, you’ll be ready to put together a decent team and increase your chances of success.

Search online to find leagues to join. If you’re just starting out, consider joining a free league that’s just for fun. You’ll be able to learn the ropes and get a grasp on how things work before getting your money involved.