While Fantasy Sports have been around for decades, Daily Fantasy Sports are relatively new in comparison. Daily Fantasy Sports can be traced back to 2007 with the launch of Fantasy Sports Live and with NBC’s SnapDraft the following year.
Shortly thereafter, we saw the launch of FanDuel in 2009. Today, FanDuel is touted as the largest DFS platform in the industry. We also saw the second-biggest DFS company come to fruition in 2012 in DraftKings.
Despite the early origins of FanDuel and DraftKings, the DFS industry didn’t begin to pick up speed and fully emerge until 2014. That was the year FanDuel partnered with Major League Baseball, further cementing DFS into the mainstream of the fantasy sports and gaming industry.
Today, FanDuel and DraftKings are partnered with numerous professional sports entities, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and more.
The DFS industry doesn’t stop at DraftKings and FanDuel, however. Due to the growing popularity of Daily Fantasy Sports, a slew of new platforms with new DFS concepts are right at our fingertips in the current market.
What is Daily Fantasy Sports?
DFS is a daily-formatted concept of fantasy sports. Instead of drafting a team and being married to it for an entire season, you draft your team once per contest.
In other words, if you draft a team and it is a dud and/or injury-stricken, you can try again the next day or later in the same day or night, depending on the sport you are playing and the schedule on a given day. As you can see, this is quite different from traditional fantasy sports.
Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites
FanDuel was founded in 2009 and rapidly emerged as the top DFS site in the industry. One of the master providers of salary cap DFS, FanDuel now offers a slew of different contests to satisfy all players.
In addition to the variety of game types and sports markets offered, FanDuel also has the best customer service and the most banking options of all its competitors.
FanDuel DFS is available in 44 states, excluding Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington.
You don’t think of FanDuel without also thinking of DraftKings, the second-largest DFS provider in the industry. Founded in 2012, DraftKings made its rise along with FanDuel to the top of the Daily Fantasy Sports food chain.
Because of their size and notoriety, you will also find enough banking options, game types and sports markets offered to suit the needs of every player.
Similar to FanDuel, DraftKings also features contests for only beginners to help level the playing field. They also have a recently new pool option that offers free pick’em contests that will pay out real money.
DraftKings DFS is available in 44 states, excluding Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington.
Contrary to its competitors, PrizePicks is the newest and latest way to play DFS. While regular DFS sites feature lineup building and salary caps, PrizePicks is one of the best Pick ‘em-centric DFS sites in the industry.
Although PrizePicks is fairly new to the game, the company was founded as Performance Predictions in 2015 by Adam Wexler.
PrizePicks offers Over/Under Pick’em contests in which you play against the house rather than other players. These predictions are predicated on stats or fantasy totals. To win, you must get as many predictions right as possible. The more you get right, the more you win in a multiplier fashion.
PrizePicks DFS is currently available in more than half of the United States, including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas, to name a few.
Monkey Knife Fight DFS
Founded in 2017, Monkey Knife Fight, a subsidiary of FantasyDraft, is another Pick’em style DFS platform. Similar to PrizePicks, MKF is played against the house and in multiplier fashion. You can win up to 100x your buy-in depending on the contest chosen
While Monkey Knife Fight resembles sports betting — notably player props — it is considered a DFS platform and is available in states in which Daily Fantasy Sports is legalized.
Contests are simple to understand for the new user. Whether you choose to play in standard Over/Under Pick’ems, Rapid Fire, or Stat Shootouts contests, you will find what you are looking for at MKF if you are into player props.
Underdog Fantasy was founded in 2020 in Brooklyn, New York by a slew of notable investors that include Mark Cuban, Kevin Durant, and Future. While other platforms offer Best Ball style DFS contests, Best Ball is UnderDog’s bread and butter.
In addition to season-long Best Ball, Underdog also features daily snake drafts and their own version of Pick’em contests, similar to the ones you will find at Monkey Knife Fight and PrizePicks.
Though Underdog is still new to the industry, it is rapidly growing. It won’t be long until they are mentioned in the same breath as FanDuel and DraftKings on account of the unique game types offered on the platform.
Underdog Fantasy is currently legal in all states except for Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Nevada, Louisiana, and Washington.
StatHero offers an extremely unique way to play Daily Fantasy Sports. This is another platform in which you play against the house over other users; however, you will still build a lineup with a salary cap, and like single-game slates on FanDuel or Draftkings, you will choose one player to be your MVP and get 1.5x points.
Additionally, you will put your lineup against one of StatHero’s lineups which they will show you beforehand. If you win, you double your stake.
StatHero also features Team and Player Survivor mode contests. In Survivor contests, you will again build a lineup while staying under the set cap. And while you will still pit your lineup against a disclosed StatHero lineup, the player pool is greater.
If you end up defeating the StatHero lineup in a given round, you will advance to the next. In the second round, however, you will pick a new lineup. The catch? You can’t pick any of the players you used in the first one.
The aforementioned process will continue until you are knocked out of the contest or end up winning the entire Survivor Pool. In Survivors, the payout pool is much greater.
StatHero is available in 34 states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Texas, to name a few.
SuperDraft is another lineup-building DFS platform. However, they eliminate the use of a salary cap. Rather than a cap number, players are slated with a multiplier total.
The better the player, the lower the multiplier. At SuperDraft, lineup construction is just as important as it is on FanDuel or Draftkings, only with their unique multiplier twist.
If you are sick of your traditional salary cap DFS sites but still have an interest in lineup building, SuperDraft will be right up your alley.
SuperDraft is available in 34 U.S. states and Canada.
Drafters put its own spin on Daily Fantasy Sports. The platform was one of the first to feature daily or weekly snake drafts rather than salary cap lineup building. Because it is so similar to your season-long leagues, there is an easier shot at cashing.
In the wake of the rapid popularity of Best Ball, Drafters now offers season-long Best Ball drafts and contests to pair with their normal daily and weekly snakes.
Drafters Fantasy is one of the smaller fishes in a large pond of DFS sites, but it’s certainly worth trying, especially if you have some skill and an edge on the novice player.
Drafters is available in 36 states, excluding Arizona, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, to name a few.
How to Choose the Best DFS Site
Due to the popularity of Daily Fantasy Sports, there is an abundant amount of DFS platforms to choose from. It is no longer only FanDuel and DraftKings.
In the current market, there are over 10 DFS apps to choose from. While some are similar, most have a variance in game types, sign-up bonuses, and sports markets offered.
When choosing the right DFS platform to sign up for, you must find the one (or more) that works best for you.
If you are more interested in salary cap games, you might want to target what FanDuel and DraftKings have to offer. However, if you have a bigger interest in Best Ball and Snake Drafts, then Underdog or Drafters might be right for you.
You can also be a Player Props/Pick’em style of player, which would in turn make you want to try out Monkey Knife Fight, Underdog, or Prize Picks.
Who knows, you might be like me and like to play in a multitude of different contests on different sites. Then, it would be in your best interest to join a few different DFS platforms as you would join multiple sportsbooks to take advantage of what each one has to offer.
If you go this route, you will also want to take advantage of all the free money via sign-up bonuses, which DFS sites are currently offering their new users.
In the end, you want to be sure you are making the right choice for you and target the DFS sites that you will get the most out of. There isn’t one right way to do it.
How to Play Daily Fantasy Sports
- Go to the lobby of the DFS App that you choose to play.
- Then, choose the sport you want to play.
- Next, select the contest and type of contest (cash, GPP, Pick’em, etc).
- Now, you will draft your team, but make sure you stay at or under the salary cap.
- Remember, everyone can have the same players from the player pool unless otherwise noted (Best Ball). Keep ownership percentage in mind.
- In order to win, you must score more points than your opponents.
- If you place in a position to win a prize, you will be paid a percentage of the total pot.
Available Sports on DFS Sites
All DFS sites are not created equal. Some platforms feature more sports markets than others. Below are all that’s available in the overall market:
- Soccer (EPL)
- Golf (PGA)
- Rugby (Aussie Rules)
DFS Game Types
The following are the types of DFS contests you will find through all the platforms. However, not all platforms feature the same types of games or contests.
- Tournaments (GPPs): A large tournament with a massive prize pool that is guaranteed.
- Beginners Only: Players with experience are not allowed in this contest.
- Beat the Score: Tournaments in which the prize pools are shared between the winners. To win, FanDuel presets a score to beat.
- Friends Mode: A private league to create and play with your friends.
- Multipliers: Depending on the type of multiplier you join, the winners can double, triple or quadruple their money.
- Head-to-Head: Play against one person.
- 3-100 Players Mode: Play in a tournament format but in a smaller capacity compared to GPPs.
- 50/50: You must finish in the top half of the player pool to win.
- Satellites and Qualifiers: Play in this game type to win tickets to a larger contest.
- Single Game: This is a salary cap-style contest for one game off the slate.
- Daily Snake: This is a live draft that is performed with your opponents. No one can have the same player on their team.
- Best Ball: Live draft with your opponents. No one can have the same players. Once your draft is complete, the computer will set your weekly lineup with the highest-scoring players. This is season long with no trades or other roster management.
- Salary Cap: Some DFS contests require you to build a lineup under a set salary cap. These are similar to auction leagues in redraft or Dynasty.
- Pick’em: Pick’em contests are similar to head-to-head player prop games.
- Over/Under Pick’em Prop Contests: You will pick Over or Under a set player total for a statistical category. Similar to a Player Prop wager at a sportsbook.
- Pick’em Player vs Player Contests: You will choose which player will have a better statistical output. In addition to normal statistical categories, you may also have a choice of if a player will have more fantasy points than the other. Sometimes, these contests will have a player handicap — think Point Spread — on one side.
How to Sign Up to a DFS Site
Before you sign up for a DFS platform, be sure to take advantage of a new user sign-up bonus. There are two ways to do so:
- On this page, you can click on the “Get Bonus” button and it will redirect you to the DFS site of your choosing. The button is also the first step to unlock your bonus.
- You can also go to the DFS site or App of your choice with a promo code to unlock your new-user sign-up bonus.
Now that the sign-up bonus is squared away, here is how you register:
- If you want to use the mobile app, you must visit the app store that corresponds with your chosen device. Then, you will search for the DFS site you want to sign up for and hit the download button.
- On the first page of the sign-up screen, you will normally be asked for a username, email, password, DOB, and promo code.
- Once you complete that sign-up form and agree to the terms of service, you’re in and ready to play once you make your first-time deposit.
- Next, you must make your initial deposit to unlock your sign-up bonus and away you go.
Payment Options for DFS Players
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- Gift Card (at select platforms)
- Pay Pal
- Online Banking
- Wire Transfer
- Apple Pay
- Credit Card
- Debit Card
- Online Banking
Where Can I Play Daily Fantasy Sports?
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia