Best Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Sites
Since its first launch back in mid-2007, Daily Fantasy Sports has been growing in popularity immensely each year. But does it come as a surprise? Absolutely not! Venturing out from your traditional fantasy sports, the idea of not being married to a team for a whole season but once each contest seems to work better for most.
However, with all the hype that DFS has amassed recently, choosing the best site is crucial and rather difficult since you’ll be cherry-picking among the hundreds of options available on the market today. While you can certainly go for veteran and renowned platforms such as FanDuel and DraftKings, plenty of other DFS sites with unique options worth exploring have come into existence.
Whether you’re new to Daily Fantasy Sports or a veteran looking for the best DFS sites, we’ve got you covered! Read on as we explore and introduce the new and unique operators today who have emerged across the United States with their own spins on DFS. But first…
What Is DFS?
Daily fantasy sports, DFS, is an online game where the fans or players are allowed to build their dream team, a collection of real-life athletes in various sports. But unlike in traditional fantasy sports, players compete with each other in a week-long contest or a single day and not till the end of the season.
It’s basically a unique, fast-paced variation of traditional fantasy sports. Since players can create their own new rosters of athletes each round, it’s highly popular among contestants who mostly love the strategic aspect of traditional fantasy sports.
In addition, the platforms of DFS solely operate on a salary cap model. Each player is assigned a value (monetary) that is entirely based on their real-life performance. Hence, when a player is assembling their own roster, they are only allowed to stick within a salary cap. This ensures that each participant is tested on their strategic decision-making in maximizing the potential of their team.
How To Play DFS?
The only big playing difference between DFS and traditional fantasy sports is the extra layer of strategy added since, in DFS, participants are only allowed to choose a roster within a specific salary cap plus pick new ones each round. In addition, the scoring mechanics and some other minute changes may feel different, but if you’re a long-time fantasy sports fanatic, you’ll fit right in.
On the contrary, if you’re a sports enthusiast but a newbie at this “game of skills,” there are a few key steps to consider in order to enhance your experience and make better strategic decisions. Here’s how to play/get started on DFS:
Choosing The Best Daily Fantasy Sports Site
While players can participate in a number of sites simultaneously, deciding to play on some of the more popular platforms is crucial to have a more enjoyable and secure gaming experience.
The best DFS platforms usually offer great promotions, bonuses, enhanced security, and great customer support. If you want more perks, ask yourself the following questions: Does the platform have a mobile app? Is the site user-friendly? What about their reputation?
In addition, while some DFS sites offer niche-oriented sports, some cover a wide range of popular sports to choose from. It comes down to your specific needs and preferences, so choosing accordingly would greatly enhance your overall experience.
Learning The Scoring And Rules
Since strategic play is the main component in playing DFS and considering that each platform has its own rules and scoring mechanics/systems, it is crucial to understand all the details before you jump in.
For instance, the unique scoring system each platform is equipped with affects how each player’s performances are translated into fantasy points. Understanding all these details can enhance your decision-making skills when it comes to tasks such as assembling rosters or taking into account player’s strengths and the like.
Make A Deposit
Once you understand the rules and scoring, you can make your first deposit on whichever platform you pick. As we’ve mentioned, most of the best DFS sites on the market offer great promotions and bonuses that you can indulge in to enhance your experience.
Moreover, there will be a wide range of payment options that you can choose from. Depending on the amount you deposit, you can enter contests and build your prized fantasy roasters. However, always remember to abide by responsible gaming practices and only deposit what you can afford to lose.
Build Your Prized Roaster
The next step is building your own roaster for the week or the day, depending on your budget. All the players in DFS come with a price tag; the better their expected performance in real life, the higher their costs.
Understand that building your prized roaster consists more of analytical thinking and research rather than having a higher budget to spend. So before you make your roaster, the best decision would be to stay updated on player news, such as recent matchups or performances, examining their forms and the likes.
Selecting Your Prefered Contest
There are plenty of contests to participate in when you’re playing on DFS sites, but it is crucial that you select a contest that fits your preferences and your skill level to have a more rewarding and fun experience.
For instance, if you’re a beginner, pick a contest such as an H2H (head-to-head) contest for example. You’ll be battling it out with single opponents rather than a large group, which would get pretty intimidating for starters.
Additionally, most of the well-known DFS sites offer free contests that let beginners, such as yourself, participate in playing for free, helping you learn how it usually goes down.
Easily learn the ropes, and once you’ve acquired a certain level of skill and experience, you can move on to higher stake contests such as high-stakes tournaments where each participant is treated to higher risks and larger reward pools.
Track Real Time And Learn
Since the DFS sites update scores in real-time, as the match proceeds, make sure to track each player’s performance and how they are doing against other participants’ roasters in the contest.
Depending on your results, make improvements on flaws and understand what worked well.
DFS Game Types
There are two main categories for the various DFS game types you can participate in: GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) and Cash Games! Both these categories use the salary cap format.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the types of contests that fall under these two different categories:
Cash games are known for their high likelihood of consistent returns and lower volatility compared to GPPs and are considered more beginner-friendly than their counterpart. Usually, the main objective in these types of contests demands the participants to finish in the top percentage of the game to win a specific cash prize. In addition, more or less 50% of the participants receive prizes in these types of games. Hence, are widely popular among non-high-risk takers.
Some of these contests include:
- Head-to-Head (h2h) contests- Contestants go head to head against each other in a one-on-one contest, with the winner taking the entire reward.
- 50/50s (double-ups)- Known for its consistent returns, players need to finish in the top percentage to win a prize in this contest.
- 3-man Leagues- the 3-man leagues work very much similar to h2h contests but the difference is, unlike beating one single opponent, you need to beat two. They also have a higher payout.
GPP ( Guaranteed Prize Pool)
On the other hand, GPPs are known for their larger payouts, high thrills, and high strategic plays, which are often mostly popular among players who love taking calculated risks and crafting unique roasters. Generally, GPPs have a huge percentage of entries in each game but have platform-guaranteed prize money that is surely awarded to approximately 20-25% of top finishers regardless of the number of entries.
To give you an idea of the types of contests in GPP:
- Classic GPPs where a huge portion of participants battle it out for a high prize pool guaranteed by whichever platform they are playing in.
- Milly-Maker- Tournament where players stand a chance to become a millionaire with entry as low as $20.
However, if you’re a first-timer on DFS sites, you can always go for the Free contests that include freerolls, head-to-head or multi-player, pick ‘em, etc., where you can win prizes such as vouchers to enter cash contests.
This will also be a great opportunity to learn the ropes and get better before you play with real money.
DFS Payment Options
Some of the best DFS sites on the market mentioned on the list today will offer a wide range of payment options for their customers. So rest assured, you’ll be making safe and secure transactions with your financial details completely protected.
However, one thing to note is that deposits usually have more options than withdrawals.
In DFS sites, payment options for making deposits include debit and credit cards and online bank transfers. Other numerous range of options would include PayPal and alternative online wallets, such as Skrill, etc.
It is always important to check the various deposit methods offered by the DFS site of your choice.
Regarding withdrawals on DFS sites, they are rather limited compared to the options they offer during deposits. But this has usually been the case within the gaming and sports betting industry forever.
Regardless, most DFS sites do not support credit or debit cards for withdrawals, so you’ll need to have your options open on online wallets such as PayPal or online bank transfers.
In what states is it legal to play DFS?
Unlike traditional sports betting, DFS is generally legal in almost all 50 states in the US, except for Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Hawaii, where they don’t let any major DFS sites work within their borders.
The reason for the legality of DFS sites, even within states like California, Texas, and Florida, where it’s illegal to place bets on games, is because Daily Fantasy Sports is considered or classified as a game of skill rather than pure luck. What does that mean? Clearly, the outcomes of winning on DFS contests are unlike sports betting or gambling since the result is based on a player’s skill in setting up their roaster and predicting the performances of players.
However, even though it is generally legal in almost all states, there are some distinctions. For example, some states would allow sports enthusiasts to engage in DFS contests such as daily drafts and pick’em, while other states would only allow sports fans to engage in drafts.
While the legal scenery may change over time, participants should always stay informed or deeply understand the state-specific regulations to ensure a lawful gaming experience.
What Sports Does DFS Sites Work With?
As mentioned, some DFS sites could be niche-oriented, while others could have various sports options. Regardless, in recent times, there are four major sports that DFS Sites currently work with. These sports would include:
One of the most popular sports in DFS is the National Football League, where participants participate in weekly contests based on players’ performances.
Another popular sport among sports enthusiasts is the National Basketball Association. Participants are engaged in contests where they draft players, and depending on their in-game performances, they earn points.
The DFS contest of Major League Baseball involves participants drafting pitchers and hitters to their rosters for their fantasy baseball lineups, and points are awarded to participants depending on the players’ performances in real games.
Similarly, the National Hockey League lets DFS players research and determine hockey players and buy their roster to earn points based on their performances on the ice.
While these are the top-performing sports on DFS sites, players can also indulge in numerous other sports played throughout the year. Some of these sports that DFS sites provide could include:
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
- Soccer (MLS, EPL, Etc)
- GOLD (PGA)
- eSports ( Counterstrike, League of Legends, etc)
Note: Each sport’s scoring system will always differ, but the thrill and excitement stay the same.
The Most Popular DFS Sites
One of the oldest and most prominent DFS sites on our list is Draftkings. This site was launched in 2012 and clearly doesn’t need an introduction to the veteran community of Daily Fantasy Sport in recent times.
Equipped with an awesome user interface, DraftKing’s reputation precedes itself and offers some of the market’s most lucrative bonuses and guaranteed prize pools. In addition to giving both veterans and beginners a seamless experience in the platform, they provide top-notch 24/7 customer support to ensure everyone’s queries are met and issues are dealt with and offer, hands down, one of the best mobile apps for DFS in the market!
From football and baseball to eSports, such as League of Legends etc., there’s always a sport for everyone to participate in with contests in formats like GPPs, 50/50s, multipliers, h2h, and more!
But it doesn’t end there. DraftKings has a system in place that rewards regular players. Currency such as “crowns” FPP currency can be earned by any participants taking part in paid contests, completing various missions, or simply claiming daily rewards.
Furthermore, in addition to debit and credit cards, DraftKings offers a wide range of secure payment options that you can safely use to deposit and withdraw your winnings.
- Extensive range of sports
- 24/7 customer support
- Available in 44 states
- Attractive prize pools
- Comparatively higher fees
Another one of the oldest powerhouses in the DFS world that clearly had a hand in shaping DFS into what it is today is FanDuel. This DFS site was founded back in 2009 and has been crowned as the top site for Daily Fantasy Sports in the industry. It has garnered a reputation as the go-to platform for fantasy sports enthusiasts who are solely seeking competitive and thrilling experiences.
Originally, FanDuel was known for its traditional salary cap DFS and has been one of the top providers since its first launch in 2009. While the site still prioritizes it and is a staple, today, FanDuel offers an array of unique contests, including single-game DFS, in hopes of satisfying each and every player.
In addition, FanDuel offers an expansive selection of sports, covering major leagues such as basketball, football, eSports, and more. The “Industry Leaders,” as they are named, live as such, with importance given to the comfort and convenience of participants who play on their site, providing one of the best user-friendly interfaces and top-notch customer support.
FanDuel, being one of the oldest, is also known for having the most number of banking options compared to the DFS sites in the market today. So rest assured, there will always be a payment method for new players who would like to play on the site.
- Unique Drafting System
- Great Promotion And Bonuses
- Flexible Contests Options
- Great Mobile App
- Limited Sports Options
Offering one of the best user-friendly interfaces, a wide range of game types, and incredible sign-up bonuses and promotions, Underdog Fantasy is hands down a top-rated DFS site that veterans and beginners can wholesomely enjoy.
What’s unique about this DFS site is that it offers participants to play against the house, which includes winning a grandiose prize money that’s usually higher than most DFS sites. And if you choose to play against other participants, the site offers that as well. This feature is one of the major attractions of Underdog Fantasy.
Partake in contests such as higher/lower, their very own version of Pick ‘em, h2h contests, and season-long best ball (the site’s bread and butter) or single-week draft against other participants.
- Creative Variations Of Traditional Fantasy Sports
- Fantastic User Interface
- Social Experience
- Great Deposit Match
- Room For Improvement In The Features Department
Recognized for being one of the most popular platforms for season-long fantasy back then, Sleeper Fantasy made a few necessary tweaks to regain its popularity. The site introduced itself as a new DFS site with numerous games, including more traditional contests such as Pick’em.
However, their version of Pick’em allows participants to casually select the winners of every week’s games covering various sports leagues, negating the need for critical analysis or complex strategies. This makes the contest ideal for both veterans and beginner participants alike.
In addition, Sleeper Fantasy is easy to navigate with its enhanced user interface that is designed with simplicity in mind. As a result, some would even go as far as to call it one of the best user experiences in DFS sites yet.
What’s more? The Pick’em also sticks out for its social features, allowing participants to create leagues (custom) and invite their family and friends to join the fun. If you’re into an app that is solely engaged in Pick’em contests and daily drafts, Sleeper Fantasy might be your ideal choice. With over 5 years of competing in the DFS site market, We believe Sleeper Fantasy will be at the top soon.
- Excellent mobile app
- Exciting welcome bonus
- Wide range of sports
- Live chat support
- Platform UX/UI
A newer DFS site compared to the rest on the list, Parlay Play is designed for user-interface excellence. Although new, Parlay Play is known for stat picks that you play against the house.
The site also allows participants to win money in multiple ways, such as playing weekly Free2play contests where you compete with free entry. Yet, the contest’s overall winner is offered real cash prizes.
Parlay Play also offers 24/7 live chat support and a variety of sports to choose from, such as hockey, baseball, football, etc., in addition to first-half and second-half lines, which most DFS sites don’t. The platform does a great job at covering both niche and mainstream sporting events and simply has one of the best reward programs in the market!
If you’re looking for DFS site simplicity where you can engage with your favorite teams and players from your favorite sports without the hassle, in addition to winning good rewards, you might want to check Parlay Play out.
Last Updated on December 22, 2023