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3 Best Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Sites in 2020 – Player’s Guide

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is a quick, easy way for anyone to jump into the world of fantasy. But with so many options to choose from, you need to make sure you’re choosing the best one. Otherwise, you’ll be throwing your money away against the sharks – and who wants that?

Instead of scouring the internet for hours yourself, we did the hard work for you and took a look at some of the best DFS sites to help you decide where to start your fantasy journey.

Let’s get started!

DFS SITE

FEATURES

OUR #1 RATED

DRAFTKINGS

  • Gigantic user base allows for massive guaranteed prize pools
  • Wide variety of sports leagues to choose from
  • Easy to get started
  • Unique tournaments keep play fresh and exciting

OUR #2 RATED

FANDUEL

  • Awesome loyalty program that gives you a reason to keep playing
  • Lots of unique tournament formats
  • Immediate new user deposit bonus
  • Smaller user base makes it easier to win large tournaments

OUR #3 RATED

FANTASY DRAFT

  • Rake free games means players keep 100% of their winnings
  • Level playing field makes it a good option for all skill levels
  • Larger payout zone than the larger sites
  • Referral program

Best DFS Sites - The Roundup

Alright, first thing’s first. There’s dozens of different DFS options you can play around the internet. Some of these, frankly, just don’t stack up. Through careful review and vetting, we came up with the top three best DFS sites for you to check out before you make that first deposit. 

#1: DraftKings

The undisputed king (no pun intended) in the DFS realm, DraftKings has been around since 2012. They were one of the pioneers in DFS, and remain one of the best DFS sites for fantasy players today

DraftKings has seen some incredible growth in the 7+ years since their inception. The site now boasts an impressive user base of 8 million players, and offers innovative and exciting new tournaments for users to sink their teeth into. 

Because the user base is so big, DraftKings is able to offer a huge variety of different tournaments in nearly every sport on the planet. Not to mention the fact that these tournaments are home to some of the largest guaranteed prize pools in the industry.

Speaking of every sport on the planet, DraftKings takes their fantasy offerings to the next level with international leagues and e-sports, in addition to all of the major North American leagues. There’s truly something for everyone.

If there was an area DraftKings lacked, it might be their cashier. Deposit options are fairly limited, and if you don’t have a credit/debit card or a PayPal account, you’re going to be out of luck.

PROS

  • Gigantic user base allows for massive guaranteed prize pools
  • Wide variety of sports leagues to choose from
  • Easy to get started
  • Unique tournaments keep play fresh and exciting

CONS

  • Tough to play against experts
  • Huge user base makes it especially difficult to win big tournaments
  • Confusing loyalty program
  • Limited deposit options compared to other sites

Despite this, it’s pretty easy to get yourself up and running. And with two remarkable mobile apps for players to take advantage of, it’s easy to keep up on the action and tailor your lineup to become a winner. 

#2: FanDuel

Despite being the number two company currently, FanDuel was the first DFS platform to plant their flag. They are true pioneers in the industry, and their staying power is a testament to how well the site runs and rewards players. 

The FanDuel loyalty program rewards players based on how much and how often they’ve played. Obviously, the more you spend, the better your rewards are going to be.

The rewards system is tiered, and there’s some juicy perks at every level including the first. You’ll get a monthly freeroll entry at every single level, all the way up to the GOAT level which offers players a massive $25,000 freeroll tournament.[1]

FanDuel also gives players some of the most extensive deposit options in the industry. In addition to accepting most major credit/debit cards, you can also deposit through PayPal, eCheck, and online bank transfer. This made it especially easy to immediately get into it and set my first lineup.

PROS

  • Awesome loyalty program that gives you a reason to keep playing
  • Lots of unique tournament formats
  • Immediate new user deposit bonus
  • Smaller user base makes it easier to win large tournaments

CONS

  • Smaller user base means smaller guaranteed prize pools
  • Not as many leagues offered as DraftKings
  • DFS interface isn’t as clean as the sportsbook side

One thing I especially enjoy about FanDuel is the unique tournaments they continue to create for their players. In the past, we’ve seen single entry tournaments for fantasy baseball, and this season they’ve introduced FanDuel Mini – a five player lineup with or without a salary cap – giving players a quick way to jump into the action.

#3: Fantasy Draft

The firm number three among the best DFS sites, Fantasy Draft is also the newest, starting operations in 2014. Fantasy Draft advertises themselves as “Players First” and they do a good job backing that credo up. 

The most important thing to get to in regards to Fantasy Draft? Rake free daily fantasy.

That’s right, rake free tournaments mean 100% of the prize pool goes to the winners. This is a huge distinction from the two larger sites, and definitely makes Fantasy Draft a bit more player friendly.

Unlike DraftKings and FanDuel, Fantasy Draft operates the site through a membership model, which is largely what allows them to run tournaments rake free.

Each level of membership gives players a certain level of rake free buy-ins per month. You could choose to not pay a dime, in which case you’d get up to $100 in tournament buy-ins per month. From there, membership tiers start at $5.99 per month, and go as high as $999.99 per month for high-volume players.

The nice thing is that players can upgrade or downgrade their memberships each month based on how much they play. You’re never locked into a level permanently, and you can cancel at any time.

No matter what you go with, compared to rake sites, you’ll be saving a bunch of money in the long run.

PROS

  • Rake free games means players keep 100% of their winnings
  • Level playing field makes it a good option for all skill levels
  • Larger payout zone than the larger sites
  • Referral program

CONS

  • Only seven sports leagues to choose from as of now
  • Limited deposit options
  • Much smaller user base means less tournament options

The site also does a fantastic job at keeping a level playing field compared to their two competitors. The number of lineups a player can enter are capped, and Fantasy Draft pays out a minimum of 25% of players in paid contests. [2]

Read our article on best fantasy football advice sites. 

How to Choose the Best DFS Sites

Now that you’ve got a good idea of what all three major sites have to offer, it’s time to figure out how to decide which one is the best option for you to make your first deposit on.  

Obviously all three have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses, and the best DFS site for you will depend on what type of player you are. 

So – what do you need to consider before you plunk down your hard-earned money and set your first lineup?

#1 Deposit and Withdrawal Options

While all three sites offer many of the same options, some of them go above and beyond to make it easy for just about any kind of player to get their money on the site. 

All three of these sites accept most major credit and debit cards, including:

  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • Visa

Only DraftKings gives you the option to use American Express.

In addition to the major cards above, all three sites will let you deposit and withdraw through PayPal. 

FanDuel gives players the most choices when it comes to depositing and withdrawing your funds. Besides the major credit cards and PayPal, you can also get your money onto FanDuel through any of the following deposit methods:

  • eCheck
  • Bank Transfer
  • FanDuel PrePaid Card

You can also request a withdrawal through any of the above options on FanDuel, as well as a paper check if you prefer. 

The amount of time it takes to actually get your money varies depending on the chosen method. For all three sites, PayPal withdrawals are said to take between 2-7 days, but most of the time I’ve seen my money show up within 48 hours. 

Paper check, eCheck, and bank transfers can take between 5-7 days to show up, but with the numerous different options you’ll have, there’s no reason to go this route unless you absolutely have to. 

#2 Competition Level

When I first started playing DFS, this was one of my biggest concerns. I knew I would be getting onto sites where players had been playing for years before me, and I didn’t want to just throw my money away. 

Luckily, all three sites go out of their way to make sure beginners have a place to play.

The beginner tier is the same across all of the DFS platforms. There’s a dedicated section for beginners to play against other beginners, with the requirement of having played less than 50 total contests. 

However, after you hit that 50 tournament mark, you’ll be on your own against the higher level players. 

All three sites offer different badges to players based on how many contests they’ve played and won, so while you’ll be able to identify who the individual experts are, it’s up to you to sift through them. 

Fantasy Draft levels the playing field in additional ways outside of the badge system.[3] Because they have a large payout zone of 25% in most of the contests, you have a good chance at claiming some sort of prize no matter your skill level. 

Fantasy Draft also caps the amount of lineups a player can enter into a tournament. This is a HUGE distinction between them and the other, larger sites. I know players that have had in excess of 20 different lineups for both DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you’re a newer, inexperienced player, this would put you at a tremendous disadvantage, and would force you to be much more contrarian with your lineup choices.  Because of this, Fantasy Draft is the best DFS site to use if you’re looking for an even playing field across tournaments.

#3 Guaranteed Prize Pools

It’s all about the money for most of us that play DFS, so it’s important to think about which site gives you the best chance at the biggest payout. 

Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer two of the largest single guaranteed prize pools (GPP) in the entire industry with their weekly NFL tournaments – both top payouts will net the winner at least $1 million!

FanDuel’s NFL Sunday Million costs $25 to enter, but has an insane guaranteed prize pool of $6 million. DraftKings Weekly Millionaire Maker is slightly less to enter at a $20 price point, but you’ll be competing against approximately double the amount of players. 

But, the massive $7 million prize pool is worth the gamble, and DraftKings’ top prize of $1.2 million is the biggest in the DFS industry. 

Besides the two major tournaments, all three sites offer a bunch of different guaranteed tournaments for players to take advantage of. The amount of users on all three play a role in this though. 

In theory, lesser users means you might have a better opportunity at scooping a prize, as no matter what the tournament will run since the pool is guaranteed. But, a smaller user base also means less money, which means smaller payouts. 

Because of this, DraftKings is the best DFS site to use if you’re looking to potentially win the most amount of money. 

DFS vs Traditional Season-Long Fantasy Sports

Much like traditional fantasy, DFS has you build a team or lineup from a pool of professional athletes, with their real-life performance affecting how well your team does. 

However, there are a few areas where DFS differs.

  • Player selection in DFS is typically done on a weekly or daily basis depending on the contest. Traditional fantasy sees teams drafted through an online or in-person draft. This drastically changes the way teams are constructed, as long-term sleepers don’t matter in DFS
  • DFS forces players to operate under a set salary cap, while traditional fantasy sports is played without one
  • Because of its immediate nature, strategy is different for DFS. Users are less focused on long-term output from players, and place more of an emphasis on immediate output. 

What Daily Fantasy Contests Can I Play?

All of the best DFS sites we took a look at here offer many of the same contests for players, including:

  • Standard Leagues/Tournaments – Small & large fields, public or private 
  • 50/50 – Top half of the field wins cash 
  • Head-to-HeadOne-on-one, winner takes all 
  • BeginnerPlayers with less than 50 tournaments played 
  • GuaranteedPublished payouts are paid regardless of the amount of players

Because Fantasy Draft is so new, they’re limited to the standard types of games above. However, FanDuel and DraftKings offer a bunch of additional contest offerings, including:

  • Satellites/Qualifiers – Players can win their way into bigger tournaments
  • Double Ups – A win doubles your entry fee
  • MultipliersMultiply your entry fee up to 10x 
  • Featured TournamentsPremier offerings such as the Millionaire Maker 

DraftKings and FanDuel also offer a ton of different promotional tournaments throughout the year, like single-entry tournaments, and exotic in-person tournament finals like their respective Fantasy Football World Championships. 

Read: Is Fantasy Alarm a Good DFS Research Tool?

So, Who Has the Best DFS Sites?

In our opinion, FanDuel is the best of the DFS sites. Everything FanDuel does, it does well, from their selection of daily tournaments to how easy they make it for users to just sit down and start playing.

There’s something to be said for simple, quick deposits and withdrawals, and I really like the fact that there’s a multitude of different ways for players to deposit. In my opinion, this separates FanDuel from the pack.

The FanDuel loyalty program really shines brighter than any others, and they do an excellent job in rewarding their players for consistent play.

It’s important to remember that your preferred site might come down to your personal preferences. If you’re someone that enjoys a more level playing field, you might prefer playing on Fantasy Draft. Conversely, if you want to take on the largest number of people possible, DraftKings would be ideal.

So what are you waiting for? Set those lineups and get to work!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We prefer FanDuel, but the best site for you personally is going to depend on your preferences. Newer players may prefer Fantasy Draft, for example, while more seasoned veterans may want to try for the bigger prizes DraftKings has to offer 

Yes, daily fantasy sports are legal in most states of the U.S. Much like traditional fantasy, daily fantasy sports are considered a game of skill in the eyes of the law, and not a game of chance. Because of this, unless your state explicitly prohibits it, daily fantasy sports are legal for you to play. (Note: The current U.S. states that prohibit DFS are; Montana, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii)

No, daily fantasy sports are not considered sports betting. Again, because DFS is considered a game of skill and not a game of chance, it is not considered sports betting. 

You’ll want to check the requirements for your specific area, but generally speaking, players must be 18 years of age or older to play DFS. 

Read Best Lineup Optimizers: 8 Platforms That Are Worth Your Time

Resources:

  1.  “FanDuel Points.” https://www.fanduel.com/fanduel-points. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.
  2. “About FantasyDraft.” https://www.fantasydraft.com/about. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020
  3. “About FantasyDraft.” https://www.fantasydraft.com/about. Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.
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