Fantasy sports websites were estimated to be worth nearly USD 19 billion in 2019 and the market is expected to hit nearly USD 50 billion by 2027.
One of the quickest growing trends in fantasy sports is daily fantasy sports. It brings people together from all age ranges and backgrounds and covers popular sports including soccer, football, hockey, cricket, and more.
If you’re looking to get started with daily fantasy sports, here are 8 of the best sites to get you started and set up for success.
What Is Daily Fantasy Sports?
Daily fantasy sports, or “DFS”, is where you create your own fantasy team in your chosen sport but your contest takes place over the course of a day instead of a whole season.
One of the most appealing things is that it means you only need to invest any time or money once and you get any payout on the same day.
Daily fantasy sports are seen as gambling by many so it isn’t legal everywhere. But it is legal in 43 out of 50 American states and several other countries around the world, especially in Europe.
What to Look for in Good Fantasy Sports Websites
When figuring out what the best options for fantasy sports websites are, there are a few things to look out for.
The market for daily fantasy sports is dominated by DraftKings, FanDuel, and to a smaller extent Yahoo! Sports. This gives them some advantages but it doesn’t automatically make them the best ones for you.
Know the Contest Types
There are different types of contests and you want to make sure the site you’re looking at supports the one or the ones, you enjoy. Head-to-head is a direct contest with your team’s line-up against another line-up and whoever wins, receives the entire prize pool.
50/50 contests are where you compete against a larger pool of rivals. If you finish in the top half, you win a prize. If you finish in the bottom half, you get nothing.
Guaranteed Prize Pools are similar to 50/50 but the prizes are a lot more skewed towards the top few percentiles, instead of being a direct comparison of the top half and bottom half.
Know the Markets
Choose a fantasy sports site that caters to your interests. It makes sense to play fantasy sports in sports that you already have some knowledge of and that you enjoy watching.
For example, DraftKings doesn’t cover tennis, FanDuel doesn’t cover MMA and neither of them covers cricket. If you want to play daily fantasy cricket, you might need to find another option.
Especially if you enjoy larger tournaments, a bigger site with more active users will be more enjoyable. It will of course be harder to win larger tournaments and you will be coming up against experts. But you might improve more quickly from that experience.
If you prefer head-to-head matches, community size isn’t as important.
Check the Legal Side
As already mentioned daily fantasy sports are not legal everywhere. Before getting started, make sure it is legal in your area or region.
Some sites, such as DraftKings and FanDuel have website visitor tracking in place to make sure you can only access their services from somewhere where it is legal. Not all sites have this however so it’s worth checking before you start.
Likewise, make sure any site you use complies with any relevant local or national laws with regards to gambling, licensing, and sports.
Now that you know what to look out for, let’s look at some of the best sites for daily fantasy sports.
DraftKings was one of the original daily fantasy sports sites and started back in 2012. It has one of the biggest user-bases in fantasy sports.
This means it can offer bigger prize pools and more sports. It was one of the first to step outside of the major American sports leagues and start offering international leagues and e-sports.
It’s also easy-to-use and beginner-friendly. You can create your account and start playing in less than a minute.
FanDuel was the second major name in daily fantasy sports. It doesn’t have as many sports or as big a user base as DraftKings but it has other features that make it worth looking into.
It has a loyalty scheme that incentivizes you to play more regularly, which is something that DraftKings doesn’t have. It also has more options to deposit funds into your account. You can use direct bank transfer and eCheck as well as a credit or debit card.
- Yahoo! Sports
Yahoo! Sports was one of the first companies in the world to offer online fantasy sports in any form, back in 1999. It then began to offer DFS services in 2015.
Yahoo! has the advantage of already being a household name online and has the resources in place to grow quickly.
It doesn’t offer any new sports or contest types compared to other big names. However, they always have at least 1 free contest available and they are thought of as the most beginner-friendly DFS site.
- Fantasy Draft
Fantasy Draft is one of the newer entries to the DFS market but they position themselves as more favorable for players than the other bigger names.
The setup and contests are the same as with the bigger sites like DraftKings and FanDuel but with one key difference.
Unlike the bigger sites, they offer what’s called “rake free” prize pools.
This means that 100 percent of the prize pool goes to players and it makes it an appealing prospect for DFS enthusiasts.
- Monkey Knife Fight
What makes Monkey Knife Fight unique is that you don’t have to compete against other players’ lineups. You can simply place bets based on your own predictions for specific matches.
One of the main restrictions of Monkey Knife Fight is its lack of sports. Unlike some of its larger rivals, it only has the major American leagues at present.
Monkey Knife Fight doesn’t have its own app but its website is optimized for mobile browsing.
PrizePicks is new to the DFS market and takes a different model. With most DFS sites, you choose a whole line-up with a certain salary cap. With PrizePicks, you select a handful of players and predict whether they will perform higher or lower than their projected fantasy score.
It makes it unique to other DFS sites and it is finding a growing fanbase who prefer their setup to the other sites.
SuperDraft has all the same features of other DFS sites including the major American leagues and the same types of contest. What sets them apart is how they approach lineup selection. Instead of the traditional player salary and salary cap, you choose your line-up based on multipliers.
Lesser-known athletes will have a multiplier which means you can score big if they put in a good performance. Elite athletes might not have any multiplier.
This means that you have to take a completely different strategy with SuperDraft, which makes it unique to other DFS sites.
- Daily Number
Daily Number’s offering is similar to SuperDraft in that there is no salary cap and you pick your line up based on their expected performance. If your line up beats the projected score you win and if it doesn’t you lose.
It makes it easy to get started and simplifies the whole process.
If you pick a team made up of all-stars you’re more likely to win but your prize will be much smaller. So you have to find the balance between risk and reward and that means you need a different strategy to other DFS sites.
Remember to Have Fun
The most important thing with fantasy sports websites is to make sure you’re having fun. Pick a site that has all the features you’re looking for, that you find easy to use, and that you enjoy using.
Just remember to play responsibly and enjoy it for what it is. To learn more about both fantasy and in-person sports, keep reading the rest of our blog.