The DraftKings interface is as good as there is in the industry, and players will find just about any type of contest they might want to play. Big money is up for grabs every week during the NFL season and every day during the MLB, NHL, and NBA season. The site also offers a huge selection of contests for other less popular sports such as golf, college sports, and even eSports. The mobile app could use a little more fine-tuning, but that’s perhaps the only complaint about a very clean and fun-to-use DFS site.
In November 2016, DraftKings announced their intentions to join forces with FanDuel. Both sites are operating independently until final approval, which is expected sometime in 2017.
Players from Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington are not allowed to play at DraftKings at this time.
In addition to DraftKing’s operation in the United States, they have begun to expand internationally with the launch of DraftKings UK and DraftKings Germany, with optimism to launch other European countries.
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DraftKings Sports Offered
A better question might be “Which sports doesn’t DraftKings offer?” You can enter contests in many of the standard DFS sports you would expect: NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA and NHL. There are also contests available for the PGA, professional soccer, NASCAR, mixed martial arts. No cricket…yet. You can bet that if there is interest for it, that DraftKings will eventually offer support for the sport.
DraftKings also recently begun offering eSports contests and using their leverage to offer some of the largest guaranteed contests for eSports such as League of Legends. DraftKings, along with FanDuel, has stopped offering contests for college sports.
DraftKings Contests and Prize Pools
There are a wide variety of contest types available in every sport, with the larger field guaranteed prize pool contests ranking as the most popular contests. Qualifier tournaments allow players to pay smaller buy-in fees to get into contests with larger buy-ins. In addition, DraftKings also offers head-to-head matches, small field non-guaranteed contests, contests where half the field gets paid, and more. DraftKings also offers play money games as well as Free Contest Arcade freerolls where you can participate in dozens of freerolls each month with prize pools up to $2,000.
You can also create your own contest in any sport that is currently active. Players will have control over when the contest takes place, whether it’s a head-to-head or a league format, public vs. private (if you want to just invite buddies to play), and the entry fee (free contests are available if you just want to play for bragging rights or to practice).
With the amount of traffic that DraftKings brings in, it allows for some very large guaranteed prize pools. During the NFL season, DK can run guaranteed tournaments prize pools well over $1 million. There has even been a “Millionaire Maker” contest, where the winner got a million dollars and the total prize pool was over $10 million. During the 2015 NFL season, $5-$10 million was guaranteed across all contests at DraftKings. For other sports, guarantees still reach into the high six figures, with half a million dollar prize pools possible in the NBA, for instance. There are also lots of smaller guaranteed tournaments for those with a limited bankroll (starting at just $0.25).
In addition to contests offered during the regular season, DraftKings also offers NFL playoff contests. The prize pools aren’t as large, but don’t think for a second that the DFS season ends after Week 17.
The powerful DraftKings lobby is one-stop shopping for getting into any contest at the site. Filters, tabs and sortable columns make finding the contest that you want as easy as clicking a few buttons.
The advanced filters give you full control over which contests you will see in the lobby, starting with a drop-down menu that allows you to view contests only associated with one league (i.e. NFL, NBA, etc.). You can also apply filters based on when a contest starts, how big the field is, and how big the entry fee is.
Clicking on tabs allow to quickly sort through the DraftKings contests types currently being offered:
- Featured (most notable DraftKings contests)
- Tournaments/Leagues (leagues are any contest that is not guaranteed, but is not a two-player contest)
- Head-to-head matches
- 50-50 and Double Ups (contests where half the field is paid)
- Multipliers (Contests where winners will receive 2x, 3x, 5x, 10x or even 40x their entry fee)
- Satellites and Qualifiers (contests that feed into larger contests)
Players can join up to 50 non-guaranteed contests per buy-in level/type. These contests include head to head, 50/50s and leagues. At guaranteed tournaments, DraftKings will never let players have more than 3% of all lineups in the guaranteed contest, although some contests will have a lower cap.
The guaranteed prize pool tournaments on DraftKings is where the site gets a lot of attention, with a handful of contests reaching prize pools over $1 million dollars during the NFL season. Most of DraftKings competitors don’t even have enough players to offer one GPP per week. Players can also take advantage of major events including the popular FBWC, which runs every year and features prize pools into the millions.
DraftKings also has a mobile app (available for both iOS and Android), which has improved greatly over the last year. The app has most of the functionality of the web-based version. The presentation isn’t quite as slick as the desktop version — in part by design. But it does have a lot of the same filters and lets you get into contests via a mobile device. The app is definitely better than the mobile version of the website. Note that the Android app is available through the site, not through Google Play.
DraftKings also features its own fantasy sports news section of the site, called “The Playbook.” It includes commentary, news, daily roundups and previews, drafting strategy and more, across all of the sports offered at the site. While you can shop around the internet looking for fantasy sports advice, DraftKings makes it easy to get information without leaving the site.
For 2016 and beyond, DraftKings is not offering League Hub but instead has introduced DraftKings Leagues as a way for players to play daily fantasy sports contests against their friends. Leagues allows players a central hub for the league contests as well as a leaderboard.
DraftKings restricts the use of daily fantasy tools, which make it easier to submit lineups. Although they do not allow third party tools, DraftKings does offer a tool of their own to upload lineups. They will be adding more tools for players in the future.
DraftKings Review – Drafting and Scoring
While there are lots of different sports offered, drafting works uniformly throughout the website. You pick a contest, draft a team that falls under a salary cap, and play.
Here is a quick rundown of how the different sports are drafted. All salary caps are $50,000.
- NFL: QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex (RB/WR/TE), DST (Defense/special teams)
- NBA: PG, SG, SF, PF, C, G, F, UTIL (Utility)
- NASCAR: Six-driver teams
- MLB: P, P, C, 1B/DH, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF
- NHL: W, W, W, C, C, D, D, UTIL, G
- Golf (PGA): Six-player teams
- Soccer (English Premier League and Champions League): GK, 2 D, 2 M, 2 F, FLEX (any non-goalkeeper)
- Mixed martial arts: Five-fighter teams
Scoring follows industry standards for most sports, with a points-per-reception method used in NFL contests, which contrasts how DraftKings scores NFL contests.
Drafting a team is extremely easy – by hitting the “+” symbol next to any player adds him to your roster. The site automatically calculates how much remaining salary cap you have left to spend and the average amount you have left to spend per empty roster spot. You can export, import and save lineups for faster drafting.
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The player list that you draft from shows if there is a recent news item about the player and his brief injury status (i.e. questionable, probable, etc.). Drilling into a player’s bio gives a full list of recent news and a deep well of statistics, including splits (i.e. home and away), a 10-game log, and the matchup ratings of the player’s next opponent.
Live scoring, which is arguably the most engaging part of DFS, is nearly instantaneous and makes it easy to follow along with your fantasy selections. DraftKings also offers players the opportunity to make changes to their lineup up until a fantasy player’s game starts. That differs from most sites, where lineups are locked as soon as the contest begins.
DraftKings deposits can be made via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are all accepted), as well as PayPal. Restricted states include Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington.
When it comes time to making a withdrawal, DraftKings offers the option of doing so via check or Paypal. The only requirement is that the amount withdrawn must be at least $20. DraftKings, like all daily fantasy sports sites, will issue you a 1099 when your withdrawals exceed the amount deposited by at least $600.
DraftKings currently offers players a free contest ticket when signing up for the first time. After your personal details have been entered you can make a deposit and receive a DraftKings Free $3 ticket. The token can be used in any DraftKings contest.
Players may also be able to take advantage of other DraftKings sign-up bonus perks.
DraftKings is consistency running promotions beyond just guaranteed prize-pool contests, with other prizes. The site puts on “world championships” of the major fantasy sports, with a satellite system that allows players to earn their way to Las Vegas, with airfare and lodging covered. The 2015 NFL World Championship awarded $15 million with $5 million as the top prize. Large events such as the FBWC are also available throughout the season to DraftKings players.
DraftKings also has unveiled a new VIP scheme called the Players Rewards program. This VIP program allows players to exchange FPPs in the VIP store as well as the ability to participate in Daily Missions, earn Flash Bonuses and qualify for up to $100,000 in freerolls based on the number of FPPs earned during the month. When exchanging points in the store, players can earn the equivalent of around 2% of their buy-in fee back.
DraftKings Referral Program
DraftKings changed their refer a friend program in July 2016. Instead of receiving a percentage of your referrals play, you will receive DraftKings contest tickets for a future contest. The value of the contest will be around $30 and will be paid once our referral deposits and players for real money within a 30 day period.
Over the last year DraftKings has surpassed FanDuel in terms of prize pools, player traffic and other metrics. Recent investments at DraftKings has led to an aggressive push for higher prize pools, more frequent commercials and impressive promotions. DraftKings offers a lot of variety in sports and contests, has tons of guaranteed tournaments and features one of the best user-interfaces around. This all adds up to DraftKings being one of the best DFS sites, pound-for-pound.