With the start of the NFL season upon us, many of you are likely getting out of daily fantasy hibernation and dusting off your accounts. Last year’s NFL season was a difficult one for DFS as the industry faced new pressure, but that appears to be quickly turning around. Since the last NFL season, a handful of states have regulated DFS games while many other states are leaving the games alone for now.
As you gear up for a new NFL season, you’ll want to reacquaint yourself with the rules and maybe even revisit your options for where to play this season.
Many players look at this question not in terms of what site to play, but whether to play DraftKings vs FanDuel. That’s a fair approach as both sites are far and away the most dominate DFS sites in the business and frankly, provide most players with everything they need in a DFS site.
DraftKings Vs FanDuel: A Look at Both Sites Head to Head
Both DraftKings and FanDuel have many similarities, but there are some bigger differences that distinguish one site versus another. So how do the two sites stack up against each other as another NFL season gets underway?
|Review||DraftKings Review||FanDuel Review|
|Traffic||Very Large||Very Large|
|Mobile App||Yes: Android, iOS||Yes: Android, iOS|
|Largest Tournament (Week 1):||$5 Million||$2 Million|
|NFL Rosters||9 players - QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE), and Team Defense||9 Players - QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3, TE, K and Team Defense|
|Tournaments Over $100k||24||23|
|Game Types Offered||GTDs, Leagues, Head to Head, 50/50s, Multipliers (2x, 3x, 5x, 10x, 40x),||GTDs, Leagues, Head to Head, 50/50s, Multipliers (2x, 3x, 5x), Satellites/Qualifiers|
|Standard Rake||10%, range from 5.7% to 13.5%||10%, range from 5.7% to 13.5%|
|Sports Offered||NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Soccer, Golf, CFL, NAS, MMA||NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL|
|Non VIP Freerolls||"Free Contest Arcade": $25-$100,000 in a variety of sports||Limited|
|Bonus||Free Contest Entry||Up to $50 in Contest Entries|
|VIP Program||Player Rewards - FPP Exchanges in store, Up to $100k in Freerolls||FanDuel Points - Use to enter real money contests; Up to $8,000 in freerolls|
|Other Notable Promotions||Free Contest Arcade, Missions, Bucket List Experiences, Saturday Flash Bonus Blitz||FanDuel 5-Pack New Player Offer, NFL Elite Survivor|
|Notable Features||Leagues, eSports||Friends Mode|
|Payment Options||Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, Paypal||Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Paypal|
|Customer Service||Email - firstname.lastname@example.org (6 AM to 12 AM ET M-F)||Web form, Live chat (8 AM to 8 PM ET M-Sa, Closed on Sunday)|
|Deposit Min/Max||$5-$2,000 (can be increased)||$10-$10,000|
|States BANNED||(10)- Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington||(11) - Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Texas or Washington|
FanDuel vs DraftKings differences explained in detail:
Traffic: If you are solely looking at traffic when deciding where you stand on the DraftKings vs FanDuel debate, you really can’t go wrong with either. Both sites have more than enough contests to play, and a decent variety as well. DraftKings had more traffic last year, but if you liked playing at FanDuel vs DraftKings (or vice versa), it likely wasn’t because of the number of games.
Mobile App: While you can access a mobile optimized DraftKings and FanDuel website, you may want to try the dedicated mobile app for a better experience. Both DraftKings and FanDuel offer official apps available in the Google Play and iOS stores, respectively.
Rosters: Surprisingly, one relatively big difference between DraftKings and FanDuel is how rosters are constructed. FanDuel offers a traditional lineup construction of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a tight-end, a kicker and a team defense. DraftKings focuses a bit more on offense by getting rid of the kicker and replacing them with a flex position (which can include a RB, WR or TE).
FreerollsLargest Tournaments: During the 2015 NFL season, DraftKings was consistently the leader in the largest guaranteed tournament prize pools. This should be the case during 2016 as well with DraftKings currently offering a $5 million premier contest while FanDuel is offering $2 guaranteed.
Tournaments Over $100,000: DraftKings and FanDuel each offer an abundant supply of contests with $100,000 or more prize pools, with a nice selection of variation in buy-ins and entry criteria. For Week 1 each site is holding about two dozen GTDs with prize pools eclipsing $100,000 or more.
Game Types: The game types offered at both sites is quite similar. One notable difference is that multiplier contests at DraftKings are more diverse payouts that pay 10x and 40x.
Rake: The standard maximum rate at either site is 10%. The higher the stakes you play, the smaller the rake you will pay.
Other Sports Offered: This guide is primarily about daily fantasy football, but if you have any strong interest in other daily fantasy sports, this will be important to you both during the NFL season and after. In this category, DraftKings is the clear winner with nine sports offered including eSports. FanDuel has chosen to stick to the specific sports for now.
Intro Offer: DraftKings and FanDuel both offer free tournament tickets to get players started. FanDuel offers five beginning contest entries worth up to $50. DraftKings ticket is worth less than $10.
VIP Program: DraftKings has by the far the most lucrative VIP program compared to FanDuel. DraftKings Player Rewards program includes free VIP contests up to $100,000 while FanDuel’s VIP contests top out at $8,000. As for ongoing rewards, DraftKings allows players to exchange points in the DraftKings store for merchandise and tournament tickets. FanDuel allows players to use accumulated points for contest entries. Unfortunately for both sites, the overall return is low.
Notable Features: Coming soon
Payment Options: Both sites offer a comparable payment processing solution. Both sites offer Visa, Mastercard, Discover and Paypal (which really extends your options to include bank account and other credit cards). DraftKings also allows direct AMEX deposits.
Customer Service: DraftKings allows players to contact their support via email while FanDuel offers a web contact form as well as a live chat feature. Although DraftKings does not offer a comprehensive selection of support options, they are available longer throughout the day and are open on Sundays (which is kind of important for NFL daily fantasy sports players, no?).
Deposit Mix/Max: Both sites require a very small minimum deposit. Making a deposit on DraftKings is just $5 while FanDuel has a $10 minimum. If you’re the high roller type, FanDuel has the higher initial maximum at $10,000 compared to DraftKings’ $2,000 maximum. DraftKings players can contact support to have their limit raised, however.
Which One is Better? FanDuel vs DraftKings –
Deciding which DFS site to play is ultimately a personal choice. The easy answer really is “why not both?” Each site provides a solid DFS experience with many features, large guaranteed prize pools, many players to play against and abundant promotions/perks.
Chances are the deciding factor in which DFS site to play is likely to be something specific to you: the beat-ability of the games, the size of the prize pools, a specific scoring system, or maybe even a unique promotion that makes the games more fun.
Your best bet is to try both, even if you had a favorite DFS site to play last year. In the competitive DFS landscape both sites are working aggressively to attract players. This means something you didn’t like about a site last year may no longer be an issue. Assuming there aren’t deal-breakers mentioned in this post, get an account at both sites, experiment with each and see which one you like the best.
And even if you find a favorite for 2016, it wont hurt to have funds at both sites so you can quickly jump on a good promotion or a sweet overlay on a guaranteed tournament.