Daily fantasy sports sites are quite easy to understand. Daily fantasy games are based on regular fantasy games. Which are held throughout the sports season and that million of people around the world play. They are very popular with sports such as football, basketball and NFL football. In fantasy sports sites, you register and then pick a roster of players you think will perform well in the season. You start collecting points according to their statistics. And then the user who makes the most points with their selections will win the game.
DFS websites are like regular fantasy sports sites. But in this case, you pick the players for your fantasy team for a single day (or a week if we’re talking about NFL), instead of a whole season.
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Fantasy games that take place through the whole season are usually played only by a limited group of people. Most of the times among familiar people like friends and co-workers. Or with strangers on the internet. DFS makes you play against a huge number of people, from hundreds to thousands.
The money involved is another key difference between DFS websites and season-long fantasy games. This is because the latter is often more of a social game that doesn’t involve huge amounts, while DFS deal with thousands of dollars.
There are two dominating players in the DFS scene: FanDuel and DraftKings, which combined share over 90% of the market. FanDuel was the first big player in the market, and since 2015, they’ve become the clear leading company. DraftKings is a close second, and they aim for the first place. There also other smaller players, Yahoo, that launched a DFS site last year, is currently third place. There are many other sites behind the leading trio, trying to amass a bigger share.
What Types of DFS are There?
DraftKings and FanDuel have set a method that is also followed by the other companies. It consists of the site users selecting a sport and contest. They would then select their favorite players, being careful not to pass the “salary cap,” which is a limitation set by the site. The user has a limited budget and has to choose the players considering their fake salaries, to make the best use of the starting budget.
After selecting the players, the users have to wait for the games to take place. And hope the players they chose perform better than those chosen by the other players. You get a cash price if your team is among the best ranked.
Contests depend on how much the user is willing to spend to enter; it can range from free entry to $0.25, up to $10,000. Contests also depend on how they are structured. Details below:
- Guaranteed prize pools: The users make an initial payment to enter the competition for a share of the earnings or a fixed price pool. The daily fantasy sports site makes the entire prize pool known in advance to the users and will run no matter how many people enter the contest.
- Cash games: Users can create a league of their own or join an existing one, where the teams that perform better will win prizes. These are usually smaller than GPPs, and in contrast, they are not guaranteed to take place.
- 50/50: the top half of the user base gets almost the double of what they first put in the pool, while the other half don’t receive anything.
- Head to head: It’s a one on one contest, the winner will receive the entire pool.
There’re many other DFS variants that follow a different model. But they share a common feature: they depend on the statistics of the daily games lineups chosen by the user. Some of them don’t have a fixed salary for each player. Some of them make the users predict how well a particular player will perform. And even a model where the users have the opportunity to predict in real time the scores and other game events.
Which sports are available in DFS websites?
The most popular sports in America are available for fantasy games, such as football (NFL), baseball (MLB), basketball (NBA), and hockey (NHL).
Though those are the usually supported sites. Some sites offer different sports such as Golf, NASCAR, soccer, martial arts, and eSports (like Dota).
Even more, sports are available on some sites.
An agreement was signed by FanDuel and DraftKings to not offer contests that base in college sports. Though some companies still offer them.
Is it legal to play on Daily Fantasy Sports websites?
This is a good question. Legality is an important issue for DFS. The shortest answer is that in the US at least it depends on the state you are in. All around the world, daily fantasy sports websites are considered as a gamble, and they need a special gaming license to operate. In the US, it gets trickier than that.
Here is some background. This industry appeared after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. The law deals with online gambling, and the way payments are processed, but fantasy sports turned out to be exempt in that law.
This is the reason many people claim the law was not supposed to regulate DFS (including the-the UIGEA law’s author, for what is worth). They believe the law excludes DFS, besides the idea that state law goes first than federal law.
Many attorneys from all around the States are in the opinion that DFS should be considered illegal gambling under the law of the state. And this has been a reason for debates in some states, such as New York, Illinois, and Texas. Besides those states which a negative view of DFS. There’s some others where DFS is considered as an operation that is done in a gray area, according to attorneys that specialize in this kind of issue.
So, it’s confusing to try to figure out where playing DFS is allowed, so lawmakers are working towards a law that would make this clear.
States Where DFS is Allowed or Disallowed
For your convenience, we managed to summarize our site in one graphic. Still, the legal side of gambling might trouble you. Where can the DFS games be played is another difficult question, but at least we can point out the five states that consider DFS as something illegal:
This has forced sites to take action to take care of their business. StarDraft (platform behind Amaya and Pokerstars) operates in only four states. Many other sites, including the top 2 DraftKings and FanDuel, operate in more than 40 states. But others still work in far fewer states than that to respect the state law.
DFS is also legal but regulated in Indiana and Virginia, with sites paying a license fee to be able to work there. Kansas is another state that legalized DFS, last year.
The states where DFS can still operate are shifting. But it’s possible to have a clearer way to know where you can or can not lay daily fantasy sports websites.
Pending DFS Legislation
In the last few months of 2015 and first months of 2017, each state started getting lawmakers to make new bills that would cover DFS. This allowed them to be legalized and regulated. Some states are taking different approaches in the way they regulate the DFS industry. From simple light regulation up to bills that would treat DFS like the casino and online gambling industries.
Lawmaking efforts in the territory are evolving all the time.
Frequently Asked Questions about Daily Fantasy Sports Games
These are some of the frequent questions about the DFS industry.
How much money is invested in daily fantasy sports operators?
According to estimates, the DFS industry made more than $3 billion in 2015 through entry fees. Those fees generated about $250 million in revenue, most of it made by the top 2 companies, DraftKings and FanDuel.
What do professional sports leagues think about DFS?
Three of the main sports leagues in the United States support the industry. And even have invested or are related in some way to daily fantasy sports advice. NBA has shown a relationship with FanDuel, while NHL and MLB – for the sports of fantasy hockey and baseball – have shown a link to DraftKings. NFL has shown no affiliation with any site in the industry, but still, most of its franchises deal with this kind of website in one way or another
Is DFS another way of betting on sports?
The answer might vary depending on who you ask. Even if betting at sports requires some skill and knowledge, it’s considered by pretty much everyone that it’s some gambling.
Some people believe daily fantasy sports strategy is 100% legal. This is because it requires skill and knowledge to predict the best performances. But casuals will consider it as gambling that requires skill.
Are there more DFS operators besides DraftKings and FanDuel?
There’s a large number of DFS sites in the market, like Yahoo, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, DraftDay, FantasyDraft and Star Fantasy Leagues, to name a few. More information can be found by visiting this site.
Are taxes an obligation for DFS earnings?
Yes, you can’t avoid that. Visit this if you need further information about DFS and taxes.
Daily Fantasy Sports in 2017
DFS operators had their share of ups and downs in 2015. A lot of money came flowing from investors, and some sites, especially for baseball, made deals with the major sports associations. Sports news chains like ESPN and Fox Sports got involved too. DFS sites were advertised, catching the attention from the government. DFS websites had been unregulated, working as they pleased from the very beginning of the trend. But things have been changing lately because legal regulations are being brought to some states. Many states have been hurting the operations here and there, while some such as Nevada shut all DFS sites. The future is uncertain in 2017 for these sites.
Some sites are heading in the right direction. They implement features like strong location checks, contests for beginners and scripting tools. All this because of the state regulations that are starting to take place all over the country. Maura Healey, Massachusetts AG, took a more practical approach to the problem. In contrast with the approach taken by Eric Schneiderman, New York AG. Healey proposed very important ideas for DFS websites, such as requiring the user to be older than 21 years old. By grouping experienced players and not experienced ones to avoid unfairness. Schneiderman, instead, has been attacking the two biggest DFS sites. This is a battle that we’ll be seeing throughout all 2017.
Even though there’s a lot of pressure coming from the government, prize pools have been growing a lot, reaching crazy levels. We still see massive prize pools at NBA, MLB and NHL contests coming from DraftKings’ The Millionaire Maker. Sports that usually weren’t part of this kind of contests have made their way into the daily fantasy sports rankings. Such as PGA golf, MMA, soccer, NASCAR racing, and e-Sports, broadening the audience even more. Even PGA got their Millionaire Maker. Live games are also becoming a trend in daily fantasy, and it’s certain we will continue to see that throughout 2017 and beyond. Some sites are making the live finals contests more available to average users by lowering the required entry fees. These contests were reserved to players with thicker wallets.
2017 is shaping as a very important year for DFS sites, and we can wait and see what happens. We can keep enjoying the huge prize pools available for some different sports until then.
Tools and Data
The scene for daily fantasy sports operators has seen progressive development. And there’s always new tools and data available to users. Many old tools keep being a trend, while some new ones appear as well. Lineup optimizers, to name one, have been used at DFS advice sites for quite some time, but they’re improving more and more to help you manage your team. There’s also a flow of information being directed at fantasy games. Very specific data such as points scored when a teammate is on/off the floor, points per minute, besides all the regular, relevant stats. Vegas lines are becoming prominent too lately with their research, and sites owners are aware of that. The Vegas DFS correlation information has been appearing more and more in the last months. We can’t wait to see what else is coming in 2017.
Roster optimizers benefit people with different skill sets. These are the basic options for the average players. And the most advanced features are there to cater to more experienced players or those who want to step up their game. Optimizers keep growing and growing, because of the many things that can be implemented to make them better. We saw many new features last year, such as exposure, excluding teams or players, applied models, and much more. Optimizers are becoming an integral part of the daily fantasy game scene, an indispensable tool for the users.
Researching was quite simple back then in 2012. There were simple stats such as Vegas lines, defense vs. position, and some more advanced statistics. Users also needed to keep several browser tabs open, since the information was more scattered than it is today. Things have changed for the better, and the kind of statistics we get have stepped up. There’s an endless source of information on the internet. Especially about relevant stats like the points scored by a player when a certain action is done, or when a certain situation happens. Daily fantasy sports lineups building has gotten much better in the last year and a half, with the drastic improvement in the available data. This helps everyone, from casual players to advanced players that can’t research before choosing their players.
It’s amazing how much more information we can find these days. And we are thrilled to see that because it means we can help you get successful at fantasy basketball, football, hockey, baseball and other games!
There are a few sites that have earned a position in the fantasy sports scene throughout a decade. If you’re located in the US and Canada, all the DFS sites featured on our website are legal to play. The sites featured as “top rated” paid an average of $15 million each week last year. Season-long fantasy is great too but daily is where the future has been pointing. It may be subjective, but daily fantasy seems much more fun than season fantasy sports. Because you can make a new draft every day you play so you can build a new team with different players. They are also performing and seeing all the changes that happen over the course of a week since you last played.
Main Concerns About DFS
The first concern when someone starts playing daily fantasy football was “is it legal?” And anybody that plays also wants to make sure they would be paid if they won a contest. We’ve been playing poker for a while, so we know how it feels when a foreign company closes up shop and takes our account balances with them. That feeling is awful. That’s why the keywords that come to mind first when looking at a DFS website are “reliable” and “trustworthy”. We’ve found out that most (if not all) of the daily fantasy sports websites are based in the US or Canada. And that they’re legal by US Federal law (though not always by State law).
When you are sure about its legality, the first thoughts are finding the best site, has the biggest player base and had more contests going on. It isn’t as easy as it sounds because every other site claims they are the best out there. We had to do trial and error, testing every site to see if they showed results. Most of our findings can be found on this website. You can make a profit even if you don’t end up at the first place. We offer real exclusive information coming straight from the daily fantasy sites. We have been doing quite some research to make sure you have the most recent and relevant data available.
Would you believe you could become a millionaire in one week? There’s a new millionaire every other week of the season during the NFL season. 16 people became millionaires by playing at DFS sites. We offer you the best information, strategies, access to the better sites and the highest deposit bonuses. If you’re willing to give it a try for as little as $2 to get into a big contest or $200 for a right seat in the contest if you feel adventurous.
DFS games focus on daily or weekly contests. People are used to calling them the daily contest, though they can last for days at NFL contests. Pretty much all the contests are based on a salary cap draft. You make a team with the players that you think will perform better while fitting your budget. If your team gets the highest score at the end of the day/week, you win. Start playing now, and you might be next one to become a millionaire. Daily fantasy sports sites are here to stay, and if you decide to join, you’ll end up having lots of fun and making lots of money.
Each of our experts has over 10 years of experience in reviewing and tesing bookies. All of us love sports and love DFS, we are completely honest in each review we write. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Articles to Read
- Daily Fantasy Sports With Rotoworld (Player News and Articles)
- About Daily Fantasy-Sports Operators (The Curse of Too Much Skill)
- Congressional Hearing on Daily Fantasy Sports (Focus on Sports Gambling)
- Daily Fantasy Sports in Washington D.C. (Challenging the Position of DFS)
- How the DFS Industry Turns Fans Into Suckers (The Reality of Gambling)