Best Daily Fantasy Sites

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What to Consider When Choosing a Daily Fantasy Site

Daily fantasy sports have become an established part of the sports landscape across the United States, and for the majority of the country they are the closest thing to legal sports betting possible. Thanks to legislative changes made specifically for the games, players in most of the country can play daily fantasy in the confidence that the contests are legal and well regulated. There are a handful of companies at the very top of the daily fantasy industry that count the vast majority of the player base as customers.

This makes it difficult for latecomers to the party to gain a hold in the industry unless they come up with a unique and disruptive idea or feature the backing of a company with a gigantic name and resources. While that sounds a bit damning, in reality there are enough elite companies at the head of the daily fantasy industry to push each other to offer the best product available while also establishing a welcome level of name recognition and player confidence. has compiled some of the most important information to consider when choosing exactly a daily fantasy operator.

Finding Your Game Type

Each Daily Fantasy site offers a few options in terms of the type of contest you can play. Understanding the contest types offered is important to players interested in either playing a large field or leaning more towards head-to-head matchups commonly found in other fantasy sports.

  • Head-to-Head | This contest features you against one other opponent; your lineup is assembled and played against a single lineup, similar to the familiar fantasy sports layout.
  • 50/50 or Double Up Games | Those interested in favorable odds will enjoy this contest featuring your lineup played against a large group of opponents with the objective to finish in the top half of the group. These contests can also feature double-ups, triple-ups, etc., meaning you win a certain amount based on the percentile of the group you fall in.
  • Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPP) | Like 50/50 games, GPPs feature anywhere from 10 to thousands per contest but instead of offering payouts for the top half of the field, GPPs’ payouts heavily lean towards the top percentage of the field featuring larger payouts if you can reach the top ten.
  • Beginner Games | With Daily Fantasy being a relatively new addition to fantasy sports and having a plethora of beginners, most sites offer Beginner Games. These contests typically feature a higher salary cap for everyone involved to build more favorable teams and only include newcomers to the site. The payouts are lower but can be a valuable way to learn the game with little risk.

What Contest Styles are Offered?

Daily Fantasy sites offer different styles for each type of contest. The most common style is salary cap games but other formats are offered with some familiar formats to other fantasy sports.

  • Salary Cap | The most common style of Daily Fantasy is salary cap games. Each competitor can select their players based on value set for each player. This means your draft is completely independent of your competitors. Your only restriction is salary cap.
  • Snake Drafts | More similar to season-long fantasy sports drafts, competitors select players in a turn-by-turn draft that reverses every round. Each player can only be selected once. These drafts take more time as you wait on other competitors to choose. These types of games have recently become more popular among daily fantasy players thanks to refinements in play.
  • Pick Em' | Instead of choosing from all players in a sport and using a value system, Pick Em’ games feature a small selection of players for each position. Competitors must pick the best player in the group offered for each position. In the case of baseball, a small group of pitchers are offered and you must select one from the group then move onto catchers and so on until you have a team of what you consider to be the best players available at each position.

Consider the Markets Available

Traditional fantasy contests in America run the gamut of popular sports, meaning fans of things like the NFL, MLB, NBA, soccer, golf, and more can all find a fantasy game to enjoy. Daily fantasy competitions exist for all of those sports and more, even delving into the realms of more niche offerings like Canadian football and the popular eSport game League of Legends. Here is a listing of daily fantasy sports contests available at the biggest operators in the industry:

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Hockey
  • Golf
  • MMA
  • Soccer
  • Canadian Football
  • League of Legends

Bonuses and Rewards

Sites offer unique bonuses and rewards for returning players, similar to casinos. Most Daily Fantasy sites offer a loyalty point system and special free game offers. Sites offer a loyalty point system like FanDuel Points (FDP) for returning players who frequently engage in competition. The points can be used to play games, at the site’s shop, or to reduce game fees. Free Games can also be accumulated to earn winnings without using your own cash.

Choosing a Platform to Play

Like most fantasy sports formats, Daily Fantasy sites understand the importance of instant and convenient access due to constant changes in athletics. Whether it is injury updates or lineup changes, players need access to their lineups all the time to ensure they are putting forth the best team available. So Daily Fantasy sites have embraced the world of mobile apps. Almost all sites offer a smartphone app alongside their desktop versions. For those not interested in mobile access, desktop versions still offer a more robust and in-depth version of each site.

What is Rake?

How do Daily Fantasy sites make money you may ask? Well, sites accumulate fees for hosting the contest called “the rake.” Each entry fee is pushed into a pool for the winners but a small portion is taken out as profit for the site. Players looking to choose a Daily Fantasy site should pay attention to the site's rake. Some sites offer rake-back deals to return a portion of the rake to the winners but this isn’t a prominent practice among the major operators.


Hi, I'm Adam Thompson

"Two decades covering sports and the evolution of online betting. My experience as a handicapper uniquely qualifies me to evaluate which operator is best."

  • Sports Betting
  • Daily Fantasy

Reviewer since August 2019

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