DraftKings: Daily Fantasy Sports Review

What is DraftKings?

DraftKings burst onto the daily fantasy sports (DFS) scene in 2012 and quickly gained a loyal following, battling FanDuel for industry supremacy.

Today, DraftKings is at the top of the charts in DFS when it comes to entry fees, prize pools and registered players.

The company itself has expanded immensely, too. Founded in Boston, the company maintains its headquarters there but has also opened up offices in New York City, London, the isle of Malta and Hoboken, NJ.

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Official fantasy sports partner of NFL

DraftKings has strategic partnerships in place with several teams from all of the major North American sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL), as well as England’s Premier League.

Partnerships are also in place with many of the leagues themselves, including MLB and MLS.

DraftKings recently made headlines with the announcement of its official DFS partnership with the NFL. That’s a further testament to how far the DFS industry has come, not to mention the explosive growth of the company.

DraftKings has also spread its wings into other areas, such as strategic content and sports betting.

The DK Playbook and DKTV sections of the website and app offer a wealth of information and strategic advice. Sports betting has been a significant growth area for the company, but it remains laser-focused on DFS.

Users continue to flock to DraftKings and the massive prize pools that are available on that front. For example, each Sunday during the NFL season, there’s a guaranteed prize pool tournament, which offers a top prize of $1 million.

Beyond the prize pools, many users have made DraftKings their preferred DFS site due to its unique contest offerings and innovative scoring.

Add in the fact that DraftKings offers DFS contests for more than a dozen various sports, and it’s not too hard to see why it remains a preferred destination for scores of users.

Try all of these offerings today at DraftKings

Receive $20 free with DraftKings deposit bonus

If you sign up for an account on DraftKings using our exclusive links, you’ll receive a $20 bonus upon making your first deposit of at least $5. The bonus is paid out in “DK Dollars.”

As you would expect, the funds are not available for immediate withdrawal. DraftKings gives you the bonus money to try out the platform, and it hopes you stick around for a while. You can use the $20 to enter paid contests on DraftKings for the chance to win real money prizes.

It’s a solid little incentive for doing nothing other than creating an account on DraftKings and making your first (very minimal) deposit. Sign up via our exclusive links to take advantage of all that DraftKings has to offer new users.

Download the DraftKings DFS app

DraftKings has a DFS app available for both Apple and Android users. You will find links to the mobile app download on DraftKings’ website, as well as in the app store of your choice.

Note: DraftKings has apps available for its sportsbook and DK Live platforms as well, so be sure that you’re downloading the one that’s specific to DFS.

Once you do so, you’ll find that the company has brought the experience you’ll find on the online platform and optimized it for mobile. You can make all of the same moves on your phone as you can on the full platform, from entering contests to editing lineups to depositing and cashing out.

One of the best features of the DraftKings DFS app is the ability to edit lineups on the go.

You can add and remove players, do all your player research, and restore your original lineup without worrying about any changes getting lost.

How do I sign up for DraftKings DFS?

Signing up for an account on DraftKings is quick and straightforward. Once you click on the sign-up link above, you’ll visit a new page where you’ll need to click the button labeled “Claim Free Play.”

From there, you’ll see a pop up that will prompt you to enter a user name, email and password. After that, click “Continue,” and you’ll need to enter your name, address and date of birth.

Your state must legally allow DraftKings (we’ll cover that in a moment) and you must also be 18 years of age or older in most locales (It’s different in other states, but we’ll cover that, as well.).

After that’s all set, you’ll agree to the terms and conditions and accept the privacy policy. Click the green “Sign Up” button, and that’s it.

Your new account is created on DraftKings. You can make your first deposit to take advantage of the $20 free bonus offer and begin browsing around the platform.

Where is DraftKings legal?

DraftKings is legal and available to play in over 40 US states. Here’s the current list of states in which playing on DraftKings is currently not allowed:

  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington state

Recently passed legislation has given the green light to DFS in Alabama and Iowa. DraftKings is expected to offer paid DFS contests in those states as soon as the company is allowed.

For most states, the minimum age requirement is 18. In Alabama and Nebraska, it’s 19, while it’s 21 years old in Massachusetts.

Please note: To play in real money contests on DraftKings, you must be physically located in one of the legal jurisdictions.

What DFS sports can I play on DraftKings?

In the early days of DFS, the focus was on major sports such as NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL. Fast-forward to today, and there are DFS contests for many others. DraftKings has been an innovator in this regard.

Here’s a current list of the fantasy sports you can play on the online platform or mobile app:

  • Football (NFL)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Golf (PGA)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • NASCAR
  • MMA
  • Soccer
  • College football
  • College basketball
  • League of Legends
  • EuroLeague basketball
  • Tennis
  • Arena Football League

Individual sports such as golf, tennis and MMA are a big hit with the DFS community, as have many of those in the niche variety such as League of Legends.

Play DraftKings contests on your mobile device today!

What DFS contests can I play?

You’ll find the whole menu of DFS game types on DraftKings, as well as contests of all shapes and sizes. Entry fees can range from free to $25,900, in some cases.

Contest sizes can be as few as two players to tens of thousands of users for the larger tournaments.

Here’s the current list of the contest types:

  • Guaranteed prize pools (GPPs)
  • Head to heads
  • 50/50s and double-ups
  • Multipliers and boosters
  • Satellites and qualifiers
  • Three to 100 player leagues
  • Showdowns
  • Tiers

The GPP tournaments gain most of the headlines when it comes to DraftKings, but there are plenty of other ways to play.

Double-ups and 50/50s payout the top half of finishers, while head-to-head contests are fantasy contests in the traditional sense of player versus player.

Showdown contests revolve around a single game as opposed to a full slate of games, while tiers allow you to make your choices from varying levels of players.

What are the best DFS games for beginners?

For newer players, beginner-only games are available in the lobby. These help you get a feel for what it’s like to play DFS before being thrown into the experienced player pool.

Beginner-only games are only open to those who have yet to earn an “experience” badge on DraftKings or have yet to enter 50 paid contests. One of the cool features of DraftKings is that users will earn badges based on their success and level of play.

Other users can get a glimpse at the experience level of each player before entering a contest by looking at their badges.

For new players, a couple of great ways to start playing on DraftKings are:

  • Beginner-only 50/50s
  • Pick’em style games

For the 50/50s, the top half of entrants will win cash and nearly double their money. Playing in these contests help you get a feel for building out lineups while also potentially increasing your budget for new games.

For the pick’em games, users have to choose one player from each different tier of athletes. Building a lineup, while staying under the salary cap, can be a little challenging at first. So, this is a great way to get a handle on DraftKings’ scoring and which athletes perform the best from a fantasy perspective.

Can I play against my friends on DraftKings?

If you’re looking for more of a traditional fantasy sports experience in which you can play against family and friends, you’ll find that on DraftKings as well. At the top of its main website, you’ll find a clickable link labeled “Leagues.”

Clicking on that will allow you to create a private league.

You can invite family, friends and coworkers to play, but they will naturally have to have their own DraftKings’ account. For those who have yet to sign up, you can point them to our exclusive links so they can also get the free $20.

You can also create a private head-to-head game to play games against users you invite. Both of these modes are great ways to get familiar with the DraftKings platform while playing against those you know, not to mention another chance to earn some bragging rights!

DraftKings Millionaire Maker NFL Championship

One reason that DraftKings is at the head of the pack in DFS is its offering of rather eye-popping guaranteed prize pool tournaments. As mentioned earlier, every NFL Sunday brings the opportunity for a user to make a million dollars playing fantasy football.

The DraftKings Millionaire Maker was a game-changer for DFS, and it’s still going strong. The GPP fills every week regardless of buy-in, which is usually $10-$20.

As we’re working on this review, DraftKings has a special Millionaire Maker tournament going on for a $100 buy-in. The entry fee is steep, but there have been qualifying tournaments at smaller buy-ins. Additionally, this tournament is smaller in comparison to the ones that run at lower entry fees.

A typical Millionaire Maker will have more than 100,000 entrants. This one is capped at 44,400 players, but the top prize remains an eye-popping $1 million. Naturally, winning a tournament of this size isn’t a small undertaking.

Essentially, you will need to nail each position in your lineup, meaning that each of your selections will have to deliver a fantastic showing. You’ll also need some uniqueness to your lineup to set yours apart from others on the leaderboard.

To that end, it can be helpful to think outside the box while building your lineup. Also known as a “contrarian approach,” this means that you’ll be looking for those under the radar players who have a great chance to go off this week.

It’s not easy to pull off, but it’s also quite rewarding when your low-owned gem goes out and has the game of his life, all while you climb up the leaderboard.

DraftKings rewards and points

DraftKings rewards players for their loyalty. Players can earn “DK Crowns” for every real money contest they play. DraftKings lists the number of crowns available to be earned with each contest. In a nutshell, it’s one crown for every $1 played.

As crowns accumulate, you can redeem them in the DraftKings shop for contest tickets and other goodies such as apparel. If you plan on playing a decent amount on DraftKings, then you’ll find that the crowns can add up in a hurry.

DraftKings also provides other ways for users to earn additional crowns. Known as “missions” and “achievements,” you can find details on what you need to do at the clickable “Promos” tab at the top of the main page.

For example, you may find a mission that asks you to enter a contest for a specific dollar amount in order to earn an extra amount of crowns. The same concept applies for achievements, as you can earn extra crowns by completing specific tasks.

In addition to the promotions, DraftKings will occasionally mail out special mission and achievement incentives. All told, DraftKings does a pretty solid job of rewarding players for their loyalty.

How do I cash out on DraftKings?

It’s simple to move money in and out of DraftKings. Once logged into your account, you can find the cashier function in the upper right. While there aren’t a lot of banking methods, you have options at hand to fit your specific needs.

Here are the current ways you can use to deposit on DraftKings:

  • Credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover
  • Gift cards: Visa, Mastercard or American Express
  • PayPal

There’s a minimum deposit of $5, while the maximum is typically $2,000. Note that there can be restrictions on monthly deposit amounts in certain jurisdictions. On the “Cashier” page, there’s an “Update Deposit Limits” link, which you can click to find more details.

On the withdrawal side, DraftKings’ policy is first to refund the payment source used for deposits within the past 90 days. If it’s a situation where you no longer have access to a card or account used to deposit, be sure to contact customer support prior to withdrawing. The representative will help guide you on withdrawals and adjust sources as needed.

Once the refunds are processed, DraftKings will pay out the balance via PayPal or check. PayPal transactions are typically completed within two business days, while check payments can take up to seven to 10 business days for processing.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings has expanded its operations into the world of legalized sports betting. In May 2018, the Supreme Court weighed in on a long-running case that questioned the justification of the federal ban on sports betting.

As the justices saw it, this was a matter for the states to decide themselves. Since the ruling, sports betting has become legal in several states, and there will be many more to follow.

DraftKings is live in several of them, both live and online, and the company has plans to expand elsewhere. There’s a natural crossover appeal and a built-in customer base to draw from, so the company has found a good deal of success in the states it has launched sports betting.

If you’re in one of those states, or in one that will be legalized soon, you’ll find DraftKings Sportsbook online.

Here are the current states that are open for legalized online sports betting and where you’ll find the DraftKings online sportsbook:

Check our DraftKings Sportsbook review for more information.

Prop bets are natural entry point

The sports betting platform is similar to what you’ll find on the DFS side: smooth, efficient and easy to use.

While DFS and sports betting are different pastimes, they do share several similarities. The research is similar, as is the decision-making process which revolves around risk versus reward scenarios.

For those new to sports betting who have DFS experience, prop bets can be a great place to start. These bets revolve around whether or not a specific instance will happen in a game, such as whether or not an NFL quarterback will throw a certain amount of touchdowns.

DFS players are always trying to figure out similar things, so prop bets make for a natural way to break into what could turn out to be a new favorite pastime.

DraftKings Playbook

If you’re looking for information and advice on DFS or sports betting, check out the DK Playbook. You’ll find general news, tips, strategy, advice and plenty of other useful tidbits to use as you build your lineups.

In addition to written content, there are plenty of informational videos. DK Playbook can be an invaluable resource to use as you get up to speed on DFS.

DraftKings fair play and responsible gaming

In addition to providing a great platform and awesome prizes, DraftKings wants your experience to be complete. The company takes account security, responsible play and transparency quite seriously.

At the bottom of the main website page, you’ll find clickable links that outline the company’s specific policies.

For example, “Account Security” will tell you how the company is keeping your information safe, as well as ways you can enhance your security.

In addition to the clickable links, you can find precise contact methods as issues come up. That includes a live chat feature where you can get your questions answered right away.

DraftKings lineup optimizers

As the DFS industry has grown, so too has the competition. Along with increased competition come questions on strategy and best practices. DFS advice has become a cottage industry in and of itself.

All sorts of sites and blogs are out there, which are devoted to DFS analysis, strategy and advice. In addition, there are what are known as lineup optimizers. These are tools that help users build out optimal lineups based on projected athlete performance.

While tools can help from time to time, it’s important to remember what projections are: estimates of a player’s performance based on previous results and the current matchup.

Projections help provide a baseline for what a player should produce, but they are far from foolproof.

Fantasy sports scoring revolves around the performance of athletes in intense competitions. Unexpected situations can happen once the whistle blows, and there’s no way to account for that. Projections can be a solid tool to use, but they should be far from the only one in your belt.

A solid understanding of the matchups is critical to DFS success. Some players perform well in certain situations and come up flat in others. Understanding when and where they excel can help you find the best players on specific game days.

Research and staying on top of the news helps, as injuries and playing time decisions can impact player output. If you don’t have time to research, scores of resources are available online.

5 DraftKings tips for beginners

Finding success in DFS can take some time. While there is such a thing as beginner’s luck in any endeavor, consistent and sustained success takes patience and practice. A bit of luck doesn’t hurt either.

For new players, there are fundamental tenets to keep in mind as you begin playing DFS:

  • Play at Your Comfort Level: There is no reason to enter high money contests right away if you aren’t ready. DFS isn’t going anywhere, so build up your skills at lower price points and scale up your play as skills improve.
  • No Magic Bullet to Win GPP: Some users enter as many lineups as they can handle, while others take their best shot with a single list. Neither approach is wrong, and both can work.
  • Understand What Kind of Player You Are: Prefer consistent returns? Then hone up your 50/50 and double-up skills. Enjoy the thrill of chasing big prizes? Then you may be more of a GPP player. You can also be a combination of the two. It’s up to you; just know that strategy varies for both approaches.
  • Check Your Lineups Before Contest Locks: As mentioned, unexpected circumstances happen when it comes to sports. That includes last-second scratches, which were previously unannounced. Checking your lineups and ensuring everyone is playing helps to reduce the number of zero scores you’ll find in your lineups.
  • Have Fun: Yes, there is a chance to win real money while playing DFS, but it’s also meant to be a fun experience. If it stops being fun, take a break and go back with a new perspective. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it will make for your overall experience.

DraftKings FAQ

What’s the difference between DraftKings and FanDuel?

DraftKings and FanDuel are the two most prominent players in the DFS industry. While similar, there are distinct differences in, e.g., scoring, roster requirements, prize pools and sports offered.

How do I win at DraftKings?

There isn’t a guaranteed method for victory on DraftKings, nor is there a DFS player who is right about every single selection every single night. Practice, patience and persistence can help you get through the learning curve and bolster your chances for long-term success.

Is DraftKings legal in the US?

Yes, DraftKings is legal to play in most of the US, but it is not currently legal to play in these states: Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada and Washington state. Laws have recently changed in Alabama and Iowa, so DraftKings should available in those states before too long.

How does DraftKings make money?

DraftKings makes its money by taking a percentage of contest entry fees. Also known as rake, it tends to hover around 15% per contest, but it can be more or less depending on contest size and entry fee. Unfortunately, DraftKings does not make this information readily accessible, but it can be calculated from information on the individual contest pages.

What is PMR, FPPG and OPRK on DraftKings?

PMR stands for player minutes remaining, as in how many minutes do players in your lineup have left to play.

FPPG stands for fantasy points per game, which tells you the average output for players in the pool from a fantasy perspective.

OPRK stands for opponent rank, which lets you know how well an opponent does in defending against a specific position.

Can I use late swap on DraftKings NBA DFS?

The late swap provides you with the opportunity to switch out players for games that haven’t started as of yet.

So, this can be helpful for sports, such as the NBA, in which last-minute and previously unannounced scratches are commonplace. It’s currently available on DraftKings, but it was on hiatus for a while. You’ll have to check the current status at DraftKings to know if it’s available.