BEST DAILY FANTASY SPORTS SITES
TRADITIONAL VS DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
Fantasy football is one of the most popular fantasy sports in the world. It was invented by Bill Winkenbach, a limited partner of the NFL team, Oakland Raiders, alongside two journalists from the Oakland Tribune when they were on a trip to play the New York Giants. However, unlike most of the great companies that are founded in the garages, Fantasy Football started off in a hotel when the three decided to come up with a mini-competition dubbed as the Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League. This is what eventually gave rise to the traditional Fantasy Football.
The requirements for the traditional fantasy football – and other cases – was simple; play the role of being a team owner and run it as it was yours. This involved picking real life players from the professional sports to be part of your team. This sense of ownership and having the rights to brag at the end of the season saw many people join on the sport, making Fantasy Sports a very popular pass time for the Americans.
Modern day DFS didn’t however pick up until when Baseball came up with their own unique league – the Rotisserie Baseball League. This form of fantasy sports betting laid a solid foundation for modern day fantasy football as the later borrowed so many concepts from it.
Developments in technology in the early 90s, particularly the World Wide Web, elevated fantasy sports to a whole new level. Participants were able to get real time statistics, and manage their teams through several websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel.
With the modern Daily Fantasy Sports, fans can now enjoy leagues where they assemble teams that compete against each for a prize that’s awarded at the end of the day, week, or season. In this, fans are able to pick a new fantasy team every week, invest a fixed amount of (virtual) cash, spend from this budget on receivers, running backs, quarterback and the like. Each of these players comes with his own price tag, set internally by the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings.
For instance, a struggling Quarterback such as Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers would cost less than, say, a start Quarterback like Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. This means that by choosing Tom Brady, you will remain with less money to spend on other players for your fantasy team.
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ALL IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
Daily Fantasy Sports bear similarities to yearlong contests, but differ in a number of areas. The outstanding difference is the number of DFS contests. The most of the DFS leagues start when the day’s sporting activities and go on until the final whistle of the last game. From there, all the winnings are credited to your account and the whole process begins all over again.
This is in contrast to the season long leagues where the pace of change can be icy. If you simply missed your draft or you are out of the play-off race with the season long team, season long DFS will offer you the ability get back into the action. Lose or win, there is always an opportunity to start up another contest. This is why the season long DFS is fancied by the majority of fantasy sports players.
HOW DOES THE DFS WORK?
So you believe you are ready to dive into the daily fantasy sports? That’s good! And is this your first time as a new born. Don’t worry! In fact, we want you to dive in headfirst or with both feet! But not until you’ve read this important section that explains pretty much everything that you need to know about how DFS works.
In the United States, anyone interested to participate in Daily Fantasy Sports has an option of choosing from several platforms offering the service. At Topuscasinos.com, we highly recommend that you start off with the two powerhouses in the business – DraftKings and FanDuel. They are offering fantasy sports players yearning for a tang of Fantasy Sports (football to be more precise) action an opportunity to get into the game with a four-week preseason contest. Once these games are complete, come September; the real daily fantasy goodness runs for 17 weeks.
For the uninitiated, Daily Fantasy Sports football on DraftKings and FanDuel requires you to select a roaster that constitutes of WRs, RBs, QB, TE, a defence, K (FanDuel only) and FLEX (DraftKings only). This roaster has to be within a set budget. On DraftKings, you have a maximum salary cap of $50,000. On FanDuel, it’s $60,000. All the players are assigned different values and you are required to assemble a team that adheres to the salary cap.
Regardless of whether you choose FanDuel of DraftKings, your main objective is to amass as many points as possible within the contest. This could either be a cash game – that features a small number of 5, 10, 25 or 50 entries or a tournament that could have as many as 200,000 entries. As you’d expect, the more the entries, the better the prize money.
- You will be assigned a budget with which you are supposed to buy players
- Once you’ve picked your team, you can choose from several leagues. There are free to play leagues, while there are those that require you to pay an entry fee in order to win some real cash
- Once you’ve entered the league, keep track of how your players perform under the label ‘Live Contests’ at the DFS sites
- The more points scores, the more likely you are to win
Remember, at Topuscasinos.com, we will not only be offering you with up to date DFS NFL content from preseason Week 1 through the end of the conference championship games in January, but we also plan to update you on the latest developments in the industry.
WHY IS EVERYONE OBSESSED WITH DAILY FANTASY SPORTS – WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN IT?
The main objective of participating in the Daily Fantasy Sports is to win money. With plenty of information at your disposal and different competitions to participate in, participants will try gain a competitive advantage of their opponents. It’s estimated that participants of the DFS spend almost 8 hours every week analysing athlete ability and the possibility of their team performing well.
So, the 8 hours a week are worth it as the guaranteed prize usually runs into the millions. For instance, in DraftKings, golf contests guarantee massive amounts to it’s participants. One GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) for the masters competition ensures that $2.2 million is awarded to the players, with $1 million going to the player who secures the first place.
As for other sports and leagues such as the MLB, NHL and NBA, the guarantees will often be smaller although the contests can still be assured of hundreds of thousands of prize money.
THE LEGALITY OF DAILY FANTASY SPORTS
Being part of the Daily Fantasy Sports sounds like a fun way of making money. If you are a business minded, it sounds like a very lucrative business. But there are two main problems that have rocked this multi-million industry, threatening the fast growth of the two big players. The first one is that DFS bears some similarities to gambling, while the other one is scandalous or rogue workers who in the past have rigged the results in their favour.
Legality of DFS
While several states in the United States have made it legal to bet on sports and online casino games, the majority of punters are still sceptical on betting online, mostly because for a long time, there were laws criminalizing online sports betting. However, since the PASPA law was expunged, these sites are totally safe to use now. They even have regulatory and oversight bodies to ensure that they operate within legal means. While these laws apply to online sports betting and casino gaming, they don’t affect the daily fantasy sports. Here’s why.
In 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed to make it illegal to bet online. The aim of this law was to prevent all banks and other payment options from transacting with online sportsbooks and casinos – with a special exemption for horse racing and fantasy sports. This means that DFS and anything related to it is totally legal and regulated within the US. As a matter of fact, internationally renowned fantasy sites have their headquarters on American Soil.
With DFS being legal in the US, it means that all customers are protected in a safe and regulated environment. Online payment options such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller alongside the majority of debit and credit cards can be used to make deposits and withdrawals from the DFS sites. Deposits are processed instantly while withdrawals take less than 24 hours to be processed to your PayPal accounts.
While Daily Fantasy Sports has been legalized on a federal basis, there are individual states which outlaw real money fantasy sports betting. As of 2019 June, these are the states that accept and ban real money fantasy sports.
|States That Allow Real Money DFS Gaming||States Where Real Money DFS Has Been Banned|
For all the states not listed above, they currently have bills in the senate seeking to legalize daily fantasy industry. And as for the gambling Mecca of America, there’s a special twist to its DFS. After thoroughly scrutinizing the industry, they determined that it qualifies as sports betting. This, therefore, doesn’t make daily fantasy sports games illegal in the state, but rather require any operator wishing to offer the games to acquire the Nevada sports pool license.
SCANDALS AND THE DFS
Other than the legality of the DFS, the other issue is the question of whether the competition is offered on the level. In September 27th 2015, when the DFS was still pretty fresh and unregulated, the industry was hit by a massive scandal. One that involved leaking of data regarding player selection before the week’s games has begun. ‘Miraculously’ the employee at the DraftKings, who was responsible for leaking the data, won $350,000 at FanDuel.
What this suggested was that employees of the biggest Daily Fantasy Sports sites in the world were participants themselves. Furthermore, the leak showed that some of these employees have access to very sensitive information that could boost their winning chances, over the other competitors. Perhaps as a way of regaining their player’s trust, DraftKings and FanDuel updated their terms and conditions, stating that no employee is eligible to participate in the competition.
CHOOSING A DAILY FANTASY SPORTS SITE – WHAT FACTORS DO WE CONSIDER
Before we recommend a platform on which our readers should play with, we usually tend to look beyond name recognition and focus on the features that matter most. This includes the type of contest offered or the kind of market that’s available to play in. Below is a detailed analysis of the factors and features to consider when choosing a DFS site.
The Type of Contest
Every Daily Fantasy website offers you a few options in terms of the type of contest that you can play. Topuscasinos.com believes that a better understanding of the contest types offered at the DFS site is vital to players interested in either focusing more on head-to-head matchups usually found in the fantasy sports or playing a large field.
- Head to Head – This is the most basic and straightforward type of contest. In this, it is the winner takes all game pitted against another user.
- 50/50 or Double Up Games – These are small contests where those who complete in the top half of the league or competition split the prize money evenly.
- Free Rolls – These are free entry games where you are competing for entry tickets to other games or competitions instead of cash.
- Guaranteed Prize Pool – This is much like the 50/50 contests only that they tend to lean heavily towards the top performers, say the top five, ten, twenty or other numbers depending on the number of entries.
When looking at a DFS site, we also consider the different types of contests offered by the platform. The most common style that you’ll come across is the salary cap though there are other two types. These include:
- Pick Em’
- Snake Drafts
The majority of online sportsbooks offer a massive selection of markets to bet on. This is however not the case for the Daily Fantasy, which has been slow to expand into broader markets. The majority tend to focus their efforts on a sport that players are familiar with. We therefore believe that having a better understanding of the markets offered is important when picking a site. When choosing a site, we tend to recommend those that offer the following options.
- American Football
Bonuses and Rewards
The DFS sites have unique bonuses and rewards for returning players, much similar to online casinos. The majority of the sites that we recommend have a well-defined loyalty points system, free game offers and surprise promotions.
For instance, FanDuel has it’s own unique PanDuel Points system awarded to players who frequent the site and compete in multiple tournaments. Once you’ve amassed enough points, you can always use them to play games, shop at the official FanDuel store as well as reducing game fees.
By signing up with Topuscasino.com, you can always have access to exceptional promotions that are run by these DFS sites.
We Also Consider A Site’s Rake
What is a rake? And how do the DFS sites make money? These are some of the questions that you are probably asking yourself right now.
Well, the DFS platforms amass fees for hosting the contests. This fee is referred to as ‘the rake’. The entry fee is usually included into a winner(s) pool but there’s a small percentage that’s taken out as profit for the website.
When reviewing a website, we normally look at the site’s rake. The majority of the websites that we recommend usually offer a rake back deal to return a small portion of the rake to the winner(s).
Having listed all the important features that we look at the DFS sites above, we believe it’s wise that you experiment with different game types to find one that best fits your play strategy and skill level. There are game types that offer advantages such as larger player pool or higher chance of return while others offer the most risk vs reward.
BEST SITES TO BET ON FANTASY SPORTS
There are several Daily Fantasy Sports sites that you can visit online. However, we believe the following four sites are the biggest in the US DFS industry.
- Draft Kings
- Draft Street
- Fan Duel
Of the four sites, DraftKings and FanDuel are responsible of accommodating 90% of the 60 million participants in the DFS business. According to Forbes.com, it is estimated that the DraftKings site will be worth more than $2.5 billion, with the industry expected to produce more than $15 billion in revenue by the end of the year 2020.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO BET REAL MONEY ON FANTASY SPORTS?
The answer to this question remain relatively open and it all depends on how one views DFS gaming. Generally speaking, money is on the line when it comes to some of the tournaments. This particularly applies to the Cash Prize tournaments where you pay an entry fee. Part of the fee is the site’s commission for hosting the tourney while the rest is a rake. Therefore, we cant say this is gambling per se but others might argue it is a form of gambling.
HOW DOES ONE PAY FOR THE TOURNAMENT?
Once you’ve created an account with any one of the recommended DFS sites, you’ll need to make a payment. You can do this by using any one of the supported payment options; Skrill, MasterCard, VISA, American Express or Neteller. After that, choose your preferred cash prize tournament, make the payment and start playing.
WHAT EFFECTS DOES DFS HAVE ON PROFESSIONAL SPORTS?
Professional sports leagues are seeing the real benefits of Daily Fantasy Sports and most of them are no longer shy to partner with the top two players in the industry.
Industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel have invested partnerships or deals with NASCAR, MLS, NHL, MLB and NBA. They’ve also signed promotional agreements with several NFL teams on radio and digital advertisement as well as in-stadium signage. Furthermore, NFL owners Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones have bought shares in DraftKings.
The partnerships above wouldn’t have gone through a few years ago as the majority of sports leagues wouldn’t risk associate themselves with Daily Fantasy Sports mostly because they feared DFS would hurt their image and integrity. However, this changed once the owners realized that could capitalize on the popularity of Daily Fantasy Sports into improved digital and television viewership numbers.
The partnerships are now evident in returns of several teams. For instance, the NBA league recounted that the League Pass sales had increased by more than 12% despite offering fans packages that would allow them to cheer their teams of choice at a lower price. This means this increased sales couldn’t be credited to fans wanting to ‘cheer’ their favourite teams…
DraftKings has also had massive effect on the golf ratings. Golf was a sports that was once downplayed by millennials. However, it’s fast becoming one of the top three most played fantasy games on DraftKings. The result is a massive 29% increase in millennial viewership. This represents the 2nd best quarter in the history of golf channel.
HOW MUCH IS THE DAILY FANTASY SPORTS WORTH?
Numbers put the entire amount of money paid in fees to the Daily fantasy Sports industry at more than $4 billion for 2018. This fees has resulted in roughly $500 million in revenue collected, with more than 90% of this money being generated by FanDuel and DraftKings.
TAXES AND DFS WINS. DO YOU HAVE TO PLAY TAXES?
Like any other business in the United States, there are tax laws that govern the Daily Fantasy Sports industry. As soon as you’ve won more than $600 in net winnings, you’ll be given the 1099-MISC form at the end of the tax year. This 1099-MISC form is also issued by investment brokers, banks as well as business to anyone who has received income in the given tax year. You are then supposed to return your taxes as per the figures given to you by the DFS site.
But how will a Daily fantasy site determine whether you have reached the $600 taxable threshold? If you take a look at FanDuel, they usually use the formula below to calculate the ‘net profit’. It’s the net profit that you are supposed to file as your tax.
Net profit = Prize Winnings – Entry Fees + Bonuses + FDP Entries
FDP Entries stands for FanDuel Points. These are the points earned by players once they enter into the cash prize games. As you accumulate the points, you can use them to enter into cash prize tournaments.
DAILY FANTASY SPORTS FACTS
- Daily Fantasy Sports is much like the traditional Fantasy Sports. It’s a more modern form – you’d like to call it the grandchild of traditional fantasy sports
- With the modern Daily Fantasy Sports, you can compete any day, instead of waiting for a month or more
- The players you pick in your DFS team are weighted against their real life stats in the field
- In order to win cash prizes in Daily Fantasy Sports, you must have attained the minimum legal age of 21 years old
- The best DFS sites FanDuel and DraftKings