Overall

With the most sports and leagues available, excellent research and education, alongside quality customer service, Draft Kings is a home run for Daily Fantasy Sports.

Joey Shadeck | July 24th, 2019

Dislikes
  • Advertisements on website
  • Few exploratory contest modes

Review Sections:

DraftKings is currently legal in 43 US states, but not legal in, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. FanDuel is available in all the same states as DraftKings. New York, which legalized DraftKings and FanDuel in 2016, is now wrestling with the idea of making daily fantasy sports illegal once again.

Founded in 2012, DraftKings has been competing with FanDuel for six years, and together the two behemoths account for over 90% of the total Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) market share. According to Crunchbase, DraftKings has received $644.8 million in funding to date, which has helped the company develop a DFS Sports platform with over nine million registered users.

DraftKings has been one of the first movers on the sports betting front as well, partnering with casinos, opening the first sports betting app in New Jersey, and partnering with Bdubs for exclusive DFS contests. If you live in New Jersey or a state that will soon have legalized online sports betting, I recommend reading our DraftKings sportsbook review. 

Sports Offered

DraftKings currently offers contests for ten different sports, outmatching FanDuel’s seven.

DraftKings currently offers contests for ten different sports, outmatching FanDuel’s seven. Below is a table of some of the most popular sports and leagues offered. NCAA football is currently only available in 26 states.

FeatureDraftKings (DFS)
Total Sports Offered10
Aussie Rules (AFL) No
Baseball (MLB) Yes
Basketball (NBA) Yes
Basketball (NCAA) No
Boxing No
Cricket No
Entertainment No
E-Sports Yes
Football (NFL) Yes
Football (NCAA) Yes
Golf (PGA) Yes
Hockey (NHL) Yes
Horse Racing No
MMA (UFC) Yes
Rugby (League) No
Rugby (Union) No
Soccer (EPL) Yes
Soccer (UEFA) No
Soccer (MLS) Yes
Tennis Yes

Bets Offered 

DraftKings offers a variety of contests, free and paid, that provide users an exhilarating eperience.

DraftKings offers users a range of contests. They can join or create public or private contests, each with a unique number of entrants, rules, and fees. DraftKings also allows users to enter daily contests against complete strangers or compete against friends all season by creating a league.

DraftKings’ contests allot users a virtual $50,000 to draft their team, regardless of the sport. Users then draft a team, usually comprising between six and nine players, each with their own respective price tag. Individual sports such as golf allow you to select the six golfers you think will perform best, while team sports such as football make you fill a roster with various positions. The typical NFL football lineup has 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLEX, and 1DST.

Contests Offered Lineup
A display of an NFL contest lineup.

Contest Types

DraftKings contest types include featured, beginner, casual, tournament, head to head, 50/50s and double ups, multipliers, and satellites and qualifiers. The entry fee for these contests ranges from free to over $1,000 per entry. The most expensive entry fee I saw on DraftKings was $26,200.

All new DFS users should play beginner contests until they reach a tier on which they are no longer allowed to do so. Beginner contests allow new users to play with a pool of beginners, therefore increasing the chances of winning a contest.

Sample Contests

Free Contests

DraftKings offers free contests sponsored by themselves or a third-party company. These contests are fun and truly free, not requiring any minimum weekly spending.

The most notable free contest is the Buffalo Wild Wings Thursday Night Showdown Series, where $10,000 is up for grabs every week. Users select five FLEX positions and one superflex position that earns players 1.5x fantasy points. The contest only covers the Thursday night NFL game, is free to enter, and pays between $1-$500 to the top 3,900 entrants. 

Bdubs Free Contest 1
Bdubs promotion content for free Thursday night NFL contests.

Week one of the 2018 NFL season offered $1 million, split between all entrants based on their score of correctly picking the winner of each game that week. Another free contest offered tickets and hotel accommodation to the Canelo vs. Triple G fight in Vegas.

Other smaller, free contests are offered throughout the year, such as a random MLB contest on Thursday afternoons, with a $500 prize.

All in all, free contests are exciting and made me pumped to watch as much football as possible on that first Sunday of the season. My boss and I set aside a few minutes each Thursday after lunch to pick winners for the free weekly NFL Pick'em contest.

Free Contests NFL Pickem
My picks for week one of the NFL Pick'em contest.

In my experience with both DraftKings and FanDuel, I had several takeaways:

  • Both sites offer free contests. DraftKings tends to have a bigger pot, while FanDuel has a wider variety of contests, spreading across more sports.
  • Both sites offer NFL Pick’em contests each week of the season. DraftKings has offered more in prize money for this contest.
  • DraftKings allows users to alter their picks before the game starts each week, while FanDuel locks in a player’s choice as soon as it is made.

Player Data

When drafting a lineup, users can select players to view their recent performance, news linked to them, and current stats. DraftKings gives users a tad more data than FanDuel, although FanDuel presents the data in a cleaner manner. Below is what typical data look like on DraftKings.

Player Data
MLB player data.

Odds

DraftKings takes in a variable commission, depending on the style of contest. For a guaranteed prize contest, if the contest does not fill up, DraftKings will lose commission on the contest to payout all prizes. If this happens, users essentially get a higher expected value on their entry.

DraftKings has the following commission structure. This information was taken straight from their website and was last updated on October 19, 2017.

DraftKings Maximum Commission Structure
Commission structure taken from draftkings.com.

Banking Options and Fees

DraftKings currently offers a few banking options, allowing users to deposit money via credit/debit card and PayPal.

DraftKings currently offers a few banking options, allowing users to deposit money via credit/debit card and PayPal. The current deposit options can be seen below. Users who want a higher deposit limit can apply for it by filling out a few documents. The maximum limit after completing these documents varies from state to state but is comparable to FanDuel’s $10,000 limit.

Deposit Methods

Both debit/credit card (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover) and PayPal deposits are fee-free at DraftKings.

FeatureDraftKings (DFS)
Total Deposit Methods2
No Debit/Credit Card Deposit Fees Yes
Deposit Min/Max - Debit/Credit Card$5/$2,000

Withdrawal Methods

Before making any withdrawals, users are required to complete a W-9 form for identity verification. Withdrawals are easy and straightforward. Check and PayPal are currently the only two withdrawal methods. Both are fee-free.

FeatureDraftKings (DFS)
Total Withdrawal Methods2
Check Payout Speed is < 10 days No
No Withdrawal Fees - Check Yes
Withdrawal Min/Max - Check$1 Min

Mobile Betting

DraftKings provides users a top-notch mobile betting platform with the DraftKings mobile app. The app is easy to use and has no lost functionality from the desktop version.

Users can make lineups on one device and upload them from another, giving them complete autonomy on where and when they want to bet. Creating lineups and being able to import them later is a useful feature DraftKings offers and FanDuel does not.

Furthermore, on DraftKings you can make multiple lineups for a slate of games, think about them, and then decide which one(s) you want to use. On FanDuel, you would be forced to take screenshots of the lineups you created, would not be able to alter them, and would have to re-enter them to enter a contest.  

Contests Offered Lineup
A sample of a mobile MLB lineup I created on my iPhone 7.

DK Live

DK Live is another app in which DraftKings provides live stats and scores, as well as news and leaderboards for top fantasy players. DK Live is awesome when you have active lineups and want to see how they’re performing against the field.

Combining the DK Live and DraftKings app would be convenient, but at the end of the day, DK Live is a useful app designed to give active users a better experience.

DK Live
DK Live when first opening the app.

Education and Research

Overall, DraftKing’s training guides through Playbook are far superior to the education FanDuel offers. They contain way more substance, depth, and overall strategy.

For basic scoring rules, contest rules, and FAQs users can use the DraftKings home page.

For training guides and strategy, users should navigate to DraftKings Playbook. Playbook has guides with tips and strategies for drafting NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and Golf lineups. Also, each league has about 10-15 articles within Playbook that are especially useful to new users on the site.

Overall, DraftKing’s training guides through Playbook are far superior to the education FanDuel offers. They contain way more substance, depth, and overall strategy.

Education DraftKings
Articles are written for "rookie" all-star" and "hall of fame" skill levels.

Playbook

DraftKings’ research “platform” is called Playbook, and provides daily research, strategy, recaps, news, and more. Most of these subcategories are just articles for the sports DraftKings covers. The “stud” and “value” picks in the daily research section were a definite highlight of the platform. Video content under the strategy category was also quite useful.

DraftKings Playbook
Playbook stud and value picks for a slate of MLB games.

DraftKings TV

DraftKings TV, or DKTV, provides videos on draft strategy for whatever sports are in season. Since DFS is not covered by a company such as ESPN, DKTV provides helpful insights for DFS users and fans.

DraftKings TV Videos
Videos available on the DKTV page.

Customer Service

My only complaint about customer service for both DraftKings and FanDuel is the lack of a dedicated phone line for general inquiries.

DraftKings offers live chat and email support for general support inquiries. The quality of support is excellent, and provides quick and knowledgeable responses. Compared to FanDuel, DraftKings’ response times were noticeably faster. That said, both sites had knowledgeable employees.

My only complaint about customer service for both DraftKings and FanDuel is the lack of a dedicated phone line for general inquiries. Instead, support hours for DraftKings are 7 am-12 am Monday to Friday and 9 am-12 am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Reputation

DraftKings has a solid foundation as a Daily Fantasy Sports company, with no real payout or banking issues. The only issues the company has are as follows. 

  • DraftKings and FanDuel are facing lawsuits for employees participating in contests using nonpublic information. Both sites now have policies that state their employees are not allowed to participate in any public contests on any DFS sites.
  • DraftKings and FanDuel have also faced scrutiny for false/misleading advertising. This relates to the companies making it seem easier for a novice player to win money than it actually is.
  • Less than 25% of active DraftKings’ users are net winners/breakeven for the past 30 days. This dramatic range of winners and losers can be attributed to professionals entering multiple lineups based on algorithms and data that highlight the best users.
  • DraftKings posts what percentages of its users are winners in the past 30 days in links all over its website. All DFS users should be aware of the limited chances of winning public contests on all DFS sites.

Reputation
Data from draftkings.com.

Other Notes

Promotions & Loyalty Programs

Although promotions are not part of our overall rating, they are a factor in deciding which Daily Fantasy Sports site to use. DraftKings typically gives new users a free contest entry worth $1-$5. They also offer free contest entries that range in value when users refer a friend. In addition, users will receive different kickbacks depending on how much they wager.

DraftKings Promotions
Image from draftkings.com

Crowns Loyalty Program

Crowns is DraftKings’ version of a loyalty program. Users earn crowns for completing various “missions” DraftKings assigns the player every day. Crowns are also earned by playing in all paid contests.

Sometimes DraftKings will also offer a crown multiplier or bonus crowns for entering certain contests. When this review was being conducted, DraftKings offered bonuses for MLB games, some of which can be seen below.  

Crowns Loyalty Baseball

Crowns can be used to enter contests once users accumulate enough. While the concept is unique, FanDuel’s Players Club still offers a better overall rewards program with its tiered system.

Final Thoughts

It is apparent why DraftKings has succeeded as a challenger to FanDuel, squashing all other smaller daily fantasy sports sites in its path. DraftKings has the most sports and leagues available for Daily Fantasy Sports, an excellent selection of training guides and free research, and great customer service. DraftKings is a great choice for anyone interested in Daily Fantasy Sports.


Joey Shadeck

About the author: Joey Shadeck Joey Shadeck is a research analyst for BettingBuck.com. He has been a sports fan all his life, football and basketball being his two favorites to watch. Joey remembers betting his mom that the Green Bay Packers would beat the Detroit Lions as early as elementary school. He has 5 years of online betting experience with hundreds of bets placed during that time.

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