DFS App Landscape
Daily fantasy’s popularity has been rapidly expanding in recent years. The ability to bet money daily and play fantasy sports without a season-long commitment is a combination that has been conquering the fantasy community. It seems as though there are new websites emerging every single day to play daily fantasy sports. This can lead many users to be confused about which platform is right for them. So here are the top five daily fantasy sites to help guide you around this overwhelming online landscape.
Honorable Mention: Underdog Fantasy
Underdog Fantasy is new to the scene this year and therefore has not been tried or tested quite yet. The platform looks promising, offering both daily fantasy and best-ball leagues. They have made big splashes partnering with the biggest names in fantasy for their marketing campaigns and seemingly want to deliver a great product.
So far I can tell that the UI is great, very slick, and easy to understand. The best ball draft is extremely reminiscent of the recently bought-out draft.com. I do not love the drafting UI but it is not terrible; some more information and clarity on who has been drafted would be ideal.
The depositing of funds is instant; however, they currently only accept Paypal. For those who prefer not to use PayPal, there are really no options to play Underdog at this time. The account functions are all there, including responsive support. Though they do lack a rewards program.
I am looking forward to seeing how the daily fantasy looks on this site, and what exactly they are bringing to the table to pull themselves away from the pack of daily fantasy sites.
FantasyDraft is exactly what you expect from daily fantasy. Almost all contests are salary based, and there are quite a few options for different payout structured contests on gameday. There is nothing really special about FantasyDraft and there is not too much to knock about it.
Only using FantasyDraft in a limited capacity, their salaries seem to be the industry standard, nothing crazy but nothing special either. Their UI is pretty clean and easy to understand. Furthermore, the lineup and lobby UI may be more user friendly for those who have not played daily fantasy before.
They have an up-to-date funds process accepting both credit card and PayPal similar to all websites on our list except for Underdog. The website is secure, but support is somewhat hidden with a popup needed to be clicked upon on the bottom. The support does not seem to be as responsive as some of the other websites on our list.
At the end of the day, FantasyDraft is a very generic daily fantasy site. They do not offer anything special or extra, but if you are just getting into daily this is a good option. I am hoping that they add some more free contest options for those new daily fantasy players. As a veteran daily fantasy player, it could not hurt to check their salaries to see if you like the value, but there are better options out there.
FanDuel has been a staple of the daily fantasy community. Their variety of games, contests, and even a sportsbook has them mid-tier on this list. They have a strong user base and a stable brand which allows them to keep up this wide variety and make them an attractive option.
FanDuel is not without its faults. The website itself is by far the slowest out of the six daily fantasy websites mentioned on this list. As someone with gigabit internet, it should not be taking 10-30 seconds to load a page. The UI is also very cluttered and confusing. Oftentimes the filters do not work and show you contests for the wrong sport, and this is after the redesign they went through.
When it comes to funds it is speedy and seems up to date, but I have had problems before when money that came out of my PayPal did not show up. However, this was several years ago and those problems seem to be in the past.
FanDuel does have a rewards program and a more fleshed out account page compared to other websites. They also have a refer a friend feature that is always nice, and all in all, have most of the features you could think of for daily fantasy.
The user experience is just not as good as other websites like Draftkings or Yahoo in my opinion. What Fanduel does offer you is variety and tons of options. I would not recommend this to someone starting out in daily fantasy, as again, it can be a confusing site with bugs, slow pages, and misleading sports tabs. However, you should be able to find a daily fantasy game that you enjoy and caters to your wants on their platform.
Yahoo is newer to the daily fantasy game; however, what they have created is one of the more polished and professional sites on the market. They offer every major sport, and have no shortage of contests, though their different styles of games are a bit lacking. A fresh and easy to understand UI, alongside the ease of it already being linked to your Yahoo account makes it one of the better user experiences in daily fantasy.
The daily fantasy games are mostly salary based, but Yahoo has quite intriguing salaries that are nothing crazy. However, they are different from Draftkings and Fanduel which makes it a great app to pair with other daily sites if you want to play multiple contests and are looking for good value. The UI for actually selecting your players is also extremely slick and easy to understand.
Yahoo shines with its integration of allowing you to manage your season-long fantasy, your best ball, and your daily fantasy all in one spot with one wallet. The funding system is extremely fast to withdraw and add and has a great support team that has been extremely responsive the only time my PayPal had issues.
There is not much to complain about when it comes to Yahoo daily. They have knocked it out of the park in recent years. The only thing that is holding it back is more variety. However, I think that their target audience is the more casual daily fantasy player who gets intrigued while playing season-long on their platform. The only other point I will knock them on is their mobile app being a little cluttered with ads. However, the daily fantasy portion of their app runs extremely smoothly.
#2 Monkey Knife Fight
Monkey Knife Fight or MKF is a new player in the daily fantasy game. However, they have come out into the world with a bang. The sheer amount of different ways to play and the varying styles of contests is what really drove their user base to their site. They offer loads of mini-games, prop bets, and of course tons of ways to play fantasy.
The UI on the website is a bit clunky and outdated; however, it is speedy and is nowhere near as confusing or disorganized as a site like Fanduel. The dashboard feature of seeing all your current competitions as soon as you load the URL is a very nice touch and is actually very well done.
The verification process and funds page is industry-standard allowing PayPal plus credit card as forms of payments. They also offer tons of bonuses for free money when depositing only rivaled by Draft Kings on the amount.
Monkey Knife Fight is a great website for the veteran daily fantasy player. I do not think that it is the most user-friendly you could get, and the games can often be confusing for first time players, but the options are plentiful. Once you understand sports betting and daily fantasy MKF becomes one of the best websites to visit.
The only other con that you could bring up with the site is a smaller user base. They had limited marketing and gained a respectable amount of users by simply being good at what they do and spreading word of mouth. However, they do not quite have the numbers yet to be the place to go for all daily fantasy needs.
The original and arguably the best daily fantasy website. Starting off with one of the only two things to knock about DK: they do have a bit of an outdated UI, it is not the most appealing to look at. However, it is easy to understand and follow and they seem to be going with the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” motto when it comes to their site. Secondly, the support can be slower than other sites due to the sheer amount of users DK brings in. Other than these two issues DraftKings has everything you could want.
First off, the game variety and contest selection are limitless. They have every single sport and have multiple ways to play each one. Contests are constantly going up and you can always find a game style and payout structure that you like on the website. Not to mention they also have a sportsbook and casino for those states and provinces that allow for sports gambling.
The account features are all there, alongside rewards, promos, and refer a friend programs that allow for more ways to play. The deposit and withdrawal features are quick and easy allowing for PayPal and credit cards. The verification process can be a bit longer than other sites, but rarely have I heard of any issues.
The lineups and contest tabs allow for different ways to look over the contest you are playing, and are extremely quick to update in real-time. While many websites have the feature to enter multiple contests with one lineup, DK makes it very easy on both mobile and desktop.
For veterans and new players alike Draftkings is really the first place you should be going to play your daily fantasy. They have every single option you would want similar to Fanduel. However, the website runs faster, the UI is cleaner and easier to understand, and there are even more competitions. When it comes to salary based daily fantasy I also find DraftKings to simply have better values for their players than Fanduels or other sites, leading to a greater variety in teams.
Tips and Notes
One tip that needs to be mentioned with playing any daily fantasy website is that they all struggle with having bot accounts. These are accounts that enter contests where there are limits on entries but make multiple accounts with the same lineup. This is something that no website has really been able to stop, nor do I think they really care to stop as it brings in lots of money. It is something to be wary of and why variety in the contest and the payout structure is key, it allows you to find a contest to avoid this.
Also note that all of the websites mentioned, pending Underdog fantasy have ways to play with friends by creating competitions and leagues. This is a great way to enjoy daily fantasy without the aforementioned concerns about bot accounts. DraftKings probably has the most features when it comes to playing with friends.