Review of FanDuel Daily Fantasy Sports Site
FanDuel is one of the originators of Daily Fantasy. Longtime NFL viewers will remember entire seasons where their commercials were utterly inescapable, permeating every bit of every commercial break in every game, sometimes back to back. FanDuel launched onto the scene in 2009, under the leadership of founders Tom Griffiths and Nigel Eccles, and was responsible to a degree for the move from fantasy sports leagues into daily and weekly contests, in which one could win money.
Basically, they've been around as long as the industry has, they're one of the largest around, and they're good at what they do. Given the sheer numbers of FanDuel account holders and the growing popularity of professional sports, it’s no wonder that many people have a desire to get involved in fantasy sports, and it’s for them that we compiled this review of FanDuel. We aim to give you a look into the inner workings of FanDuel so you can decide for yourself if it’s something you’re interested in trying.
|FanDuel Location:||New York, N.Y USA|
|Where is FanDuel Legal?||All US States, EXCEPT: Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Texas, Washingtonn|
|FanDuel Bonuses:||$20 Sign Up Bonus|
How To Use FanDuel
Though it’s tempting to tell people how they should play FanDuel in terms of strategy, such is not the purview of our handy FanDuel review and guide. Rather, what we’re aiming to do is to give you a crash-course in how to actually go about using the FanDuel site. Think baby steps: you have to know how to actually play daily fantasy sports before you can start worrying about advanced tactics and even season-long strategies.
In subsequent sections we will discuss topics like choosing a contest type, making deposits, collecting your winnings, downloading and using FanDuel’s industry-leading mobile daily fantasy sports app, some of the details on available promotions and so on. In the FanDuel FAQ section that concludes our FanDuel review, we will also take a look at issues regarding the legality of participating in daily fantasy contests (short answer: it is legal, so don’t worry) and other general questions about how DFS works.
Getting Started On FanDuel
First things first, FanDuel is not going to be very fun for you if you don’t first make an account. In fact, there is very little outside “teaser” type information available on the main FanDuel website before you make an account. The good news is it’s free to sign up, so have no fear.
Simply click any of the prominent bright green “get started” or “join now” buttons scattered throughout the homepage and you’ll be prompted to enter basic information in the startup menu. That means you’ll have to enter fill in things like your name, email address, a screen name (be creative!) and a password (there is a handy password strength bar to let you know how secure your prospective password is, which is a nice touch from the FanDuel developers). This part of the getting started process takes literally less than a minute.
Entering A FanDuel Promo Code
Next, you’ll have to input the appropriate code for any promos currently on offer – FanDuel is one of the best DFS operators when it comes to promo codes, as it seems like they have always got something juicy to offer, especially on new signups. Right now the big seller is the Win or Play Again offer, which basically lets you get an automatic credit of up to $120 to your account if you lose your first ever contest. The genius of this offer is that it incentivizes players to shrug off their newbie jitters and get right back into the action even if they crash and burn on their first time. More DFS companies could take note of this sensible approach toward long-term player retention.
Picking A FanDuel Contest
Picking a contest on FanDuel isn’t a straightforward process, but neither is it a confusing one. The first decision you have to make when you head over to the Contest Lobby page is to choose whether you want to play for cash prizes against contestants from around the world or if you only want to go against people you know.
In the first case, you’ll want to select FanDuel Classic. There are several different contest types available, but we’ll get into more thorough explanations of those in upcoming sections. For now, it’s probably helpful for you to understand that you can participate in contests with as few as one other person all the way up to hundreds. Even free contests are available in FanDuel’s Classic Mode.
In the second case, you should select Friends Mode. This selection will enable you to create your own private league in which you and your friends can engage in weekly or season-long contests for cash prizes. You won’t be able to qualify for the big public tournaments this way, but playing daily fantasy is, at its core, about having a good time watching sports, and this is the perfect way to enjoy the sports you love in a new way.
FanDuel Contest Types
Our FanDuel review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t dive deep into all the different types of contests available for players to participate in. Just choosing the sport you want to try out is just the first part of your task when it comes to actually getting started playing daily fantasy sports. Now you’ve got to choose between one of the many contest types offered by FanDuel.
However, we recognize that a lot of the terminology used may be confusing to daily fantasy neophytes, so our review of FanDuel’s contest offerings will hopefully give you a more thorough understanding. That way you’ll be able to choose the contest type that works best for you when considering the time you have to invest and your skill level.
Free Play Contests
Just like it says on the tin, Free Play-type contests are free to play, with no entry fee. You won’t win any cash prizes for winning this kind of contest, but what you gain in experience in these early forays into daily fantasy sports at FanDuel may pay off in a big league way down the road if you stick with it.
FanDuel offers newbie players a great opportunity to hone their skills against other players just getting started on the daily fantasy sports adventure. More experienced players are not allowed to participate in this contests, so beginner mode is your best bet when you’re still learning.
There are several types of beginner-only contests, including 50/50, Double Up and Mini Squeeze. We’ll talk about 50/50 contests in more detail in the next section, but Double Up and Mini Squeeze contests are basically just the next steps up in progressively more lucrative games, with top finishers earning more prize money. The entry fee for all beginner-level contests is $2.
Also known as “Double-Up,” 50/50 contests are available for both beginners and more experienced players. Daily fantasy veterans flock to this variety of contest because all you have to do in order to win double your entry fee is make it into the top half of all entrants.
This is a great kind of contest for folks who want to have a 1v1 test of skill with a friend, because in this case, the winner takes it all – and more, actually. The victory in a head-to-head FanDuel contests gets double his entry fee while his opponent goes home with nothing. Sounds like the perfect place to settle your rivalry with a “sports guy” coworker.
These contests are essentially the upgraded form of the 50/50 type. What that means is, instead of winning double your entry fee, winners in multiplier contests win more money as they win more contests in a stackable fashion. So, for instance, if you win several daily fantasy contests in a row you could be looking at 3, 4 or even 5 times the entry fee in cash prizes depending on how well you do. Obviously more experienced players are going to shine here, but when you’re ready to step up into the big leagues of FanDuel cash payouts, this is usually your first stop on the road to bigger and better things like the contest type we’ll discuss in the next section.
This is where things really start getting serious. FanDuel tournaments attract high player counts and pay out big dollars at the end. You can start with a low entry fee and work your way through successively more challenging levels of competition until you’re vying for a cash prize of several hundred dollars or more in the case of truly big special-event type tournaments.
Satellites And Qualifiers
FanDuel players who take part in satellite tournaments do so in order to qualify for special event tournaments like the Playboy Championship or the annual Dallas Baseball Championship. Satellites are important because they whittle these massive fields down to a few finalists who will compete for prizes often worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Only very experienced players need apply.
In what is perhaps the most self-explanatory of all FanDuel cash contests, large contests are for more than a few players – a lot more. Expect the total number of entrants to go up to 100 people. These are the biggest non-qualifier contests available, and the best part is players can choose what kind of entry and prize structure they want when they choose a tournament. This could be seen as a nice segue into tournament play.
Making A FanDuel Deposit And Collecting Payouts
Now that you’ve completed the sign-in process, picked your sport and decided on a contest type, it’s time to make a deposit into your account so you can get started actually playing daily fantasy sports at FanDuel. Fortunately, this process is a cinch thanks to the many payment options FanDuel makes available to its users. PayPal is, of course, accepted, as are VISA, American Express, Mastercard and Discover credit cards, and even electronic check or bank account transfers.
The whole deposit process is rather straightforward and streamlined, and that simplicity carries over to the withdrawal procedure. FanDuel is only able to issue payouts via PayPal or a request for a check, however, so factor either a 48-hour or 7 to 10-day turnaround time, respectively, into your plans should request a withdrawal. You will need to confirm your physical mailing address, social security number and pass other similar security checks in order for FanDuel to process your withdrawal.
Drafting Your Daily Fantasy Sports Team On FanDuel
FanDuel, like other leading daily fantasy sports operators, uses a simulated salary cap model for recruiting (otherwise known as “drafting”) players to your fantasy roster. In the case of FanDuel, the salary cap imposed on players building their lineup is $60,000. Athletes are ranked according to their stats and assigned a certain “salary” commensurate with their skill and proven ability, with better athletes naturally commanding a higher salary. The aim is to choose your team carefully, taking into account the best possible players for each position you have to fill, without going over your salary cap.
This is one of the more enjoyable aspects of playing daily fantasy sports, and definitely the most strategic component of the whole affair, and much ink has been spilt across the internet and many a water cooler conversation has been had on the nuances of this very subject. However, it is not the purpose of this FanDuel review to set you on the path for building your ultimate fantasy team, but rather just to give you an idea of the constraints placed on you when you prepare to recruit your roster and some of the general concepts behind the salary cap model. FanDuel does allow instantaneous substitutions, so don’t get stuck with a bad lineup going into your next contest.
In conclusion, your goal when drafting a roster should be to get as close as you can to your salary cap limit without going over. FanDuel will let you know if you’ve exceeded your salary cap by highlighting your account with a red $ sign, meaning you’ve got to go back and do some reorganization. Every sport is different, so recruiting the best team possible requires that you have some knowledge (if not an in-depth knowledge) of the sport in which your fantasy team is going to compete.
Special NFL Events At FanDuel
FanDuel knows where its bread is buttered – in America the fantasy sports scene is dominated by fantasy football, and that means FanDuel is going to roll out special NFL events every time the next season rolls around. This year is no different, and FanDuel is currently running its annual NFL Training Camp, which aims to get new and returning players back up to speed in time for the next gameday. NFL Training Camp also gives players tips on building a competitive roster, as well as breaking down the scoring guide for each position in that eventual lineup players will draft.
However, the biggest NFL FanDuel promotion going right now is the $50,000 NFL Free Play. This is going to start in time for the beginning of the NFL season, and offers FanDuel players the chance to vie for a $1,000 top prize, with an automatic entry into a $10,000 Second Chance Free Play contest set for week two of the season.
Some of the other neat features just in time for the NFL season are a series of low-cost contests to enter and get in some “practice reps.” These contests include the NFL Squib ($1 entry), NFL Double Up ($2 entry), NFL Safety ($2 entry) and NFL Beginner DU ($1 entry). The one you ought to choose is largely going to depend on your confidence and experience level, so if you’re fairly seasoned as a DFS vet, then maybe you can skip these low-risk, low-reward contests, but it’s always good to see a company doing its best to get new players involved in the sport.
There are a few other NFL-exclusive options that FanDuel has on offer for this season, including the NFL Mini contest type that lets players pick small 5-man rosters for quicker and easier playing. There is also a forthcoming l
Is It Legal To Play Daily Fantasy Sports At FanDuel?
While it is technically not illegal to participate in daily fantasy sports at any website, including FanDuel, there is some question as to the state-to-state legality of doing so. This confusion has come about due to an apparent conflict between a legal carve-out for fantasy sports in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA)and the opinion of various states’ attorneys general. The UIGEA, which targets American financial institutions in its prohibition on processing online gambling related financial transactions (namely credit cards), specifically makes a provision for fantasy sports to be excluded from this law, as it classifies fantasy sports as a “game of skill,” whereas gambling is generally considered a “game of chance.”
The daily fantasy sports industry, which is dominated in part by FanDuel, has for the last decade used the UIGEA loophole to operate unopposed in almost every state. However, the attorneys general of such states as Nevada and Montana have issued statements to the contrary in the last few years that have served to cast doubt on the future legality of daily fantasy in those states. For now, the main daily fantasy sports operators generally stay out of these states until a clearer legal climate presents itself.
FanDuel does not accept paid-entry users from the following states: Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington.
Does FanDuel Offer Any Bonuses For New Players?
The short answer is “yes,” but there are some particulars that are worth noting about FanDuel’s bonus offers for new players. First of all, FanDuel rewards its return players with the “FanDuel Points” system, which gives account holders 10 points for every $1 spent on the site – however, being that the rate is 2,400 points to every $1, it will take some time before you accrue points of any significant amount. That being said, those points can be redeemed for any number of uses at FanDuel, including free plays ranging in value from $2,000 to $8,000 depending on the number of FanDuel points you earn each month.
Other promotions aimed at attracting new users and rewarding long-term players range from freerolls to large on-location daily fantasy tournaments, usually requiring months of dedicated play and several qualification rounds. Probably the most popular among these big-league promotions is the World Series Baseball Championship, the biggest MLB contest of the year that happens to involve $1.5 million in cash prizes. Still, the FanDuel special events calendar is usually chock-full of new and exciting promotions like NBA Swag Week and the Beat the Score challenge that are designed to keep fans coming back for more. And FanDuel has largely succeeded in keeping things interesting for users because of this approach.
Does FanDuel Have A Mobile App?
Not only does FanDuel offer a free-to-download mobile app for its users, FanDuel’s mobile app is actually the preferred means of playing daily fantasy sports at that site, in the view of this reviewer. The app may not be the slickest-looking you’re likely to come across in this competitive segment, but it is supremely quick and easy to use, plus it has all the essentials like the contest tab and lobby menu right where you can easily find them and keep up with your active contests and rosters. The popularity of FanDuel’s mobile app is overwhelming, and the numbers speak for themselves: the app has a 5-star rating on both the Apple and Android app stores and there have been nearly 5 million unique downloads of the app since it first became available.
Are FanDuel Winnings Taxed?
The general rule regarding taxable earnings from FanDuel and other daily fantasy sports sites is that you won’t be taxed unless you earn more than $600 per year. That may not seem like a lot given the monstrously huge cash prizes offered during some promotions, but the truth is that daily fantasy sports is not a get-rich-quick scheme, and you should definitely not quit your day job to play daily fantasy sports.
At best, you can become very good at daily fantasy and you can win some solid money at it, but the main reason why people play isn’t to get rich – it’s to enjoy another means of participating in your hobby, which is keeping up with professional sports. If you happen to make some extra money on the side because you stay on top of your favorite athletes’ stats, then so much the better, but that isn’t the ultimate purpose of FanDuel.
Is FanDuel Safe And Secure?
The answer to this question is an emphatic YES. FanDuel is probably one of the safest daily fantasy sports sites online, and that’s because the company has had nearly 10 years to perfect its security system, both in terms of encryption technology and storage apparatus to keep your personal information safe. In order to process a withdrawal, you will need to provide confirmation of your valid mailing address, birthdate and social security number (or social insurance number for Canadian account holders). As for deposits, FanDuel stores all your account’s related financial information in a digital vault, not the company’s servers, so there is no need to fear a hacker getting ahold of your banking info.
The bottom line, if you come away with nothing else from this FanDuel review, is that you can have peace of mind regarding your financial information and personal information alike if you choose to play daily fantasy sports at FanDuel.
Does FanDuel Offer Sports Betting?
FanDuel does offer sports betting, having opened its first land-based sportsbook at The Meadowlands in New Jersey on July 14th, 2018. You can also expect to see brick and mortar FanDuel betting shops in West Virginia, New York, and other states across the nation. The DFS turned sportsbook operator will continue to expand in the future, with the online sportsbook expected to launch by the end of 2018. Rumor has it that the FanDuel Sportsbook will be on the Paddy Power Betfair platform.
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