Finding the Right Daily Fantasy Sports Option

Daily fantasy sports betting is available in most US states. Learn more about where you can play DFS online.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests are held over several days or hours, rather than throughout a season. Like traditional fantasy sports betting, players can create teams from professional athletes and earn points according to their performances on the field. Online platforms let bettors place bets and compete against other players to win money.

Proponents of DFS argue that it takes real skill to play well. This is because of what the data shows. Over the years, the same names consistently win DFS competitions, which indicates a considerable amount of skill involved. However, there are only a select few fantasy sites that reign supreme in the industry – and we’ll try to direct you to the very best DFS sites that are worth your time and deposit dollars.

The Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports in the US

Due to an exception in a 2006 law, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), daily fantasy is not illegal at the federal level. Businesses were prohibited from accepting payments for the participation of another person in an internet-based bet or wager. The law made it illegal to accept gambling payments online. This led to the collapse of a once-thriving online poker market in the US.

Even though daily fantasy sports were decades away at the time of the law’s passage, sites became legal in many states without regulation. It is important to note that several states have passed laws specifically dealing with DFS and ensuring its continued legality. Some, however, have restricted it. As of February 2022, 45 states specifically allow DFS activity. Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington State are the states that do not permit DFS companies to operate. 

Residents of any state that hasn’t specifically banned participation in DFS are allowed to participate. These states are included in a “gray area,” which is how the country and the rest of the world were originally introduced to it. And despite the Supreme Court overturning PASPA and opening up the gates for legalized sports betting (on an individual state level), this had no bearing on DFS sites already operating post-UIGEA.

These users may wish to exercise caution, as they are more vulnerable to being manipulated by operators and other players. The general increase in scrutiny of daily fantasy games should help to keep them on the up and up, especially for major operators like DraftKings or FanDuel.

It’s now easy to set up an account on online platforms or mobile apps, create a team, and then collect your winnings with some luck and skill. However, be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions before you start. They vary from one site to another, and each has its own scoring and rules.

How to Participate in Daily Fantasy Sports

Getting started in DFS isn’t complicated. There are free and “trial” versions, as well. Novice participants can get used to the nuances before wagering money. This will get any new user acclimated to the platform itself, how to allocate lineup budgets, and how to find which games you’re going to be most comfortable playing. There are many options as far as games are concerned, including huge tournaments involving thousands of players or smaller ones where you only face off versus a handful of other players.

Register with a DFS Platform

There are many options available, but it is often easier to choose the largest platforms. Information and guides help you get started. There are also special leagues for beginners. DraftKings and FanDuel both offer simple interfaces with helpful features for beginners.

Choose an Activity

After you have created your account, you will need to choose the sport you want to play. Many platforms allow you to play football, soccer, baseball, basketball, and other sports. Others, however, are more focused on specific sports like NASCAR or MMA.

There are many game types to choose from. If you place in the top half of all players, “Double-Up,” games will guarantee a 100% return. Preferred by more experienced players, “Head to Head” games are played against one opponent. Guaranteed Prize Pools provide tiered payouts that are based on the performance of your team.

You will need to sign up for a contest in order to compete. The main screen of the platform or lobby displays available contests. They can vary in style, length, buy-in and sport. An entry fee will be required to enter a contest.

Create Your Team

Next, you need to create your team. A list of all available players, along with their stats, and often recent performance reviews, will be provided. You can choose the best team, but it’s up to the player to ensure that their combined salary is less than a certain amount. This is the “salary limit.” Team building is the key to daily fantasy sports games. So make sure to consider all your options.

After the games have ended, your homepage displays updated stats and your team’s overall performance. Winnings display if your team wins the contest.

Daily Fantasy Sports Platforms

There are two major players in the daily fantasy sports market. There are a few other players like Yahoo. Yahoo hosts both friendly and real-money leagues. In addition to playing long-term pools with friends, players can participate in daily contests.


DraftKings was an established brand in DFS before it entered the sports betting industry. This has allowed for exceptional growth as an online sportsbook. Along with FanDuel, DraftKings controls 90% of the entire DFS market.

DraftKings’ DFS options mirror long-running fantasy sports but compresses the seasons into a shorter format. The time required to win contests can range from a few days up to several weeks, depending on what sport you choose. Competitors draft a team of athletes and these athletes receive points based on how they perform in the game. For those looking to wager on sports, learn more in our DraftKings Sportsbook review.


FanDuel has been the leading legal online betting operator in the US. Its extensive experience in DFS, as well as its user-friendly interface, a wide variety of deposit and bet options, and marketing efforts have all contributed to this success.

Like DraftKings, FanDuel offers leagues and contests for all major sports, including the NFL, NBA, soccer, and more. FanDuel’s roster-building is one of the most simple and intuitive in the industry. It’s simple to use and intuitive for beginners to learn how to build a salary-based roster. Read more about FanDuel’s online sportsbook.