DraftKings and FanDuel are the undisputed leaders in one-week fantasy football. And each platform has appeal, depending on your game plan. Understanding which one works best for you is key to your DFS victory.
Here’s our 2023 roundup of the key pros and cons of DraftKings versus FanDuel, for NFL DFS.
The Main Metrics
Let’s start with a tale of the tape for our contenders:
* Rounded approximations. Updated March, 2023.
The NFL Experience
Each platform has game play distinctions. Here are the big ones…
Point Bonuses / Penalties
3-point bonus for 100-year rushing/receiving and 300-yard passing
Subtract 1 more point for fumbles
Points Per Reception
Minimum Offensive Player Salary
Minimum Defense Salary
Allows Kickers in Contests
Late Swaps Allowed
Higher stakes & experienced players
Note: Salary data is as of Week 1, 2021
The biggest difference is that FanDuel has a half-PPR format. DraftKings is Point per reception This is a DFS scoring system that awards offensive players (e.g., WR, RB and TE) one point for each reception. This is the standard scoring method of DraftKings. More. The result is that you get more oomph from pass-catchers, particularly from pass catching running backs and cheap tight ends, on DraftKings.
DraftKings also gives you a 3-point bonus when your offensive player exceeds 100 yards rushing/receiving or 300 yards passing. That may not sound like a lot but it’s almost always more than the score A DFS Hub field that equals the consensus point spread for the game at hand. It's Vegas's prediction of how much the favorite will win by, and how much the underdog will lose by. A Spread of -7, for example, means the favorite is expected to win by 7 points. For more, see:
... More between first and second place in big tournaments. Thus an extra factor for your chances of winning.
When it comes to salaries, FanDuel salaries are much higher than DraftKings, over $1,100 higher overall as of this writing. But so is FanDuel’s salary cap. It’s $10,000 more.
All in all, DraftKing’s lower salary minimums give you more flexibility to pick studs while saving money on fliers. DraftKing’s minimum tight end salaries are a whopping $1,500 less than FanDuel’s, for example.
Promotions change frequently. At the time this is being written, DraftKings was offering bigger bonuses for new accounts. Check both sites for updated details when you’re ready to take the plunge.
The User Interface
This is largely subjective but from our view, DraftKings has a cleaner, more intuitive interface.
That said, FanDuel provides live feedback on player selections, which may be appealing to more casual players.
Clicks to Reach Lineup Builder on Mobile App
Decision Support Features in Lineup Builder
"Guru" suggestions & other tips
Frequent Player Perks
"Tiers" where you pick from set player lists
"Beat the Score" where you share in the winnings if you exceed a set score.
DraftKings Lineup Builder
FanDuel Lineup Builder
The Other Guys
Other DFS players include:
- Yahoo Daily Fantasy — the #3 player in the DFS space
- Monkey Knife Fight — users predict individual player performances
- Draft.com — merged with FanDuel
- StatHero — a small outfit where you play DFS 1-on-1 against the house
- Draftboard — another small player that pitches a “Fair Match” system to “level the playing field”
The Final Verdict
You don’t have to choose. You can open accounts at each, exploit their unique benefits and, better yet, take advantage of both sites’ deposit bonuses. In DFS there’s nothing better than free money.
But if you have to choose one, base the decision on the style of play you prefer. If you prefer higher scoring contests and more strategic complexity then lean towards DraftKings. Complexity is a good thing if it heightens your advantage over casual players using inferior tools and analysis methods. If you want to prey more on complete fish or are just looking for a casual experience yourself, FanDuel may be the way to go.