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Can You ‘Beat The Score’ At FanDuel? A Look Inside The Fantasy Sports Site’s Newest Contest

FanDuel Beat the Score

FanDuel is trying yet another new way to play daily fantasy sports.

In its new contest type — called “Beat The Score” — you’re competing against other players, but not only against them. How’s the new version of DFS work?

FanDuel’s Beat the Score

The new contests from FanDuel will be very familiar to DFS users. It still uses the standard salary cap that many are familiar with. Rosters are the same size, and prize pools are still announced in advance.

Where does it get different, then?

Users will be trying to beat a certain fantasy point total — set by FanDuel in advance — in order to win the cash prizes that are up for grabs. If you beat the score, you win money. If you don’t, you don’t.

This means that the payouts that users can win are variable. If half of the field beats the score, equal prize money goes to each of them, based on the guarantee. If only one person beats the score, they’ll get the entire prize pool. If no one beats the score, all entry fees are returned to players.

DFS site DraftDay — which discontinued consumer-facing operations last year — once offered a similar type of contest.

Contests will immediately be available for the NBA, NHL and English Premier League. Beat the Score contests are available both on the FanDuel website and on its app for iOS and Android.

If you want to try it out, FanDuel is offering the “Beat the Score Fan Challenge” starting today and running through March 6. In the promotion, FanDuel will add up all of the player scores, and the combined scores will set the prize for a special free contest. The more everyone scores, the bigger the free prize pool gets — up to $25,000. 

What FanDuel is trying to do

FanDuel and competitor DraftKings have been trying to make the game more accessible for recreational users. FanDuel believes the new contest type accomplishes that; whether it meets that goal remains to be seen. Having to hit a score — and not having to beat top pros to win money — probably seems like a more approachable goal for some players.

Here’s Head of Product Nik Bonaddio:

“We are continuing to roll out new products to make our site even more accessible for the everyday sports fan and to ensure everyone feels confident when entering a FanDuel contest. Giving users a target goal to beat makes these contests fun and easy to understand for new and casual users.”

In addition, FanDuel said it will provide “historical data” so that “users understand and can easily visualize what score they’re trying to hit.” Some target scores posted by FanDuel might be harder to hit than others.

Iterations of DFS becoming more common

DraftKings and FanDuel have been rolling out all sorts of different types of DFS contests in recent months.

  • Both have started offering “single-game” contests, including ones based just on the Super Bowl. Those have extended to the NBA All-Star Game and nationally televised regular season NBA games, as well.
  • Both offer simpler versions of their existing contests, sometimes with no salary-cap restrictions or smaller roster sizes. FanDuel has codified its efforts on this front with its “labs” section.
  • And DraftKings is willing to step out of the DFS box entirely to develop a sportsbook.

The one certainty in 2018 for DFS is that more change and innovation — like Beat The Score — is likely on the way.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.