FanDuel Or DraftKings? We compare the two DFS leaders
Legal Sports Report

FanDuel Vs. DraftKings – Who’s No. 1 In Daily Fantasy And Sports Betting?

The daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry continues to be dominated by two companies.

DraftKings and FanDuel are well ahead of the pack, while other industry operators are jockeying to be the third-most-popular choice.

FanDuel was the first company to gain serious traction in DFS, bringing what was once a niche pursuit to the forefront of the gaming world. DraftKings joined a few years later, and it wasn’t long before the two companies were battling for dominance.

Fast-forward to today, and the two industry giants are going toe-to-toe in a new realm.

DraftKings and FanDuel have entered the legal sports betting market, and early returns appear promising for both entities.

We’ve assembled a closer look at both companies to examine what they bring to the table so you can make an informed decision on which site might suit you best. We’re not here to tell you that one is better than the other, as the decision will ultimately come down to user preference.

First things first: let’s take a look at how the two behemoths stack up on some key attributes.

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DK vs. FanDuel: Comparing the companies

When it comes to the sheer number of users and prize pools, DraftKings has surpassed FanDuel as the top operator in the industry despite the latter having a head start of several years.

Of course, being No. 2 in a massive industry isn’t so bad. The companies were close to merging in 2017, but the deal ultimately fell through. Since then, the competition has intensified between the rivals.

That’s a good thing for consumers, as the result of the competition is innovation and better products.

For example, single-game DFS is a relatively young industry development that is aimed at keeping fans even further engaged on both platforms.

 FanDuelDraftKings
Parent CompanyFlutter EntertainmentPrivately held
Last reported valuationAcquisition by Paddy Power Betfair valued the company at $465 million cash.Seeking $2 billion valuation in the latest funding round.
Est. Pro Team Sponsorships3363
Major league partnershipsNBA, NHLNFL, MLB
HeadquartersNew York CityBoston
Official Twitter@FanDuel@DraftKings

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: States available

DFS is a legal pastime in the majority of the US, but some states aren’t on board yet.

DraftKings and FanDuel blocks users from participating in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington state

In the states where DraftKings and FanDuel are up and running, there is no question on the legality.

Both operators are also up and running with sports betting in the same states, for the time being, with additional states to follow as legalization issues settle.

Here are the states where both DraftKings and FanDuel are open for sports betting:

  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: What are the differences?

For those new to DFS, DraftKings and FanDuel might seem like the same thing. However, there are several distinct differences.

Both offer similar game types and have similar roster requirements, but there are scoring nuances between the platforms.

For example, DraftKings offers scoring bonuses when players in your lineup achieve certain milestones, e.g., a 300+ yard passing game in the NFL or a double-double in the NBA.

FanDuel does not.

While there are differences, the companies are in line with several key metrics. Let’s take a look at who offers what in several key categories:

 FanDuelDraftKings
Visit FanDuel
Visit DraftKings
New Player Bonus$5 free on sign up + $5 on deposit$20 free
Free-to-Play ContestsYesYes
Referral ProgramYesYes
Affiliate ProgramYesYes
iOS app (Real-Money Play)YesYes
Android app (Real-Money Play)YesYes
PayPal DepositsYesYes
Credit Card DepositsYesYes
Lineup Tools Standard plus advanced for multi-entry.Standard plus advanced for multi-entry.
Player ResourcesnumberFire, The DuelDK Playbook
Total Prize Pool for NFL Live Final$2.5 million$10 million
Online NFL ChampionshipYesNo
Max Entries Per User for Large GPPs150150
Single Entry TournamentsYesYes
Loyalty PointsFD Points: Five points for every $1 in real money play.DK Crowns: Awards vary by contest and entry fee.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: Sports available

The DFS giants line up well in this area, too. Both have all of the bases covered when it comes to the major sports.

However, DraftKings does offer some sports that FanDuel does not, several of which are in the niche variety.

 FanDuelDraftKings
Visit FanDuelVisit DraftKings
NFL$5 free on sign up + $5 on deposit$20 free
NBAYesYes
MLBYesYes
NHLYesYes
College FootballYesYes
College BasketballYesYes
SoccerYesYes
GolfYesYes
TennisYesYes
NASCARYesYes
MMANoYes
EsportsNoYes
Arena Football LeagueNoYes
Canadian Football LeagueNoYes
EuroLeague BasketballNoYes

DraftKings has been an innovator on this front, while FanDuel has followed the lead for the most part.

Of the sports DraftKings offers that FanDuel does not, MMA seems like the most likely future addition.

We also can’t rule out the possibility of either operator offering additional niche sports.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: NFL

NFL season is the biggest time of the year for the companies. Massive tournaments are all over both lobbies every week. The highlight on both platforms is a guaranteed prize pool (GPP), which features a top award of $1 million.

Here’s a side-by-side look at the two competing weekly tournaments:

 FanDuelDraftKings
Visit FanDuelVisit DraftKings
Tournament Name$2.5M Sunday Million$3.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire
Entry Fee$9$20
Total Number of Entrants330,687205,800
Places Paid76,07543,350
Top Prize $1 million $1 million
Lowest Prize Awarded$15$30

The companies also hold massive NFL championships each year.

This year’s FanDuel World Fantasy Football Championship will take place in Puerto Rico, with 80 competitors competing for a $2.5 million prize pool with a top prize of $500,000.

DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship is much larger with a $10 million prize pool and a top prize of $2 million. This year’s edition takes place in Miami, with 180 total spots up for grabs.

While the millionaire tournaments and championship events snag the headlines and draw users in, there are plenty of other ways to get in the game.

Smaller tournaments, 50/50s, leagues and head-to-head matchups are among the other offerings.

For newer players, there are beginner games available on both sites. You can find them in the lobby, and they allow you to get your feet wet in this new endeavor.

Scoring and roster requirements are similar on FanDuel and DraftKings, but there are two big differences to keep in mind.

First, FanDuel awards 0.5 points per reception, while DraftKings awards 1 point. So, this can add up quite a bit, and it also changes the strategic approach to playing on both sites.

In addition, DraftKings awards the aforementioned scoring bonuses for milestones, while FanDuel doesn’t.

For additional details on NFL DFS, click here.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: NBA

While NFL rules the roost in DFS, the NBA has taken the mantle of the second-most popular sport.

While the tournaments aren’t quite as large as the NFL, there are still some massive prize pools to be found. As we go through our comparison of the two sites, the NBA season has just tipped off.

Here are the most prominent tournaments available on both platforms:

 FanDuelDraftKings
Visit FanDuelVisit DraftKings
Tournament Name$400k NBA Shot$450k Excellent 8s
Entry Fee$5$8
Total Number of Entrants95,23866,100
Places Paid22,30015,420
Top Prize $100,000$100,000
Lowest Prize Awarded$8$12

Beyond the large tournament above, there are various games at plenty of different price points. New players should be on the lookout for games that are labeled “beginner” in the lobby.

Games, such as 50/50s at a low dollar amount, can be a great way to get started and find some success, as the top half of finishers cash in these games.

While there are similarities on both sites, there are some significant differences in NBA to keep in mind.

On FanDuel, nine lineup spots are revolving around the traditional positions. Over on DraftKings, there are only eight roster spots, one of which is designated as “utility.”

You will find differences in scoring.

For example, FanDuel awards 3 points for steals and blocks, while DraftKings awards 2 points. DraftKings awards bonuses for players who get double-doubles or triple-doubles, but FanDuel does not.

For additional insight into NBA DFS, click here.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: DFS Championships

As mentioned, NFL season is the biggest time of the year for DraftKings and FanDuel. The operators go all-out each week with massive tournaments featuring huge prize pools, but the highlight for both is the live finals’ experience.

Each year, the sites hold championship events at exotic locales. Qualifying tournaments are held each week in advance.

Here’s a side-by-side look at what both sites have planned for this year:

 FanDuelDraftKings
Visit FanDuelVisit DraftKings
NameWorld Fantasy Football ChampionshipFantasy Football World Championship
LocationPuerto RicoMiami
Total Prize Pool$2.5 million$10 million
Number of Qualifiers80180
Top Prize$500,000$2 million
Lowest Prize Awarded$10,000$15,000

To be clear, it’s not easy to qualify for these events.

In order to do so, you’ll need to take down the top spot in one of the qualifying tournaments. That said, there are several chances each week at different price points.

DraftKings vs. FanDuel: Can/should I play both?

Yes, you can play on both sites if you so choose.

At a minimum, you should check out what both have to offer before deciding on one versus the other. Signing up via our exclusive links will make it easier for you to do so, and you’ll get free money to play with to boot.

While trying out the two sites, make a note of what you like and don’t like about each platform.

For example, you might like the roster requirements on FanDuel NBA better, but you might also like DraftKings’ approach to scoring better.

After getting a feel for both sites and checking off the boxes, you can gain a sense of which one works best for you and your strategy.

You can continue playing on both platforms and adjust your strategy for each accordingly.

In fact, that’s exactly what some of the top DFS players in the world do. It naturally takes quite a bit of time to get to that level. In the end, it comes down to user preference.

DFS vs. sports betting

FanDuel and DraftKings have entered the world of legal sports betting, and both companies are finding success in the new foray.

While DFS has been legal in many states for some time due to a carveout in the Professional and Amateur Sports Act (PASPA) of 1992 that deemed fantasy sports a game of skill, that hasn’t been the case with sports betting.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled in a long-standing case brought forth by the state of New Jersey that questioned the federal ban on sports betting. The court struck down PASPA in April 2018.

The decision effectively gave a green light for states to legalize sports betting, and a number were quick to act.

Unsurprisingly, NJ was at the top of the list.

FanDuel and DraftKings both debuted mobile products to serve the NJ market soon after it became legal. FanDuel also has a retail sportsbook located at the Meadowlands, while DraftKings set up shop at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City.

Just as they have in DFS, the two companies surged to the top of the charts in the Garden State. They lead other operators by a wide margin in terms of sports betting revenue in the early days of the market.

As of today, FanDuel and DraftKings online and mobile sportsbooks are available in the following states:

  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

On the DFS side, it’s legal to play on both platforms in all but the following states:

  • Arizona
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Washington state

For additional insight into the current legal climate on sports betting, click here.

If you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into what DraftKings has to offer, click here. To do the same for FanDuel, you can click here.

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.

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