What is Draftkings?
Draftkings is a popular, if not the most popular daily fantasy sports sites out there, providing a growing variance of fantasy sport options. DK sports include the normal NFL, MLB, NBA & NHL, as well as some more niche sports including PGA (one of my favorites to play), MMA, soccer, Esports (games like League of Legends) and Canadian Football.
Within each of the sports made available to DFS players, there are a variety of options to choose from including GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pools), Head-to-Head contests and 50/50s. You can join these contests anywhere from free entry, to 0.25c for the cheapest options when a cash entry is required, all the way up to over $1000 and beyond for the most expensive. No matter your income level or risk tolerance, there is a contest made for you.
Every day will provide you with a range of playing options, with weekday players numbering around 3000 DFS players, and the weekends seeing a massive uptick of online players joining tournaments. You will be hard pressed to not find a 50/50, tournament or head 2 head to join with the volume of options that are presented each day.
If you are looking for Draftkings lineup advice, then I am hoping that this review will provide you with everything that you need to get started.
Prize money can vary and these days you will find big prizes up for grabs. We are approaching the current 2019 NFL season and Draft Kings will run a $5,000,000 GPP with $1,000,000 going to the winner. Secondary to that is a $2,000,000 prize pool with $200K to the winner. This particular tournament has a field of up to 792K entrants @ a $3 buy-in, so you can see how the weekends draw in the additional fantasy players by the droves.As you can probably guess now, you can see that there are some very big opportunities to grab a lot of cash prizes.
In 2019, DraftKings is expected to payout over $1 Billion in cash prizes.
If you wish and before you make a deposit, you can join in the free games to test the waters, so to speak, and get a feel for the how the platform performs. Daily fantasy players are awarded what DK calls Crowns, and these Crowns can be used to enter more tournaments, even paid tournaments, to earn real cash prizes. You can also use the crowns you accumulate, to buy Draftkings swag like hats, shirts, jackets etc.
If you live in the US, Canada or the UK, Draftkings is legal. You do however need to understand if the state you live in, in the US allows daily fantasy, as there are some that do not. This website is the best for information about the legality of DFS and sports betting.
Platform and Features
The first thing that you will notice when you get through the Draftkings login, is that the platform and interface is very clean and sleek. Advanced filters make it easy to find the right tournaments and the tabs make filtering of the games super easy. You will find all the featured tournaments at the top of the pageand the mobile app brings the power of the desktop version to your mobile phone or tablet.
DK makes it easy to deposit funds, using all the popular methods including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and AMEX.
Withdrawal Options & Timing
If you make a withdrawal, you can get this back onto the same card that you made the deposit with, you can get it through PayPal, or you can opt to receive a check. If you take the check option, you will get this in 7-14 days. PayPal will arrive in 3-5 days.
DraftKings Sportsbook Mobile App
For the lucky folks in New Jersey and West Virginia, can you use Draftkings Sportsbook to make live, real cash bets on sports. There are a lot more states that have legalized sports betting so check back often to see when DK Sportsbook goes live in your state.
Even if you live in a state where Draftkings Sportsbook isn’t live, you can still use the app to check live odds.
DraftKings main rival is Fanduel, and both these DFS sites compete for partnerships to bring their brand to the masses. DraftKings was able to partner up with MLB which was a huge get for them and now channels like MLB Network spend some of their air time talking DK stats and scoring on most of the live MLB schedules.
Very recently in July 2019, Draftkings became the official Daily Fantasy sponsor of the PGA Tour, inking a multiyear deal to further entice new fans to the game of golf.
Caesars Entertainment, one of the largest casino operators in the nation has also partnered with Draftkings. This partnership will help bring Draftkings Sportsbook to other states outside of New Jersey and WV.
I’m a big fan of the Draftkings platform and find that I sue it more than any other daily fantasy sports site so, I do apologize if I come across biased in this review, but I will do my best to focus on facts and keep subjectivity at a minimum.
As I have already spoken about above, Draftkings is a really great platform, providing plenty of functionality with very high prize pools and a huge user base of DFS players. You will never have any issue with getting Draftkings lineup advice or with locating a tournament to join from a variety of sports and buy in costs. More than anything, DK is very trustworthy and provides payouts quickly and without issue. SSL secure technology allows the use of all the major forms of payment for deposits. Draftkings is putting more effort into marketing it’s brand and it isn’t uncommon to see commercials during sporting broadcasts.
The Signup Process
I think that it probably goes without saying, but you cannot do anything on DraftKings until after you have gone through the signup process. Fortunately for you aspiring DFS folks, it’s an easy process to go through. If you live in a state that does not allow Daily Fantasy Sports gaming, then you obviously won’t be allowed to sign up. Another important point to make, and I know of this happening first hand, if you travel from an allowed state, to a banned state, do not attempt to try and use a VPN touse Draftkings login. You WILL get a ban from DraftKings for trying to skirt the rules.
Again, if you need a refresher on allowed states, go to this page on Lineup Optimizer.
Another great feature, if you can call it that, is the ease and speed of making deposits. If you are a regular DFS player, this is something that can be important for you if you are short on funds when needing to quickly put on bulk lineups.
Immediately after signing up, you will get directed to the deposit page and presented with a bunch of options to make your first deposit for cash games. Those options will be $25 up to $600, and then an “other” field so that you can make a choice if you want to make a deposit that isn’t one of the presets.
You can make a deposit on draftkings.com or the app, using all major credit cards & PayPal.
Pick Your Desired Contest
The featured tab is a bit of a go to for a lot of players as it will display the best selections from all the available sports. I personally use this quite a lot. The top tab will list all the sports so that you can select a desired sport. If you select a sport you will then be taken to the contests page and then you can drill down by entry fee or contest type. There is also an advanced field which you can use to go even further down by narrowing any search by field size or GPP, 50/50 etc. Great if you are looking for Draftkings lineup advice with these options to assist you.
You will come to learn that there are two categories when we are talking Daily Fantasy Sports. These are cash games and tournaments, or also commonly known as GPPs (Guaranteed Prize Pools), satellites, multipliers and qualifiers. The cash games are called 50/50s, head-to-head and double ups. The cash games are easier to cash out on due to a lower field of playersand cashing out to 50% of the field, whereas GPPs are harder to cash out, paying somewhere between 20-30% of the field, but typically this is where the huge cash prizes are. There ishowever some winner take all tournaments, so do take some time to understand the contests types and your preference of which ones to join.
Some of the more recent changes that have been made to level the playing field in tournaments is to restrict entries. This is because there are a lot of professional players who will enter 100’s of lineups into each tournament, giving themselves a huge advantage over players who may just put in a single lineup. You can now find that there are single entry tournaments (some of my favorites are single entry), max 3 or max 20 entry etc.
DraftKings Roster Formats
If you play on other DFS sites, you will notice that DK differs itself from the rest of the group by changing up the roster formats. Let me explain. If we look at NBA as the example, DK will have guard, forward and utility spots, allowing you to be more creative and differ yourself from the rest of the field. Across NBA and other sports like MLB and NHL, you may also notice that DraftKings has position eligibility or multi-position eligibility, meaning that one player may be listed as being OF & 1B (outfield and 1st base), as an MLB example. If we are talking NFL, there is a FLEX spot available so that a position like kicker can be added. Sports like golf, NASCAR and MMA are still standard right now.
Captain Showdown Slates
This has been a really great addition in my opinion, and I like to play Draftkings Showdown slates a lot. What happens with Captain Showdown is that you create a roster like any other format except that the positions are all FLEX and you select one player to be the “Captain”. The captain costs 1.5X more but he also earns 1.5X more fantasy points. Typically, you will find that the Showdown slates are set on the games that are either more popular single matches or that are outside maybe a set round of games, like Sunday Football (even though there are showdown games on Sunday). My point is that these are single games, usually away from the main slate of games.
The draw of Draftkings Showdown is that it just makes a single game much more appealing and a lot more interesting as you watch your captain hopefully run amuck and rack up huge fantasy production at 1.5X more than the rest of the field.
I recommend giving Draftkings Showdown contests a shot, I don’t think you will be let down by the excitement that this form of contest provides.
This contest is a great way to join a contest if you are perhaps a newer player who wants to see how DFS works, or just don’t have a lot of time to do research to select an optimal lineup. This format has 6 tiers, and within each of those tiers is a set of predetermined players to choose from. You simply need to select one player from each tier to add to your roster. The scoring is the same as the main slates, with no special scoring like the showdown series.
If you have been playing DFS for years, then you know what this contest is. It is your straight forward, standard slate with a salary cap format. You need to fill each position on your roster with a player that is marked as playing in that position, all while staying under the salary cap. It is standard scoring although these games typically have more players in the roster.
Drafting Your Team
After you made your decision on which game to play, you can now start to draft your team. All the players that are available for that particular game will be listed on the left and you can go ahead and sort them by their playing position.
Each player carries a designated salary cap and the idea will be to build an optimal lineup that stays within the constraints of that salary cap, normally $50K.
As you build your team, the salary cap that is used is displayed, as is the remaining salary cap you have left to spend. If players left in the list exceed your remaining salary cap, they will be greyed out and only the players that will fit under your remaining salary cap will be available.
Once you have assembled your team and that team is under your salary cap, you can submit it to the contest. If you want to use the same lineup in multiple contests, you are able to import already created lineups into other tournaments running.
There are some contest versions where there is no salary cap as I have explained in the above points, so if you are looking at a tiered game, you won’t see a salary cap. The showdown version is different again, as you will need to pick a captain and that changes the contest dramatically. In a Captain Showdown, the captain will cost you 1.5X the cost of its normal salary but the captain will also score 1.5X more point for every fantasy action they complete. I think it is a great addition to the games on Draftkings.
You aren’t going to get far in your DFS journey if you don’t review and understand the scoring terms on Draftkings.com. The scoring will be an integral part of your player selection process so do make sure that you review these. At times, it is possible that the way points are accumulated change, but Draftkings will make sure its players know. In 2019, they changed the way that NHL contest points accumulated for different fantasy actions. This was done to make the NHL games more exciting for players. You can read about those scoring changes here.
As I just mentioned, if you are clued up on the scoring advantages, you may struggle at times with your DFS lineups. To give you some examples, in fantasy football, you can get bonus points for 100+ rushing yards, or bonus points for 300+ passing games. There are some players that can do this and others not so much, so this becomes important in your selection process.
Fantasy baseball has bonus points for shutouts, not hitters and complete games. Fantasy basketball favors three pointers and the bonus points reflect that.
Draftkings golf has become a very popular daily fantasy sports game, I myself, love to play the Draftkings golf tournaments.Typically, a golf tournament is 4 days long and your lineups will carry across all four of those days. If the tournament you are playing features cuts, then you will need to make sure your lineup is loaded up with golfers that are more likely to make the cut at the end of the second day. If the tournament does not feature cuts, then your entire lineup will play for four days.
Golfers can get bonus points for several DFS activities, like birdie streaks, bogey free rounds and full rounds, shooting under 70 each day.
Draftkings golf is one of those games that is really a lot of fun to play against just your friends as well, and Draftkings allows you to setup tournaments with your own friends and your own buy-in that will get split amongst the leaderboard of those you let join.
When you want to withdraw funds from your Draftkings account, they make it super easy to do. You simply go to the balance button on the left-hand side of the DraftKings app and when you select this, it will open up a set of options, one of these being Withdraw, down near the bottom of that list.
You are sent to a screen that gives some “things to know” before withdrawing. Options like being able to withdraw onto a new card if the old one has expired, as long as the card numbers are the same or being able to withdraw onto a gift card you used previously to deposit funds.
If you no longer have the same card you used to deposit fund in the first place then you will need to make contact with the Draftkings team by using the “Contact Us” option.
The minimum withdrawal amount is $1 for PayPal and $15 if you want to receive your funds via a check. PayPal will take 3-5 days, although it has never taken this long for me, and 7-14 via the check option.
Draftkings Website Experience
Navigating the Draftkings Website
I must admit, I find the Draftkings dashboard to be really user friendly, with most of the features that you need regularly, accessible through the top navigation bar. Once you click on a section you are given the options you are looking for. It’s a sleek and high-end looking dashboard that makes creating DFS lineups simple and easy, just what you need from a big player like DraftKings.
Ease of Use & Dashboard Functionality
DraftKings redesigned their website a while back and the changes they made are beyond superior to their competitors. The functions and important website sections are simple to find and use, and importantly, their sorting features are simple to grasp, even for first time users of the Draftkings platform.
Promotions that are in play at the time of using the Draftkings website are front and center so you can take advantage of any matching or entry fee savings that in place.
If I needed to be picky and grouch about anything, I would prefer to be able to select a withdraw button right from the dashboard without having to go through other sections to get there. Instead, I need to go to my balance (if I’m on the Draftkings mobile site) or through my username (for desktop), click on that and then that opens another list of options. From there, I head down to the bottom of that list, select withdrawal. I then go to another screen that lists some “things to know”, I then have to continue past this screen to then choose my withdrawal amount and payment options.
As I said, I am looking for something to complain about, it’s not a big deal.
Draftkings Mobile Site
I find that I use the mobile app more than I use the desktop website, but that is only because I carry around my Apple iPad like it is part of my body and I couldn’t function without it. It’s simply easier for me to hit the Draftkings app button on my iPad which take me straight to the dashboard. Now, that being said, if I am putting on multiple lineups, which means I am typically uploaded a csv file, then I am going in through the Draftkings website as I cannot upload files through the Draftkings mobile app.
Your preference will likely come down to the number of lineups you are putting on, or whether you always have a desktop or laptop handy. Either way, you will find no real faults with using the Draftkings mobile app.
Draftkings Customer Support
The Draftkings support functions have improved over time. What used to be a webform contact only, has slightly improved by adding in chat so that you potentially get issued resolved right away. When you are dealing with real money, I do think that not being able to call a Draftkings customer support number and get something resolved on the spot is a shortfall, although Draftkings chat support has helped improve the Draftkings customer support from the days when the webform was the only option.
They do make the effort though of answering your questions prior to needing to reach out, by adding in common questions and answers at the top of the contact us page. Underneath that, you can also see a link that will direct you to the Draftkings FAQ which could also answer your pending inquiry.
Here, you can also find a link to the Draftkings contest rules page.
Draftkings Rewards Program
There are a number of rewards that can be earned through using the Draftkings platform, typically through entering contests and winning money.
Crowns, which were formally known as FPP’s, are earned at a rate of 1 crown for every $1 you spend entering paid contests. The crowns that you earn, determine your eligibility forDraftkings Daily Reward Status Tiers every month. These crowns can be used to enter certain contests or to purchase items in the Draftkings store.
Contest tickets can be earned through playing as well, and these will allow you to enter some contests for free. Once you enter these contests with earned tickets, you are in the running for some great cash prizes.
You also earn XP or experience points for playing and winning, with the more XP you have, the higher your level. These XP points and levels are simply bragging rights.
Draftkings has always led the way into different sports outside of the normal NFL, NBA, and MLB, and to continue that trend, they introduced leagues to the Esports arena. For those of you that may not know what Esports are, Esports are highly competitive video game tournaments that are becoming more and more popular by the day. These Esport tournaments in the real world are also attracting big prize money to the top Esport Players around the world.
League of Legends is the game that Draftkings puts into their tournament roster, offering one day fantasy leagues for these esport competitions. If you are looking to join one of these tournaments, you would be assembling an 8-person roster that would need to fit under a $50,000 salary cap. The positions you need to fill will be TOP, JNG, MID, ADC, SUP, D, FLEX & TEAM. Your selections must come from at least two different teams, with no more than 4 players from one team.
Through the Draftkings website, you will also have access to the Draftkings Playbook, a section cutout from the regular DFS site, dedicated to bringing you the latest and best news to help you with your optimal lineup research.
You can select your sport of choice from the top bar, and this will open up a range of topics like Daily Research, Betting, Strategies and more.
The training camp is also an area that would be of interest which effectively will expand on what I have written here, and go thoroughly in depth on all things DFS, relatable to the sport of your choice.
Options like Stats, Scoring tips and tricks, using the player cards when building your lineups so that you can quickly understand the stats that are being presented to you, drafting lineups for different game types and general overview of the different functions of the Draftkings dashboard that you will be using to locate games and build the best lineups that you can to be competitive.
Is Draftkings Legal?
Yes, Draftkings is legal, as long as you aren’t in a US state that has blocked fantasy sites like Draftkings. It’s an ongoing battle but things are looking bright for fantasy sports and also sports betting in the United States, as more and more states are starting to relax their laws.
Fantasy sports in particular is defined as a game of skill as opposed to a game of chance, which rules it out as a form of gambling.
The website Legal Sport Report, has a wealth of information about DFS and also sports betting laws in the US, where you can and can’t play, and bills that could change US States law on these topics as well. It’s great reading so head over to that site through the link at the start of this paragraph.
Well, I think that is about it folks. I hope you have enjoyed reading through my Draftkings review and hopefully, you have come out on the other side with some knowledge of what to expect, how to be more competitive and most importantly how to build better lineups.
Enjoy Daily Fantasy Sports, it is a great way to win some money if you get good at it, it’s great to play with friends and it makes all sport so much more interesting when you are genuinely invested with multiple players across multiple games.