Fantasy sports sites allow Average Joes like you and I to put on our manager caps and run our own teams. Daily fantasy sports sites offer the closest experience compared to traditional sports betting. If you work in an office (or really anywhere with other people), the odds are you’ve heard people talking about their fantasy teams.
But, things have changed. Now, there are numerous websites and mobile apps that offer daily fantasy sports betting. The best part of all is that you can play for real money online… and it’s all legal (in most states, more on that below). Below are the best DFS sites:
Fantasy Sports Sites We Recommend
After the UIGEA was passed, we saw multiple fantasy betting sites pop up in the United States. Two of those daily fantasy sites became the biggest and those are the brands that we recommend first. Here’s a little about each site and why recommend them:
Fan Duel – FanDuel.com opened for business in 2009 and quickly grew to become one of the biggest players in the fantasy betting market. FanDuel.com is based in New York City and has a solid reputation for processing payments and running fair events.
At FanDuel, you have two options for participating in events. You can either join competitions that other people have started or you can create your own with your own rules. The buyins for these events range from $1 to $200 and even higher from time to time. Payouts for winning bets vary based on the rules of the event and the number of people registered.
DraftKings – DraftKings.com is a Boston-based company that that hosts daily fantasy matchups every day of the week in a variety of sports. The main focus at DraftKings is on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA basketball and NCAA football. One thing you’ll like about DraftKings is that the website is super easy to use. You don’t even need to log in to see all open competitions and or to practice drafting your own team.
Deposits and withdrawals are processed via credit cards, debit cards (including prepaid gift cards) and PayPal. When you withdraw your earnings, DraftKings.com sends the money back to whatever you used to deposit in the first place.
DraftKings also hosts several major promo events every season for each sport. During the last baseball season, for example, they hosted a $200 tournament with a guaranteed first place prize of $125,000. That is some serious money for fantasy sports.
Which states allow daily fantasy sports?
Daily Fantasy Sports For Real Money
Daily fantasy sports betting is a twist on those traditional fantasy leagues that you might have joined in the past. The biggest difference is that daily fantasy sports only last for a day (or a week in some cases). This allows you to place a bet, see how it all plays out and get paid that same day.
You can give it a try by visiting a website like FanDuel.com to see what types of competitions are available today. So if it’s NFL season, you’ll see a lot of open NFL fantasy bets. After you join the competition, you can select the players for your team. The only restriction is that you must stay within the salary cap.
Once you have your team, you’re all set. Just wait for the next games to play out and see how all the players on your fantasy team perform. You’ll rack up points as your players rack up stats in real life. You will win the bet if your team earns more points than everyone else.
Competitions can be set up in a variety of formats. You can go head-to-head against just one other person or you can join a tournament-style competition with up to 2,000 other people. Payouts will vary based on how the competition is set up. It might be winner-take-all in the case of head-to-head matchups or there might be prizes for the top performers in a bigger tournament-style event.
In any case, the goal is to get as many points as possible. You’ll have to pick your team carefully because you’re required to stay within the fantasy salary cap. That means you can’t just pick all the all-stars and cruise to an easy win. You’ll need to make the most of your salary to get a well-rounded team capable of racking up stats.
We have a full guide to getting started with fantasy sports. This explains exactly how online fantasy sports betting works and how to get started with your first real money contest. Check it out here:
Are Fantasy Sports Sites Legal?
Yes. Fantasy sports betting is legal in the United States. The biggest real money fantasy sites are US-based companies that operate in open view of the law. You don’t have to play at shady offshore sportsbooks to participate; everything here is US-based and US-legal.
Traditional sports betting is a different story. The Wire Act and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act both make it illegal to own or operate a real money online sportsbook in the United States. That’s why all the US-friendly sports betting sites are located overseas.
Some Americans still bet on sports over the internet, but we do not recommend going that route. The problem with online sports betting is that it all takes place overseas. If anything happens to your money, there is nothing you can do. And unfortunately, A LOT of customers have been stiffed by online sportsbooks.
Fantasy sports betting is different because it received a special exemption from the UIGEA. The people who wrote the UIGEA specifically mentioned fantasy sports betting and gave it an exemption from the law. Daily fantasy sports bets are the closest thing to traditional sports betting. In some ways, it’s even more exciting because you get to pick and choose your own teams.