Founded in 2009, FanDuel was the very first daily fantasy sports (DFS) site on the scene, and they remain a pioneer and leader in the industry today.
FanDuel’s growth led to them being acquired by a major Irish/British bookmaker in mid-2018, leading to a few branded sportsbooks throughout the United States, and a renewed focus on the DFS platform.
But as the number two option in the world – is FanDuel really the best DFS for you? This FanDuel review will take a deep dive into every major aspect of the site you need to consider before throwing down some money.
An Overview of FanDuel
FanDuel describes themselves as “fantasy sports reimagined”, and they do a good job living up to that self-imposed moniker.
FanDuel gives players an incredible amount of unique contests to get themselves into the game, including free to play contests, private leagues to play against your friends in, and even a beginners tournament section that helps you learn the ropes before jumping in against the veterans.
It’s easy to see why they’ve maintained their spot towards the top of the DFS kingdom.
Things to Consider Before Playing DFS
Just because you can play, that doesn’t mean you necessarily should. There’s a few important things to consider before diving head-first into the world of DFS.
Unlike traditional fantasy leagues, you’re not locked into your team once you’ve picked them. You’re setting a brand new lineup either every day or every week.
There’s a lot of variation, so it’s the perfect option for a player looking for fresh challenges without being locked into a season-long commitment.
You’ll also win real money quickly playing DFS. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten into a season-long league and people either don’t pay, or it takes forever to get my winnings. That’s not a problem with DFS.
The bottom line is this – DFS is an ideal platform for players looking for fast payouts, new challenges, and not being committed to the same players for the whole year.
Features and Benefits of FanDuel
We’ve taken a hard look at the most important features and benefits to consider before you make that first deposit!
#1 Who Can Play?
First, you’ll want to make sure that DFS is even legal in your area of residence.
FanDuel’s jurisdiction covers a good portion of the United States – 43 states to be exact – but as of now they don’t allow for any international play. You must have a home address in a participating state in order to deposit and play.
Unfortunately, if you’re located in any of the following states you’re out of luck:
The laws and regulations are constantly changing, so keep checking with your state to see if anything has changed on the legal front.
The majority of states allow players 18 and up to play and win. However, Alabama requires players to be 19, and Massachucetts and Iowa law prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from playing DFS.
#2 How to Play
FanDuel makes it incredibly easy to sit down and make your first deposit. I was up and running within seconds, and a few minutes later I was setting my first lineup and competing for real money prizes.
You can register for a free account either directly through the FanDuel site (left), or through their mobile app (right), and all you need is an email address.
Once you’ve registered, it’s a good idea to investigate the sports leagues FanDuel has to offer. This list is constantly growing, so even if you don’t see something you love immediately, there’s a good chance it will be added in the future.
As of April 2020, these are all of the options FanDuel has for DFS:
Once you’ve settled on your league of choice, it’s time to get to it and draft your winning lineup.
FanDuel offers a bunch of different ways for you to get in the game, and they’re constantly adding new, innovative contests to keep things interesting.
FanDuel gives players the option of a multitude of different formats, including:
- Guaranteed Prize Pool Tournaments – Payouts are guaranteed no matter the number of players.
- Beat The Score – Tournaments that share the prize pool among all winners.
- Multipliers – Players can double their money or play for more.
- Head-to-Head – One-on-one matchups, winner takes all.
- Small Entry – Tournaments with a player pool between three and 100.
- 50/50 – Players finishing in the top half receive a cash prize.
- Beginners – Only available to players that have played in 50 games or less.
- Qualifiers – Win entry into a larger tournament with a bigger prize pool.
- Friends Mode – Play in a private league against your friends.
One of the nicest things about FanDuel is the amount of varying buy-in amounts available to players. You can enter a game for as little as a few cents, or you can dive right in and splurge a bit on one of the bigger contests.
Most tournaments on FanDuel require you to build your ideal lineup while staying within a set salary cap, this number is almost always $60,000.
Every player is assigned a dollar amount, with the better players being more expensive. Because of this, you’ll need to be contrarian with some of your lineup choices in order to win. I personally like looking for those bargain players whose matchup I can exploit.
Once you’ve set your lineup, you can track all of the scores and statistics in real-time through the main site or the mobile app.
IMPORTANT: Once your lineup is set and the first game goes off, you’re locked into it. So make sure you make your selections carefully!
#3 Mobile App
Speaking of the FanDuel app, it’s your biggest aly when it comes to keeping up with the latest action.
The app is especially useful if you can’t get in front of a computer, as it lets you keep up on everything without missing a beat and has all of the same necessary features as the main site. 
You’ll be able to accurately track scoring, swap out and set lineups, and browse the massive collection of tournaments that populate on the daily. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught out before kickoff and was still able to roster my lineup confidently.
It’s free to download, and it’s a must if you plan on fully taking advantage of the service.
#4 Deposit and Withdrawal Options
This is definitely one of the biggest areas FanDuel shines when compared to their big competitors. FanDuel makes it so that anyone that wants to play, can play.
It’s extremely easy to make your first deposit, and you can choose from any of the available methods to get your money on the site, including:
As far as deposit amounts, it’s a bit trickier depending on where you live. Generally speaking, the minimum deposit on FanDuel is $10, and the maximum is $10,000 – far more than DraftKings.
However, if you live in Massachusetts, that number is capped at $1,000 per month. In Tennessee, players have a monthly max of $2,500, and in Maryland that number is $5,000. Again, these limits are imposed by law, so it’s best to check back frequently.
The nice thing is that your deposit appears almost instantly, so there’s no lag time between you putting your money down and playing.
There’s three convenient ways for players to withdraw their winnings from FanDuel:
You’ll need to verify your identity before you’re able to cash out, but it’s fairly standard information and extremely easy to complete.
FanDuel does a great job getting customers their money fast. I use PayPal as my preferred method, and I usually have my funds in 48 hours or less. If you opt for a bank transfer, you should see your money within 2-4 days, and a paper check can take up to a week to arrive.
#5 Safety & Security
Obviously, anything involving finances and personal information requires the highest level of confidentiality and security, and FanDuel seriously outshines their competitors.
FanDuel of course abides by the bare minimum, which is ensuring that information is encrypted through Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
However, where FanDuel takes it a step further is their Vulnerability Disclosure Policy. This program rewards anyone that identifies vulnerabilities in the product, which incentivizes players to do the right thing.
FanDuel also has a partnership with HackerOne, which serves as a secure platform for players to inform the site of any security issues or vulnerabilities. All in all, it’s extremely comprehensive, and I have no reservations about spending my money here.
FanDuel Review - Biggest Hits and Misses
Now that we’ve set a solid foundation for playing, it’s time to really scrutinize some best (and worst) features FanDuel has to offer. These should serve as some deciding factors for you when determining the best DFS site to play at.
These are some areas I really feel helps FanDuel set themselves apart from their competitors, and the biggest areas where value is added for the player.
#1 Instant New User Deposit Bonus
Who doesn’t love free money?
As an awesome perk, FanDuel credits new users with a free $5 credit immediately added to their account without ANY code needed. You can use this credit to play for REAL MONEY right off the bat, so it’s an excellent way to really test the waters and see if the site is right for you.
There’s also tons of promo codes floating around out there, so it’s useful to do some research before you hit the deposit button.
Check out if FantasyLabs is the right research tool for you.
#2 FanDuel Players Club
No site is worth its salt if it doesn’t do a good job of rewarding its players, and FanDuel really goes above and beyond to incentivize users to keep coming back for more.
The FanDuel Players Club is FanDuel’s twist on a loyalty program, and it really pays dividends no matter what sort of player you are. 
The program specifics are incredibly easy to navigate, something that’s welcomed compared to the complexities of DraftKings’ system.
Players earn FanDuel Points (FDP) as their form of virtual currency on the site. You’ll earn 5 FDP for every $1 in tournament play, so you can really rack up the points quickly. FanDuel will also periodically run promotions that offer an increased rate on rewards.
The beautiful thing is that FDP can be used to enter any paid contest on the site. Not just that, but your level of FDP comes with specific perks individual to your tier.
Each tier comes with a monthly free-play tournament, with the lowest level still guaranteeing you a $250 entry. The tiers go all the way up to GOAT, which gives users an insane $25,000 monthly freeroll, in addition to other perks.
#3 Unique Ways to Play
For some players, jumping into the same tournaments week after week can get tiresome. This has happened to me plenty, but FanDuel keeps churning out unique ways to play to keep it interesting.
Periodically, you’ll see all sorts of new types of tournaments and contests pop up. FanDuel Mini was a new tournament style introduced last NFL season that let players set a quick five-man lineup with or without the salary cap, with a chance to win $20,000 if you came up with the best lineup possible.
When no one claimed victory, FanDuel put the entire season’s payout into one pot, and hosted a Golden Five Winner-Take-All tournament, with the victor claiming $340,000 in prize money.
In addition to this, they also offer a few unique free-to-play tournaments pretty often, all with the chance to win real money prizes – including the MLB Home Run Challenge, Big Sports Bingo, and the FanDuel Bracket Pick Em’.
These are a few areas where FanDuel doesn’t quite hit it out of the park, or just areas where we think they can improve.
Smaller League Options
If you’re someone only interested in playing the major sports leagues, FanDuel is going to serve your purposes just fine.
However, if you enjoy the thrill of keeping up with international leagues, and want to dabble a bit in the world of MMA, you’ll have to take your talents elsewhere.
Currently, FanDuel is limited to only the major sports leagues within the United States, although this would make sense considering international play is not allowed as of now.
This is something that is constantly changing, for example – WNBA had not been offered up until recently, so it’s worth it to keep checking back to see if your favorite sport has been added.
This is due in-part to a smaller user base, but compared to their main competitor DraftKings, FanDuel’s biggest payouts are smaller on the whole.
For example, the NFL Sunday Million from FanDuel is their largest weekly payout, but offers $1 million less of a prize pool than the DraftKings counterpart. It also costs an additional $5 to get in. Not to mention the top prize in the contest is also about $200,000 less than that of the competitor.
The same can be said about their on-location World Fantasy Football Championship. Of course, $6 million in prizes is nothing to shake your head at, but compared to the $10 million offered by DraftKings in the same arena, it’s tough to compete.
Interested to know more about DraftKings? Then read this comprehensive DraftKings review.
We also have a list of the top fantasy football advice sites you need to check out to help you draft like a pro.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
As far as we can tell, FanDuel is not a ripoff as players are protected and information is kept safe. Withdrawals are easy and they offer multiple different ways to get paid out.
Absolutely, people actually win on FanDuel. I’ve personally won plenty on FanDuel, and FanDuel touts the winners of their major tournaments pretty frequently. Of course, it takes time and skill to become a winning player.
FanDuel Sportsbook is legit, but only if you’re in a state that allows you to use it. Currently, that’s only New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, and New York.
Both sites are great options for DFS, especially for people looking for larger prize pools. The better site is going to depend on differentiating factors that might be more important to your individual play.
Find out more on this FanDuel vs DraftKings comparison guide.
At the end of the day, FanDuel is one of our favorite options when it comes to playing DFS. The site truly does make DFS available to just about anyone that wants to play.
Highlighted by a mass amount of deposit methods and new user bonuses, it’s easy to jump in and start even if you’ve never played before.
Combine that with the consistent innovations FanDuel has when it comes to tournament offerings, and even the most seasoned player will always find a reason to come back and try something new.
You can register for your free FanDuel account HERE.
1. Fanduel. Retrieved from https://www.fanduel.com/how-it-works
2. How to Play Fanduel. Retrieved from https://www.fanduel.com/apps
3. Fanduel’s Player Club. Retrieved from https://www.fanduel.com/fanduel-points