How does DraftKings daily fantasy work and what sports can you play?

(Image credit: DraftKIngs)

DraftKings is one of the most popular daily fantasy sports platforms in the world, with more than 8 million users.

But if you’re used to season-long fantasy sports or have never played fantasy games before, the idea behind daily fantasy sports can be a little confusing. In this article, we’ll explain how DraftKings works and take a look at the range of sports you can play on the platform.

How does DraftKings work?

In traditional season-long fantasy sports, competitors create a roster of players to represent their virtual team. They then earn points whenever the players on their team accomplish something — like make a hit, catch a pass, or score points — in real-world games. At the end of the season, the competitor with the most points from their fantasy league wins.

DraftKings takes the model of season-long fantasy sports and compresses the time-frame. Rather than choose a team for an entire season, you can create a team based on, say, all the baseball games being played on a single day. At the end of all the games on that day, a winner of the fantasy sports match is declared and players are free to enter new competitions and create new teams on the following day.

On DraftKings, that means there are hundreds to thousands of different daily fantasy competitions to enter at any given time. Players can enter multiple matches on the same day, creating a different fantasy lineup for each one or spreading their games across various sports.

There are also various contest formats available. For example, some matches are part of tournaments, others pay winnings to the entire upper half of the player field, and yet others are head-to-head contests.

In addition, DraftKings offers cash prize payouts for the majority of contests on the platform. Some contests have variable payouts that depend on the number of players and their respective scores at the end of the match. Others, particularly platform-wide tournaments with no cap on the number of players, offer guaranteed prize payouts that can be in the millions of dollars.


(Image credit: DraftKings)

What sports can you play on DraftKings?

DraftKings has a huge variety of sports available for daily fantasy games. All of the major US sporting leagues, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, are available. College sports, soccer leagues, and UFC fights are also available on DraftKings.

On top of that, you’ll find daily fantasy matches built around more niche sports like NASCAR and F1 motor racing, boxing, rugby, golf, tennis, cycling, and cricket.

Does DraftKings require an entry fee?

The majority of daily fantasy sports contests on DraftKings do require an entry fee. However, it can be quite low —min many cases, it’s less than $1 to create a team and compete. Major tournaments with guaranteed prize payouts are likely to have higher entry fees. The biggest tournaments on DraftKings require antes of up to $10,000.

That said, there are also plenty of contests on DraftKings that are free to play. Many of these are targeted at beginners, allowing you to try out the platform and get the hang of playing daily fantasy sports without any risk. Impressively, a number of free-to-enter contests on DraftKings offer cash prize payouts for winners.


(Image credit: DraftKings)

Is DraftKings a good service?

Our full DraftKings review answers that exact question. And we were really impressed with what we saw from the service.

As well as being really impressed by the sheer amount of sports and competitions available for daily fantasy, we liked how straightforward the menus are to navigate and the ease with which you can get started.

DraftKings also has an excellent sportsbook service — again with a plethora of sports to bet on — which also features all teh facts and figures you need to work out who you should be backing.

Still unsure? You can compare it to its nearest competitor with our dedicated FanDuel vs DraftKings break down.

How do you sign up for DraftKings?

Signing up is easy — all you need is an email address or Facebook account and then head to the DrafKings website.

There’s no requirement to deposit money before you can start exploring the daily fantasy sports contests available. If you want to enter into paid games, you can add money to your account with PayPal, a credit card, or a bank account.

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Michael Graw

Michael Graw is a freelance journalist and photographer based in Bellingham, Washington. His interests span a wide range from business technology to finance to creative media, with a focus on new technology and emerging trends. Michael's work has been published in TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Business Insider, Fast Company, Salon, and Harvard Business Review.