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

fanduel daily fantasy
(Image credit: FanDuel)

FanDuel is a daily fantasy sports platform and online sportsbook founded in 2009. The platform has gained a massive user base and has paid out more than $4.5 billion in prizes over the past 10 years.

But in this article, we’ll focus only on the daily fantasy sports available to play at FanDuel and explain how they work and what sports you can play.

How does FanDuel work?

FanDuel, and daily fantasy sports more broadly, evolved out of popular season-long fantasy sports. With season-long fantasy sports, players are locked into their chosen team for an entire league season, which is usually months long. But with daily fantasy sports on FanDuel, players can create fantasy teams for just a single day’s worth of games.

As an example, that means you can put together a fantasy football team that’s only in play for a single Sunday’s worth of NFL games. What’s more, you can build your team based specifically on the matchups that are happening that day rather than trying to predict which players will perform best over the entire NFL season.


(Image credit: FanDuel)

What types of contests are available on FanDuel?

One of the neat things about FanDuel is that there are a variety of different daily fantasy contests. The platform hosts massive tournaments with prize pools in the millions of dollars, which often have thousands of entries. But, you can also find beginner-friendly daily fantasy sports games, multiplayer leagues with 100 entrants or less, and head-to-head competitions.

FanDuel also has some unusual daily fantasy sports contests from time to time. For example, the platform ran a home run derby during the 2019 MLB season. In that contest, competitors only scored points when a player on their fantasy team hit a home run.

What sports can you play on FanDuel?

You can play daily fantasy around many of the most popular sports leagues in the US. The platform has contests for the NFL and college football, the NBA and college basketball, the MLB, and the NHL. You can also play fantasy games for soccer (around the English Premier League), golf, tennis, and even NASCAR.

Are there entry fees to play on FanDuel?

Most contests on FanDuel come with entry fees. Fees vary depending on the contest type and potential prize payout, but most of the time it only costs a few dollars to enter a daily fantasy game. Large platform-wide tournaments with guaranteed prize payouts may have entry fees up to $10,000.

Importantly, there are also plenty of free daily fantasy contests on FanDuel. Many of these are beginner friendly, allowing players to practice their fantasy skills without putting down money. Many free contests even offer cash prize payouts.


(Image credit: FanDuel)

Is FanDuel a good service?

FanDuel is one of the most popular platforms for playing daily fantasy sports online. It offers a relatively wide variety of contest types and fantasy sports, and you’re not locked into a chosen fantasy team for more than one day at a time. On top of that, there are plenty of free daily fantasy contests for beginners in addition to paid tournaments with bigger cash prizes.

But if you want even more information on the service, what it offers and how good it is, you can check out our full FanDuel review here. Alternatively, compare it with its nearest rival, with our guide to FanDuel vs DraftKings.

How do you sign up for FanDuel?

As of 2020, FanDuel is available for daily fantasy sports in 44 states and Canada. You cannot play daily fantasy sports if you live in Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, or Washington.

Signing up for FanDuel is fast and easy. Once you head over to the site, you can create an account with your email address or Facebook account - and you don’t need to deposit money before you can start browsing the contest lobby. In fact, you don’t need to deposit money at all unless you want to enter into a paid contest.

Gambling responsibly

You probably don't need us to tell you that any form of gambling comes with serious risks and should never be undertaken as a silver bullet to solve your financial troubles. It's worth remembering the phrase...the house always wins!

If you suffer from a gambing problem or suspect somebody you know does, then we strongly suggest that you give the National Problem Gambling Hotline a call on 1-800-522-4700 to discuss it with a professional. It’s so important to make gambling safer for yourself and loved ones.

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.