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Daily Fantasy Sports 2024: Comprehensive DFS Strategy and Tips

Last Updated on 09.04.2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Do you try to keep up to date with the latest team stats, player facts, and breaking news? Fancy yourself as the next Phil Jackson? Then let me find you a daily fantasy sports site that ticks all your boxes.

You can soon chat with fellow ‘coaches’, build alternative ‘higher/lower’ entries, and even play on the go through dedicated apps in 45 US states. Plus, at some of the very best DFS sites, you can make use of knowledge hubs, test your own strategies, build your rosters, and compete for a portion of some seriously sizable prize pools.

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Check out the best daily fantasy sports betting sites for 2024

Underdog Fantasy
Recommended
Favicon
4.7/5
  • Huge prize pools
  • 100% match deposit bonus
  • Features major sports
  • Secure and fast banking options
Underdog Fantasy Bonus
100% up to $100 + Mystery Pick’em Special
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
T&Cs apply, 18+
Copy
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Payment Methods
PayPal
Mastercard
Visa
+
Apps
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ParlayPlay
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.7/5
  • $5 no-deposit bonus and up to $100 deposit bonus
  • Up to 9 different sports competitions
  • Weekly Free2Play contests
ParlayPlay Bonus
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ParlayPlay
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Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
Discover
Withdrawal
3 – 5 Days
Apps
Show less
Sleeper
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Popular daily fantasy leagues
  • A wide variety of paid contests
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Regular bonuses and promotions
Sleeper Bonus
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
T&Cs apply, 18+
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Apps
Show less
FanDuel Fantasy
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Match deposit bonus up to $100
  • Real-time game monitoring
  • Multiple promotions
FanDuel Fantasy Bonus
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to FanDuel Fantasy
Play now
Payment Methods
Prepaid Card
PayNearMe
PayPal
+
Withdrawal
1 – 10 Days
Apps
License
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Award
Global Gaming Awards (2022)
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DraftKings Fantasy
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Loads of terrific fantasy sports contests
  • Great dedicated app
  • Stellar player experience
DraftKings Fantasy Bonus
20% up to $500 + free $3 ticket
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Go to DraftKings Fantasy
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Payment Methods
PayPal
VIP Preferred
Play+
+
Withdrawal
1 – 5 Days
Apps
License
Virginia (US) Lottery Board
Award
EGR – Operator of the year (2023)
18+ in most eligible states, but age varies by jurisdiction. Eligibility restrictions apply.
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Understanding the Basics: What is Daily Fantasy Sports?

Daily fantasy sports provide you with the chance to take on the role of ‘coach’, build your very own lineups, and enter contests against like-minded sports fans.

Depending on the contest you have entered, you will find that you are given a set salary cap and a number of positions to be filled. The total number of fantasy points won by each of your chosen players will be totalled at the end of the contest. The team that has the largest combined total will then leave with the largest portion of the prize pool.

Launched:2012
US Fantasy sports market:> $9.4 billion
US Fantasy sports players:> 50 million
Most popular fantasy sport:Football
Prohibited States:Hawaii, Idaho, Montana. Nevada, and Washington

Alternatively, you may find that you can build your entries based on specific stat lines. For instance, you may select between two and ten players that you believe will score ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ than a set number of rebounds, assists, blocks, or points. While building your entries, you will find that every selection provides you with a larger multiplier. At some of the very best DFS sites, you’ll find that you can add an insurance to some of your picks, too.

So, is daily fantasy sports legal? Absolutely. Back in 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) made it illegal for businesses to accept payments for any person placing bets or wagers using the internet where it is prohibited by law – the only exception was fantasy sports. In short, it was determined that DFS sites are considered to offer games of skill, not luck.

Although it was some six years later that daily fantasy sports officially launched across the US, this exception in the 2006 law led to the initial unregulated and completely legal position of daily fantasy sports. Fast forward to 2024 and you’ll find that most US states have now passed legislation specifically focused on DFS, meaning you can enjoy safe and regulated contests in 45 US states.

While football, basketball, baseball, and hockey remain the most popular sports contests around, you will find that contests now cover esports titles, upcoming soccer fixtures, and mixed martial arts. Bonuses and promotions still tend to be far smaller in comparison to traditional sports betting offers, but I am finding more platforms that now allow your DFS entries to contribute towards any rewards programs.

Advantages
  • Range of contest types
  • Offering games of skill
  • State-specific legislations in place
  • Legal in 45 states
Disadvantages
  • Smaller bonuses

Daily Fantasy Sports Rankings: The best fantasy sports betting sites in April

Now that I’ve got some of the key stats and facts out of the way, let me showcase a few of my favorite places to enjoy the full daily fantasy sports experience.

Underdog Fantasy – an inclusive daily fantasy sports platform with plenty of great contests

underdog fantasy
Underdog Fantasy: Pros & Cons
  • Unique contest formats
  • Selection of sports and leagues
  • Competitive welcome bonus
  • Suited to mobile players

Underdog Fantasy is a fantastic choice for those looking to enter typical salary cap contests across all major sports, including basketball, football, and hockey. However, you can also enter unique Pick’em contests focusing on specific stat lines with the potential to 20x your entry fee. To get you started, you can register online or through the mobile app before unlocking a 100% matched bonus of up to $100. You can then look to build your lineups and enter contests for as little as $1 in almost all US states.

DFS Bonus
4.7/5
Underdog Fantasy
DFS Bonus
4.7/5
100% up to $100
Deposit Bonus
|
T&Cs apply, 18+
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DraftKings – an established all-rounder packed with perks

draftkings fantasy
DraftKings: Pros & Cons
  • Huge welcome bonus
  • Range of sports contests
  • Dedicated mobile application
  • DFS platform appears complex

DraftKings has been a huge player in the US daily fantasy sports scene since it first opened its doors in 2012. An inclusive welcome bonus of up to $500 is up for grabs, requiring a minimum deposit of just $5 to unlock. From here, you’ll then find that all of your contest entries contribute towards the Dynasty rewards program. As things stand, DraftKings is legal to operate in 45 US states, offering you the chance to enjoy NBA, NFL, NHL, and a range of popular contests online or through the mobile app.

DFS Bonus
4.5/5
DraftKings Fantasy
DFS Bonus
4.5/5
20% up to $500
Deposit Bonus
|
18+ in most eligible states, but age varies by jurisdiction. Eligibility restrictions apply.
Go to DraftKings Fantasy
Get Bonus
fanduel fantasy
FanDuel: Pros & Cons
  • Inclusive entry fees
  • Competitive rewards program
  • Major contests covered
  • Capped deposit limits

FanDuel is another established daily fantasy sports site with fantastic coverage of the NBA, NFL, and NHL. You’ll find that you can build lineups freely, utilize updated stats, and enter contests from as little as $1. The 100% matched bonus ensures that you get your time online off to a great start. Plus, all of your entries will contribute towards your level in the Players Club. As things stand, you can visit FanDuel through your desktop or mobile app in 44 US states, too.

DFS Bonus
4.5/5
FanDuel Fantasy
DFS Bonus
4.5/5
100% up to $100
Deposit Bonus
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T&Cs apply, 18+
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ParlayPlay –  offering unparalleled sports and esports coverage

parlayplay fantasy sports
ParlayPlay: Pros & Cons
  • Create sports and esports DFS entries
  • Impressive mobile app
  • Fast payouts
  • Limited selection of payment methods

ParlayPlay is home to a number of DFS contests focused on everything from NBA and NHL to Valorant and League of Legends. To get you started, you can add $5 in bonus credits to your account without ever making a deposit before unlocking the 100% matched offer. You’ll find that you can add players to your roster by selecting whether they will score ‘more’ or ‘less’ than a predetermined stat value or enter the free-2-play contests. ParlayPlay has an exceptional app, and payouts can often be completed within 30 minutes.

DFS Bonus
4.7/5
ParlayPlay
DFS Bonus
4.7/5
100% up to $100
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T&Cs apply, 18+
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OwnersBox – an ideal spot for those with interest in major leagues

OwnersBox Bonuses
OwnersBox: Pros & Cons
  • Huge new customer offer
  • 30-minute payouts
  • Legal in 37 states
  • Limited sports coverage

OwnersBox is the final name that features on my list of top daily fantasy sports sites. You can look to download the app, unlock a bonus of up to $500, and make use of a huge knowledge base before entering contests covering all major sports. NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB are all available here, with entry fees beginning from just $0.50. The DFS platform is currently available in 37 US states, boasting one of the most responsive support teams and some of the fastest payouts around.

How we rate and compare the very best new DFS betting sites

I have noticed that new daily fantasy sites are forever opening their virtual doors. So, to ensure that my reviews and ratings remain fair throughout, I’ve created a set of criteria that must be ticked off while putting them through their paces.

Contests, entry fees, and prize pools

To get started, you’ll want to make sure that a selection of contests are available to you. As you can see, many of the best feature inclusive entry fees start from as low as $0.50; however, I’ll be covering all of the specifics in my dedicated comparisons. Additionally, I’ll take time to highlight the kind of contests offered, including whether they follow a traditional drafting format or allow for ‘higher/lower’ selections to be added to your entries. Finally, I’ll review available prize pools, searching deeper into the terms to establish exactly how prizes are broken down and distributed.

Usability and accessibility

The very best daily fantasy sports sites will allow you to register with ease both online or on the go. Some may even offer dedicated apps. After working through the registration process, you’ll want to be able to navigate around the platform freely, switching between NBA daily fantasy contests, promotions, deposits, and withdrawals within a few simple clicks.

You should also find that top daily fantasy sports sites allow you to test your lineups in draft mode, filter through eligible players, and access the terms and conditions at any stage. The fluidity of building, amending, and submitting your entries should be as streamlined online as it is through the app. In turn, you should be able to transition between the two seamlessly and enjoy a top experience regardless of where you decide to play.

Security and support

Alongside ensuring that your chosen daily fantasy sports site is user-friendly and accessible, you’ll want to make sure that it is safe and that the support team is responsive. While curating my comparisons, I’ll be sure to consider whether 2FA is utilized, if safer gaming tools are available, and will even check how verification checks are performed. Plus, you can rest assured that I’ll waste little time putting the support team through its paces.

Bonuses, promotions, and VIP programs

As already touched upon, bonuses and promotions aren’t the most sizable at daily fantasy sports sites. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a critical consideration. Again, there are no guarantees, but a bonus will at least provide you with the chance to familiarize yourself with how contest entries, drafting, and the whole DFS process work without needing to use your own cash balance. I am also starting to notice that many big-name daily fantasy sports sites are now allowing contest entries to contribute towards the rewards and VIP programs.

Additional features and unique perks

To help establish themselves in a busy market, daily fantasy sports sites will look to offer unique and additional perks to their users. For instance, you will find many sites that provide dedicated daily fantasy sports guides, updated stats, and the option to amend your rosters leading up to game time. Up-and-coming platforms have also started to venture into the world of live stats, streaming, cross-sport entries, and beyond. I’ve saved you a lot of digging by ensuring that any key features are highlighted in my comparisons. 

 

Next up, let me offer you a better look at some of the most popular DFS contest formats and detail exactly how they work.

Salary Cap Drafts

The salary cap drafting format is the most common type of daily fantasy sports contest offered. These contests will present you with a set budget that you can use to create your own lineup. As you would expect, the best players will cost the most amount of money. So, you’ll need to dive deep into the stats to try and uncover some hidden gems.

Draft styles will vary from contest to contest, often depending on the size of each tournament. The Snake Draft is a popular choice for many, reversing your draft position with each round. For example, in a ten-person contest, you may draft first in round one. However, in round two, you’ll then draft in last place. This ensures that the process is fair for all.

Higher/Lower Entries

The ‘higher/lower’ format allows you to build a DFS entry based on selections that are focused on specific stat lines. For instance, you may be able to choose between rebounds, assists, steals, or points before selecting whether an eligible player will score more or less than a preset value. Your total selections will contribute towards one entry. Potential payouts will increase based on the number of selections added.

  • Selection 1: Harden over 22 points
  • Selection 2: Jokic over 10 rebounds
  • Selection 3: Curry over 6 assists

50/50 (Double-Ups and Head-to-Heads)

On paper, the 50/50 format provides you with the best odds – provided you aren’t up against a DFS veteran. Usually, they are split into Double-Ups and Head-to-Heads.

As the name suggests, a head-to-head puts you against one other player. A winning entry will either move you on to the next round of a tournament or allow you to walk away with your winnings. Double-ups are slightly larger contests, promising to reward the top 45% with double their entry fee.

Bonuses and Promotions: What is a DFS betting bonus?

Although no guarantees, a few basic bonuses and promotions are often gifted to welcome new users and reward the loyalty of returning players. I’ve covered the most common in this convenient table.

DFS BonusExplanation
Deposit MatchThe deposit match bonus is a popular choice for DFS players. You’ll find that a platform will match your deposit based on a certain percentage up to a set amount.

For example, you’ll notice that many of my recommended daily fantasy sports betting sites are currently offering a 100% matched bonus of up to $100.
No Deposit BonusThe no deposit match is a great alternative for the cautious players among us. As the name suggests, you won’t need to worry about funding your account just yet. However, you should expect this bonus to be smaller in comparison.

Once you’ve worked through the registration process, entered any bonus codes, and verified your account, you will find a no deposit bonus that can be used as a contest entry.
Bonus CreditsBonus credits can be unlocked at any stage throughout your time online. For example, the deposit match and no deposit bonus will be released into your account as bonus credits, requiring you to play through them before they can be considered as part of your cash balance.

You may then find that additional bonus credits are added to your account after meeting certain milestones. This could be as simple as entering a weekly reload promotion or by leveling up through the rewards program.

Check out some of my favorite daily fantasy sports sites today

What do you say, Coach? Think you’re ready to take on the big leagues? If so, be sure to check out the on-site banners before signing up and redeeming any welcome offers.

Here, I’ve made sure that I focus my efforts on providing you with some honest insight into some of the best daily fantasy sports betting sites around. I’ve covered everything from security and support to eligible contests and potential prize pools. Plus, you’ll even pick up on whether live stats and streams, a mobile app, or other perks are on the cards.

Check out these top DFS bonus offers!

Underdog Fantasy
1.
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4.7/5
100% up to $100 + Mystery Pick’em Special
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
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T&Cs apply, 18+
ParlayPlay
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4.7/5
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
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T&Cs apply, 18+
Sleeper
3.
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4.6/5
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
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T&Cs apply, 18+
FanDuel Fantasy
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4.5/5
100% up to $100
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Min. Deposit: $10
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T&Cs apply, 18+
DraftKings Fantasy
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
20% up to $500 + free $3 ticket
Virginia
Players from Virginia accepted
Requirements (WR): 25x Deposit, Min. Deposit: $5
Go to DraftKings Fantasy
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18+ in most eligible states, but age varies by jurisdiction. Eligibility restrictions apply.

Daily Fantasy Sports FAQ

Yes. At the time of writing, you’ll find that daily fantasy sports are legal in 45 US states. The only prohibited areas include Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. 

💰 Can I win money entering DFS contests?

Yes. Paid and free-to-play DFS contests present you with the chance to win a portion of a prize pool for building a winning lineup or the chance to win a set payout based on ‘higher/lower’ picks.

The most common popular DFS contests follow a standard draft format. They will require you to build a lineup of players using a set budget or salary cap.

Top Brands
Top Bonuses
Underdog Fantasy
Underdog Fantasy
Underdog Fantasy Review
4.7/5
ParlayPlay
ParlayPlay
ParlayPlay Review
4.7/5
Sleeper
Sleeper
Sleeper Review
4.6/5
FanDuel Fantasy
FanDuel Fantasy
FanDuel Fantasy Review
4.5/5
DraftKings Fantasy
DraftKings Fantasy
DraftKings Fantasy Review
4.5/5
Underdog Fantasy
Underdog Fantasy Bonus
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ParlayPlay
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Sleeper
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FanDuel Fantasy
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4.5/5
DraftKings Fantasy
DraftKings Fantasy Bonus
20% up to $500
18+ in most eligible states, but age varies by jurisdiction. Eligibility restrictions apply.
4.5/5
Our Team
Emily CarterJackson T. PierceMike GoodpasterJP ZhangBrendan Heffernan
+2
Emily Carter
Gambling Editor
Jackson T. Pierce
Gambling & DFS Editor
Mike Goodpaster
Mike Goodpaster
Chief Editor Betting
JP Zhang
JP Zhang
Founder
Brendan Heffernan
Editor
Eric Winkler
Editor
Ian Johnson
Editor

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