DFS Corner: What is the difference between DraftKings and FanDuel?

Chances are if you watch TV, you have seen a hundred plus ads for FanDuel and DraftKings over the past few weeks. Daily fantasy has taken the nation by storm, and it's evident by the amount they have spent on advertising over the beginning of the NFL season. According to Ispot.tv, both DraftKings and FanDuel have spent a collective 27 million on TV advertisements. So if the advertisements have finally persuaded you to give one of them a shot, please read below for a basic understanding of the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel. What is the difference between DraftKings and Fanduel?  The first thing you'll notice are the differences in roster construction, salary cap, and scoring systems. Each site requires you to chose 9 players from at least 2 different NFL teams and representing at least 2 different NFL Games. FanDuel does not allow you to take more than 4 players on a specific team, and rosters lock immediately at the start of whatever contest you choose. DraftKings has no limit on how many people you can take on a specific team, and you are able to edit your roster up until 5 minutes before game time. For example, if you have 8 players playing in the 1:00 games and your one player playing in the 4:00 game is a late scratch, you can edit that one player on DraftKings, since his game hasn't started yet, despite the rest of your entry starting. That feature is only offered on DraftKings as FanDuel locks immediately at the beginning of the contest for the entire entry. Roster Differences: DraftKings: QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3, TE, Flex (RB, WR,TE), Defense Fanduel: QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, WR3, TE, K, Defense Scoring Differences You can find DraftKings scoring here and Fanduel Scoring here. The main differences between the sites are
  • 1 point per reception on DraftKings compared to 0.5 point per reception on Fanduel
  • 3 point bonus for 300+ passing yards on DraftKings and no bonus on Fanduel
  • 3 point bonus for 100+ receiving yards on DraftKings compared to no bonus on FanDuel
  • 3 point bonus for 100+ rushing yards on DraftKings compared to no bonus on FanDuel
  • -1 point for a fumble lost on DraftKings compared t0 -2 points on Fanduel
Salary Cap Differences On DraftKings you have a $50,000 salary to draft 9 players, while on FanDuel you have a $60,000 salary. Salary is configured on Sunday Nights and is based on that players projected points for that upcoming week. What else should you be aware of?
  • Do your research!! This cannot be stated enough. There are a lot of sharks out there who have algorithms, enter multiple contests, and even do this full time.
    • Check for weather, high winds/bad conditions can impact certain players
    • Use Vegas to your advantage. Check O/U and spreads for each game to figure out what games Vegas expects to be high scoring games
    • Check good/poor Passing, Rushing/Receiving Matchups
    • Check for injuries; if a starter is going to be out, you can get their backup at a huge discount, and it will be easier for them to hit their value
    • Each site offers values according to their prices. Find those values and exploit them.
  • Know what entry you are entering in. Are you doing a cash game (50/50, H2H), Multiplier (Double Up, Triple Up, Quintuple Up) or Tournament?
    • The entry you choose should have a direct impact on how you construct your roster
    • For example, in cash games, you want a consistent player that has a high floor. In tournaments, you want players with the highest ceilings and low ownership to differentiate your entry.
I have been playing fantasy for the past 14 years and have been playing daily fantasy for the past 2 years. I am an active user on both FanDuel and DraftKings. I have read a lot about strategies and do a lot of research based on matchups, Vegas Odds, and statistics. Each week I learn more, and I will share with you the strategy I deploy. I will begin to provide you with some of my lineups and value plays for each upcoming week. I hope you enjoyed this article and it provided you with a brief understanding about the differences between two DFS Giants.  Please check back later in the week for my lineups and Value plays for Week 3.
Michael Freas
Graduate of both NFP's Intro to Scouting 101 course and Sport Management Worldwide's Football GM & Scouting course. Relevant experience includes shadowing former NFL Players & Coaches/Scouts, Bob Pellegrini and Dick Bielski as well as current New England Patriots Front Office Executive, Michael Lombardi during his tenure with NFP. Fantasy Football and Daily Fantasy Football enthusiast.

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