- Established: 2011
- Website: www.draftday.com
- Mobile Compatible: Yes
- Cashout Time: 48 hours via PayPal, 3-5 business days via check
DraftDay operates under applicable local laws in the USA. In most states, fantasy sports for money is legal, but not in all. The company headquarters are located in Manhattan.
- Welcome Bonus
- Refer-A-Friend Bonus
- DraftDay $5 Challenge
- Ongoing Promotions
- American Express
- Fantasy Football (NFL and College)
- Fantasy Baseball
- Fantasy Basektball (NBA and College)
- Fantasy Hockey
DraftDay offers daily and weekly fantasy sports contests with cash prizes. The company is based in Manhattan. DraftDay is not as large or as popular as its competitors, FanDuel and DraftKings, but the site has perks and options that are unavailable at many competitors.
The site was founded by the owners of Cardrunners, and if you're a poker player, the contests on the site should generate a significant sense of déjà vu. That's because the payout structure and buy-ins are handled in a similar manner to a sit-n-go poker tournament at any of the major poker sites.
In terms of the variety of sports, DraftDay offers slightly more than FanDuel, but not as many as DraftKings. Sports available at DraftDay include NFL and college football, Major League Baseball, basketball, hockey, and golf.
One of the advantages of playing at DraftDay are the multiple different kinds of contests available. They offer the same head to head and 50/50 contests as their competitors. They also offer the larger tournaments. But they also have other, more interesting contests that their competitors don't have. I'll go into more detail about these contest types later in this review.
If you're interested in the hobby, there's no reason to not participate in the contests at DraftDay. The site has a clean, easy-to-use lobby. They also offer a great variety of contests, including some unusual contests that are unavailable at their competitors. There's an excellent signup bonus too.
Their only real drawback is the number of huge guaranteed prize pool tournaments their competitors offer. For most people, that's not a deal-breaker. Of course, DraftDay has minor differences in their rules and scoring rubrics, too. This might matter to you if you have certain preferences about what kinds of games you like to play in.
My recommendation is to give DraftDay a try. This doesn't mean you should ignore FanDuel or DraftKings, but being able to take advantage of the $600 signup bonus is a perk you shouldn't walk away from out of loyalty to one of the other sites. You'll probably also like some of the more exotic contest types available at DraftDay. If you're interested in trying either of the other two sites mentioned, you can read our reviews of them on the following pages. Please keep reading for more about DraftDay.
One other thing to think about is the softness of the competition at the various sites. It's hard to say with a lot of certainty where the softest competition is, because it changes over time. The level of the competition at various sites improves at different stakes, too. Get a few games under your belt at each site, and you'll have a good sense of where the softest games can be found.
Below are some additional details on the bonuses and promotions available at DraftDay.
- Welcome Bonus – As a new player you get a 100% bonus up to $600 on your first deposit. This bonus amount is released incrementally at a rate of 4% of the entry fees of the contests you enter.
- Refer-a-Friend Bonus – DraftDay offers a $15 bonus every time you refer a friend who signs up for an account, makes a deposit, and enters contests at the site. This is a different arrangement from many sites in the niche, which usually offer a percentage of the referred players' entry fees.
- The DraftDay $5 Challenge - If you want to invite a friend to the site to try it out, you can set up a DraftDay $5 Challenge. Your friend gets $5 free into his account which he can use to play with you heads-up. It's similar to a no-deposit bonus from a casino or poker site, but it has a very specific use.
- Ongoing Promotions – The site also offers multiple freerolls on an ongoing basis. This isn't a bonus, per se, but it is a cool perk.
One aspect of the DraftDay website that's a clear win is the clarity with which they explain their signup bonus. FanDuel and DraftKings both offer signup bonuses, but it's hard to find specific information on their sites about how much you can get as a bonus and what the requirements are. DraftDay doesn't have this problem. The information is front and center and easy to find.
American players used to doing business with offshore sportsbooks will be happy to know that DraftDay, being a United States company, does all of its business in United States dollars. You can deposit using any of the following payment methods.
You can withdraw winnings via PayPal or via check. DraftDay has some of the best turnaround times in the business for withdrawals. The turnaround time for a PayPal withdrawal is 48 hours, but a check takes 3 to 5 business days to receive.
There are currently five sports available at DraftDay, as follows.
I'll provide some detail on how the contests work for each of these sports shortly, but there are a couple of other things to cover first. To begin with, I should explain how daily fantasy sports contests work in general. Most readers probably already know how fantasy sports work, at least at the season-long level. So I provide only the broadest overview of how the hobby works in this section.
It's also useful to understand about the commissions in daily fantasy contests.
When you enter a typical contest at DraftDay.com, you pay an entry fee. For the sake of the example, let's say you paid $10 to play in a particular contest. In a 2 person contest, that's $20 in prize money, but DraftDay keeps a percentage of that in order to stay in business. The standard fee in the industry is 10%, so the prize pool for this example contest is $20 - $2, or $18.
This is similar to but not identical to a poker tournament's buy-in and payout structure. If you were playing in a sit-n-go tournament at CarbonPoker, for example, you'd pay $10 +$1, or $11, to enter the tournament. The prize pool would be $20, and the site would still earn $2 for its trouble.
In poker, this kind of commission is called a "rake". In sports betting, it's called "vigorish" or "vig". All businesses need to make a profit in order to continue to operate. So it's not something to be concerned about. It's just something to be aware of.
I used poker as a comparison here, and it's a comparison I made earlier too. The way the buy-ins and the prize pools work are almost identical to the way they work in poker tournaments online, and there are some similar skill-sets involved too. One big difference though, is the laws involved.
For Americans, daily fantasy sports are a nice, legal alternative to sports betting or poker. Here's why.
UIGEA (the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act), made it illegal to transfer funds for the purposes of illegal gambling over the Internet. But the legislation specifically exempts fantasy sports as a game of skill.
What does this mean for the player?
If you played poker, you might have been one of the thousands of players whose money got tied up when the U.S. government shut down and seized the bank accounts of companies like Full Tilt and PokerStars. Getting your money tied up for months in such a way is a drag no matter how you look at it.
Given the UIGEA's exemption for fantasy sports contests, this is one worry you don't have to deal with. Many of the companies running these contests are located right here in the United States. Even PayPal, which is notoriously cautious about online gambling transactions, welcomes their business.
Of course, the legality issue is a big plus in the advantages column. In fact, a lot of the poker players who were uprooted on Black Friday have transferred their energy and attention to daily fantasy sports. The biggest reason for this probably has to do with the safety of the funds. Dealing with offshore companies just plain makes some people nervous, and if their legal status is questionable, that raises even more doubt.
That being said, fantasy sports are not legal in every state. Some states take into account whether or not something is considered a "game of skill" when determining its legality related to gambling. But some states have laws against betting regardless of the skill element.
With all of that covered, let's now take a look at each sport available at DraftDay in more detail.
Fantasy Football at DraftDay
You can play in both NFL and college fantasy football events at DraftDay. These events happen over the course of a week's games, in order to get in all the games from the weekend.
You get a $100,000 salary cap with which to recruit your fantasy football team. Your team consists of 9 players, and you can choose from any of the football players who are playing in this week's games. One thing you can't do is choose all the players from one team. You're required to choose players from multiple teams in your lineup. That's to avoid the possibility of placing what would essentially just be considered a sports bet.
Your DraftDay fantasy football team will have the following players on the roster.
The number of points each players gets is tied directly to his performance in the games. The scoring system works like this.
- Each passing touchdown is worth 4 points.
- Each passing yard is worth 0.04 points.
- An interception is worth -1 point.
- Each rushing yard is worth 0.1 points.
- A rushing touchdown is worth 6 points.
- Each receiving yard is worth 0.1 points.
- A reception touchdown is worth 6 points.
- Each reception is worth 1 point.
- A return touchdown is worth 6 points.
- A 2 point conversion is worth 2 points,
- A lost fumble is worth -2 points.
- A sack is worth 1 point.
- An interception is worth 2 points.
- A fumble recovery is worth 2 points.
- A touchdown is worth 6 points.
- A safety is worth 2 points.
- A blocked kick is worth 2 points.
- A kickoff or punt return touchdown is worth 6 points.
- 0 points allowed is worth 10 points.
- 1-6 points allowed is worth 7 points.
- 7-13 points allowed is worth 4 points.
- 14-20 points allowed is worth 1 point.
- 21-27 points allowed is worth 0 points.
- 28-34 points allowed is worth -1 point.
- 35+ points allowed is worth -4 points.
DraftDay shows your score and your opponents' scores in realtime as the games are played. When the official scoring is done, your score becomes final and the winners for the contest are determined.
Fantasy Baseball at DraftDay
Fantasy baseball is an action junkie's dream. You can have money on the line almost every single day. On the other hand, that's a little bit more action than some people can or ought to handle. A season long fantasy baseball league is a huge commitment, but playing the occasional daily contest can be a lot of fun.
As in the football contests, your salary cap is $100,000, with which you put together a roster consisting of the following positions.
Compared to fantasy football scoring, coming up with the scores for fantasy baseball is easy.
- Getting to first base (a single) is worth 5 points.
- Getting to second base (a double) is worth 10 points.
- Getting to third base (a triple) is worth 15 points.
- Home runs are worth 20 points each.
- RBIs are worth 5 points each.
- A walk is worth 5 points.
- Stolen bases are worth 5 points.
- Each out, calculated as bats – hits, is worth -1 point.
- A win is worth 10 points.
- An earned run is worth -3 points.
- Each inning pitched is worth 3 points.
- Each strikeout is worth 3 points.
- A walk is worth -1 point.
- Each hit is worth -1 point.
- Pitchers can also earn 5 bonus points for any of the following.
- A complete game.
- A shutout.
- A no hitter.
- A perfect game.
DraftDay displays the running total of points for each team in realtime. The winnings are awarded after the official scores come in.
Fantasy Basketball at DraftDay
DraftDay only offers professional (NBA) fantasy basketball contests. If you're looking for college basketball action, you might be happier playing at FanDuel, which offers both.
As with the other games on DraftDay's site, your salary cap is $100,000. You use that money to draft a roster consisting of the following players.
The scoring system is simple enough.
- Points are worth 1 point each.
- A 3 point field goal is worth 1 point.
- A missed field goal (MFG) is worth -0.25 pts.
- A missed free throw (MFT) is worth -0.25 pts.
- An assist (AST) is worth 1.5 points.
- A rebound is worth 1.25 points.
- A steal is worth 2 points.
- A block is worth 2 points.
- A turnover is worth -0.5 point.
Teams can also earn 2 bonus points for a Double-Double or a Triple-Double.
As with the other sports on the site, you'll be able to watch your score in realtime while the basketball games are taking place. When the official stats come through, the contest winners are determined.
Fantasy Hockey at DraftDay
DraftDay's fantasy hockey games are NHL based. As in their other contests, you get a $100,000 salary cap to play with. Your roster consists of players in the following positions.
The scoring is calculated as follows.
- Shots on goal are worth 0.5 points.
- Goals are worth 3 points.
- Assists are worth 2 points.
- A penalty minute is worth 0.25 points.
- A power play point is worth 0.5 points.
- A shorthanded point is worth 0.5 points.
- Blocked shots are worth 0.5 points.
- A win is worth 3 points.
- Goals against are worth -1.5 points.
- Saves are worth 0.3 points.
- A shutout is worth 2 points.
As with all the other sports, you can keep up in realtime on the site, but you have to wait for the official, finalized score to determine which fantasy team won.
Fantasy Golf at DraftDay
In fantasy golf, you get a $100,000 salary cap with which you recruit a team of golfers. They score points as follows.
- Golfers score points hole by hole on the following basis.
- Par is worth 0.5 points.
- Birdie is worth 4 points.
- Eagle is worth 12 points.
- Albatross is worth 30 points.
- Golfers also get round bonuses as follows:
- A bogey free round is worth 6 points.
- Par or better on all 4 rounds is worth 10 points.
- All 4 rounds in 60s is worth 25 points.
- A hole in one is worth 20 bonus points.
The biggest opportunity to score points is based on how each golfer finishes.
- 1st place is worth 30 points.
- 2nd place is worth 25 points.
- 3rd place is worth 20 points.
- 4th place is worth 15 points.
- 5th place is worth 14 points.
- 6th place is worth 13 points.
- 7th place is worth 12 points.
- 8th place is worth 11 points.
- 9th place is worth 10 points.
- 10th-15th place is worth 8 points.
- 16th-25th place is worth 6 points.
- 26th-40th place is worth 4 points.
- 40th-60th place is worth 2 points.
Types of Contests
This might be the most interesting section of the review. DraftDay offers the traditional daily and weekly fantasy sports contests, like the 50/50s and the H2H contests. They also offer tournaments. But they also offer several unusual game types. Here's a full list.
These are what are referred to as tournaments on other sites. If the "standard game" doesn't get a specific number of entrants, it's canceled. Everyone gets their money refunded. This is the opposite of a guaranteed prize pool tournament.
These are also tournaments, but the prize pool is guaranteed regardless of how few entrants they get. DraftDay covers the additional funds for the prize pool themselves.
These are sometimes the best value of all, mathematically. If you can get into a guaranteed game, or GPP, as they're called on other sites, where there aren't enough players, you're in a positive expectation situation.
Here's how that works. Suppose a tournament is supposed to have 100 entrants paying $10 each to play. The prize pool is $900 ($1,000 - $100). But if only 60 players enter, then they each have a correspondingly higher chance of winning some of that prize pool.
This kind of situation is called an overlay. If you can get into an overlay situation, even one that's not as extreme as the example given, you should. It's pure positive expected value.
This is an unusual format. The tournament has a point target. Everyone who hits that point total gets an equal share of the prize pool. All the players who come in short of the target get nothing.
These resemble traditional fantasy sports more than the other contests on the site. Instead of a salary cap, everyone drafts in a random order, but they maintain their place in that order as the draft ensues.
These are for people who want to get into action fast. These contests only use players from the teams playing in the early games.
This is a very traditional type of contest. The players with scores in the top 50% of the field share the prize pool equally.
These games work like the standard salary cap games, but there's a difference. The modified salary cap is either higher or lower than the standard.
This resembles a prop bet in a sportsbook. You choose which players are going to score the most fantasy points. If you get 3 correct, then you win. They also offer a "RapidFire Max" contest, where you have to pick all 5 matchups correctly in order to win. You're only allowed to enter one of these per day per sport.
This is another DraftDay specific contest type, and it also resembles a prop bet at a sportsbook. This contest is specific to the NFL. The great thing about this one is that it requires no entry fee. You choose the players in each position who you think are going to score the most points that week. The top 50 scorers split the prize money.
You can filter the choices of contests by sport and by contest type by clicking on the appropriate boxes in the lobby. The contests are also sortable by column, so you can put them in order from lowest buy-in to highest or vice versa.
The prize structures work the same way at DraftDay as they do at most other daily fantasy sports sites. The prize pool is the total of the entry fees less than 10%. In some of the higher buy-in contests, that percentage goes down a little bit.
DraftDay has a big "help" button on the top right of the screen. It takes you to a pop-up with an email form to submit with your customer support request. It also includes buttons where you can connect with the site's customer service via Facebook, Twitter, and email. There's an FAQ section on the site, too, where you can find answers to common queries.
I was bummed that there was no visible information about hours of operation. I had the same complaint with FanDuel and DraftKings. It seems like posting customer service hours would be a no-brainer, but it looks like this is a standard industry practice.
I also hate it when sites don't offer customer service over the telephone. On the other hand, I understand that staffing a call center with customer service people is an expense that a company might not be interested in adding to their balance sheets. Still, I'd prefer the human touch of being able to make a phone call on an 800 number.
Neither of these minor complaints are deal-breakers. In fact, you should probably think of them as the grumblings of a cranky older person, which I am. I have an account at all of the major sites in the niche, so it's obviously not such a big deal to me that I'd not continue doing business with them.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about DraftDay.com:
Is this legal?
Yes, this is legal. Fantasy sports are games of skill. There are some exceptions though. In some states, any type of wagering, skill-based or not, is flat out illegal. In those states, DraftDay is not legal. They don't accept players from those states anyway, though, so it probably won't come up.
One of the telling facts about DraftDay is that they're able to use PayPal to conduct transactions. PayPal has a notorious reputation for disallowing any transaction that even hints at online gambling. The fact that they have no problem working with DraftDay tells me that it's a safe and legal enterprise.
Can you make a living playing fantasy sports on DraftDay?
In order to win the 50/50s and H2H contests consistently enough to show a profit, you'd have to win 55.56% of the contests you enter. That's frankly beyond the skill of most players unless they're good at finding fish to play against.
Some of the players on DraftDay, just as some of the players on all of the fantasy sites, are sharks. If you could figure out how to avoid them, it wouldn't be so bad. But it's probably going to take more time and effort than the average person is willing to invest in order to make a living at DraftDay.
How does DraftDay compare with other sites in the niche?
I always recommend that players try multiple sites. DraftDay should certainly be one of the sites on that list, too. They offer everything a daily fantasy sports player might need. Their signup bonus is generous, too, so you might as well try to get your hands on some of that.
DraftDay is smaller and less well-known than some of the other players in the daily and weekly fantasy sports industry, but they're a strong option. They have a generous signup bonus. They also offer a number of unique contest types that aren't available at other sites in this niche.
DraftDay also does a better job than many other sites of making their rules easy to find on their site. They're all located in the FAQ section. I did have a hard time finding information about the lineup requirements for sports that weren't currently active, but I suppose that's no big deal. When those sports start, the information will become available.
The only downside of this site is that they don't offer a huge variety of sports when compared to DraftKings. They do, however, offer more options than FanDuel. The sports available are the most popular, though—so for most players, DraftDay is going to work just fine.
Another minor issue is the new player referral bonus. Theoretically, at the other sites where you get a percentage of a player's lifetime revenue, you could earn a lot of money referring players. But with DraftDay, you're limited to that one-time $15 referral fee. It's a minor quibble, but it's still a notable difference.
My view is that DraftDay is an excellent option for fantasy sports fans. Not only do they offer all the most popular fantasy sports, but they also offer all the traditional daily contest types. The additional contest types they make available are interesting and affordable, too.