The fantasy sports marketplace is experiencing something of a boom era. Although it is an industry that’s long been dominated by North America, it’s also beginning to take flight in Europe, South America, and beyond. Technavio believes the global fantasy sports market will expand by £6.11bn between 2021 and 2026, posting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.51%.
Driving the fantasy sports sector is a powerful subsector known as daily fantasy sports (DFS). Traditionally, fantasy sports have been played over the course an entire season, with enthusiasts tasked with hand-picking players to form a high-performing roster to finish top of the rankings. However, as with most industries in recent years, fantasy sports has evolved to cater for waning attention spans.
DFS gives fans the chance to play for daily prizes by selecting players from teams playing that very day. As far as fantasy sports go, it’s a much shorter-term outlook, with tournaments covering each game week of the season, be it NFL, NBA, MLB or even the English Premier League soccer. If this fast-paced alternative to fantasy sports sounds like your bag, read on to check out the top four DFS apps that can get you up and running.
DraftKings’ DFS platform mirrors a season-long fantasy sports campaign all condensed into a single game day or week. Players with active DraftKings accounts can draft player rosters using a “salary cap” and earn points based on their individual performances. You can enter private competitions with friends or pay to enter nationwide tournaments. It’s even possible to enter the Single-Game Showdown, picking only players from two teams competing against one another in a single match.
DraftKings made its name in the DFS sector, but more recently the company also diversified into conventional sports betting and casino gaming. Its casino bonus has already made its way into the top five most recommended deals in the regulated US iGaming market, a sign of its rapid growth in the sector.
FanDuel was one of the pioneers of the DFS scene. Founded in 2009, the platform has stood the test of time for well over a decade, cementing itself as a market leader for DFS across a host of leading sports, from the NFL and the NHL, through to the English Premier League, ATP and WTA tennis.
As a first-time DFS player at FanDuel, this app makes it easy to dip your toes into the water with “beginner” competitions aimed exclusively at newbies. FanDuel also offers a lucrative million-dollar contest each week during the NFL regular season.
The underdog has flown fast along the rails as one of the most impressive emerging DFS apps in the market. One of the main reasons behind its success to date is its super-slick aesthetics. The app itself looks and feels fantastic, with an intuitive interface that makes it easy to enter drafts and pick your roster.
Small-scale “snake drafts” are regularly operated, with games for between two and 12 players. Entry fees for these can range from as little as $1 to as much as $3,000 for serious DFS enthusiasts. There’s even player prop competitions where you’re encouraged to select “over” or “under” on certain player statistics, and you’ll get more points the better your predictions prove to be.
➥ Vivid Picks
Vivid Picks is a smaller operation than the likes of DraftKings and FanDuel, but they are no less worthy of a place in this article. They have a kick-ass rewards program and an impressive range of sports covered, including eSports and the F1 World Championship, now owned by Liberty Media, neither of which you’ll are easy to find.
Vivid Picks used to be known as Betcha, but its contemporary rebrand has given this operator a new cutting edge. The social element of this app is also engaging, with the ability to create your own community of friends and monitor the success of their entries via the “Wall of Fame”. Alternatively, you can play against them for weekly prizes.