The process of becoming a FanDuel gamer is simple. It begins with signup at fanduel.com. After signing up, FanDuel makes depositing easy. Whether you're playing for real cash or becoming familiar with the site, selecting a contest from their main page is the next order of business. Once you've selected a contest, the fun begins. At this point you'll be drafting your team. After selecting your team it's just a matter of waiting to win -- or hopefully win at least -- your contests. When you're ready to withdraw some of your winnings, FanDuel makes it simple like everything else. Below, I'll go into further detail about each step.
Step 1 – Signup
When you reach FanDuel's home page, you'll see a large Join Now button in green. However, you'll also see a nifty yellow button with a microphone in the upper right-hand corner of the page which reads "Heard us on the radio or tv?" If you have, you can click on that button and input a promotional code for a deposit bonus. Don't worry, if you've gotten bonus codes from elsewhere, you can input that by selecting the "Got a Promo code or referral username?" hyperlink on the pop-up window which appears when you click on Join Now. On the signup screen, you'll need to fill out your name, email address, username and password.
Step 2 – Deposit Funds
The minimum deposit at FanDuel is $10, and deposits can be made using credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express) or using your PayPal account. The best part? FanDuel has a money back guarantee up to $100 for your first contest.
Step 3 – Select Contest
Types of Contest
There are oodles and oodles of games to pick from, both game type and entry types for essentially every kind of daily gamer. You can sort the games by all sports or specific sports. You can also narrow down the game types by selecting all contest types, head-to-head, leagues, 50/50s or tournaments. Also, you can change the minimum and maximum entry fees and search by game time availability (all start times, next available and today). Finally, FanDuel gives gamers the option to create their own contest or search for other user created contests. After narrowing things down, you can sort by entries, size, entry fee, prizes and start time in ascending or descending order.
Step 4 – Draft Team
Drafting a team is a bit inaccurate, you actually select players to fill out a team. The premise is the same for all sports. You have a salary cap and a variety of positions to fill with players who each have salaries representative of their talent level (i.e. the star players in each sport cost the most money and the reserves often cost little more than the minimum salary, depending on the sport). As you fill your team, FanDuel calculates and presents the average salary per player available. For example, if you have two positions left to fill and $10,000 of salary cap space left, FanDuel will demonstrate an average salary per player of $5,000. Once you've filled your roster with players who don't exceed the salary cap you can enter your roster into the selected contest.
*Reminder: You'll want to review the scoring structure used by FanDuel before submitting your team since scoring systems vary between daily fantasy sites. FanDuel has a link titled "Rules and Scoring" which prompts a pop-up window with scoring details located in the upper right of the the lineup page.
Before drafting your team, become familiar with the rules and scoring. Fanduel may use a different scoring system than you're used to. Here are some important scoring rules for Fanduel to note:
- Negative points are not given to a quarterback for taking a sack.
- Receptions accumulate points at a rate of .5 pts per reception.
- No bonuses for 100+ yards rushing.
- No bonuses for 300+ yards throwing.
Step 5 – Winning
This is what it's all about. Scoring more points than your opponent or opponents and making real money. Contests such as 50/50s offer flat payouts to every gamer who finishes in the top half of the game, while tournaments and leagues have a tiered payout system depending on where you finish. The higher you finish, the more money you win in tournaments and leagues. All payouts listed are after having already accounted for taking a rake from all of the contestants. It's important to understand the payout structure for each game as they can be quite different even within the same game type. Many of the biggest prize pool tournaments will pay the winner a significantly higher percentage of the winnings than some of the smaller tournaments. Again, it's best to read the payout structure before entering games so that you understand the optimal strategy for that game type.
Step 6 – Withdrawal
Withdrawing is a breeze. In order to make a withdrawal you need to click on the down arrow located next to your username. You'll find a withdraw button to click on which will take you to the request withdrawal screen. If you have a PayPal account, you can simply enter your PayPal email address and the dollar amount you'd like to withdraw. FanDuel notes withdrawal requests will be processed within 48 hours or the next business day if the request is received over the weekend. They also note that they may perform additional checks if the PayPal account you're withdrawing to is not the one used to initially deposit funds into your account.
For those who don't have a PayPal account, or those who don't want to receive payment that way, checks are an available withdrawal method. On the check withdrawal screen you're prompted for your name, the requested withdrawal amount and your address. FanDuel states check withdrawal requests will take approximately 7-10 business days. FanDuel may request your mailing address and SSN before a withdrawal is processed for tax purposes. If your annual net winnings exceed $600, then FanDuel is required to file a 1099-MISC tax form. FanDuel is very serious about protecting their gamers, and they will conduct anti-fraud checks on playing patterns and deposits prior to processing all withdrawals. You can feel comfortable knowing that FanDuel will make sure that it is you, and only you receive your funds.
The FanDuel desktop interface is clean and easy to navigate and supports virtually all machines. You can check out the lobby, upcoming contests, live contests and your history. The mobile site is easy to use and clutter free. You can check your contests, including the history, or you can toggle to enter a contest. There is also a drop down menu that allows you to do everything you could do on the desktop interface. Within the contests, you can click on player names and get a variety of statistics as well as the latest player news provided by RotoWire. Overall, it's a nice interface that's easy to use.
The top navigation bar provides virtually of all the critical information you need to get started. The support page contains a FAQ, which is nice, but didn't answer the only question I had when I first started. I think a glossary would be helpful as I didn't know what a 50/50 game was. It means the top half of the entries are in the prize-pool and everyone wins the same amount. Overall, Fanduel does a nice job of helping you find the information you need easily.
Overall, the technology loads quickly and the usability features are easy to understand. I think the flow of information is intuitive and everything is pretty basic, which is the way game interfaces should be. You can easily sort the different columns of data and update the contests you'd like to see with easy to use checkbox filters.
The drafting screen is simple and maybe a bit too simple. It would be nice if FanDuel integrated data tools with updated stats and projections. Even something simple like Yahoo's data projections would be nice.
The technology is leagues ahead of some of the competition and on par with any other site online today.
FanDuel offers a mobile iPhone application, but unfortunately, there is not an app available to Android users. Thankfully, as I stated above, the mobile site is user friendly and a decent alternative for Android users.
FanDuel does a nice job with the contest section. I like the fact that a history is kept of all your competitions and you can see up to date scoring of your players and others in your league. You also have easy access to player profiles and can see the other people's winnings for the year. I recently lost to a player who had won over $300,000 during their time on FanDuel. Maybe it's time to consider a new career?
The reputation for FanDuel's support isn't that strong. It's important to be able to count on the site you're playing daily fantasy sports on, and FanDuel doesn't get the highest marks in that regard. You also don't have to jump through any hoops to locate how to contact them for support.
Directly to the left of your username is a help drop down menu with a support button. On the support page you'll find FAQs for basic questions, deposits, withdrawals and bonuses, rules and scoring, and gameplay and opponents. If none of the FAQs answer what you need to know, there is a hyperlinked email for support or a submit support ticket button. It's also very easy to contact FanDuel for support using the mobile site. Overall, I'm thoroughly impressed with FanDuel's desire to make contacting them so easy.
FanDuel Playboy Championship
You now have the opportunity to party at one of the most exclusive buildings in the United States, the Playboy Mansion, thanks to FanDuel. In addition to paying out $750,000 in cash prizes, the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship is set to send 70 lucky daily fantasy baseball players to the Playboy Mansion.
Since the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship is an exclusive tournament, you must win your entry through a qualifying tournament. The qualifying tournaments for the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship cost $200, and they are being held nearly every day until the end of May. If you are able to win a qualifying tournament, then you will be one of the lucky 70 daily fantasy baseball players going on a trip to the Playboy Mansion.
The 70 qualifiers for the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship will get awarded a trip package worth $3,200. This trip package consists of a $700 airfare credit to purchase plane tickets to Los Angeles, two night stay at W hotel in Westwood and entry into two private parties held at the Playboy Mansion. There will be an evening reception on June 5th and a championship viewing party on June 6th. The championship viewing party will feature catered drinks and food, large high-definition video screens to watch the baseball games, poolside lounge and other fun games and activities.
In addition to this amazing trip, all of the entrants in the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship will create a daily fantasy baseball roster from the players in action on June 6th. The person that scores the most points with their fantasy baseball team will win $100,000. A second place finish will pay $60,000. If you manage to finish in third place, then you will leave the Playboy Mansion with a check for $40,000. A top five finish in the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship guarantees you win at least $25,000. A top ten finish will pay out at least $15,000. The last place finisher in the FanDuel Playboy Baseball Championship will still win $5,000. You can't beat a big payday and an experience at the Playboy Mansion you will never forget, so enter a qualifying tournament today to earn your spot in this amazing daily fantasy baseball tournament on FanDuel.
FanDuel Dallas Baseball Championship
The $200,000 FanDuel Dallas Fantasy Baseball Championship began on Opening Day, April 6, with one qualifier earning their spot each day and the last finalist earning their spot on April 15.
The 10 finalists receive a Dallas trip package that's worth $3,000 apiece. Of those funds, $700 will serve as airfare credit to purchase a round-trip ticket to Dallas.
Those finalists earn chauffeured travel to the Omni Hotel and two tickets for an executive suite at a Dallas-area professional baseball game on Friday, May 15. The following evening, all 10 finalists or designated proxies must attend the Fan Duel Saturday Championship viewing party at a top Dallas sports bar.
Each qualifier can win only once, with no finalist chosen in the event of a tie. In the latter situation, a split of the cash value of the qualifier award will be given.
FanDuel players unable to qualify for this Championship may have the opportunity to attend the Saturday night viewing party, though official confirmation has not yet been determined.
Those 10 Qualifier winners will walk away with thousands of dollars, beginning with the 10th place winner who collects $6,000. The next four winners pick up an additional $1,000 based on their placement: ninth wins $7,000, eighth collects $8,000, etc.
The world of fantasy sports has been around for more than three decades, but the overall concept has found a new niche that has exploded in popularity. Daily fantasy sports, led by FanDuel, has created new markets that even professional leagues haven't been able to ignore, leading to partnerships with individual teams and even the National Basketball Association (NBA.)
Since first opening for business in 2009, FanDuel, legal in 45 states, has amassed more than 1.1 million customers. That's two percent of the overall fantasy sports base, indicating that the market's barely been tapped. The company's popularity has caught the attention of venture capital firms that have invested a total of $88 million into the company.
An NBA Partnership
The biggest catch so far has been the four-year agreement FanDuel signed with the NBA, just months after the first individual agreement with one of the league's teams, the Orlando Magic. That status, which includes the league purchasing equity in FanDuel, means it's the only daily fantasy site featured on NBA.com.
Individual NBA Team Deals
Seven different NBA franchises have signed individual agreements: the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and the aforementioned Magic.
The deal with Orlando made FanDuel the Magic's third-largest marketing partner, where they prominently serve as the floor apron sponsor. The contract is for one year (per NBA rules), but Orlando has options for the next two seasons, which could make the deal worth $6 million.
With Chicago, FanDuel receives signage at the United Center, along with a connection to a specific team statistic during each game that is posted on all Bulls' social media sites. In addition, the company sponsors a sweepstakes on the team website awarding winners Bulls merchandise.
Dallas might be the least surprising addition to the FanDuel team base, given the reputation of team owner Mark Cuban of venturing into new territories. Media exposure for the company is the main benefit, with a GM Fantasy Sweepstakes also in the mix. There, the winning fan will go behind the scenes with team general manager Donnie Nelson.
The Brooklyn agreement makes FanDuel an official team sponsor, and as part of the agreement, the company will purchase tickets to be given to qualifying local community organizations. In exchange, they will receive prominent exposure through arena signage, as well as additional mentions on television and radio broadcasts.
While the Lakers are currently situated near the bottom of the NAB, they still reside in the Los Angeles market. That helps the official sponsorship that FanDuel has purchased reach more people in this vast market.
Cleveland's deal is the most recent, and follows in the footsteps of the other agreements, allowing for online mentions on the Cavaliers' website, as well as signage inside of Quicken Loans Arena. A social media component will offer a sweepstakes where fans can win merchandise.
Perhaps the quietest partnership is with the Knicks, with little in the way of information offered by either side. However, given the current state of the team, that may be best for both sides.
Football Dips a Toe in the Water
In the National Football League, the Washington Redskins are currently the lone team to have a partnership with FanDuel. Despite the different sport, the agreement afford the company signage at FedEx Field during Redskin games, and also prominent mentions on social and digital media.
More NFL teams will follow in the Redskins' footsteps, since Commissioner Roger Goodell is looking to more than double revenue in the next decade. One key component could be daily fantasy sports.
The Marketing Machine
What all of these deals do for FanDuel in 2015 is create greater awareness, which should inevitably lead to more players being added every day. As already noted, the total market of regular fantasy players hasn't been reached, with other previously neglected segments also ripe for picking.
A Key Demographic
Chief among them is the female demographic, which FanDuel is avidly going after, since many women could be more willing to invest brief periods of time with it in lieu of a season-long commitment.
Another year of rapid success could lay the groundwork for FanDuel to go public in 2016. Success like that hasn't gone unnoticed by the market, which continues to expand, making this a business that won't fade any time soon.