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Best Fantasy Football Sites Comparison: Top DFS Football Sites in the US 2024:

Last Updated on 17/05/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Read our guide to get the latest information about DFS football betting in the US. Perfect for seeing whether you can bet on fantasy football in your state!

The US has pretty complicated laws regarding fantasy sports betting. But we'll reveal whether you can legally bet on fantasy football and you'll even see if you can get an awesome FanDuel bonus too. All you need to take advantage of the fantasy football revolution!

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The NFL Fantasy Sports Sites

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Underdog Fantasy
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4.7/5
  • Well designed DFS website and mobile app
  • Generous welcome bonus for new customers
  • Great fantasy tournaments for the NFL and NBA
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ParlayPlay
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4.7/5
  • Innovative fantasy sports betting site
  • Loyalty rewards program
  • Outstanding customer support
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3 – 5 Days
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OwnersBox
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4.6/5
  • All major US sports covered
  • Large volume of active contests
  • Varied prize pools
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100% up to $500
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FanDuel Fantasy
4.
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4.5/5
  • Excellent platform design
  • One free NFL entry each week
  • Rookie contests for newcomers
FanDuel Fantasy Promo
100% up to $100
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Players from Virginia accepted
T&Cs apply, 18+
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1 – 10 Days
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Global Gaming Awards (2022)
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DraftKings Fantasy
5.
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4.5/5
  • Claim to being the best fantasy sports platform
  • Widest selection of sports and competitions
  • Quick daily fantasy competitions
DraftKings Fantasy Promo
20% up to $500 + free $3 ticket
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Boom Fantasy
6.
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  • Radically different DFS provider
  • Forget about salary caps — pick based on performance
  • Slick DFS app available
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up to $100 No Sweat First Entry
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Players from Virginia accepted
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Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites For Football

NFL Daily Fantasy Sport is by far the most popular league within the DFS sphere, especially within the United States. The gameplay is dynamic and there are a hundred different ways to create a winning lineup. The trick is to stay under the salary cap, while still making sure you got the top players covering each position such as quarterbacks and wide receivers. Each DFS site that we recommend comes with its own unique take on how to create lineups, plus how it will emulate regular sports betting platforms to give you the same look and feel. If you are looking for the best football DFS sites to play at, take a look at our overviews below.

Underdog Overview

Our top recommended DFS site is Underdog. While the design of the website can be deemed rather demure, befitting of the image of an underdog, this DFS site is filled to the brim with enticing features and leagues. One of the top features you will find at Underdog is the Best Ball Mania - which allows you to automatically draft the best players to create a killer lineup. They are available in a wide range of states, including the entirety of Canada, making this DFS site extremely accessible. To add even more to the accessibility of Underdog, they also sport a sleek mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. New players are eligible for a welcome bonus of up to $100 on their first deposit.

Underdog header
Underdog: Pros & Cons
  • Best Ball Mania Feature
  • eSports DFS-focus
  • Great mobile app
  • Simple design

FanDuel Overview

FanDuel is one of the top dogs within the DFS sphere, having launched in 2009. With such a proven track record of experience, they have perfected the art of providing top-notch DFS gameplay. If you are a fan of Daily Fantasy Sports, then chances are you have heard of them or even already have an account with them. FanDuel seamlessly combines regular sports betting with DFS, giving you the option to switch between the two with the click of a button. Naturally, Football is an available league to wager on in both the sports betting section, as well as the DFS section. Keep in mind that sports betting is only offered in the following states: AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MD, OH, KS, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV and WY. The DFS section of FanDuel is accessible for residents in 44 states. Claim a welcome bonus of 200% up to $20 when placing your first deposit.

FanDuel mobile
FanDuel: Pros & Cons
  • Massive Fan-base
  • Large selection of Leagues
  • Sleek Mobile App
  • Not available in all states

Ownersbox Overview

Ownersbox is a pioneer within the Daily Fantasy Sports industry - or should we say: the Weekly Fantasy Sports industry. They have created an entire new way of playing DFS by bringing life to this new concept. It combines all the conveniences of Daily Fantasy Sports, into a more comprehensive format, making it perfect for beginners. Ownersbox has also given their own spin to the platform, providing some features that you will not find at any other competitors. They offer the Lightning Lineups feature, which combines slot mechanics with traditional lineup strategies. Simply pick your lineup, spin the reels and win cash prizes. Then there is the Superflex DFS, which allows you to create unique lineups under the salary, straying away from the conventional way of building a lineup. Grab a hefty welcome bonus of up $500 on your first deposit, as well as $5 no deposit bonus.

Ownersbox homepage
Ownersbox: Pros & Cons
  • Lightning Lineups
  • Superflex DFS
  • No salary caps
  • Relatively new

DraftKings Overview

If you are looking for a solid DFS football experience, then DraftKings is a safe and secure choice for beginners and advanced players alike. Just like FanDuel, they are one of the better established brands out there, and have amassed a loyal following over the years. They offer sports betting solutions in states where it is legal, and Daily Fantasy Sports in the majority of the US states. DraftKings is well-beloved for its public tournaments and players vs player contests, which adds an extra bit of “oomph” to your gameplay. You also have the option to host private tournaments with your friends. Thanks to the lucrative refer-a-friend bonus, you will even be able to net yourself some bonus funds by inviting your friends to come join you in the action. All new players are entitled to up to $500 when placing their first deposit for as little as $5.

DraftKings mobile
DraftKings: Pros & Cons
  • Stellar reputation
  • Large selection of Leagues
  • Great DFS Features
  • Not available in all states

ParlayPlay Overview

ParlayPlay does things differently compared to its competitors. Instead of playing against other players, or even your friends, they let you take it up against the house instead. However, if playing against other DFS fans is a must for you, then you will be delighted to hear that they host a weekly Free2Play contest, which allows you to battle it out with other players to reach the top of the leaderboard. There is no entry fee for this content, and you can participate completely for free. Should you wish to take a break from all the sports action, then ParlayPlay also offers the option to play DFS within the eSports leagues such as League of Legends. DOTA 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Naturally, you will find all the major sports leagues available here too like NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MMA and soccer leagues. Create a new account and enjoy a welcome bonus of up to $100. Want you friends to come join you? Then you will be able to claim a refer-a-friend bonus of $5 free picks per friend referred.

Parlayplay homepage
ParlayPlay: Pros & Cons
  • eSports-focused
  • Great mobile app
  • Free2Play feature
  • Small choice of leagues

Best Football DFS Sites Compared

DFS Site Welcome Bonus No Deposit Bonus Review
Underdog 100% up to $100 N/A Read Review
FanDuel 200% up to $20 N/A Read Review
Ownersbox 100% up to $500 N/A Read Review
DraftKings 100% up to $500 Free $3 ticket Read Review
ParlayPlay $5 Free Pick $5 Free Pick Read Review

Fantasy Football Explained

Football is one of America's most popular sports, and arguably one of the most popular sports on the planet in general. Here we take a close look at the current status of fantasy football in the US to help our players play at the best sites and get the best value for their money.
While fantasy sports and fantasy football in particular have grown extremely popular in recent years, there may still be those out there who don’t know what fantasy football is. For such readers, let us first introduce the topic and help them understand just how the game works.

Online fantasy football is a game that allows players to create rosters of players out of real NFL players. For any particular competition, players may get to choose among players playing in a certain match, a full round or even the whole season. When the actual matches start, players are awarded points towards the fantasy competition based on their real life performance in the match and rosters are compared with one another, with best teams getting the top prizes.

In a basic sense, it seems like players are betting on which player will do better, but since there are an entire plethora of things to think about when choosing a roster, fantasy sports have actually been proclaimed a game of skill and are legal under federal law. For this reason, a number of US-based fantasy sports sites are currently operating in the country.

Legally speaking, online gambling sites are not allowed to operate in many US states. Only under local state licenses can online casinos or sports betting sites operate in those states. On the other hand, fantasy sports is a game of skill and is exempt from the laws that prohibit online gambling sites from operating. This is why many fantasy sports sites and apps are available around the US.

The federal law quite clearly classifies fantasy sports as a game of skill, but things get a little tricky when daily fantasy sports are in question, as luck clearly plays a bigger role in daily competitions. Nevertheless, players from most states can legally play daily fantasy sports as well and there is no actual law that would prohibit it.

When signing up with a daily fantasy football site, players should check to see if the site in question accepts players from their state, as this is the only thing that one should be concerned about. As long as the site lets you play, you are legally 100% allowed to play there.

Brief History of Fantasy Football

Fantasy sports were originally created back in the 1950s, when some sports fans, mainly those who were obsessed with baseball wanted to compare their understanding of the game. These people started competing in fantasy sports competitions privately, tracking the stats of players and organizing drafts of their own before a season would begin.

As time went on, fantasy football and other fantasy sports appeared and with the emergence of the internet, things just got that much simpler. It was the internet giant Yahoo that first allowed players to compete in fantasy football competitions on a major online platform, as it started throwing free fantasy sports competitions in 1999.

While fantasy football was viewed as a form of gambling at first, it took only a few years for even the NFL to recognize that the game was good for their sport and was clearly a game of skill and a fair competition for all. Since 2002, the NFL started promoting NFL fantasy football as a part of their marketing scheme.

As years went by, fantasy football grew into daily fantasy football, with more and more competitions now available at the top fantasy football sites and a chance to compete on a daily basis turning the obscure hobby of a few into a nationwide obsession.

 

How to Play Fantasy Football

So how does fantasy football work in the real world? This is a common question that many new players have to ask and it is a fair one. While it may seem simple enough to those in the know, the game is actually quite complex and there are many things to learn before actually getting into the action.

First of all, one should understand the difference between daily fantasy football and season long fantasy football. While season long competitions provide players with a chance to enter a single fantasy football draft at the beginning of the season, daily fantasy football competitions only count points from a single game or a handful of games.

In either case, things start with each player who pays the buy in and enters the competition choosing a squad of players. The two basic models for choosing players are the classic fantasy football draft system in which players take turns picking players and a salary cap model, which is far more popular, in which multiple fantasy players can have the same players in their roster. With salary cap model, players get a certain amount of “dollars” to spend on player salaries and they cannot break that ceiling. Each player, in turn, has a salary that must be paid in order to keep them on the roster.

Once the draft is complete and the matches actually starts, the real fun can begin. All player performances on the pitch are rated with points and these points are added to the teams who have the player in their roster. Different sites and different competitions may give points for various stats. While touchdowns are always awarded points, some competitions also award points for the simpler stats such as yards won etc. The more complex the points model, the tougher the competition.

It is important to add that real money competitions award multiple players based on the number of players who actually entered the competition. About 10% of all players who enter the competition get paid, with the top prize always being significantly more valuable than others. However, similar to poker tournaments, fantasy football competitions award those players who came short of the top prize as well as the overall prize pools is split up based on a player’s final ranking.

How to Choose a Roster

Choosing the players who will compete in your team is where all the skill and knowledge comes in. Each player gets to draft a team, usually about 13 players deep and each roster must usually contain the following:

  • 1 quarterback
  • 2 running backs
  • 2 receivers
  • 1 tight end
  • 1 kicker
  • 1 defence
  • 5 benched players

In theory, players could simply try to draft the best overall players and compete with such a roster, but this is not really possible. For starters, one does not get to afford all the superstar players since there is a salary cap involved and there is only so much “money” one can afford to spend on players. Additionally, best players can under-perform or get injured and statistically less competent players can sometimes turn out to be stars of the match or simply add many points by performing well in their position.

Fantasy football games are never about a single players as the eventual winner of any competition is always the one whose team performed well overall. If a roster has a couple of weak links, there is no way it can win the competition. Of course, based on the number of players in the competition, one does not need to come in first to still win money, as hundreds of players can win prizes in the cases of massive competitions.

Most platforms actually allow players to sit back and enjoy the show altogether if they so choose, with the system choosing a squad for them. This, however, is never a good way to compete as the computer choices will never factor in the things a devoted fan could. You will do far better by following our American football betting tipsters here at Captain Gambling and selecting your own team. Besides, all the fun in playing fantasy football is in the draft, so being lazy in this part of the competition kills all the fun.

Top Fantasy Football Sites: How to Choose?

There are dozens of fantasy football sites out there. Some of the sites are fantastic, providing many competitions across different buyin levels and a fantastic platform to play on. Other sites are more basic and not as sophisticated. Players who are not yet sure where to play have quite a difficult decision in front of them and choosing the right site to play at is just as important as choosing proper rosters.

While there is no clear answer to the question of which fantasy football app is the best, we have compiled a comparison of the best fantasy football sites which can provide you with some good indications of which sites you may want to try out. Even college fantasy football has its fans and should be checked out.

Some of the important things to watch out for with fantasy football sites include the number of competitions the site has to offer, the value of the promotional offers at the site, the quality of the platform and of course the legality and licensing of the site. Sites that get a good rating in all of these categories may be considered as top candidates to play at. Note that the official Premier League fantasy football game is the best free to play option.

Playing Fantasy Football Games: The Basic Strategies

We already said that fantasy football is a game of skill, but one may still be wondering why that’s the case. After considering the strategies that top fantasy football players use, it may become more clear. Here are a few basic tips on how to pick fantasy football players and get an edge over the other players in a fantasy football competition:

It’s All About the Stats

Fantasy football is really all about the statistics. While many people still choose players based on their personal preference as fans, the real winners always make sure to choose players who actually have a good chance of getting many points regardless of which team they play on or other subjective factors.

There are many aids online that can help you get an idea of which players are currently on form and which may not perform as expected in the next match. These kinds of fantasy football advice come extremely handy in daily fantasy football competitions in which players’ performances in a single match may be the only thing that matters.

Stay Consistent and Wait it Out

When it comes to daily fantasy football, even the best rosters don’t always win and sometimes a competition is won by a roster that didn’t really stand a chance. A miracle performance from an underdog who few people drafted may end up being decisive, which is why the game is one played for the long run.

In the long run, players who pick solid and sound rosters week in and week out will certainly come out on top. On the other hand, players who like to speculate and hope for miracles hardly ever win and usually end up being losers over the long run. Look at fantasy football as an investment and wait for your returns to come in at the end.

Be Smart in the Draft

In season long competitions in which players enter an actual draft, it’s all about picking the right players at the right time. While inexperienced players may jump at the opportunity to draft a star quarterback early, this is not really something you should do.

You need to understand that fantasy football is not football. It’s all about scoring points and the fact is that by the season’s end the difference in points between quarterbacks is not as big as the difference in points between running backs. This is why savvy fantasy players try to pick 2 or 3 running backs early, quarterback next and the defence and kickers last.

Think about things in terms of points and how to accumulate as many by the season end as possible. After all, even if you have the best quarterback of the season in your team, if other players flop, you will not come very far in the competition.

Things are similar in the daily fantasy football competitions where you should make sure to distribute the salaries well so as to get a good number of points in every position, not just from your quarterback. Players who end up high in the fantasy football rankings are not always those who have the best superstar players on their roster.

Top 5 FAQs Asked by Players

Is fantasy football gambling?

A 2006 Congressional Act rated fantasy football as a game of skill. This is why, legally speaking, fantasy football is not gambling. Besides that, fantasy football is clearly a game in which the savvy players have an advantage, and with no house involvement in the competition, the game is completely fair.

While fantasy football is legal at the federal level, some states still don’t allow it. This is why you should always check if the operator you wish to play with accepts players from your state before you try to join.

Who can play fantasy football?

Anyone who is of legal age and lives in a state where fantasy sports sites operate can play. Games are available for all types of stakes and if you don’t want to risk real money, you can always just play for free and have some fun with it.

Where should I play fantasy football?

There are many fantasy sports sites and fantasy football apps out there and the ultimate choice of where to play is yours to make. We have tried to help you out by providing you a full review and comparison of the top sites with lots of details on every site in there.

What kinds of bonuses are available?

While fantasy football sites don’t provide as many bonuses as online gambling sites, players can still get some extra value from welcome bonuses and other promotions that sites do occasionally throw at their players so remember to stay on the lookout for those.

Start Your Fantasy Football Journey

Real money football fantasy sports are among the best ways to spice up your love for football and make things more interesting week in and week out. If you consider yourself to be a knowledgeable sports fan, fantasy football is the perfect way to put your skills to the test, compete against other fans and put your money where your mouth is.

Our fantasy football sites comparison was designed based on extensive reviews of the top fantasy football operators, so make sure to check it out and join one of the top sites to get the best experience and the best value for your money. Join today and kick start your fantasy football journey.

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Underdog Fantasy
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4.7/5
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4.6/5
FanDuel Fantasy
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4.5/5
DraftKings Fantasy
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4.5/5
Underdog Fantasy
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4.5/5
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