Draftkings (DK) has officially launched in the UK! After months of rumour and speculation the day that could prove historic to the UK DFF industry has finally arrived. For those of you who don’t know, DK is one of the two largest Daily Fantasy providers in the United States and has the largest football product in the United States.
DK started with a soft launch, mobile only but it didn’t take long for the desktop version to appear. They are combining UK and US markets for their daily fantasy competitions so there are some interesting cultural differences such as playing for $s and the away team always being listed first in the fixtures. Our review will take all this and more into account.
For now, it is safe to say DK is recognised as the best daily fantasy provider in the US and is a welcome addition to the UK. Many of the features they offer have been honed and tested and serve as a good model for UK-based sites to imitate. DraftKings have crossed the pond!
Signing up is as straight forward as you’d expect.
At the moment DK are only accepting deposits via PayPal. We hope this will be remedied over time.
DK offer a 100% deposit bonus:
In terms of withdrawals, simply click on the link on the left hand side menu and you can request a withdrawal, again via PayPal only:
The fluidity of the game selection lobby is the best across the industry. You can filter for game type, size, entry fee, and see who your opponents are in each. For Head to Head matchups they have anywhere from $1 games to $1060 games for the high rollers. Double Ups or 50/50s tend to be in the $1 to $109 range and can include anywhere from 8 to 100 managers. With Head to Head you can also activate “matchup blocker” which means no single manager can enter more than 1 of your games at each price level. This helps if you are trying to diversify your opponents to help limit the dramatic swings that can come with daily fantasy. That all said, DK built its reputation on GPPs and those are plentiful and diverse as well.
Once you have navigated to the football section you will see just how diverse the contest offering is. If nothing appeals in here, then DFF isn’t for you! It is really easy to check all the contest details including who you’ll be up against!
Now that you have your games picked out it’s time to select your squad. The squad selection screen is nice and compact.
DK make it easy to see past performances by clicking on player names. You can also see the breakdown by scoring play to see not just if they were scoring fantasy points but how. They also display the changes in player value so you can see if the player is under or overpriced relative to where they have been previously.
We’ve heaped some praise on DK as an overall daily fantasy product, but there are also areas for improvement. Squad size is now 11 players, and it is comprised of a GK, 3 D, 3 M, 2 F, and 2 “Flex”. There is a tremendous amount of strategy involved in optimising where to spend your budget and this varies from slate to slate.
The player values are fine. You can make good teams, but you can’t take every single player you want, and pricing does tend to fluctuate. We tend to prefer stricter pricing caps but the casual player will want to get more of the players he wants, so in the interest of larger prize pools we will defer.
Scoring is the biggest drawback from DK’s product. We don’t mind Goals and Assists being rewarded handsomely, but Crosses don’t even have to be effective to score points! On top of that they added corner kicks which, while more predictable, are hardly an indicator of skill.
Once you’ve selected your team, you can visit all your teams in the ‘My Contests’ tab.
Two of the best features are Late Swap and Import/Export. Late Swap is something we’ve been clamouring for from UK sites. For some sports, Late Swap may not be necessary but we feel it absolutely is for football. There is a skill in projecting what players will be among the manager’s selections but there is far more randomness that can hurt you no matter how prepared you are. Import/Export is critical for the hour between team news and the start of contests. Sometimes a player you had selected on each of your teams is surprisingly missing out and you must replace that player everywhere. On DK you can accomplish that in seconds by exporting across to all teams, or using Global Player Swap which is another great tool. DK also have a very useful green tick system beside all your selected players to confirm they are starting for you.
The DK In-Play experience is as strong as you would expect. They have a feed from OPTA, that is immediate and accurate. With any stat provider there are changes that can occur after post match review, but that can’t be held against DK.
They also provide the status of each of your entries in your “My Contests” page and a “Currently Winning” total that can be misleading but is often pretty fun! If you play multiple line-ups you can easily see exactly how each is performing and how much you are earning (and risked) on each.
Since we are talking about DK, we are often talking about the gold standard in daily fantasy sports. Their navigation is no different with the ease of which you can find exactly what you are looking for. Lobby, My Lineups, and My Contests are all self-explanatory and the clicks you will be making most frequently. The My Lineups page is the most useful, functional, well-designed aspect of anything on any daily fantasy site. DK probably has the best tech development team in the industry at this stage, and the functionality is where that shines.
The DK mobile app is absolutely incredible. Selecting a squad on the go is no problem whatsoever. You can create contests and line-ups, then simply choose the leagues to place those teams in. The Import and Export functions work well and one additional feature we particularly like that the desktop does not display is to be able to see how much you risked. We commend DK for this as many sites keep you in the dark about exactly what you’ve risked so as to not discourage any play. But playing responsibly is important for longevity and they recognize that enough to allow you the option to view that number easily.
In some cases we will opt for the app over the desktop, that’s how simple and effective it is.
Scroll down to the bottom of any page on the site and you will see the traditional was to access support including FAQs and how to contact DK. In our experience queries get turned around very quickly.
The world of DFF in the UK has changed forever. So many features, so much choice, such ease of navigation!! DK is a joy to interact with. If you can get beyond some of the cultural differences we mentioned, this really is the pinnacle of sporting fantasy products.