PGA DFS: Differences Between DraftKings and FanDuel
Golf is one of the most exciting DFS sports. A tournament gets done on Sunday evening, and the next one starts again on Thursday morning. There is less time between tournaments, and the roster sweats last four days.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two main platforms for golf DFS. Both sites have some pros and cons. We’ve listed some of these below so that you can best decide which site is for you. If you’re like me, you’ll try and take advantage of the positives that each site has to offer. I play certain types of contests on one site over another, or I will incorporate different strategies on a certain site.
Regardless, remember that DFS golf can be extremely fun (even if you aren’t winning much money). Enjoy the process!
Pricing & Roster Construction
Both sites allow you to roster six golfers, but FanDuel gives you $60,000 (average of $10,000 per spot), whereas DraftKings gives you $50,000 ($8,333 average). In a perfectly correlated world, each golfer on FanDuel would be exactly $1,000 more than they are on DraftKings, but this is not always the case.
Both sites are independent of one another when it comes to their pricing algorithms. Generally speaking, FanDuel tends to have “looser” pricing because many of the top golfers fall below this $1,000 threshold. This means that you are able to get more bang for your buck on FD. This can also lead to more of a stars-and-scrubs approach because you can fit more high-end golfers in your roster. The ownership percentages are always higher for the stars on FD than on DK. When playing FanDuel, you can often make strong contrarian lineups using balanced builds.
It’s important to know the rules of any game that you play. That allows you to map out a strategy to maximize your chance for success. Both DraftKings and FanDuel value birdies and eagles, but DraftKings encourages a little more risk, as they have less of a penalty for bogeys and double bogeys.
Both sites want to reward scorers, but FanDuel will punish bad holes more severely. This matters when constructing lineups (see example below). Also, both FD and DK have identical scoring for finishing first through fifth. However, DK has a slightly better scoring system based upon finishing position after that. DK also gives points up to 50th place, while FanDuel only goes to 40th.
|Bounce Back Bonus||n/a||+0.3|
|5+ Birdies in a Round||n/a||+4|
|Streak Bonus||+3 (three in a row)||+0.6 (two in a row)|
|All 4 Rds. Under 70||+5||n/a|
|Hole in One||+5||n/a|
Leaderboard standings matter somewhat, as they can give you a general idea of who is playing well and who isn’t. However, fantasy scoring isn’t always directly correlated to the leaderboard. Consider two players who both shoot even par for the day. Player A went birdie/bogey for the entire round, whereas Player-B had 18 pars. They might be tied on the leaderboard, but they look very different in your lineups.
On DraftKings, Player-A would have 22.5 DK points and Player-B would have 9.0 DK points. On FanDuel, Player-A would have 25.6 FD points (including bonuses) and Player-B would have 13.0 FD points (including bonuses). They might be tied in the standings, but they affect your lineup in entirely different ways.
DraftKings has bigger contests, which is a double-edged sword. While the rewards are higher, so is the competition. If you want to play the lottery and go for the big score, DraftKings is the site to focus on, especially with their millionaire-maker contests. FanDuel can be a good way to build your bankroll if you’re not trying to hit the big score.
Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs)
Both sites have some decent tournaments to enter, though ultimately, DraftKings is the leader when it comes to prize pools, quantity, and variety of GPPs offered. However, if you are a lower stakes player and you want to test out the Mass-Multi Entries (MME) streets, then FanDuel is your best bet, as it has options at both the $0.05 and $0.25 price points (DK’s lowest MME is $0.50).
FanDuel’s most popular contest, the “PGA Eagle,” costs between $7-$10 (depending on the week), but it has a first-place prize of $100,000. DraftKings runs a milly-maker contest for bigger PGA events, and it typically costs $20. All in all, DFS players can find a DraftKings tournament that suits their bankroll.
DraftKings is definitely the site if you are looking for cash games. FD has $1, $2, and $5 single-entry contests that are decent for bankroll building purposes. However, they usually do not offer any single-entry double-ups or 50/50s. DraftKings offers a number of different options for people wanting to play cash games. If your bankroll can afford it, the $12 “Albatross” and the $33 “Dogleg” are very popular single-entry contests on DK.
FanDuel offers a limited selection of showdown contests. Their weekend golf seems to be the most popular, but they also offer final round contests. The price points rarely change, so you can find some amazing values, but then again, so can your competitors. Final round and weekend contests do not take into account their finishing position. Regular fantasy scoring is used for both site’s showdown contests. DraftKings awards bonus points based on finishing position for their final round and weekend contests.
DraftKings has a better bonus point system, as you can earn a number of crowns through a variety of “achievements.” They also have rewards that you can claim every day, and these include crowns, contest tickets, and free money. The more you play, the higher level you achieve, which increases the rewards you are eligible for. DraftKings also rewards regular play. DK Crowns can be redeemed for entry into paid contests or spent on merchandise within the DK Shop.
FanDuel tends to have a few more promotions during the golf season in which you could get all your money refunded or earn bonus dollars. Overall, their bonus system isn’t as good as DK, but it seems as though you qualify for some freeroll tournaments more often. I have won a decent amount playing in some soccer, baseball, NASCAR, or tennis tournaments that I would never have entered on my own.
Ease of Use
Both sites have solid mobile apps that allow you to deposit and withdraw funds quickly and easily. Both apps are user-friendly when it comes to playing DFS, although it’s harder to track specific contests on FanDuel, especially if you’re playing a lot of lineups or playing in a lot of contests. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it does require some getting used to and a little patience. FanDuel offers more contests for beginners than does DraftKings. These beginner contests are a great way to build your bankroll while learning the game.
Jamy Bechler is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. He plays DraftKings under the screen name “DKJamy” and on FanDuel, he is “JamyBechler”. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.