Website Review: Fanduel.com (9/24/09)

I’ve been playing on a few of the newer sites lately and I’m going to take a look at Fanduel.com today and give you my opinion on some of the pros and cons of the site. 

As we discussed in the last website review, payout  and commissions are one of the most important things to me when playing daily fantasy cash games.  The payout at Fanduel is a bet 10 to win 8 proposition which equates to a 55.5% winning percentage needed to break even.  I have seen a few sites offer bet 11 to win 9, which is just a little better requiring only a 55.0% winning percentage to break even.  As a comparison, Vegas odds usually require players to bet 11 to win 10, which equates to a 52.4% winning percentage needed to break even.   I have been finding that the bet 10 to win 8 setup is pretty much becoming the standard online.  Overall, the payout structure is good and in line with most of the other daily cash game sites.

The software is easy to use and setting up an account is simple and quick.  Funding is through MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and Paypal.  I funded through my Paypal account and had no problems.  I requested a small cashout  just to see how fast it was executed and received an instant email from support requesting my Paypal info for the transfer.  The transfer was completed within 10 minutes of my initial request.  That kind of speed is very impressive and a good indication of the great customer support that Fanduel has.

I have played about 35 baseball contests at Fanduel (I play under ‘Tippy’ on Fanduel) and so far I have run into the same opponents several times.   All of the contests are heads up games.  Fanduel is a relatively new site and like most of the newer gaming sites, the player base is growing.  They do have a very cool feature that allows you to sign up for a game and then send out a challenge to anyone else on the site inviting that player to play against you.  It’s definitely a great way to settle things out with those guys who are always talking smack about how they are the greatest fantasy players ever!  There are also several social interaction features on the way that will allow players to talk with each other and develop a community for fantasy fans.

Currently the site offers only one type of draft option which is very similar to the Yahoo autopick system.  The owners of the site were kind enough to speak with me and they informed me that they are considering adding additional draft types in order to provide their player base with several popular  options when it comes to drafting.   I know alot of you like the salary cap games and I think Fanduel may offer those in the near future.  The site currently offers contests for NFL, MLB and the NBA.  NHL is also coming soon.

The present drafting procedure is a little different than many of the other sites and can best be described as a completely preset draft in which you pre-rank all of your starters and your backup picks prior to the actual draft.  It is very similar to Yahoo autopick drafts which I’m sure most of you have played.  You and your opponents pre-rank the players and then 5 minutes before the actual professional games start the computer randomly matches you against an opponent who signed up to play the same priced game (or matches you with the player you invited).  Once matched, the draft is automatically conducted by the computer.  Immediately upon completion of the draft you are sent an email with your team or you can just click on your account and go to your games to see your roster.  It is a very simple setup and only takes a few minutes to pick your team (although if you are obsessed like me, you could spend an hour trying to figure out whether to pre-rank Kobe or Wade higher).  You can play as many games as you want, just as long as there are enough other players in your selected price range for the computer to match you up against.  Fanduel also has a cool feature that allows you to use the same roster for multiple games, which saves the the trouble of having to perform multiple pre-rankings .  There is also another great feature that keeps track of your win-loss record for all the games you have played on the site.

Fanduel.com has free games so you can try out the software before depositing money, which is a great help so you don’t waste any money in your first couple of practice drafts.  There is also a LiveChat function where you can ask for help if you get stuck (although I’m guessing they don’t offer advice on ranking Kobe and Wade).  They also have  a first time deposit bonus of $10 on any deposit.  For you guys who have your own websites, Fanduel has an affiliate program for referrals.  Fanduel also offers $5 for every friend that you refer who signs up and deposits.

Overall I think the site is very good and has the managment to grow it properly.  Their commissions are competitive, the software is simple and dependable and customer service is excellent.  Put Fanduel on your list of sites for the upcoming basketball season and if your ever want to play a game, send me an invitation to my player name,  ’Tippy’.

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