HomeMaryland Daily Fantasy Sports

Maryland Daily Fantasy Sports

On this page, we will go through Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland. This includes its legality, the best DFS sites in the state, and much more.

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Best Daily Fantasy Sports sites in Maryland

Maryland has 13 licensed Daily Fantasy Sports operators, but our experts have determined these three to be the best in the state.

Underdog Logo

Underdog Fantasy

Founded in 2020, Underdog is the newest of the three on this list, but it is quickly becoming one of the most popular options not just in Maryland but nationwide. Underdog offers daily and season-long fantasy contests for a wide range of sports but is particularly known for its NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL “best ball” contests, where players draft a roster and don’t have to worry about setting a lineup. Instead, their highest-scoring player at each position is the one whose score counts. Their “Best Ball Mania IV” contest features a prize pool of $15M.

FanDuel Maryland Logo


New York-based operator FanDuel was one of the first Daily Fantasy Sports operators to rise to prominence in the U.S., launching its platform in 2010. FanDuel has both free-to-play and paid-entry contests available on the site, with paid contests having as low as a $2 entry fee. Most of these contests involve drafting the best team possible while staying under a salary cap to run up the highest score.

DraftKings Maryland Logo


The biggest rival to FanDuel, DraftKings launched its DFS site in Boston in 2012. Partnerships with the NHL and with several NFL teams helped spur DK’s popularity; expansion into NASCAR, tennis, Formula 1, and esports have created a great niche outside of the more common “Big Four” contests.

Yes, DFS contests are legal in Maryland. The legal standing of Daily Fantasy Sports has historically been quite murky in the state, but the state passed HB 940 in 2021, and Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill into law in May of the same year. This bill fully legalized MD sports betting and also explicitly addressed the legal status of DFS in the state.

How to start playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland

It’s easy to start playing Daily Fantasy Sports contests in Maryland, and in most cases, you’ll be able to play for free to try things out and see what you like. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Choose a site to play on: There isn’t a Maryland law limiting you to only being able to use one DFS site, so don’t be afraid to try multiple platforms to see what operators you enjoy the most. This will also allow you to capture generous welcome bonuses when applicable to help you hit a nice payday for winning cash prizes.
  2. Make a deposit: You won’t be able to enter paid contests without first making a deposit from the banking method of your choice. Take a look at what welcome bonuses are available so you can utilize your deposit to maximize the promo offer.
  3. Decide on a contest to enter: Once you’ve registered your account with a DFS operator, it’s time to find a contest (or contests) you wish to enter. Whether you’re looking at a free-to-play event or one with a paid entry, you’ll have plenty of available options.
  4. Research the field of players for the event: No amount of preparation is ever too much. Studying as many trends, recent performances, and other factors to find hidden value in the contests will help you maximize your winning potential.
  5. Make your picks and wait for the win: Finally, use the homework you did to select your players, watch the games, sweat it out, and hopefully hit a big win!

Which DFS contests can I play in Maryland?

DFS contests are similar to traditional fantasy sports events, but there are many minor variations that can change the way you play. Here are some of the most popular DFS contests you can play in Maryland.

  • Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs): Guaranteed prize pools offer a full payout even if the contest doesn’t fill up.
  • Single-Entry: Some contests will allow you to submit more than one lineup into the contests pool. However, any event designated as single-entry will only give you one shot at submitting your picks.
  • Head-to-Head: Head-to-head contests can be either public or private. In these events, you pick your roster and go head-to-head against someone else’s lineup. For long-term contests, this is usually tournament style where you move through a bracket to take on your next opponent, though sometimes it can be head-to-head like a traditional fantasy league.
  • Experienced Players Excluded (EPE): EPE contests are great for beginners because they allow you to get your feet wet with DFS contests without having to worry about matching up against hardcore DFS players. These events will have a limit to how many contests a player has entered, and if you’ve played more than that amount, you won’t be eligible to enter.
  • Best Ball: Best ball contests don’t require you to set a lineup from week to week or day to day. Instead, it will take the best performer from each position and automatically tally their points to determine your position.

Expert tips for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland

Before you start playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Maryland, you should keep these expert tips in mind.

  • Use projections as guides, not gospel: Player projections are a good way to gauge the approximate expected value of an individual’s performance. However, it’s pretty rare to see a player score exactly what was projected ahead of the matchup. Doing your own research will help you decide if the player’s projection is accurate and lead to smarter choices when setting your lineup.
  • Enter smaller contests to gain experience and build strategy: While all DFS players dream of hitting the multi-million dollar jackpot for winning a massive contest, entering smaller contests is a good way to build your bankroll, get comfortable drafting your players, and develop your strategies to target hidden values. Small wins still add up to bigger profits over time.
  • Understand floors and ceilings: In a football contest, does the wide receiver you receive see a relatively consistent number of targets, receptions, and yards each week, or are their fantasy scores more touchdown dependent? Or take baseball; does your starting pitcher regularly pitch at least six innings, or is it a bit of crapshoot to guess their total from game to game? Consistency is often better than boom-or-bust for DFS contests, as it can help you assess an expected range of points a player may earn you.
  • Manage your bankroll: Paid-entry fantasy contests can add up in cost in a hurry if you aren’t proactive about money management. You can easily burn through your bankroll if you aren’t paying attention. Make a plan and a budget, then stick to both.

Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in Maryland

  • 2012: The Maryland legislature passes a bill allowing participation in fantasy sports contests. However, because this bill addressed season-long fantasy events, the status of daily contests was still somewhat of a grey legal area.
  • January 2016: Maryland’s Attorney General drafts a formal opinion that the fantasy sports laws are too ambiguous and that the 2012 bill should’ve been voted on by MD residents in a statewide referendum rather than passed in the legislature. This letter urged the legislature to take immediate action to clarify the betting and DFS laws.
  • February and March 2016: The Maryland House drafts HB 930 to move regulatory control over DFS from the state Comptroller to the Director of the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Meanwhile, the Senate proposes SB 976 in an effort to require the State Lottery and Gaming Control Commission to manage DFS regulation. However, neither bill was adopted into state law.
  • July 2016: Maryland’s Comptroller proposes additional DFS regulations despite a lack of clarity over the legal authority to do so.
  • 2018: The United States Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, leaving the legal status of sports betting in Maryland as a matter for the state to decide rather than as a federal action.
  • 2021: Maryland ratifies HB 940, which explicitly legalizes Daily Fantasy Sports. The bill also establishes regulatory requirements, taxation percentages, and operator licensing fees.


Which is the most popular DFS site in Maryland?

The most popular DFS site in Maryland would either be DraftKings or FanDuel. Both have established histories in the Daily Fantasy Sports industry, but recently, Underdog Fantasy has become quite popular as well.

When was DFS legalized in Maryland?

DFS contests were first permitted in Maryland in 2012. However, the state didn’t fully and explicitly legalize Daily Fantasy Sports contests until 2021. Before that, players were allowed to enter, though it was somewhat of a gray area legally.