PDFS September 9, 2015
*As of October 19, 2015, Starsdraft is only allowing real money contests for the following states: Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and West Virgina. If you are not a resident of those 5 states you will not be allowed to play at Starsdraft. The company is taking a strong stance and protecting themselves and parent company Amaya from any legality issues that DFS might face in the future. This significantly affects our ranking of Starsdraft from a 3.5 star site to a 2. We hope once the legality issues of DFS is more clear in all states that Starsdraft will once again accept players from other legal states.*
In August 2015, StarsDraft was born after Amaya Gaming bought out Victiv.com and re-branded it to Starsdraft.com. Amaya is, of course, the parent company of huge poker conglomerate PokerStars. This was huge news in DFS as Amaya brings proven success and a huge poker following with their arrival into the space. So far the site has stayed the course with the old Victiv model with the exception of some design tweaks here and there. Their plan for now is to grow their player base and not necessary challenge for the largest prize pools right off the bat. It remains to be seen whether their success with Pokerstars will translate into them being the leaders in daily fantasy sports as well. Starsdraft is a site to keep an eye on for sure and worth signing up to play.
Quick Review Points
What’s Great at StarsDraft
- Free Bankroll Builder
- Site Innovation
- Drafting Bench Players
StarsDraft Could Improve
- Bonus Restrictions
- Allowing Canadian Players
- Bigger Prize Pools
StarsDraft Promo Code and Deposit Bonus
For new players, you will get a 100% deposit bonus up to $250 and you don’t need a promo code to claim the offer. You also receive five bankroll builder tickets that allow you to play in real money contests. If you click through any of our Starsdraft links the bonus will automatically be applied when you deposit for the first time.
Here is Your Starsdraft Bonus Link
As is standard in the DFS industry your bonus balance needs to be converted into real cash. This occurs as you play real money contests at a rate of 2% of the total buy-in amount for each contest. As well Starsdraft poses 180 day time limit to claim your bonus. While the 100% up to $250 bonus is decent, the 2% rate of release is rather low compared to other sites and 180 day time limit is a rather cheeky move we could do without, especially for new players.
StarsDraft Sports Contest Offerings
Starsdraft has the standard sports you would expect from a Daily Fantasy Site and also have added Fantasy Golf to their rotation for a solid lineup of sports offerings. Here are all the sports they currently allow fantasy contests for:
The addition of fantasy golf is a nice boost for Starsdraft as it is one of the fastest growing DFS sports and they can begin offering big prize pools for it that most sites won’t be able to match. We hope in the future they add NCAA sports to the sports roster as it’s the one big hole missing in their fantasy sports contests. Starsdraft contests are all in traditional salary cap form. As far as contest formats go they have the standard formats in the DFS industry:
- GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pools)
- Double-Up Contests (Top 50% Win)
- Heads-Up Contests
One of the more intriguing aspects of Starsdraft is their Head to Head contests. Instead of being able to see who you are playing right of the bat in a H to H contest, at Starsdraft you anonymously join the contest and then are randomly assigned your opponent. This is a rule aimed at eliminating “Sharks” from picking on weaker opponents which often can occur at some DFS sites. If you are a new player to Daily Fantasy Sports this can be a nice incentive to play in Head to Head contests as you don’t have to worry about being intentional picked on by a strong consistent winner or end up playing the same opponent in multiple contests if you entered in more than one H to H match-up.
Multi Entry – Unique Format
Another rule in place to protect against DFS players who use one lineup and enter it multiple times in one contest is their Multi-Entry Unique contests denoted by an “MU” in the lobby. One of the more controversial strategies in Daily Fantasy is to use one lineup and enter it in the same contest over and over. You can sometimes see the same lineup entered up to 20 or more times in large prize pool tournaments, the theory being if it’s a winning lineup it can cash in multiple times and sometimes sweep the board. A lot of players find this frustrating and that’s why Starsdraft is offering these type of contests to protect against same lineup entries. In these MU contests you can enter as many times as you like but each lineup must be unique meaning it can not be the exact same lineup, there has to be at least one player different each time you enter.
StarsDraft Sports Contest Rules
Like we mentioned already all of Starsdraft contests are in traditional Salary Cap and the total cap is $50,000. Contests only run for NFL, NBA and NHL when there is at least two live games scheduled for that night. You can edit your lineups up until the contests locks which is usually the minute the live games begin.
- Players to Draft – 9 (QB, RB1, RB2, WR1, WR2, TE, FLEX1, FLEX2, DEF)
- FLEX can be any combo of RB, WR or TE
- Players to Draft – 9 (P STAFF, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C, OF1, OF2, OF3, PH)
- You are drafting a pitching staff which includes starter and bullpen. You will get fantasy points from any pitcher used throughout the game
- PH is a pinch hitter. If that player scores more points than any other batter on your team he will be substituted in for your final score
- Players to Draft – 9 (G1, G2, F1, F2, F3, C, FLEX1, FLEX2, SUB)
- Your SUB will be substituted into your final lineup if they outscore any of your starters
- Players to Draft – 9 (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, F6, D1, D2, G)
- Forwards can be any combination of LW, C, or RW
- Golfers to Draft – 7
- Your final lineup consists of the top 5 scorers on the team, so you essentially have two subs
StarsDraft is really unique with their substitute and bench players who you draft and automatically get inserted into your lineup if they outscore any of your starters. It’s a cool twist and can be really beneficial if you have an in-game injury to one of your drafted players.
Starsdraft lobby is dark, sleek and well-designed. All your filters are conveniently located at the very top of the contests screen and you can filter by sport, entry fee, contests size and contest formats. It’s one of the most compact lobby’s we have come across, no distractions or unnecessary advertising. They have their promo boxes at the bottom, but it would be nice to see some of the featured contests promoted in the top half of the lobby. Also, if they highlighted their biggest prize pool contests somehow with a different color it would make it easier for the user to distinguish. That being said we really like the design and simplicity and it adapts smoothly to whatever device you are using.
StarsDraft Draft Screen
SD carries their same lobby design into their drafting screen with the clean and compact feel. The main details of the contest are located at the top of the screen and you can click anywhere on the menu to expand the window for full details like payout zone and entries. The player selection screen is nicely laid out with all available players on the left separated into positional groups and your lineup on the right. The match-ups for the contest are located below with start times and little weather icons, each match-up is clickable if you would like to filter out players to certain teams. Starsdraft player cards are opened up by clicking on any of the athletes names and a pop-up window will appear. You are provided with a solid array of stats to aid you in drafting your team. They provide you fantasy points per game, last 5 game averages, and last 10 game logs. You are given the players overall rank amongst their position and also the opposition rank vs them. Overall they have done a great job revamping this screen from the old Victiv days.
One of Victiv’s biggest promotions when first launching was their innovative Victron lineup builder and Starsdraft has kept this feature around so far. The concept is simple, select the factors that are most important to you in drafting a lineup and let the Victron do the work for you and draft your roster. So for example, let’s say you your drafting an MLB lineup and you consider RBI’s as the most important factor for your batters. Using the Victron’s sliders you can set RBI’s to be of high importance. Then next you want batters who don’t strike out a lot so you would then set the strikeouts slider to low. You would go about this process for all the sliders available in whatever sport you are playing. It’s interesting, it’s a cool idea and very much geared towards beginner players who don’t want to think or do much research on their own. It would be great to see some actually stats on how successful the Victron is when used in contests. Overall it’s something different, fun to try but we don’t see it being a tool you would want to use too often as a serious DFS player trying to win money.
Deposits and Withdrawals at StarsDraft
Deposits at Starsdraft can be made with the following options:
- Visa, Mastercard, Discovery, American Express
The minimum deposit is $10 and the maximum is $3000. You can contact Starsdraft directly to increase your max deposit. To withdraw money from you can use the following options:
The minimum you can withdraw is $20 for Paypal and $100 for mailed check. For withdrawals, Starsdraft refunds the original deposit amount into the original deposit method and then issues the remaining money via the desired method you selected. All payouts are made into your account once the final box score is determined by their Stats LLC provider.
Free Bankroll Builder
One of Starsdraft biggest perks for new players is the ability to win money without ever depositing a single penny. They call it the “Bankroll Builder” and when you sign-up you are given 5 Free entry tickets at a chance to play in H to H contests vs their Bankroll Builder computer. You can actually earn 5 more tickets if you deposit at least $10. You can play a contest in any sport and you can win a total of $15 ($3 for each). The cool part is your not playing against a bunch of other players rather Head to Head vs a computer generated lineup. We were able to successfully win 4 out of 5 so the odds are in your favor if you can select even a slightly better than average team. StarsDraft has really tried to make their site user-friendly to new players and this is an ideal promotion for any new player to DFS or Starsdraft.
PGA Fantasy Golf Contests
Starsdraft is one of the best sites for fantasy golf prize pools. They regularly have big contests for all 4 majors that can be as high as $100,000 in total prizes. For the weekly tour tournaments, they have a nice selection of contests for users and also have some great freerolls for above average money. Starsdraft is one of our go to sites for fantasy golf contests.
We rank Starsdraft a 2 out of 5 stars. They are absolutely an above average daily fantasy site and with the takeover by Amaya Gaming we believe they will have staying power in the industry. For a beginner DFS player, they have many perks geared towards you like their bankroll builder and certain restrictions on contests to limit “shark” players from dominating too much. We like the website innovation they are trying to use with the Victron, but we are not sold on whether it will be really useful to the majority of players, certainly not skilled DFS players. We wish they would loosen up their bonus restrictions and improve the release rate percentage to truly show they are all about the new player. All and all they have one of the best-designed websites and some of the top prize pools, it’s hard to bet against the company behind PokerStars but they are still a long way from laying claim to #1 or #2 spot in the industry. We will continue to watch Starsdraft and feel with the right improvements and larger prize pools they can increase to a 4 out of 5 site down the road.
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