8/14/12 Update: Don’t Play Here! – DraftZone, once brimming with potential, has no become a ghost town. This forum has seen various complaints about slow responses from customer service and unpaid cashouts. There are very few games running each day. At this time we highly recommend searching out other daily fantasy options. We have reviewed the software below if you’d still like to check them out:
Software and Interface
Draft Zone provides one of the most excellent interfaces out there. The site layout is crisp, well-organized and runs smoothly. Everything you need can be operated from the Home page or ‘My Draft Zone’ area. The Draft Lobby is located on the Home Page, and is very well organized:
The Draft Lobby allows you to sort by Sport, Draft-Type, Buy-In or League Size, making it easy for you to locate the draft you want. When a draft has registrants it is highlighted light-red, and when it is nearing capacity it is highlighted dark-red. In your ‘My Draft Zone’ area you will find your leagues are sorted by active and previous leagues. Draft Zone has an excellent Live Scoring window that displays all of your games at once, and you can easily jump from one of your rosters to the next. The scores are slightly delayed in comparison to the update speed that ESPN or Yahoo provides, but they are not far off from real-time. If you have trouble finding anything, there is a beautiful, and more importantly helpful, blonde lady providing you with video solutions to FAQs. The video content on Draft Zone is surprisingly convenient, and far from being annoying, as many competitors’ video inserts can be. The drafts room is easy to operate and runs very smoothly. All of the normal features for the draft are there, but the ability to hover over your challengers to quickly view their rosters is a nice touch. Players are allowed 10 minutes once a Sit and Draft fills up to be present before it begins. While this may not seem like enough time normally, Draft Zone offers an excellent SMS feature that texts your cell phone when your draft has filled up. If that doesn’t work, their Player Pre-Rankings section is very effective in the case that you must Auto-Draft. Once everyone has arrived, they even offer a ‘Ready to Draft’ button to skip the 10 minute wait if all players are present and ready.
Overall Draft Zone offers an excellent variety of games. In addition to Sit and Drafts and Salary Drafts, Draft Zone offers some exciting and unique games for their members. Arguably the most fun of the games is Draft Zone’s ‘Heads Up Bracket Challenge’. This unique offering pits 64 users head to head in a tournament bracket format. Players advance throughout 6 weeks of competition, with the top 8 players cashing. For the NFL Playoffs an 8 person Bracket Challenge was introduced with the top 3 Spots cashing.
Another game type that DZ offers is Zone Drafts. Zone Drafts are a way to draft a team for free, without needing leaguemates to be present for the draft. Essentially, it’s a hybrid of Live Drafts and Salary Caps. Members also have the ability to create private, scheduled leagues to draft around a predetermined time or Sit and Draft. Draft Zone caters to almost all types of players with their drafts ranging from $5 to $500. While Draft Zone does offer free games, the games don’t allow users to gain any value for their participation aside from practice and entertainment. It would be nice to see Play Money tracking as well as some buy-ins below the $5 range for new users.
Roster, Rules and Scoring
The Salary drafts allow you to form a team with a $60,000 salary, with each player having a daily or weekly, assigned market-value. Where some sites haphazardly assign these market-values to players allowing users access to too much talent, Draft Zone does an excellent job with each player’s market value. This makes for a perfect balance of skilled-players available without forcing away too much talent. The Salary Drafts also allow for knowledgeable sleeper picks, which can pay off big dividends for the knowledgeable drafter. DZ also allows users to pre-rank players weekly for each sport; a feature useless on every site except for Draft Zone, because they are the only one to consistently offer real-time sit and drafts.
The rake is 9.1%, essentially. Here is the breakdown:
|DraftZone Buy-In||DraftZone Rake %|
Bonuses and Promotions
Draft Zone runs great promotions and has consistent bonuses. To promote their Leaderboards, Draft Zone has offered awesome promotions in the past. For example, the top 10 players as of January 25th, 2010 won free seats to the WCOFF (a $1,850 value), and DraftZone plans on doing the same for the WCOFB and Baseball season! For 2011 NFL the Top 3 will get a seat to the FFPC Finals!
In addition, DZ has partnered with RotoGrinders to offer you an exclusive DraftZone Promotional Code: GRINDERS – good for a 20% Deposit Bonus, up to $50! If you’re ready to start Grinding on Draft Zone now, join now and don’t forget to use our Draft Zone Promotional Code GRINDERS for an exclusive deposit bonus.
The Customer Service has been excellent at Draft Zone. I’ve received quick, helpful responses each time an email was sent. It is clear that they are doing what it takes to make Draft Zone a success, and that they listen to their community. Draft Zone has consistently updated their site with improvements, and it has led to a great user interface.
Draft Zone has made depositing and cashing out amazingly simple. The Deposits are instantaneous via PayPal, and the PayPal cashouts take 24 hours or less. You also have the option to withdrawal via check. DZ will send you helpful emails for withdrawals that make you feel safe using their site, which surprisingly can’t be found at every Daily Fantasy Site. The only drawback to the cashier is that we’ve received a few complaints about the time and communication during a withdrawal process.