This Q&A is reproduced from aboutislam.net
As-salamu `alaykum. I have a couple of friends who are involved in a game called Fantasy Football where they all pick 11-15 football players each and they get points for the players’ individual performances. At the end of the month, whoever has the most points is rewarded by the other friends, i.e. they give him 10 each. I would like to know if what I am doing is unlawful. I have to pay money to participate and prize money is given out to the winner at the end of the season for most points. Is it still considered gambling if you pay to play in the league, but you don’t accept the winnings if I do end up winning?
Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
This game (fantasy football), as I can understand from your description, is akin to gambling. You are paying money to enter the game and then you might win or lose.
That is gambling. If you do not pay and the winner is chosen based on performance only, then this game is allowed.
Allah Almighty knows best.