So who had Marcus Mariota and Carlos Hyde in their lineups this weekend? LIARS!
The highly anticipated first week of NFL games is now behind us and now, on this Tuesday, some daily fantasy players are basking in the glow of success, diving into their new Scrooge McDuck vaults full of gold coins. Most, though, are left licking their wounds vowing that THIS will be the week they turn it around and nab that big score in a GPP.
Not only was opening week highly anticipated by fantasy players, but it was probably targeted even more by the DFS sites. This seems to be the first football season that DFS has an air of legitimacy, or maybe that’s just me thinking that the non-stop DraftKings and FanDuel ads mean that everyone else cares about DFS, too. Though the sites have been increasing in popularity, they have not been profitable, as they have guaranteed more money in GPPs than they have pulled in via those same contests. Overlays galore.
This NFL season was looked at as the turning point. DFS has enough attention now that overlays would be a thing of the past. As it turns out, though, even with all the commercials and internet banner ads and ESPN marketing deals and Times Square advertising, the DFS sites still had to pay out thousands in overlays this weekend.
DraftKings Trounces FanDuel
According to SuperLobby.com, a site which tracks overlay on many DFS sites, DraftKings paid out over half a million dollars – $556,512 to be exact – in overlay across 38 GPPs this weekend. That number was bolstered by DK’s big $10,000,000 Millionaire Maker, which saw 520,448 entries at $20 a pop. Thus, the buy-ins out-paced the guarantee by $408,960.
FanDuel, DraftKings’ biggest rival, was not so fortunate. Despite its media blitz which made football fans think they were watching the National FanDuel League rather than the National Football League, the site still paid out $796,590 in overlay on its spotlight $5,000,000 NFL GPP. All told, FanDuel had $1.4 million in overlay across 77 contests.
None of the other sites came out ahead. Yahoo! had $347,857 in overlay. StarsDraft, in addition to connectivity issues in the hour leading up to Sunday’s early slate of games (come on, you’re PokerStars for pete’s sake – you should know how to handle traffic), paid $68,319 in overlay. FantasyAces and FantasyFeud both had around $60,000 in overlay. So on and so forth.
In reality, especially for DraftKings and FanDuel, the DFS sites lost even more money than on NFL GPPs because of marketing expenditures and free tickets promotions.
This coming week of NFL games will be an interesting one to watch, as hopefully for the DFS sites, the new players they attracted in the first week will stay and keep playing for real money. If they do, and do so in great numbers, the overlays will pay for themselves. Additionally, rather than having several months to bring people in for the large GPPs, the sites now only have a few days. One would think that if the sites couldn’t avoid overlays in week one after all the hype and advertising expenditures, they will have trouble in weeks to come.