The two biggest DFS operators in the land are always good for entertainment value, as they continue their back and forth battle for supremacy. Like Barcelona and Real Madrid, one is defined in terms of its relationship to the other. Mention one, and as sure as night follows day, a comparison to its rival will follow. Such is the competitive nature of the DFS industry.
Last weekend's NFL GPP action was a case in point. For the first time since the start of the season, both DraftKings and FanDuel posted up positive revenues on the same Sunday. In other words, both sites took in more in GPP entry fees than they paid out in prizes. This is a big deal. FanDuel had done it in week one, but never had both of the big guns managed it on the same day. It hints at the carpet-bombing approach to adverts paying off.
In a classic case of 'anything you can do, I can do better', DraftKings shaded the revenue war by a fraction (well, by about $150,000). FanDuel, meanwhile, will point at the rake figures: its effective rake of 9.1% topped DraftKings' 8.1%. It's neck-and-neck at the top.
All of which sets the scene for this Sunday's NFL action. DraftKings and FanDuel are diverging strategically. DraftKings is maintaining its $7m guaranteed Millionaire Maker contest - and with good reason. Last week, it secured over $7.5n in entries, beating its guarantee by a cool half million, and establishing itself as THE Sunday NFL headliner. In a move that hints at a repositioning, FanDuel has dropped its $6m guarantee down to $5m. Last Sunday, the contest didn't recoup: at $5.77m in entry fees, it fell just short.
First blood to DraftKings; but can it build on this advantage?
We are waiting to see what shakes out with the mainstream media coverage of the DFS industry this week before we jump to any conclusions about its effects. However, there is one thing that we can say for certain:
It is a ballsy move for DraftKings to retain its $7m NFL guarantee.
At the risk of hyperbole, there may never be a more value-laden week in DFS. Will the recreational players avoid the games? If so, then we can only assume that DraftKings will fall well short of its monstrous guarantee. And that means extra value for you. Don't waste this opportunity; stay close to the SuperLobby and pinpoint where the overlay lies. This week, more than ever, you should ensure you set up your SuperLobby Premium's Overlay Alerts. They might just make you millions!
Last Sunday, DraftKings and FanDuel were the only operators to post up positive NFL GPP revenues. While Yahoo, StarsDraft, FantasyAces, and Fantasy Feud had solid overlay on offer, the best value for players was found at PickChamps, DraftorPass, FantasyDraft, and Draftpot. FantasyDraft's $100k GPP contest was especially tasty, with about $38k of overlay making it a dream for value hunters. And if that wasn't enough, FantasyDraft's $50k contest also failed to recoup. Will this week's version also fall short by $7500? There's only one way to find out - and that's with SuperLobby.
PickChamps is an innovative new operator that we are absolutely delighted to welcome into the SuperLobby. Its focus on one-on-one prop contests is a neat twist on the traditional Salary Cap format, and this Manhattan-based operator is looking to seriously disrupt the DFS industry. Our guy Christy caught up with CEO Leighton Webb to talk about the past, present, and future of PickChamps.
All of the attention on DraftKings and FanDuel has left the door ajar for current third-placed operator Yahoo to take a run at the big two. At least, that is what common sense would suggest. However, all of the overlay in recent weeks seems to have spooked Yahoo into tightening its belt a little (hopefully you were on the ball enough to grab your share of the generous overlay!).
This week, Yahoo's Million Dollar Baller contest is a Seven-Hundred-and-Fifty-Thousand-Dollar Baller event. Not quite as catchy. Last week, it fell short of its $1m guarantee by $240k, meaning that Sunday's contest is definitely capable of filling up. Make sure that you set your Overlay Alerts to keep you informed as to whether it does recoup. Either way, there's a lot of money up top, and a notoriously soft field. Checking it out is a must.
Longer term, it will be fascinating to see whether or not Yahoo can make inroads into the duopoly at the sharp end of the industry. It has a lot of ground to make up, but by this time next week, we will expect to have a far clearer picture.