Have Daily Fantasy Sites Gone Too Far?

FanDuel and DraftKings. Those are the two heavy hitters in Daily Fantasy Sites. If you hadn’t heard of them before, I’m sure you’ve heard of them by now. It’s estimated that the two sites have pumped more than $150 million into the radio and airwaves in order to boost awareness and participation. The ads are everywhere. A simple word like “beer” or “pretzels” can earn you up to $600 in deposit matching from the sites. They show success stories of average people turned millionaires with the click of a button. People who have won hundreds of thousands of dollars and risked pennies on the dollar. It’s a good ad, though slightly misleading. (more on that later) But what I’m concerned with is the possibility that these sites have shot themselves in the foot. That they’ve gone too far with the ad campaigns.

This is too much.

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This is what you’re greeted with when you are trying to access your ESPN fantasy team. It’s a full on ad explosion of FanDuel madness. I literally had to search before I was able to find the link for my teams. I was overwhelmed. This was far more annoying than the average 45 second commercial blitz. People coming to this particular part of the ESPN site are likely already fantasy sport fans, and as such, have probably heard of Daily Fantasy Sites and FanDuel. So is this necessary?

Ironically the crowd that seems to be complaining the loudest are fantasy fans.

I think as fantasy players, we can see how misleading the ads are. The sites are trying to turn something that many devote a large portion of their time to, into something less that what it is. Turning it into a game of luck. Being good at fantasy sports isn’t luck, it’s a skill. To be an exceptional fantasy player requires time, effort, and research. Do you think Matthew Berrys just fall off the turnip truck every day? No. It takes years of time and energy to get to a level where you can predict the production of teams and players. Often, it’s fantasy players who are the ones profiting from daily leagues. They already have a basic knowledge and skill set that puts them ahead of the curve. Are there fantasy players out there that aren’t the best daily league players? Absolutely. Are there daily league winners out there that possess only a basic knowledge of football or fantasy sports? It’s possible. But the majority of winners are coming from a select group of people. In fact,

“Sports Business Journal reported that 91 percent of the winnings at daily fantasy sports sites are claimed by just 1.3 percent of players — the so-called sharks. These winners, some of whom play full time, rely on sophisticated algorithms, trend data and knowledge of the games and matchups to invest heavily in optimal lineups for each 24-hour period.”

So these average joes flashing their hard earned checks are the exception not the rule.

Speaking of Daily League sharks deadspin.com has just released an article about possible insider betting.

Winning a contest like Millionaire Maker, which has hundreds of thousands of participants, is less about buying up the best players than about finding market inefficiencies and selecting players who will help the fewest amount of your competitors while running cheap relative to their production. (This is basic tournament strategy; it’s the same reason you’re discouraged from picking all chalk in a large March Madness pool.) Thus, when you select a lineup, you have to try, blindly, to determine both the bargain value and how under-the-radar your lineup will fly.

Of course, if you have this data ahead of time—as certain DraftKings employees evidently do, or did—you have a massive advantage over your competitors. There’s no guesswork, only algorithmic scheming. You can remove the behavioral uncertainty from the equation and play knowing all opposition strategies.

Pretty much a DraftKings employee had access to information that he used to win a high stakes league at FanDuel. New information suggests that the employee may not have had access to the information until after he had formed his lineup, but the reporting of the story has cast quite the shadow over the DFS sporting world. Currently, there isn’t much oversight with Daily League Sites. If stories like this keep popping up you can bet this will change. Read the full article here:


Overall, I feel like the media blitz, and the misrepresentation by the sites, kind of cheapen the product they are trying to sell. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product. I love fantasy football, and have participated in leagues on both sites. But in my opinion, it’s all become too much. I hope that in the future DraftKings and FanDuel can turn their image around, because right now they’re turning off a lot of fantasy players, as opposed to recruiting their business.





SKYLLZONE: A new option in Daily Fantasy Sites

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of Draftkings and Fanduel. They are the two leading Daily Fantasy Sites. The idea behind a “DFS” is that you can enjoy the thrill of fantasy sports, with no weekly obligation. You don’t have to worry about trades, setting a roster, the waiver wire, or finding 10 random people to join your league. It’s easy to join, and can offer some pretty impressive payouts. Both sites offer “free roll” and “pay to play options”, so money is not necessarily required. Though, to get any sort of payout for a free roll tournament, you’ll have to beat out quite a few of your fellow fantasy players. League sized vary from head-to-head match ups, to tournaments with over 5,000 entries, which offers a lot of options, but can also be overwhelming. Each of these sites are salary based, meaning you start with a set amount of money, and then have to “buy” players for your team. Player’s “salaries” are based on rankings, and weekly match ups and change from week to week. This salary based drafting may confuse some who are use to the more common snake draft format when building fantasy teams. Also, finding an edge can be tricky as you’ll have to weigh price vs. production for each player.

Skyllzone offers a different experience. Instead of drafting against real people, you are actually drafting against machines. (computer generated teams) Each team has it’s own unique algorithm based on rankings and draft position that influences its draft choices. So even if you participate in multiple drafts, you can get a different result each time. A perk of drafting against a computer as opposed to a person is the increased odds of winning. Draftkings and Fanduel have become saturated with DFS professionals. Players that are far and away above the skill level of the average drafter. As a result of both sites gaining popularity, they also attract a lot of fantasy writers, statisticians, and analyst. For me I like I like to give myself the best possible chance of success, and I feel like going up against these type of players, limits my odds. The site is extremely user friendly. There are no bells and whistles, no searching for the league that you want, just a simple lobby where you can draft using “Skyll Points” for cash, or free entry leagues where you can earn Skyll Points. Skyll Point/Cash Leagues offer a $10 pay out to league winners, and a cut of a $600 pot, for players who finish in the top spots globally. The thing I like about Skyllzone is that you only have to beat nine competitors to earn a pretty decent cash prize, and the entry is free. For the 2015 season there is a membership fee between $4 and $8, but through Skyllzone’s free leagues you have the ability to win Skyll Points which you can then use to enter paid leagues. Another user friendly aspect of the site, is that league drafting is based on the standard snake format. You don’t have to worry about budgets or salaries and instead can just pick your favorite players as they’re available. The draft style in my opinion makes it easier to draft quality players and to find value for your team. An added benefit is the roster size at Skyllzone. Unlike other Daily Fantasy Sites, Skyllzone allows you to draft two bench spots on your roster. This allows you to take a chance on players who are questionable to play, and gives you some insurance against injuries.

Some drawbacks to the site are the limited fantasy options available, and limited drafting. Currently football is the only fantasy sport offered, though it’s likely with time the site will expand. As far as weekly drafting goes you’re limited to five free points leagues, and ten skyll point leagues a week. So you don’t have quite the flexibility that some of the other sites offer. Furthermore there are no big payouts. The $600 global pot is a new feature for the site, so I’m not sure how that pay out system works, but for winning your league you’re currently topped out at $10.

As far as I’m concerned I prefer Skyllzone to other sites. I highly prefer the snake draft format to the salary format, and for me, I’m not looking for big payouts. I’m more of a low risk, moderate reward type of girl. It’s less pressure, less hassle, and more fun. Another great way to approach skyllzone drafts is to analyze roster moves and waiver wire options. You basically get a chance to redraft every week. By reanalyzing players, it can show you strengths and weaknesses on your year long teams, as well as players that you could possible target for weekly pick ups. The computers aren’t stupid, so if a later round pick keeps getting drafted, it could mean that player has potential for the upcoming week. Always, look for an edge.

Daily Fantasy Sites are a great way to get your fantasy fix with out the full season commitment. Skyllzone stands out from other leagues by offering a more comfortable draft style, and a more user friendly format. It’s great for those just dipping their toes into DFS drafting, and for those looking for another league option. Overall I highly recommend you give it a try!

If you would like to use my referral code use: http://www.skyllzone.com/ref/draftdaydame

Happy Drafting FF Fans!