Many small and medium sized DFS sites are struggling compared to last year. What has happened and what are the largest DFS sites now?
The start of last year’s daily fantasy football season brought a lot of hope, a lot of large prize pools and many DFS sites attempting to capitalize on it all. By the end of the daily fantasy football season, DFS was in relative disarray with a round of bad PR and new regulatory pressures. Fortunately, with regulatory victories under its belt, 2016 daily fantasy football season has begun with a lot more hope and genuine optimism about the future of the game. For many smaller DFS sites, they have not been able to whether the storm.
Since the start of the 2015-2016 NFL season, a handful of states have regulated daily fantasy sports while other states left the game alone for now. For states that have regulated DFS, they have shown a bias towards larger sites with large license fees and requirements. This has forced some sites to either throw in the towel or be acquired by larger sites.
FantasyAces Acquires FantasyFeud – A Sign of Things to Come?
Even before the NFL season kickoff, the DFS industry was already moving. It started out with FantasyAces acquiring cult favorite Fantasy Feud in early September. During the off season, a failed DFS site FantasyUp was acquired by the iTEAM network.
This isn’t a bad thing at all. It happens all the time in the corporate world. In the DFS world, what has been remarkable is the pace of the changes. Last year he industry was expanding, there were more sites. As we head into the latter part of 2016, a totally different dynamic is at play.
Draft Pot Struggles
Last year, DraftPot had some impressively large prize pools, putting them in the top 5 for much of the year. Over $200,000 in weekly GPP prize pools were given early on in the season.
During the first part of 2016, however, they have struggled and have been unable to continue that same magic. After it initially looked as though there might not be any contests offered, DraftPot did add Week 1 events, albeit with much smaller prize pools. The largest guaranteed prize pools have been around $5,000 so far.
Where is Draft Ops?
DraftOps was another site that gained steam last year before the late 2015 DFS industry setbacks. So far, DraftOps has not posted any NFL contests in their lobby. It’s a bad sign for any DFS site during the most popular time of year for daily fantasy. In fact, there is no sign of life anywhere on the site and even a quick internet search doesn’t yield many results. It’s not a huge surprise since there were no MLB offered this summer.
The last time DraftOps was in the news was due to a bizarre claim that DFS WAS illegal in Minnesota in June. The move seemed to be an attempt to get out of a deal they had made with the Minnesota Wild during 2015.
Is there a need for for sites other than DraftKings and FanDuel?
Most players are more or less content with DraftKings and FanDuel, making it more difficult for another site to break through (not to mention the onslaught of ads during the 2015 season). Despite their flaws, neither site seems to be resting on their laurels and has made strides to improve both the quality of the games and security. Still, there is a desire from players to always be on the lookout for new sites and new ways to re-imagining the relatively simple concept of daily fantasy sports.
Having competition and choice is obviously not a bad thing, especially in a regulated and safe environment for players. The pressure of competition undoubtedly improves site innovation, customer experience, support and other aspects of the DFS site. All of that benefits a DFS player, and if said player doesn’t like something from one site, he can easily search around for a better alternative.
What’s Left – a Look at the Top Daily Fantasy Sites
Even with the consolidation of the industry over the last year, there are still plenty of choices for players. After DraftKings and FanDuel, a second tier exists of DFS sites like Yahoo, FantasyDraft and if you really stretch it, FantasyAces. The other DFS sites that exist at the moment are very small or niche sites.
What are the largest DFS sites in 2016?
Largest sites by top early season daily fantasy football prize pools:
|PlanetWIn365 Bad Beat Jackpot Payouts|
|NL2 to NL5 (1c/2c to 2c/5c)||25%|
|NL10 to NL25 (5c/10c to 10c/25c)||50%|
|NL50 to NL100 (25c/50c to 50c/€1)||75%|
This is not scientific measure of the DFS site size but does provide players with a good general indicator of the largest DFS sites. Are these DFS sites worth playing? Maybe, maybe not. If you’re the type of player who joins a couple contests a week to make your Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays more exciting, there is probably no need for you to look elsewhere.
However, if you are a frequent or high-volume player, there is little harm in trying out as many sites as you can. Because most sites don’t have the prize pools of FanDuel or DraftKings, chances are you won’t find a site you play on exclusively, but a player can easily supplement their play on smaller tier sites and perhaps find something they like in a smaller site.