Daily Fantasy Sports "Significantly" Impacts Time Spent On Season-long
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DFS Player Survey: DraftKings Is Favorite Site; Daily Impacts Season-Long Behavior

An extensive survey of daily fantasy sports players revealed an array of interesting data, including the DFS population’s demographics, the amount of time DFS players spend on research, and their favorite site to play at.

The key takeaways from the player survey

The survey was taken during June and July and was conducted and compiled by Eilers Research.

Some of the most interesting information from the study included:

  • DFS players are overwhelmingly male and are millennials.
  • Players started reducing the amount of time dedicated to season-long fantasy as a result of playing DFS.
  • Respondents who said they do not play DFS often said they choose not to participate because it is “too intimidating / time consuming.”
  • DraftKings was listed as respondents’ favorite DFS site.
  • A lot of DFS players spend more than 10 hours on research every week.
  • About 40 percent of players said they spend $100 or less each week on entry fees.
  • A huge majority of players said the presence of legal sports betting in their state would not affect their DFS activity.
  • Nearly half of DFS players said they used to play online poker.

You can view the entire study here, but we have picked out some of the key points below.

Player demographics: Overwhelmingly male with disposable income

In the survey, which was directed at daily fantasy sports players, 98 percent of respondents were male, and 92 percent were caucasian.

A recent research study conducted by Ipsos listed the percentage split between men at women in all forms of fantasy sports at 66 to 34.

About half of players fall in the 25-35 age range. More than 60 percent of respondents said that their household income exceeds $75,000:

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DFS vs. season-long

Not shockingly, almost all DFS players play season-long fantasy, as well. Just seven percent of respondents said they never played DFS, while more than half said they have been playing for 10 years or more.

For players who said they do not play DFS, the most common reason given was “It appears to be too time consuming or intimidating” (28 percent).

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A little more than half of all players said they have “significantly reduced” their seasonlong fantasy activity because of DFS.

What sites do DFS players use?

About half of respondents said DraftKings was their favorite site to play on, followed by 43 percent choosing FanDuel:

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More than half of all players said they don’t play at any other sites, other than FanDuel and DraftKings. Fantasy Aces and Victiv were the sites DFS players said were their favorite after the “big two”:

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How much time do players put into DFS and where do they do their research?

About a third of all respondents said they spend 10 to 20 hours a week doing research related to DFS. More than half spend more than 10 hours a week:

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For research purposes, Rotogrinders is far and away the site of choice, used most by about two-thirds of respondents.

How much money do DFS players spend and make?

About 42 percent of players said they spend less than $100 a week on DFS entry fees. Nearly 10 percent said they spend $2,000 or more on entry fees:

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About 70 percent of players said they average 20 percent return on investment or less on their DFS entry fees. Eilers interpreted the data to mean that many of the players who selected “breakeven to +20%” were likely breakeven players, and that about 70 percent were generating no ROI via DFS.

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DFS, poker and gambling

About 44 percent of respondents who now play DFS used to play online poker, when it was readily available in the United States.

The ability to play online poker or bet on sports legally would have little impact on DFS player behavior:

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About 42 percent of people who play believe DFS is a form of gambling.

What does the data mean?

There is plenty of data in the survey, and a lot of useful actionable information for the DFS industry, on a top-level analysis of the results. Here are a few possible interpretations:

DraftKings vs. FanDuel

DraftKings was the most popular site in the survey, but the gap between it and FanDuel in terms of which was viewed as more popular was not a huge one.

The data does seem to back up the idea that DraftKings is the No. 1 DFS site in the world, for now. At least before football season starts. And, of course, FanDuel now has $275 million more in investment funding to help its cause.

Does season-long has a daily problem?

The fact that daily fantasy sports is cutting into the time players dedicate to season-long fantasy perhaps shouldn’t be a shock. And it doesn’t seem like the data points to the idea that players are ditching their season-long leagues entirely.

Right now, tens of millions more people play season-long than DFS. But could this be the start of a larger trend? Could DFS continue to erode the amount of time devoted to season-long fantasy? And with the demographic skewing young, could more and more millennials (and the generations that follow) pick DFS to play over season-long?

We have a better sense of who No. 3 is

Without access to solid metrics on user base, revenue, etc., judging who the No. 3 operator in the DFS space is a bit tricky. But this data gives us perhaps the best insight to who is best positioned to lead the tier of sites behind FanDuel and DraftKings, come football season. The popularity of Fantasy Aces and Victiv was obvious in the study, while DraftDay and Fantasy Feud are also in the mix.

Of course, this was collected before Yahoo’s entrance to DFS, which will have a huge impact in the coming months. Most expect the internet giant will be No. 3 this summer.

There is a huge appetite for daily fantasy content

With the majority of DFS players spending more than just a few minutes setting their lineups — indeed they often spend hours each day doing research — their appetite for content related to DFS is likely to grow.

The sites that provide content, strategy and tools for DFS players will likely be very happy to see the amount of time they are spending on research.

DraftKings might be right on marketing to poker players

It’s fascinating that such a huge percentage of DFS players used to play online poker. DraftKings markets extensively to poker players — it has a huge presence at the World Series of Poker. Meanwhile, FanDuel has said it largely ignores poker in its marketing.

We’ve noted several times the cross-over between the two industries, and this survey appears to confirm a lot of correlation between poker and DFS.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.