DraftKings guarantees $5.5 million in biggest contest for daily fantasy football in Week 1
Legal Sports Report

Is Bigger Better? DraftKings Outpaces FanDuel For Big Week 1 NFL Contests

DFS NFL Week 1
DraftKings and FanDuel both posted some of their NFL contests for Week 1 of the daily fantasy football season in what could prove to be a pivotal time for the two companies.

DraftKings and FanDuel, Week 1 of NFL

Much like 2016, DraftKings is going bigger for the first week of the season, which is the most important time for both daily fantasy sports sites in terms of revenue.

Its signature “Millionaire Maker” features a prize pool of $5.5 million (actually $5,555,555) and a first prize of $1 million for a $20 buy-in.

FanDuel, meanwhile, continued to be more conservative in contest sizing, much like it was last NFL season. Its “Sunday Million” contest has $2 million in guaranteed money, with $200,000 to first, for a $6 buy-in.

It’s pretty similar to what we saw for week 1 last year, in terms of guarantees, with DraftKings increasing the size of its top contest.

Other Week 1 NFL DFS contests

Both sites also have two other top contests that guarantee at least a million dollars for the opening weekend.

  • DraftKings: $2 million, $3 entry fee
  • DraftKings: $1.5 million, $333 entry fee
  • FanDuel: $1 million, $555 entry fee
  • FanDuel: $1 million, $33 entry fee

That’s in addition to a variety of other contests with smaller prize pools, of course.

The current climate for FanDuel and DraftKings

The launch of NFL contests comes roughly a month after the two companies abandoned their planned merger, in the face of a court battle with the federal government over anti-trust concerns.

Both companies are trying to position themselves for the future as they proceed as separate companies.

An Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report on sports betting and DFS painted a picture of what is going on at the two sites for the summer to date.

While DraftKings had nearly double the entry fees that FanDuel took in in June and July, according to the Eilers report, the revenue picture was much closer, with FanDuel only lagging behind by $4 million over that time.

Of course, that’s for the relatively slow summer months, when baseball and golf are the only significant revenue producers. Whether that gap expands for football will be a storyline to watch this fall.

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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.