[toc]The start of the NFL season is a busy time for daily fantasy sports operators. FanDuel has been particularly active as daily fantasy football ramps up, rolling out a number of tweaks and innovations for the new campaign.
FanDuel Scout brings the research in-house
Most diligent DFS users rely on a variety of websites for weekly information. FanDuel is trying to streamline the process for its customers, particularly the more inexperienced among them. Launched last week, Scout’s purpose is to allow users to do light research without leaving the FanDuel brand.
The data is provided by sports analytics company numberFire, which has established itself as a go-to resource for exhaustive player statistics. It was acquired by FanDuel in 2015, and its content is now available within Scout itself.
FanDuel’s Senior Director of Communications, Emily Bass, elaborated on the gameplan for the app:
FanDuel Scout is our way to make sure you’re not just up to date on the news, but also have all of the information, analytics, and Moneyball-like insights of numberFire at your fingertips.
Not only that, because it’s a native mobile application, we’ll be able to push all kinds of useful, highly-personalized stuff right to your phone: weather, roster changes, starting lineups, and more.
A pregame tool, primarily
Scout connects directly to users’ FanDuel accounts, allowing them to import lineups and track players throughout the week.
The “News” tab is the primary portal, providing updates from around the league. The app displays depth charts for skill positions, too, along with betting lines and weather data for each game.
FanDuel positioned it as a way to help level the field for recreational users who may not be familiar with the resources used by seasoned DFS grinders. (Like numberFire, for example.)
A watchlist feature allows users to track a group of selected players. And the “My Players” tab automatically imports a list of active players from the user’s lineup(s). There are matchup notes and game logs for each player, as well.
Scout is available for NFL and MLB at the moment, while the app lists NBA and NHL as “Coming Soon.”
There are, however, some other features still missing.
FanDuel Scout vs. DK Live
The release of Scout is FanDuel’s reply to DrafKings‘ launch of its own “DK Live” app. The timing puts FanDuel behind the curve a bit; DK Live has undergone significant development since its launch.
DK Live’s data is already available for all four of the major American sports, plus golf. Perhaps more notably, though, it includes live fantasy scoring information within the app.
As with Scout, users can import the players they’ve rostered for the week. But unlike Scout, DK Live tracks and updates fantasy scores in real time.
The real-time scoring allows DK Live to present a rich set of features. There are color-coded “Big Play” and “Red Zone” notifications, along with updates for scoring plays that include point totals for the players involved.
Users can also select an individual game to see the running fantasy totals for just those two teams. There’s a “Drive Tracker” to follow along with each possession in real time, too. It’s like having an interactive version of the NFL RedZone channel in your hand.
Here is a look at the features of both:
|Feature||DK Live||FanDuel Scout|
|Parent app integration||Yes||Yes|
|“My Players” filter||Yes||Yes|
More development to come
Scout doesn’t have any of those in-game features. Not yet, at least. In another divergence from DraftKings, FanDuel has tailored its app toward the pregame process.
Bass says the launch is just the first step in a long grind, though:
One thing we’re always focused on is improving the experience of our players. Sometimes that manifests itself in things like new game formats like Championships or new sports like WNBA, other times it’s completely new ideas like FanDuel Scout…
As the sports landscape changes and as our users give us more and more feedback, we’ll be adding all kinds of exciting new features to the app. We can’t say anything for sure, but live scoring is definitely something we see adding in the future.
The incorporation of numberFire’s metrics is certainly a strong foundation on which to build. Still, FanDuel will likely have to develop out a few more features for Scout to be as useful as envisioned. Live scoring would be a good start.