FanDuel Guarantees $6 Million+ For Opening Weekend Of NFL Season

Written By Dustin Gouker on July 21, 2015 - Last Updated on September 19, 2015

FanDuel has announced its NFL daily fantasy sports contests for the opening weekend of the season, headlined by a $5 million guaranteed contest, with a million dollars going to first place.

The three contests, so far

Despite the fact that the NFL season is seven weeks away, FanDuel has already put contests up in its lobby.

FanDuel is offering three guaranteed contests that start on September 13th:

  • $5 million guaranteed, $25 entry fee, 229,885 maximum entries
  • $1 million guaranteed, $5 entry fee, 229,885 maximum entries
  • $250,000 guaranteed, $100 entry fee, 2,777 maximum entries

The first game of the season — held on Sept. 10 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots — is not included in the contest.

If the contests all fill, that would represent just under half a million entries, and that doesn’t include 50-50 contests and smaller-field cash games.

FanDuel already released some of the player salaries for its contests yesterday.

Oneupmanship from DraftKings?

While it is likely that DraftKings already has a gameplan for its opening weekend as far as guaranteed prize pools, it will be interesting to see if the site tries to outdo its main rival when it launches its week 1 contests.

At least a $5 million contest from DK would seem to be a foregone conclusion, but will it go beyond the $6.25mm guaranteed by FanDuel?

Its choices might be determined by when DraftKings closes its next round of funding, which has been both reported and rumored to be imminent. With more money behind it, will DraftKings go even bigger and risk potential overlay?

What will everyone else do?

FanDuel and DraftKings aren’t the only sites that will try to attract attention with their week 1 guarantees:

  • It seems likely that a site behind the FD/DK duopoly — like Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces or Victiv — will try to make a big splash with their guarantees, as well.
  • Yahoo has not offered any huge MLB contests since its launch earlier this month. But one would guess that changes when the NFL season rolls around. Will the internet giant go big on Week 1, or will it continue with the conservative approach to guarantees it has taken so far?
  • The status of PokerStars remains up in the air as NFL season approaches. If it does still go live in time for the season, with the online gaming power go big for week 1?
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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.

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