What DraftKings said
DraftKings rolled out some of its salaries for players in its NFL DFS contests as training camps begin, with the season more than a month away.
But the sentence that grabbed the DFS world’s attention from the DraftKings blog post was this one:
We will be releasing two player salaries per day leading up to launching our 2015 NFLTournaments which, spoiler alert, will boast the most guaranteed prizes ever seen in daily fantasy sports.
What exactly does that mean? For now, we’re left to guess or speculate, but it seems safe to assume that for Week 1, DraftKings will promise more money in guaranteed prize pools than FanDuel will.
How much is ‘most’?
What we do know is what FanDuel is offering to start the NFL season. That figure currently stands at $8,375,000 across 16 different contests. (Last week, FanDuel announced its first three contests for the NFL season, with more than $6 million guaranteed. Since then, the site launched a $750K guarantee and several other six-figure contests.)
From there, we can take an educated guess that DraftKings will surpass the guarantees being offered by FanDuel, based on its “spoiler alert.” How much more will it be?
It seems fair to guess that $10 million in guarantees would be a good starting point. It’s a number that grabs attention in marketing and makes more sense than incrementally beating FanDuel (i.e. $9 million). DraftKings currently has no live NFL contests in its lobby.
Of course, DraftKings is theoretically flush with cash after its $300 million round of funding completed this week, and would seem to be able to afford risking exposure to overlays. Could the guaranteed figure go even higher?
The other question: Will its biggest contest be larger than FanDuel’s? Its competitor is currently offering a $25 buy-in with $5 million guaranteed, and a million to first place. Another possibility would be multiple contests with a million dollars going to first place, with different entry fee levels.
At the same time, FanDuel said it would award $2 billion in prizes this year, while DraftKings said it expected to award $1 billion in prizes.
Other big contests at DraftKings
The promise for NFL season comes as DraftKings has three other huge contests based on other sports — with nearly $10 million guaranteed in those alone — already planned:
- A $4 million live baseball final slated for next month.
- A $2.5 million online baseball “main event” at the end of August.
- A $3.3 million contest based on the PGA Championship next month.
With the momentum DraftKings has built up, any number it puts up for Week 1 likely won’t be a shock to the DFS community.