DraftKings Falls Short In Big Contest With $1.5 Million In Overlay
Legal Sports Report

Did FanDuel Or DraftKings Win NFL Week 2 In The Daily Fantasy Sports Wars?

DFS NFL Week 2
This article may be outdated. Get the latest news on Daily Fantasy Sports here.

FanDuel improved a great deal from week one to week two of the NFL season, while DraftKings was forced to pay out more than $1.5 million in overlay for Sunday’s daily fantasy football contests, accord to DFS analytics website SuperLobby.com.

The breakdown of the numbers from Week 2

SuperLobby, which tracks contests at most of the major daily fantasy sports sites, provided a report based on Week 2 of the NFL season.

Here are some of the key takeaways, from the data provided by SuperLobby. All data is for NFL guaranteed contests, only:

  • As noted above, DraftKings had to add $1.53 million to its guaranteed prize pools — about 73 percent of the overlay paid by all operators. Most of that was paid out in its $10 million Millionaire Maker.
  • FanDuel, by contrast, had only $107,000 in overlay, after paying out overlay of more than $800K in Week 1.
  • DraftKings had 2.8 million entries and generated $20.3mm in entries, while handing out $20.6mm in prizes.
  • FanDuel had 2.2 million entries, generating $16mm in entries while paying out $13.9mm in prizes.
  • Yahoo again paid out more than $200K in overlay.

Here is the overlay for the sites that SuperLobby tracks:

  • DraftKings: $1.53 million
  • Yahoo: $224,000
  • Fantasy Aces: $116,000
  • FanDuel: $107,000
  • DraftPot: $80,000
  • StarsDraft: $41,000
  • Fantasy Feud: $40,000

It’s important to note these figures do not include so-called “cash game” — or non-guaranteed contests — just the data from the sites’ guaranteed prize pools.

DraftKings remains atop our Site Standings, as it as since the start of the NFL season.

What’s next for FanDuel and DraftKings?

At a basic level, and one that we could all see, FanDuel came close to hitting its mark on guarantees, while DraftKings did not. A week after featuring no overlay for the Millionaire Maker, DraftKings didn’t come very close to filling its marquee contest.

DraftKings is already scaling back for Week 3, going with a $7 million contest — $1.2 million for first. FanDuel, meanwhile, is sticking more or less with the formula it used in the first two weeks, featuring a top contest of $5 million. That means the final gap between the two sites in guarantees will be much closer than it was in Weeks 1 and 2.

The user problem?

One of the major issues for both sites remains user acquisition. While both sites are clearly attracting new users, both probably hoped to be selling out their biggest contests.

FanDuel got close, with more than 215K entries (max 230K). DraftKings had more than 425K entries (572K max). Neither of those figures represents unique users, since contests allow multi-entries.

Both sites are spending massive amounts of money on customer acquisition (more on that below), and according to figures from DraftKings to the Wall Street Journal, the site now has more than 4.5 million users.

If that’s true, however, the quality of the users DraftKings is attracting is at issue. Even if all of the entries in the Millionaire Maker were unique — and they aren’t — that means less than 10 percent of DraftKings user played in its marquee event.

We don’t know how many users FanDuel has — although in Q4 of 2014, it claimed a million paid actives. Using that as a baseline — and assuming a sizeable growth in its user base since then — FanDuel is also not attracting a high percentage of its users to its biggest contest, either.

The DFS commercial wars continue, too

The advertisements for both sites were again pervasive during NFL broadcasts, and DraftKings sits in the No. 2 spot in terms of money spent among all television advertisers over the last seven days, according to iSpot.tv, with FanDuel checking in at No. 4.

After nearly doubling the ad spend of FanDuel in the first week, DraftKings appeared to be closer in line with its rival. DraftKings’ ad spend for week 2 ratcheted down slightly to an estimated $17.7 million, while FanDuel upped its buy to an estimated $14.6 million. As of Monday morning (figures are for past seven days):

DFS TV spend

DraftKings has lowered its ad spend since the run-up to NFL season and during Week 1, when it spent nearly $25 million over the course of a week. FanDuel, meanwhile, has been ramping up its ad spend in recent weeks.

Those numbers also underscore the issue for the top DFS sites that customer acquisition remains expensive. Will the more than $30 million spent by the two sites over the past week result in sold out contests in Week 3 of the NFL season? DraftKings and FanDuel are certainly hoping so.

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.
Privacy Policy