Recently one of my favorite daily fantasy sports sites, DraftDay.com was bought by MGT. I have to say I am sad because my initial introduction to DFS was through playing RapidFire on DraftDay with David Gonos, Dan Strafford and Eric Mack. I had no idea that this industry existed, let alone how fun and addicting it could be.
The great thing about Draft Day was the simple user interface and the really fun Rapid Fire games. All you had to do was pick 3 out of 5 right and you double your bet. The 5 for 5 Rapid Fire Max was the sucker bet of all sucker bets, but every once in a while I would still partake when I felt a lock lineup was picked. It’s exactly like that side bet at the black jack table in Las Vegas. Lucky Ladies where if you get two queens of hearts you get a 100-1. How many times have I seen absolute drunkards losing all their money staying on 15 against a ten and then put their last 50 bucks on that sucker bet and…..WIN!
The truth is the DFS space is getting smaller. New companies are coming along, but they can’t offer the high stakes games that the big boys like Fanduel, DraftKings and even DraftStreet can offer. Even if they offer a lower rake or an easier interface and softer games the big money is always going to chase the overlay in the big guaranteed prize pool tournaments.
RotoGrinders Daily Fantasy Fix Podcast recently had Andrew Wiggins co-founder of DraftDay on after he sold his stake in Draft Day and the interview conducted by Dan Back is one of the best inside looks at the shift in the DFS market place that I have heard. You have to understand that Andrew Wiggins was not only the owner of Draft Day, but is also a very good DFS player himself. His expertise in Basketball is known to anyone who faces him in a 50/50 or tournament.
Quote from Andrew Wiggins about the sale of Draft Day:
“We have worked tirelessly to build an outstanding product and loyal player base. With MGT’s support, DraftDay will have greater resources to grow this business to new heights. Our employees look forward to making MGT the market leader in daily fantasy sports.”
Seriously, go take a listen then come back and read the rest.
Draft Day just couldn’t keep up with the huge contests that were being offered up at their competitor’s sites. Andrew said they made a huge error in working on the site itself instead of raising money so they could attract more players. I think anyone can understand the mistake that DraftDay made. They simply looked at the wrong problem to fix.
I find myself wasting time doing the same here on my site. Instead of providing my loyal readers fresh content, I fiddle with the look of the site or work on SEO issues. People don’t come to my site for the ease of navigation or for the fancy pictures, they come to see if they should drop Mike Moustakas in season long fantasy baseball now or pay for Jose Fernandez in DFS. I KNOW my problem and how to fix it and yet I still find myself wondering if I am going about this right.
I think that’s what got Draft Day in trouble. They knew how to build a great user interface and how to create fun games with interesting salary structures. They didn’t know how to raise money. I have to commend Andrew for being so honest when he talked about all the financial backing DraftKings got this last year. He wasn’t jealous in the least. He was amazed. How did they accomplish that? I am the same way when someone in the same industry as me displays a talent that is just so foreign to me yet is exactly what you need to succeed.
Another thing mentioned by Andrew is that DFS players have no idea how good we have it right now. It’s true, we really don’t. We nit-pick at sites on slow nights and complain when there’s a lull in big contests. Imagine how much we’re going to complain when all the overlay is gone, and the rake gets bigger. We could see a future of only two massive sites where you literally can only play other sharks because all the casual players have been chased away.
We really are Jolly Green Giants walking the DFS earth.
Remember these are the golden days my friends and we will look back fondly on them.