During Week 4 of the NFL season, we saw the two largest daily fantasy sports sites — DraftKings and FanDuel — pay out $0 in net overlays, while many of the smaller sites struggled to take in more than they paid out. In fact every site not named DraftKings or FanDuel that are tracked by SuperLobby paid out less than they took in at guaranteed contests.
Total overlays across the eight smaller sites tracked by SuperLobby paid out a total of $663,863 in overlays for the week. This is in contrast to DraftKings and FanDuel, which took in $1.9 and $1.7 million more than they took in, respectively.
Yahoo was the leader in GPP overlays during Week 4, which fell $218,949 short of the guarantees that were set, accounting for around 1/3 of the total overlays. Following Yahoo was FantasyDraft with $183,688 and DraftPot with $114,890 in overlays.
FanDuel and DraftKings overlays have diminished overall, but SuperLobby does note that overlays are occurring on individual events. For example, FanDuel’s $6 million guaranteed only brought in 231,000 entries, leaving them $230,000 short on the biggest guaranteed contest at FanDuel. The second largest DFS site fared better on its $2 million contest, with nearly $2.3 million in entries for that contest
Daily Fantasy Football Overlays Explained
Overlays are getting a lot of attention since the start of the NFL season due to the extra value that they are providing players. So what are they and why should you care? Feel free to skip this section if you are already familiar of what an overlay is.
Overlays occur when extra money is contributed by a DFS site when a guaranteed prize pool of a tournament is not reached. The overlays themselves are not guaranteed but are reached when buy-ins fall short of the guarantee set by the DFS site.
If you are still confused, this might be better explained by an example. Let’s say that DraftKings has placed a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool on a $10 buy-in contest. If 9,000 entries registered for that contest, only $90,000 in money will have been contributed by players (9000*10) towards the prize pool. Due to the fact that $100,000 was guaranteed by DraftKings, they would have to eat that $10,000 overlay cost ($100,000-$90,000).
Because there are less players in the contest and extra money is being added to the prize pool, there is extra value to players for joining that contest. An average lineup is theoretically more valuable in contests with overlays versus a contest without an overlay.
If you want to break things down a bit more in the above example, you are getting $1.11 in value per lineup, or 11%. This is not an immaterial amount if you playing a decent amount of DFS this NFL season. In this example, 11% is enough to cover the buy-in fee and could easily be the difference in whether you are a winning or losing player over time.
Total Daily Fantasy Football GPP Overlays by Website — Week 3
Below is a quick summary of net overlays during Week 4 of the NFL season.
SuperLobby monitors traffic from DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, StarsDraft, Yahoo, DraftorPass, DraftPot, as well as FantasyDraft and PickChamps, which are new to the report this week.
Use these figures to help you prirotize your play during Week 5, as DFS sites that have overlays in one week or more likely to continue the next week.
If you are looking for tips on where to play this season, don’t miss our 2015 daily fantasy football guide, which is being updated throughout the season.
DraftKings — Total net overlay for the previous week was $0
FanDuel — $0 net overlay
Yahoo — $218,949 net overlay
FantasyDraft — $183,699 net overlay (new to report)
DraftPot — $114,890 net overlay
StarsDraft — $53,356 net overlay
Fantasy Aces — $47,632 net overlay
Fantasy Feud — $41,520 net overlay
PickChamps — $2121 net overlay (new to report)
DraftorPass — $1707 net overlay
Detailed Overlay Information by Website
Here we will break down some of the most relevant overlay and entry information from the SuperLobby report. Effective rake is repeatedly mentioned in the report, and it is defined as the overall rake you would pay if you joined every GPP contest, which is a good measure of the total value of playing GPPs on a site (everything else being equal, such as quality of competition).
With nearly $24 million in prizes collected during Week 4, DraftKings remains the top daily fantasy sports site for GPP contests, nearly $2.2 million above what they guaranteed, yielding an effective rake of 8.13%. SuperLobby notes that 3.75 million entries registered for the DFS site’s GPP contests.
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FanDuel had an admirable showing during Week 4. Despite not hitting the guarantee on their premier $6 million guaranteed tournament, overall they took in more than they paid out. FanDuel’s $19,715,172 collected was approximately 82% of DraftKings total. The number was achieved on 3.18 million entries for an average buy-in of $6.20. Had you joined all of FanDuel’s GPP contests, you would have paid an effective rake of 9.10%, nearly a full percentage point above DraftKings.
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Yahoo continues to be the #3 daily fantasy sports site in terms of buy-ins collected from GPPs. During Week 4, Yahoo collected $1.29 million in fees while guaranteeing $1.51 million, putting them $218k short during the week. Its 188,000 GPP entries paid an effective rake of -16.93%.
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New to the SuperLobby overlay report, FantasyDraft awarded the 2nd highest net overlay across GPPs with a total overlay of $183,688. They accepted $416,951 in entries during the week, enough to put them in a solid 4 position behind DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo. Players joining all of FantasyDraft’s GPP contests would have paid an effective rake of -44.06%.
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DraftPot had a large total overlay during Week 4, but they were also had the lowest effective rake — among the mid to large tier sites — with -52.71% across its GPP contests. DraftPot accepted $217,000 in entries, which puts them on par with StarsDraft but guaranteed a total of $332,864 during the week.
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StarsDraft ranked 5th in total buy-ins accepted with $223,316, falling $53,356 short of the $275,673 they guaranteed. They paid the 3rd most net overlay for the week, yielding an effective rake rate of -24%.
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Next up in total entry fees in 7th place was FantasyAces with $187,528 collected, falling short of its $235,160 in guarantees by $47,632, the 5th largest net overlay among DFS sites tracked by SuperLobby. Players playing at all GPPs at FantasyAces would have paid -25.4% in effective rake.
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Fantasy Feud took in a total of $151,712 in GPP buy-ins during Week 4, some $41,520 short of its guarantees, which yielded an effective rake figure across all GPP contests at -27.37%.
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DraftOrPass and PickChamps
DraftorPass, a DFS site with very light traffic, collected $2,309 in entry fees while guaranteeing $4,016. Players joining the DraftorPass contests would have effectively paid -73.93% effective rake.
PickChamps, another small DFS site accepted $957 in entry fees, falling way short of its modest $3078 in guarantees. PickChamp players who joined all the GPP contests on the site would have paid -221.68% in rake, more than double their buy-in.
While overlays continue to be prevalent in daily fantasy sports GPP contests, generally speaking, the biggest overlays — in terms of effective rake paid — are at the smaller sites.
DraftKings and FanDuel had $0 net overlays last week, while mid-tier sites like StarsDraft and FantasyDraft had the highest overall overlays in dollar terms while the ultra small sites like DraftorPass and PickChamps had the lowest effective rakeback.
If you’re playing at DraftKings or FanDuel, you are going to want to keep an eye out on individual contests for overlays, as both sites are likely going to continue this trend of conservative guarantees.
Among the mid-tier sites — basically everything below DraftKings and FanDuel — keep an eye out for DraftPot and FantasyDraft. They seem to be the best an combining respectable activity levels with excellent value (-52.71% and -44.06% respectively) in these contests.
DraftorPass and PickChamps are providing tremendous value but aren’t very valuable as a DFS site to play any significant volume or for chasing after big scores.
For real time information about guaranteed tournament contests make sure to monitor the incredibly helpful SuperLobby. It’s a free service that is laid out very well, allowing you to filter through the highest value major contests across many sites. The information is provided in real-time.