During Week 6 of the NFL season the daily fantasy sports industry finally showed signs that the controversy that has been dominating headlines over the last couple weeks is effecting activity. For the first time this season, total entry numbers and total entry fees went down, while the largest three sites have already lowered guarantees for Week 7.
According to tracking site SuperLobby, around 6.3% less in buy-ins was record from the sites that it tracks.
On the overlay front, like last week, every site except DraftKings and FanDuel paid out more in prizes than they took in. This is despite FanDuel and DraftKings showing reductions in activity week over week.
For Week 6, DraftKings total entries into guaranteed prize pool tournaments (GPPs) dipped from 4.14 million to 3.76 million, a 9.2% reduction. FanDuel, on the other hand, only had a 3.3% reduction – from 3.38 to 3.27 million. Traffic has hardly collapsed — traffic is about where it was during Week 4 — but is notable because the industry was growing with each successive week. Every site except for StarsDraft and PickChamps showed week over week declines in total participation at GPPs.
FantasyDraft, the fourth largest daily fantasy site, paid the most overlays during Week 6 at $133,754, while Yahoo was close behind at $116,182. Yahoo had previously posted an overall negative overlay in its GPPs for the the first time during Week 5.
Overall overlays paid in Week 6 were much more than Week 5 – $471,207 versus $257,617 the previous week, likely an indicator that the downswing took some sites by surprise. The trend since the beginning of the season had been on diminishing overall overlays.
Daily Fantasy Football Overlays Explained
If you are well versed in overlays, go ahead and skip this section to get to the meat of where the overlays are occurring, located in the section below.
An overlay can be defined as extra money contributed by a DFS site when a guaranteed prize pool of a tournament contest is not reached. Overlays are not guaranteed but are instead reached when the total number of buy-ins multiplied by the entry fee does not meet the guarantee set by the DFS site.
For those that are still confused, hopefully an example will help. 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 said contest that would mean that only $90,000 in money will have been contributed by players (9000*10) towards the prize pool. Since a guaranteed tournament means a guaranteed prize pool, the DFS site is required to absorb the $10,000 overlay cost ($100,000-$90,000).
Due to the fact 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 an overlay 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 6
Total overlays by site are calculated by taking the total buy-ins accepted at GPP contests minus the total prizes paid out.
These states are a representation of overlays overlay and not necessarily indicative of overlays on an individual contests.
SuperLobby records GPP data from top daily fantasy sports sites and a few smaller ones including: DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Feud, Fantasy Aces, StarsDraft, Yahoo, DraftorPass, DraftPot, FantasyDraft and PickChamps.
Still looking for a DFS site to play? Check out our 2015 daily fantasy football guide for details on some of the most popular DFS sites.
DraftKings — Total net overlay for the previous week was $0 (no change from last week)
FanDuel — $0 net overlay (no change)
Yahoo — $116,182 net overlay compared to $26,625 last week
FantasyDraft — $133,754 compared to $137,182 last week
DraftPot — $54,104 compared to $54,461 last week
StarsDraft — $94,458 compared to $17,967 last week
Fantasy Aces — $35,785 compared to $16,304 last week
Fantasy Feud — $35,776 compared to $29,977 last week
PickChamps — $887 compared to $1086 last week
DraftorPass — $261 compared to $640 last week
Detailed Overlay Information by Website
The section details the most relevant overlay and entry information by site, according to the SuperLobby report. You will see effective rake repeatedly mentioned in the report, which is defined as the overall rake you would pay if you joined every GPP contest. Effective rake is a good measure of the total value of playing GPPs on a site with the overlay (everything else being equal, such as quality of competition).
After a record breaking $25 million in entries from Week 5, DraftKings came back down to reality with just short of $23 million in entries. Effective rake on the site’s GPPs decreased from 10.44% the previous week to 7.26 this week. DraftKings top GPP tournament heading into Week 7 will be a $6 million dollar contest. Despite the loss in activity in Week 6, some perspective is needed. Activity is only down to Week 4 levels, which was an all-time record at the time.
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FanDuel activity was not down nearly as much as other sites during Week 6, dipping just over 3% from the previous week — compared to 9.2% at DraftKings and 6.3% overall. During the week, FanDuel collected $19.9 million in entries, down from just over $20 million in the previous week. Effective rake was at a high 15.38% but lower than the 16.77% the previous week. FanDuel’s largest GPP contest has also been slashed during Week 7 – down to $4 million.
Despite the headline inducing drama of the previous week, FanDuel also had a great week during Week 5. FanDuel collected just over $20 million in entry fees, while paying out over $17 million, resulting in effective rake of 16.77%. A total of 3.38 million entries joined FanDuel’s GPP contests, up from last week’s numbers by about 200,000.
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Yahoo was down the largest of the major sites, seeing a decline of 10.7%. They still have a strong hold as the number three daily fantasy sports, over 3x larger than the next competitor, FantasyDraft. During Week 6, Yahoo accepted $1.17 million in entries versus $1.28 million paid out, paying players an overall overlay of $116,182, the second largest of all DFS sites. Yahoo players joining all the GPP contests would have paid an effective rake of -9.92%
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FantasyDraft continues to be one of the top 1-2 DFS sites with the largest overlays. During Week 6, they gave away $133,754 in extra prizes, only $4,000 less the previous week. Their $344,476 in entries was good enough for 4th place overall in activity, however. Effective rake on FantasyDraft GPPs was also the largest of the week at -36.63%.
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DraftPot, the 6th largest daily fantasy sports site during Week 6, paid $287,063 in prizes on $232,959 in entry fees for an overall overlay of $54,104, which ranked 4th in overlays paid during the week.
Their $54k in overlays was nearly identical to their performance during Week 5. Players who joined the site’s GPP contests would have paid an effective rake of -23.22%, easily enough to cover the buy-in fee.
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StarsDraft rode up the rankings in Week 6, pulling ahead of DraftPot finishing 5th in total GPP buy-ins collected. They were also one of the few sites to see an increase week over week. Despite this fact, they still had one of the largest total overlays for the week at $94,458, good enough for 3rd overall.
Players joining the site’s GPP contests would have paid an effective rake of -36.63%, second highest behind only FantasyDraft.
StarsDraft ranked 6th in total buy-ins during Week 5, behind DraftKings, FanDuel, FantasyDraft and DraftPot. They paid out $251,887 in prizes compared to $233,920 in buy-ins, yielding a modest overall overlay of $17,967 across its GPP contests.
Players who paid on all of StarsDraft’s GPP contests would have paid -7.7% in effective rake.
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FantasyAces again came in 7th place overall in GPP buy-ins during Week 6 with $176,122. They paid out a total of $195,654, which resulted in an overlay of $35,776. Effective rake for the week was -20.32%
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Fantasy Feud saw only a minor decline during Week 6, accepting $159,878 versus $164,688 during Week 5. They paid $35,776 in overlays which resulted in an effective rake of -22.38%.
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DraftOrPass and PickChamps
DraftorPass and PickChamps both had modest traffic again for Week 6, although PickChamps did increase total GPP buy-ins to a modest $858. Both sites controlled their effective rake a bit, down to -12.34% and -103.38%, respectively.
Use the overall overlay figures to help you decide where to play during Week 7. We should caution that due to declined traffic from the previous week that daily fantasy sports sites may be a bit more conservative in future weeks as they try to get ahead of the possibility of less players joining the games.
On the flip side, some sites may try to be more aggressive in convincing players to play with higher guarantees, although smaller guarantees seems to be the most likely at this point.
DraftKings and FanDuel took in more than they paid for another week, so don’t count on many overlays at these sites going forward, although there could be some overlays present at the odd GPP or two.
To find the most consistent overlays, you will continue to have to look at the small to medium sized sites. FantasyDraft and DraftPot continues to be likely to continue to offer overlays, while Yahoo could also be a possibility, although we would guess that guaranteed prize pools will be less than last week at Yahoo.
StarsDraft, which had significant overlays during Week 6, will likely lower guarantees quite a bit for Week 7 due its recent departure from most states.
Fantasy Feud and FantasyAces are also good bets to continue to see more overlays.
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.