After a huge week of overlays during Week 1 of the NFL season, unsurprisingly, total overlays dipped slightly during Week 2. But not as much as you might think. According to a report of guaranteed prize pools released by SuperLobby, there was still over $2.1 million in overlays from GPPs during Week 2. This is in contrast to $2.5 million during Week 1.
Unlike FanDuel’s drubbing in Week 1, their total overlays came down from $1.5 million to $106,000 this week. DraftKings was the overlay leader in overlays during Week 2 at just over $1.5 million — accounting for around 75% of the total — while Yahoo gave away $223,000 in extra overlay.
SuperLobby also noted that FanDuel was the only site tracked that did NOT pay out more in overlays than they received in fees from guaranteed prize pool contests.
Folks, DFS sites have aggressively been seeking your fantasy sports play through large guarantees and ubiquitous television and internet advertisements. And that appears to be continuing into the early part of the NFL season.
Daily Fantasy Football Overlays Explained
A lot of new players are coming into the daily fantasy sports game and may not know what it is or how an overlay works. You can can skip this part if you are familiar with overlays. Simply put, an overlay is extra money contributed by a DFS site when a guaranteed prize pool is not reached. Overlays themselves are not guaranteed but are reached when the amounts from buyins don’t cover the guarantee.
Here’s an example. Let say you have a $10,000 guaranteed prize pool for a $10 buy-in contest. If 9000 entries join a contest, only $90,000 in money has been contributed by players (9000*10) towards the prize pool. Because the prize pool is guaranteed at $100,000, the DFS site has 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 an extra value to players. An average lineup is theoretically more valuable in contests with overlays. 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%, 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 to whether you are a winning or losing player over time.
Total Daily Fantasy Football GPP Overlays by Website — Week 2
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DraftKings — $1,534,236 in overlays in Week 2, compared to $556,512 Week 1
Yahoo — $223,670 in overlays, compared to $347,857
Fantasy Aces — $115,691 in overlays, compared to $60,471
FanDuel — $106,908 in overlays, compared to $1,404,141
DraftPot — $79,551 in overlays, no data last week
StarsDraft — $40,585 in overlays, compared to $68,319
Fantasy Feud — $40,033 in overlays, compared to $57,090
Draft or Pass – $503 in overlays, compared to $3,682
Detailed Overlay Information by Website
Below we have broken down some of the most important overlay numbers that have been released. One item you’ll see mentioned in this report is “effective rake” – note that this varies by contest but when mentioned here refers to overall rake in guaranteed prize pool tournaments.
According to SuperLobby, DraftKings had a total of 2.78 million paid entries to guaranteed prize pool contests during Week 2. The $1.5 million in overlays was spread out over 162 contests and yielded an overall effective rake of -1.39% in rake over its GPPs (this means they paid 1.39% more in overlays than they collected in fees at GPP contests).
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At $160k in overlays, FanDuel appeared to be much more conservative during Week 2. FanDuel players saw the $160k in overlays spread out over 35 contests. They were the only website of those tracked that did not pay out more in overlays than they received in buy-in fees.
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With 157,421 in paid entries during Week 2 at GPP contests, Yahoo is unquestionably the number #3 daily fantasy football site in terms of participation. Yahoo’s $223,700 in total overlays paid out during Week 2 was over six contests. If you would have entered all of Yahoo’s guaranteed prize pool tournaments, you would have paid -15% in effective rake.
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StarsDraft had 25 contests reaching overlay status during Week 2 to account for their $40,600 in extra cash awarded. Overall, StarsDraft’s buy-in fees of GPP contests did not come anywhere close to paying for the overlays paid out, yielding -28.67% in effective rake over all GPP contests.
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Relatively speaking, Fantasy Aces paid out a tremendous amount during Week 2. The $115k in overlays paid out — which ranked third — does not tell the whole story.t Total effective rake at all GPP contests was at -64.59% at FantasyAces, largest among sites tracked. While DraftKings and Yahoo gave away more overlays in dollar terms, FantasyAces is a much smaller website so its buy-ins fell significantly short of covering the overlays at the 87 contests that had an overlay.
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DraftPot, a relatively newcomer to the DFS world, also gave away a ton of money — $79,600 — during Week 2 by not reaching their guaranteed prize pools in 162 contests. Like FantasyAces, DraftPot is comparatively a small site so its $79.6k in overlays led to a -48.7% in effective rake over all GPP contests.
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Fantasy Feud awarded $40,000 in overlays over 86 contests. If you would have joined all the guaranteed contests on Fantasy Feud you would have paid -22.26% in effective rake, large enough to cover the buy-in fee.
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With only $503 in overlays awarded during Week 2, DraftOrPass was the DFS website with the least amount of overlays awarded. Players by and large played smaller contests, which contributed a bit to the lower figure. Despite the low amount of overlay paid, total effective rake on the site’s GPP contests was still -39.47% due the small size of DraftorPass.
Two weeks into the NFL season, overlays for daily fantasy sports contests are still very prevalent with only FanDuel paying less in overlays than they are collecting in buy-in fees at GPP contests
Some of the smaller sites — Fantasy Aces and Draft Pot — are falling way short of guaranteed prizes — with effective rake of 64% and 49%, respectively — so keep an eye on these two sites over the next week or two. Chances are they will bring prize pools down soon but players should take advantage of these opportunities while they can.
If you prefer to stick to a larger DFS site, monitor the action from Yahoo and DraftKings as they are presumably more likely — with their huge liquidity — to be tolerant with using overlays to attract additional attention to their contests.
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.