The above title is a hard-hitting one for sure, but one that needs to be taken seriously, particularly in the tumultuous “luck versus skill argument” that players and politicians seem to be having at every corner of the county about daily fantasy sports. However, that’s an issue for another article (spoiler alert: it’s a bit of both).
NBA DFS is 50 percent hard work, 50 percent praying for overtime (all numbers approximate).
— scott pianowski (@scott_pianowski) January 13, 2018
Now, if you’ve played DFS for any stretch of time, regardless of the sport, you’ve undoubtedly had a situation where you were rooting for or against overtime, extra innings, an extra period, or whatever you want to call it.
You most likely benefitted from a game going to overtime and may have lost because of a game where you didn’t have any players went to OT. Hell, sometimes a game can go into double or triple overtime and more.
These scenarios change the entire night from a scoring perspective. If you didn’t have guys from that game in a tournament (and sometimes cash games), then you had little chance of winning.
You might say well, “It might not be fair to include overtime in fantasy scoring, but it’s a level playing field and any DFS player can benefit or not benefit from overtime.”
This is true, the rules are the same for everyone and the luck factor with overtime may even out over time, but is there a reason to count this extra period, except for perhaps increased entertainment?
Predicting overtime is unfeasible. Sure, we can predict a close game based on sports betting odds, but accurately predicting overtime is impossible. If you can correctly identify games that will go to overtime – you should be in Vegas advising the world’s top oddsmakers or making a killing betting yourself.
Counting overtime statistics when it comes to DFS scoring simply isn’t fair, and it tilts the balance more in favor of the luck side as compared to the skill side. Sites and many industry experts alike call DFS a game of skill. Why not increase that skill level a bit more?
The players that benefit from overtime are random, but counting fantasy stats for something that can’t be predicted isn’t the way to reward those who have simply made better teams than their opponents.
Overtime in Tournaments
It sucks to lose your cash games when you’ve scored more than your opponent when he happens to benefit from overtime to beat you. Overtime in tournaments can be far costlier.
Imagine picking a perfect team that is near the top of a tournament or leading, but a competitor(s) benefits from an overtime period that pushes them to the top of the standings.
This scenario can cost a player hundreds of thousands or perhaps a million dollars. Money that you could argue should be going to him since he picked the best team possible when it comes to regulation scoring.
There’s no doubt it’s fun to root for overtime for players in your lineup, but the reality is that it’s not predictive. For an industry that focuses so much on the skill factor in DFS, eliminating overtime scoring seems like a no-brainer.
Rewarding players who build the best lineups, within regulation, is the fairest way to score contests. It rewards skill versus luck, which is the reason why serious players look to improve their game, and could be changed quickly across the industry with a simple scoring adjustment.