ESPN Welcomes Cynthia Frelund as New DFS Host


When DraftKings partnered with ESPN back in early April for a rumored $250 million, one of the benefits touted at the time was how ESPN could bring daily fantasy sports to new levels. This week the industry got a taste of what the new world would like when a new ESPN fantasy sports analyst, Cynthia Frelund, was introduced to the ESPN team.

Presented as a SportsCenter Daily Fantasy Analyst, Cynthia Frelund was asked how she sets her lineups the daily fantasy sports leagues:

I take a measured quantitative approach. I leverage my entrepreneurial background in the predictive analytics space. And my finance pedigree including counting one of the most brilliant financial minds, Anthony Noto as my mentor and former boss. Daily fantasy is the best because I get to be an I-banker and GM all in one and get to win real money all in one night.

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A clip of the ESPN segment can be seen here:

Frelund ESPN Bio Claims 90% In the Money?

In her bio that was posted in the broadcast, Frelund is listed as having MBA in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. She has previously done private equity and financial strategy for the NFL.

But it was at the end of our her bio that had much of the DFS community talking over Twitter and the forums: “In the money 94% on DK, 90% on FD.”

Of course, DK refers to Draft Kings and FD refers to FanDuel. But over 90% in the money? Many quickly noted that most top fantasy sports experts can hope to achieve no more than a 70% in the money rate.

We’re guessing the state was either a mistake on ESPN’s part or cherry picking small sample size. Regardless, the internet is talking about ESPN’s new hire and maybe that in itself is a win. The network did, however, make a change in the bio on a Thursday ESPN segment, which showed a 300% return on investment instead of the freakishly high ITM number. Frelund briefly responded to the criticism, explaining the 90% figure:

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More About Cynthia Frelund

In addition to the new feature on ESPN, she is also tweeting from the @cfrelund handle where she currently has over 2900 followers and is thus far retweeting daily fantasy sports player news and sharing advice and the occasional musing. She has also been posting advice to the ESPN Insider Blog where she has been sharing thoughts on daily fantasy baseball.

One website did some research and found out some more information about Frelund.

Skeptics remain at the impossibly high ROI quoted on Frelund’s ESPN debut; others question ESPN’s motives in what was described as a “rehearsed infomercial” for DraftKings.

While ESPN is undoubtedly going to continue leveraging their DraftKings partnership, the new exposure can only be good for an industry that is almost certainly going to get additional buzz from having a new high profile daily fantasy sports analyst on their featured programs — even if the results from her predictions don’t exactly net those watching 90% in the money.