If you played daily fantasy football at FanDuel last season, you will likely notice a change during your first contest. FanDuel will no longer display ownership percentages for games that have not started. The new policy brings the number two DFS site in line with policy of other top DFS sites.
DraftKings also does not reveal ownership percentages, although this is primarily because of DraftKings Late Swap feature, which allows players to switch out players who have not started their games. With FanDuel removing the ability to view ownership percentages before game time, FantasyAces remains one of the only sites to provide this feature.
The move comes on the heels of other recreational player-friendly moves which seek to level the playing field between knowledgeable pros and players just having fun. Other new features include player indicators and beginner contests. The Bill of Rights was also a big statement from FanDuel that explained their commitment to safe, secure and fair games.
With the release of the new policy, FanDuel has slated that they are “guaranteeing that users of all skill levels are rewarded for the research and strategy that goes into creating their own lineup.”
Details of FanDuel Ownership Percentages
Anybody that has followed the progress of their DFS contests has likely noticed ownership percentages near each player.
Ownership percentages show the draft frequency of a player for a given contest. The intention of ownership percentages is to give participants an idea of the impact a given player might have on their roster.
If you are watching your DFS game live, and one of your low-ownership players scores a touchdown, that bodes well for your team as the player was not held by many other teams. On the flip side, if a player scores a touchdown and was owned by say, 80% of teams in the contest, you won’t really benefit much from the points.
That is primarily how FanDuel and other sites intend for ownership percentages to be used. So what’s the problem and why don’t most DFS sites offer this?
Why has FanDuel Ownership Percentages Been Limited?
Savvy FanDuel players have realized that they could use FanDuel ownership percentages for exploitation on later slates. For example, if you played a Thursday-Monday slate under the old policy, every player in a lineup would have ownership percentages revealed.
This was fine for the specific contest since there are no late swaps at FanDuel. The problem comes when players use this information for a later slate. The information is valuable and some sites were regularly reporting on this data, meaning players didn’t even have to join any Thursday contests to get the information.
For GPPs, the data can be used to tweak lineups. A player with low ownership might be seen as a good target since many entries can easily entered for GPPs. Any player with a lower ownership percentage who performs well will really help a lineup that isn’t widely owned.
A player with a higher ownership percentage could be used more frequently in cash games. If a player is frequently owned, this is likely a good indicator of value. This strategy is especially useful for contests with fewer entries — like heads-up or 50/50s — due to the fact participants will have fewer opponents to beat.
DFS participants could also use player percentage data against a specific opponent. If a DFS participant has used a certain player for a Thursday-Monday slate, its quite possible they could use a similar lineup for Sunday-Monday slate in a different contest. If you happen to play against that player in a future slate, you probably have a good idea of what their lineup will be.
Reaction to FanDuel Player Percentage Changes
Like any new changes like this, the FanDuel ownership percentage policy has its supporters and detractors. Thus far, supporters of the change seem to be more numerous. They argue that recreational players are less likely to know about the exploit or to go through the trouble of using the information to create their lineups. It’s against the spirit of the game which encourages users to create their own lineups with their own research.
Those against the changes argue that anybody is free to use the information and that with DFS strategy sites, the information is not difficult to find. Some players have asked that other DFS players contact FanDuel support to have ownership percentages restored. Despite the efforts, even proponents of the old policy agree that this is a position that FanDuel is unlikely to reverse given the policy;s unfriendliness towards recreational players and that most competitors already don’t allow it.