Despite significant drama in the daily fantasy sports world over the last two weeks, Week 5 was still the largest week ever for DraftKings and FanDuel with both sites accepting over $45 million in buy-ins at GPPs over the weekend according to tracking site SuperLobby.
DraftKings unsurprisingly held the lead again with $25 million in entries collected while FanDuel brought in over $20 million. Both sites again took in more than they paid out and filled their largest guaranteed prize pool contests ($7 million at DraftKings and $5 million at FanDuel). DraftKings paid an effective rake of 10.44% while FanDuel’s effective rake was 16.77%.
Even though the largest two sites had negative net overlays, a fair share of DFS sites paid out more than they collected including StarsDraft, FantasyDraft, Draftpot and FantasyFeud, among others. The sites that paid out overlays in Week 5 paid a total of $257,617, which was some $406,0000 less than last week.
Effective rake, a measure of the overall players receive from overlays, was highest at PickChamps, the smallest site that SuperLobby tracks. FantasyDraft, with overlays totaling $137,182, paid out the most in overlays overall during Week 5, accounting for over half of the total overlays paid.
Overall overlays are diminishing as the season goes on for DFS sites, but players should note that there are still overlays on individual contests occurring, even at sites that are collecting more than they are taking in.
Daily Fantasy Football Overlays Explained
So what is an overlay and why should you care? 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 “guarantees” a 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 5
In this section, we will summarize the total overlays paid by site, which is calculated by taking the total entry fees accepted at GPP contests minus the total prizes paid out.
Again, this is not a measure of overlays at individual contests but what the overlay situation looks like overall.
For those looking for a new DFS site to play, be sure to check out our 2015 daily fantasy football guide for details on 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 — $26,625 net overlay compared to $218,949 last week
FantasyDraft — $137,182 compared to $183,699 net overlay last week
DraftPot — $54,461 compared to $114,890 net overlay last week
StarsDraft — $17,967 compared to $53,356 net overlay last week
Fantasy Aces — $16,304 compared to $47,632 net overlay last week
Fantasy Feud — $29,977 compared to $41,520 net overlay
PickChamps — $1086 compared to $2121 net last week
DraftorPass — $640 compared to $1707 net overlay last week
Detailed Overlay Information by Website
In this section, the most relevant overlay and entry information is detailed from the SuperLobby report. Effective rake is repeatedly mentioned in the report, and it 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 (everything else being equal, such as quality of competition).
DraftKings’ $24 million in entries was bested in Week 5 with just over $25 million in collected from 4.14 million entries vs 3.75 million entries collected during the previous week. Effective rake increased to 10.44%, up from 8.13%. This means that DraftKings collected 10.44% more than paid out during the week, a reflection that guarantees were fairly evenly matched with buy-ins.
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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, which is still the undisputed 3rd largest DFS site, saw their first week of negative net overlay during Week 5. Like DraftKings and FanDuel, Yahoo showed an increase over the previous week in GPPs buy-ins with $1.31 million in buy-ins, compared to $1.29 million the previous week. They did this despite paying out less than they did during Week 4. Overall, effective rake on Yahoo was 2.03%.
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FantasyDraft continued to pay out a disproportionate share of overlays during Week 5. Their $137,182 in total overlays paid out for the week was 53% of the total from DFS sites that had positive net overlays during the week. FantasyDraft’s effective rake was also the highest among medium to large liquidity sites at -33.5%.
Unlike larger sites, FantasyDraft took in less in buy-ins than they did during Week 4 — $409,183 versus $416,951. This was still good enough for 4th largest among all DFS sites.
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DraftPot increased their overall buy-in numbers to $235,493 from $217,000 the previous week. Their increased activity help contribute to a reduction in overlays during the week. Despite this fact, DraftPots still paid more overlay overall than any other site except FantasyDraft with a total of $54,461 paid out, which yielded an effective rake of -26.44%.
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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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Finishing in seventh place in GPP buy-ins during Week 5, FantasyAces collected $198,125 while paying out $214,429, yielding effective rake of around 0.08%, a significant improvement for the site’s -25.4% effective rake during the previous week. They ranked 5th in overall overlays during Week 5.
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Fantasy Feud saw growth during Week 5 with $164,688 in entries during Week 5, up from $151,712 the previous week. They still came up short in guaranteeing prizes with $194,665 paid out, yielding an effective rake of -18.2% and total overlays of $29,977. This was good enough for 3rd in overall overlays and 5th in effective rake.
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DraftOrPass and PickChamps
Both DraftorPass and PickChamps continues to have very light traffic, although DraftorPass saw a slight increase in activity over the previous week.
Both sites featured low effective rake, however, with -26.44% for DraftorPass and -137.64% at PickChamps.
You can use these figures to help you prioritize your play during Week 5, as DFS sites that have overlays in one week or more likely to continue the next week and beyond.
We are seeing overlays stabilize quite a bit since the season began. DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo — the top three sites in the industry — have had their first week of negative overlays overall.
As we detailed, it’s a different story as the sites get smaller. FantasyDraft, DraftPot, Fantasy Feud and to some extent, StarsDraft, are still paying a good amount of overlays. And although they aren’t anywhere near DraftKings or FanDuel for activity, they are still provide a sufficient amount of GPP action for many players.
While you should still keep an eye on individual contests at DraftKings and FanDuel if you’re an overlay hunter, you need to be looking at the smaller sites, with special attention to FantasyDraft and DraftPot.
If size and liquidity is no object to you, the value at DraftOrPass and PickChamps is going to be hard to beat, if trends continue. Just don’t expect to see many 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.