By CHRIS PERRELLI
Fantasy sports has never been so exciting thanks to an innovative new app that tests your sports knowledge while offering a chance for lucrative winnings.
Fantasy sports is an industry growing at a rapid pace. According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA), an estimated 41.5 million people across Canada and the U.S. are involved in some form of fantasy sports. The industry is at an all-time high in popularity and earning power with an estimated $1.71 billion in league entrance fees alone.
For players who commit to a season-long fantasy league, the gratification of a league victory is weeks, and in some cases, months away. On a day-to-day sports betting basis, games such as Proline lead the charge but are centred around the outcome of a game rather than the individual players. The website, and now iPhone app, FanDuel has found a link between the two and is quickly rising to the top of fantasy sports and sports betting.
“Think of how much fun you had in your last draft,” said Nigel Eccles, chief executive officer of FanDuel. “Then think about how excited you were watching your fantasy team when you last made the playoffs. Now put that together, add in the prospect of winning $1 million, and you have FanDuel, every single day of the year.”
FanDuel works by allowing users to play daily fantasy games. Users choose a sport then choose a game style. Users then select a league to play in for that day.
Leagues differ in size and entrance fees. The higher the entrance fee, the higher the pay-out at the end of the night. The user then drafts his team in a salary cap format. Players are awarded points for the statistics they obtain during live action. The player with the most points at night’s end wins.
On the business end of things, FanDuel collects money from users for entrance fees, keeps a small portion of the money and dishes out the rest in league winnings. Daily winners are paid same-day using a PayPal account.
FanDuel will pay winners $500 million this year and an estimated $1 billion in the coming year.
Josh Ecker, new to FanDuel, appreciates the daily and weekly variety of the app. “I’m in a lot of season long leagues, and especially with the injuries, both of my teams are done for this season. So, right now, I have nothing to do for the playoffs. FanDuel gives me something to do instead of wishing I was still in the race. Because of the daily leagues, I don’t have to worry about my quarterback’s injury ruining my season.”Brandon Morassutti, a fantasy hockey veteran, likes the excitement of using strategy to maximize his team’s potential on a nightly basis.
“Because of the salary cap format, strategy is a huge part of drafting a winning team,” said Morassutti. “It forces me to pick players that I normally wouldn’t and to be successful you have to see who has an easy matchup, or who’s been hot lately. It takes some research to and some knowledge to win.”
“On any given night, a player could be moved up to a top-line because of an injury, or a coach shaking up lines and all of a sudden he has a multi-point night. It’s really rewarding to see your theories work,” said Morassutti.
FanDuel offers a variety of sports for every fan. These include baseball, basketball, hockey, football, college football and college basketball.
Each contest has an entry fee listed in U.S. dollars, starting at $1 and up.