The short answer is: It’s made some of us very rich.
As someone (in some small capacity) involved in the online fantasy baseball industry, it is impossible to ignore the massive changes over the past couple years due to the rise of daily fantasy baseball.
Before “The Rise” it seemed like fantasy baseball was losing, a little bit more each year, a portion of its casual participants. This undoubtedly put a strain on people trying to make a living by doling out fantasy advice. Also the fact that even people who avidly consumed fantasy baseball content were reluctant to ever pay for it only added to the problem.
(Kudos to Grey by the way for doing a good job of catering to the casual player and creating an atmosphere where people are also happy to throw a few bucks his way.)
Fast forward to the present and the Daily game has not only brought back tons of casual players, but it’s done so in a format where people are ever so willing to pay for advice.
This is undoubtedly a good thing. For people who positioned themselves to profit off this, I imagine the future looks like a very bright place. As someone who didn’t, it’s hard not to feel a little stupid for being hesitant to get involved.
This is my first year playing Daily Fantasy Baseball. As you can infer, I acted like a cranky old grandpa the past few years. “Those crazy kids and their daily leagues. There’s no honor in them. No more long-term thinking, no more experiencing the joy of guiding a team to victory over a full season…nothing!”
Maybe there truly is less honor in winning a daily league, but the more important takeaway: Money is everything.
Basically, my opinion on life is if you’re going to spend a significant amount of time on something, it should either be 1) monetarily or developmentally rewarding, or 2) be socially satisfying in some way.
Regular fantasy baseball can certainly fit the second criteria and sometimes the first, though I think for a lot of people it was lacking too much in both, which is why many people stopped playing. Daily fantasy baseball offers a lot more promise that it will be monetarily rewarding, though I’ll note that so far it hasn’t been so monetarily rewarding for me.
Over the past year or so I’ve tried to wean myself off constantly paying attention to my fantasy teams. Instead of checking baseball stats on my phone when my date goes to the bathroom, maybe I’ll think of things to talk about next instead.
Daily fantasy baseball makes it very hard to do this. As much as I try to “set and forget” my lineups, the immediate reward structure just begs you to check your team’s point total compulsively. (Based on the way most people play Fanduel and Draftkings and their high potential for abuse, it’s a joke that legally Daily games are protected as a “game of skill”, though that’s not a point I want to focus on right now.)
I’d guess a fair number of people reading this article are to some extent addicted to Daily fantasy baseball. And I guess the point I’m making is I’m sort of okay with that. At least there’s a chance to make a non-trivial amount of money. At least the industry has some of that venture capital sexiness (FanDuel sponsored Floyd Mayweather for pete’s sake) back in it.
And at the very least, we’re all becoming pretty good amateur meteorologists.