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.

 
    • paul

      paul says:
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      @James Bit: Thank you!

  1. You are 100% correct about people getting rich off this bullshit, and it’s not the players.

    It’s the companies that run the DFS sites, and can afford to pay people like you for fluff pieces such as this. Dont forget to use my promo code “Shill” when you sign up and DFS will double your initial deposit!

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Tallowspammo: Haha you are definitely correct. Unfortunately no one paid me to write this, but as I said in the article it has certainly rejuvenated a lot of fantasy baseball websites and created plenty of new ones.

  2. Clint says:
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    Very, very true article Paul. I’ve never been interested in DFS because even though I LOVE wheelin’ and dealin’ in my leagues constantly even if there doesn’t seem to be much point to it, the idea of starting from scratch daily on a roster budget just seems more tedious than anything. Although, I do admit, that hasn’t stopped me from the constant roster checking the new technology phone’s have allowed and, as a result, some relationship trouble ;)

    Question for you: just been offered his Greinke for my Jay Bruce/Carrasco in an 8 team h2h points keeper league. I wanted to deal Bruce & a SP to free up a spot but Carrasco’s potential seems high than Greinke’s based on what Grey & Crew have said about him thus far, no?

    My current pitching roster:
    Carrasco, Fiers, Arrieta, Shark, Liriano, Hughes, Salazar, Sale, Nelson, Latos, Soria, Holland

    FYI: the guy that’s offering Greinke also has Felix, Lester, Wacha, Keuchel, Richards, Cashner, & Strasburg. Thought maybe Lester or Strasburg could be had cheaper w/the right SP w/Bruce.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Clint: Agree, I’d hold off on the Carrasco for Bruce version. Stras, Lester, and Liriano are all good buy-low targets if the guy is fed up with them.

  3. CL (UncleCos) says:
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    Good read, and it’s true. I’m curious as to some details on how writers & readers here have fared?

    I’ll start; I have $325 into DraftKings as of the beginning of last NFL season. I downloaded my history as an Excel file to sort thru it. I have played $1700 in games. As of today, I have no money in my account, the last of it lost over the last week on some distractedly drafted MLB lineups.

    So, I basically played a ton of NFL, EPL, MMA, and MLB on the house, but alas, my $325 is gone. I’m currently on hiatus and we’ll see how much will power I have. I love DFS, as a counterpoint to my $50/year Dynasty League (year 8) and my first foray into the RCL.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @CL (UncleCos): I started with 1k on Draftkings and am down to a couple hundred playing only MLB. If I lose that I’ll do another deposit of 500 or so but after that, I’m probably out.

  4. Chuckles Tiddlesworth says:
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    I don’t understand the point of this. How do these two statements live in the same piece?

    “(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.”

    You admit it’s gambling and then endorse people’s addiction to gambling. WTF?

    • CL says:
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      @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: Is this supposed to be Dr. Drew self-help website? I didn’t hear any endorsements for anything. Play the game or don’t. All on you.

      Life ain’t no fun without vices.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Chuckles Tiddlesworth: There’s addicted to the point of constantly checking your phone/not doing as many productive things as you otherwise would… and then there’s addicted to the point of losing your home and squandering your kids college funds.

      I’m okay with the former and obviously not with the latter.

  5. TheTinDoor

    TheTinDoor says:
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    one other side affect, is that I no longer have any desire to play in daily-move full-season leagues (like the RCLs). Razzball has shown conclusively that to win a daily-move full-season league, you have to be VERY active streaming hitters and pitchers. It’s a grind, and takes away from the joy of season-long, without adding much.

    DFS, for me, has made the divide much clearer. If I want daily moves, I play DFS, and am compensated for my streaming efforts. If I want the strategy of season long (and I definitely still do), I’ll play in weekly-league season-long formats.

    Good riddance to the arms race that was streaming Monday-Thursday hitters – a lot of added work with no real added joy, but if you didn’t do it, you were shut out in season long.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @TheTinDoor: Agree 100%, well said.

    • DrEasy says:
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      @TheTinDoor: I agree… I think a cap on the total number of transactions in RCL would be an improvement.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @DrEasy: don’t they already have games/innings caps? that’s the only cap anybody needs.

  6. uncdrew says:
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    My favorite are the companies that will manage your fantasy team for you.

    Say what?

  7. heatster says:
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    Winning big in DFS is mostly about volume. A small percentage of players seem to take home a large percentage of the big prizes. If you have enough bank roll to enter 100 different lineups in a gpp suddenly your odds to profit are very good. Sure building good lineups is part of it but “the little guy” is always at a disadvantage. Having said that I still love it. I think the fact that you can win money makes it more fun. Addiction is probably too strong a word for even for those who play everyday.

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @heatster: This is probably true. Do you know of any programs that make DraftKing/Fanduel lineups automatically. Do you think people are manually entering in 100 lineups?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @heatster: this is the same reason people in poker are strongly arguing against those recent tourney’s that allow people infinite rebuys for a certain period (sometimes 1 or even the first two days of a tourney). It’s a HUGE benefit to rich pros who can try to amass large stacks many times.

  8. Jammer McSlam says:
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    Was just offered

    Heyward + Rodon for Bentances in a dynasty league.

    I should take it right?

  9. Rubik's Pube says:
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    I got into DFS last year, this year it just isn’t doing anything for me. The line between skill and gambling gets crossed way too far into the gambling spectrum and I just can’t seem to get back into it. It’s not really a bad thing because I’m not spending money on it. I like the strategy of the full season. If you’re the type of person that can’t make time to manage a roster every day, I can see understand the draw of DFS. Personally though, I just don’t think it’s for me.

    • pbmax says:
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      @Rubik’s Pube: “The line between skill and gambling gets crossed way too far into the gambling spectrum and I just can’t seem to get back into it.” Well put. I agree.

      I signed up for Draftkings to get Stream-o-nator(and the other awesome stuff) and lost my $20 in 3 days. I’m glad I got a taste of it but it isn’t for me. I like the long season(although it does feel real long sometimes) and the draft prep is my favorite part of fantasy baseball. By how random-seeming the pricing is the DFS feels more about exploiting price discrepancies than picking the best team for the day.

      In a Keeper I just traded Shark & Billy H. for King Felix. I was up 27 in steals(still have Dee & Polanco) and my pitching is Salazar and streamers. Think i did ok?

  10. The Theory says:
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    I deposited $X (werein X = small sum) on one of the sites earlier this year.

    Entered a $2 line up, won $5. “This is easy!” I said.

    Played daily for another week or so, and failed miserably. So withdrew my remaining funds.

    Seems like the sort of thing that if you have the time and money to really put yourself in an advantageous position, it would be awesome. I might have the time, but certainly don’t have the money.

    I’m just as happy with my year-long, no money at stake leagues.

  11. Travis Taylor says:
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    Haha this was spot on! Although after last NFL season, I do have to argue that I fully believe in DFS being a game of skill

    • paul

      paul says:
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      @Travis Taylor: Thanks. Out of curiousity, were you using your own gut calls or a projection system to make picks?

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