Funding Numbers Show Daily Fantasy is Here to Stay

We’ve all been there. Our draft goes swimmingly. We get most of the players we were targeting, and feel like we improvised well when the need arose. Our roster looks great, and we’re daydreaming about fantasy dominance. Then, the hammer drops. Our RB1 is out for the year with a torn ACL. Our ace pitcher needs Tommy John. The dependable veterans we drafted become benchwarmers. We do our best to fix the situation, but it is basically untenable. Another fantasy season down the toilet.

That scenario, or rather the lack thereof, is one of the biggest appeals of so-called daily fantasy games. Rather than toiling away on a roster that can fall apart with one mistake or a little bad luck, daily fantasy sites offer the chance to start anew every day or week. Pick any players you want, stay under the salary cap, and have a chance at multiple payouts in a season. Players are not beholden to one team, either. Every team could have Tom Brady if they stay within the cap. It’s a great idea for those who want a change from the traditional system, or who want the opportunity to flex their fantasy smarts multiple times a year. And the money is showing that the idea is catching on.

Two of the biggest players in the game, DraftKings and FanDuel, recently went through successful funding rounds. DraftKings raised $41 million while FanDuel brought in $70 million. The new players in fantasy sports look promising, at least as far as investors see it.

FanDuel is looking to increase its visibility as well, announcing the World Fantasy Football Championships for 2014. They are set up as a set of weekly survivor pools, where the best performers will be flown to Las Vegas for the championship rounds. Pools are separated by entry fee, with $2 million of possible earnings for the biggest tournament.

Players can use either a web site or a mobile app to enter games from both companies, and a quick viewing of each shows hundreds of games available the first week of football season at many different price points. Baseball contests are also still available.

Fantasy players looking to try a little something different can invest very little (or even no) money to try their hand at these games. And if the funding results for places like FanDuel and DraftKings are any indication, every self-proclaimed fantasy guru will have a chance to prove their mettle for some time.

(Header photo via Tony Ibarra)

David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

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