It’s been reported earlier in the week in many popular news websites and newspapers that a certain known/usual Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) player recently won over $1 million during Week 3 of an NFL daily fantasy football league. The player’s name is Saahil Sud. According to RotoGrinders.com, he is regarded as the of top DFS player in the world. Now that may not be news that comes off as surprising in any way, considering Sud’s track record of success in these types of contests, but he also happens to live in an apartment roughly 200 yards away from DraftKings’ main office building and anyone who knows anything about DraftKings knows that they’re one of the most popular DFS sites in the world right now.
Now as much as that left the public scratching their heads as to whether or not Sud was doing any shady investigating around DraftKings’ headquarters for a potential edge in the sites’ competitions over an unspecified amount of time, it also made many DFS players, themselves, think that maybe it’s possible he knows certain employees of the company that could share vital info with him that could be worked out if those employees were open to bribes. I’m talking about the type of info, to be more specific, that could give Sud a distinct advantage over most DFS players (particularly, DFS NFL ones, in this case). This is a theory that may explain how he has been so unbelievably successful over quite some time now in DFS.
Another controversy that has been put out there that is currently being investigated is the known factor of DFS workers getting early knowledge to pro sports athletes’ DFS salaries and knowing what they’ll be well ahead of time before they become official salaries in DFS contests for the public to play in. No sources have confirmed such a scandal, but the idea is out there now and a very thorough investigation is being made on this matter that isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Finally, there’s another eye-opening situation with a content manager from DraftKings named Ethan Haskell that has also been put to the public’s attention. In this report, it is said that he accidentally posted data on DFS player ownership trends for DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker contest before all games had begun (thus, making it all the more questionable that it’s also been recorded that all lineups for these games were locked in the process after this happened). In DFS, ownership data is extremely valuable from a strategic point of view. It greatly helps in forming a standout lineup and shows the competitors that whoever owns a rarely owned player or players, will have a clear cut advantage when it’s all said and done because those players’ big performances will carry and lead to a lot of success much of the time on DraftKings.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving pieces here and a lot of investigating has yet to take place. One thing is certain, though, and that is that DFS sites need to throw out the idea completely of letting their employees play in DFS games on any competitors’ website. Sure, some have done this already all along and some are starting to do this now, but for the ones that did this late, they’ve only got themselves to blame if their DFS sites suffer financially because of such borderline shenanigans.
There are plenty of people out there already who think DFS is a form of gambling that should be illegal and should not so much be considered a competition clearly of sports knowledge/skill. These sites have to keep these individuals in mind who have it out for them and have to hope their employees didn’t ruin it for them or for the entire DFS community, in general, through possible unwritten rules being crossed.
Looking at what’s going down now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see all DFS sites include direct links on their sites to websites that have DFS related articles that are popular and known to help experienced DFS gamers. Yes, there are DFS sites that have their own writers doing this already, but it’s not known clear as day when you are on their websites themselves directly when joining their competitions. That may be something you will see with regularity soon that will give its players easy access to popular lineup suggestions. This may calm down a lot of players who don’t like what they’ve heard lately and who don’t normally do a lot of research and statistical crunching when filling out their lineups.
The last thing that I will leave you with here is this. It’s even been reported now that lawsuits have already been put in place against DraftKings/FanDuel for negligence, fraud and false advertising.. Know that DFS sites are making a lot of money over the years (FanDuel and DraftKings combined has made roughly $1 billion alone) and have really changed the way we have looked at the fantasy sporting world. Is it possible that such a lawsuit could legitimately hurt certain DFS sites, if not all of them in the long run? Sure, but I am a player of DFS games myself, obviously, and my experienced playing self is going to play the odds here and doubt that the party will end any time soon for them. Some of them may wind up paying a large sum of money in the millions for things that they simply should have been more careful about, but they’ve made so much money over the years for anything to truly hurt them in a major lawsuit. While this may not be a popular stance, I see this as a case of the rich being too rich to take down.
We’ll see how all of this pans out. Needless to say, it’s going to get interesting and it’s going to be a topic of debate for many months to come.