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DraftKings Buys DraftStreet: Experts React

The daily fantasy world experienced a shockwave as DraftKings announced the purchase of rival DraftStreet this Monday. The acquisition means the #2 daily site now owns the #3 and will have to scramble to keep all of its gamers. What does this mean for the daily fantasy community?

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For the nuts and bolts of the deal, you can check out Steve Gardner’s article in USA Today. For a detailed look at what it means for daily fantasy footballers, The FF Ghost of Dynasty League Football covers the issue as well, including the youtube video of both CEOs discussing the purchase.

The details of the deal are one issue, but what about the insiders? I asked a couple of daily experts a some of questions to get into the meat of the deal. First on tap is CEO of Fanium Grant Gurtin. He’s based out of San Diego and he thinks that Mission Brewery and Stone Company are the bomb. Fanium offers a daily product covering MLB and NFL called Fantasy Elite, optimized for the mobile user. Here are my questions:

From someone who’s actually in the trenches, what does the DraftKings acquisition of DraftStreet mean to the daily fantasy industry?

GG: I don’t think we will completely know what it means for a few months as they prepare for football. Our industry is a lot more seasonal than a lot of people want to admit as fantasy NFL is way more popular than anything else. In the short team, it gives consumers more time to play other sites/apps, helping companies like Fantasy Elite. It is also extremely depressing for a lot of the people that made DraftStreet their homebase in DFS for years. Many customers were extremely loyal there due to the edge they could get with sharp salaries. It is the responsibility of all site owners to take note of everything DraftStreet did to move the industry forward and do whatever they can to learn from it. I can assure you Elite is creating a place where players will feel like they have a bigger edge than anywhere else in the industry and that will thrive on all of the lessons DS taught us.

How was Fanium’s 2013 debut and what do users have in store for them in 2014?

GG: It was huge. We have incredible users that have been waiting all year for the comeback. The game hasn’t changed much but the userbase is getting much larger. People from last year have been inviting friends to play, and it has been extremely validating to watch the app acquire new users each day! The game has become so successful because it is extremely simple and easy to play on the go. Who doesn’t love fantasy drafts?! We bring that great experience to the convenience of iPhone and Android devices!

Note that Fanium also has an app for CFL fantasy. I feel like that’s “giving back” to all of the obsessed Canadian NFL fans.

I had to chat with one of the gurus of daily football, who’s written extensively on the subject. Jonathan Bales, author of the Fantasy Football for Smart People series and founder of RotoAcademy, answered a my questions:

What are your thoughts of the DraftKings acquisition of DraftStreet? Are you worried about the consolidation of the industry and that some of the DraftStreet features/leagues won’t be available?

JB: I think DraftKings’ acquisition of DraftStreet is a huge deal and probably an inevitable step in the growth of daily fantasy sports. I’m not really worried about the consolidation because I know DraftKings will do an awesome job of incorporating all of the aspects of DraftStreet that users loved. The two sites complement each other really well, which is why this deal went through. As DraftKings starts to incorporate some of DraftStreet’s pricing algorithms, snake drafts, etc, I think it will be a big positive for users.

Does this move make you more or less likely to play DraftKings, other than the 100% DraftStreet balance transfer bonus and the 25% reload bonus?

JB: I already play primarily on DraftKings, but the move would make me more likely to go there just because of the user base. We should see a nice growth in prize pools for this coming NFL season, which should be awesome. I also suspect that there will be a better cash game selection on DraftKings now.

Is daily fantasy going to be the big growth market for fantasy football in 2014?

I’d imagine daily fantasy will continue its exponential growth in the fantasy market in 2014, and DraftKings is a massive part of that. Really excited to see what the have in store.

What’s your latest edition in the Fantasy Football for Smart People all about?

JB: As far as my latest book, it’s called Fantasy Football for Smart People: Daily Fantasy Pros Reveal Their Money-Making Secrets. Each chapter is set up as an interview with a different DFS pro, with analysis by CSURAM88 and myself. I’m really excited about it – a departure from my normal data-driven content – and I think readers will enjoy the fresh perspective.

Thanks again to Mr. Bales and Mr. Gurtin for their thoughts. I’ll post a review and excerpt of Jonathan Bales’ new daily fantasy book in the next couple of weeks.

We know what the experts have to say, but what about FSO’s own David Kitchen? He gave an appropriate good-bye to the DraftStreet site:

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