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  • FDRep

    • FanDuel Representative

    Hi everyone, Nik here. We’re excited to share with you a big change to our NBA formatting for this season.

    If there’s one consistent frustration we’ve heard from NBA players, it’s the handling of inactive players. Whether it’s Pop late scratching LMA or a top-secret undisclosed mystery injury, it’s an awful experience when you’re drawing dead before the games even start. We call these events “avoidable zeroes”, and they’re the absolute worst.

    Over the summer we prototyped and tested a few different solutions and one thing became crystal clear – if we were going to make a change, we needed to make sure that the change was a fair change for everyone, and didn’t disadvantage one user segment while giving an advantage to another. I obviously can’t speak for every user, and while I’ve got a very loving (and patient!) wife at home, she’s got a limit to how much I’m glued to phone when we’re together. I’ve got friends who have kids, work nights, love the gym, and a whole host of different reasons why late swap simply doesn’t work for them. The division on the topic on the RG forums alone convinced us that it wasn’t the solution.

    Instead, we’re announcing a simple, yet powerful change: we’re dropping your lowest score. Call it best ball, call it a gimme, call it whatever you’d like. Bottom line, if a player puts up a zero, the score won’t count. Positions stay the same, scoring stays the same; we’ll simply only count your top 8. You don’t have to stay glued to your phone; you can pick that West Coast GTD with confidence and even he doesn’t go, you’re still in the running.

    Give it a try, and feel free to shoot me any feedback: nik.bonaddio@fanduel.com. Good luck!

    - NB

  • Gambler

  • TheRyanFlaherty

    It dawns on me that people say “they don’t have time” but how many people play DFS daily and aren’t watching games, constantly checking play-by-play, looking at your score on the apps, etc.?
    Because to make the time argument you’re basically saying, I set the lineup at 7 then check it in the morning.

    I’m not even that pro-late swap, I just think the effects are wildly overstated. The majority of people aren’t on DK tinkering all night, it’s a necessary function there to use in case of emergency. If you research you also usually know what news your waiting be on and have contingency plans in place. It’s not like you need to be researching after 7.
    As I questioned to start this post…how many people aren’t following scores in some manner? If you have your phone around doing that it takes like a minute every half hour or so to double check if there’s something to be aware of.
    And if that’s not fun, then I don’t understand how NBA can be fun because that’s what it’s deviolved to. Hitting refresh all day in “player news”.

  • pinstripeblue

    I guess the downside is on one of those nights when you hit on a fair and balanced LU where everyone averages 30-35+ and you end up losing one

  • moped_jones

    @pinstripeblue said...

    I guess the downside is on one of those nights when you hit on a fair and balanced LU where everyone averages 30-35+ and you end up losing one

    The downside is you can have the best 9 man lineup and not win.

  • moped_jones

    @Puma103185 said...

    Also you are missing the main point of the whole thing. Which is that if they switch the rules they lose me not only for NBA but for every other sport also and I wouldn’t be the only one.

    The casual player SHOULD have time to deal with late swap. If you are playing dozens of lineups….you ….not….casual.

    #YouNotCasual
    #YeahIHashtaggedARotoComment

  • moped_jones

    @TheRyanFlaherty said...

    It dawns on me that people say “they don’t have time” but how many people play DFS daily and aren’t watching games, constantly checking play-by-play, looking at your score on the apps, etc.?
    Because to make the time argument you’re basically saying, I set the lineup at 7 then check it in the morning.

    I’m not even that pro-late swap, I just think the effects are wildly overstated. The majority of people aren’t on DK tinkering all night, it’s a necessary function there to use in case of emergency. If you research you also usually know what news your waiting be on and have contingency plans in place. It’s not like you need to be researching after 7.
    As I questioned to start this post…how many people aren’t following scores in some manner? If you have your phone around doing that it takes like a minute every half hour or so to double check if there’s something to be aware of.
    And if that’s not fun, then I don’t understand how NBA can be fun because that’s what it’s deviolved to. Hitting refresh all day in “player news”.

    Well said.

    They do have time. And if they don’t, maybe scale down the number of LU’s they play to a number that is manageable? Maybe play 5 lineups instead of 30?

    I see people in here complaining about not having time after lock…….but they post here all the time and play dozens of lineups. It simply comes down to people being lazy. They want to be good at this but don’t want to put in any actual effort. They think they deserve to be good at this……..but want it to be super easy.

    That’s just my take. I’m sure many people will disagree (especially if it hits a little too close to home).

  • moped_jones

    @Puma103185 said...

    There are analytic companies that monitor this. Talk to anyone that works in the industry it’s the truth.

    The late swaps have gone back and forth with both companies for different sports.

    I tried talking to someone in the industry and they told me they didn’t want to get involved in our discussion. Then he made a rude comment about my mother (which I agreed with) and he hung up.

  • mtdurham

    @DFSToddler said...

    The amount of ties I’m seeing is completely out of control, and these are ties with what would have been unique lineups in seasons past.

    I dont play FD but if this is true about the increase in ties thats bad.

    At the very least the tiebreaker should be what your punt scored…. that’s a fair compromise. A rule change is a rule change. But Ties are stupid.

  • mtdurham

    @TheDataDetective said...

    Yup, you hit the nail on the head. Without late swap, starting an injured blue chip player in a late game is just as much of a gamble now as it was last season because losing an expensive player to a late scratch would be nearly impossible to overcome. The opportunity cost of the squandered salary isn’t mitigated by the “free square” gimmick.

    FanDuel, please just add late swap like you offer with other sports.

    Yeah i mean this was obvious… their “solution” didnt address the problem at all… it just created a new optimal strategy…. this is what we call “unintended consequences” in politics/economics…. and why most people’s ideas are just plain old bad ideas. You wouldnt know that from watching the talking heads on MSNBC, Fox News, etc.. everyone’s got a solution for everything.. problem is they most of them have no idea what they’re talking about

    like no one is ever gonan think “man russell westbrook might not play tonight but if he gets scratched I’ve got Frank Kaminsky at punt to replace him YOLO!”

  • mtdurham

    @Puma103185 said...

    You are not being punished you are playing by the same rules and facing the same risks as everyone else. If you don’t like the rules and want an advantage over those that don’t have time play on draft kings.

    Also you are missing the main point of the whole thing. Which is that if they switch the rules they lose me not only for NBA but for every other sport also and I wouldn’t be the only one. It makes zero financial sense for them to push players like me off their site completely. I was playing a lot on Draft Kings before. They are now getting practically zero action on any of my sports now.

    What people on this forum don’t realize is they make up a very small percentage of players. The reality it is in everyone’s best interest to not push away the casual players. Having late swap puts the casual player at such a disadvantage it will completely turn them off to playing.

    Exactly… even today I was up super early this morning setting my NFL lineups… then while NFL games were on I was busy building my NBA rosters…. by 6 pm i went into a food coma and had drank 3-4 beers which always makes me sleepy if i only drink a few and i passed out…. now i didnt have a lot of nba action today.. just $30 across 25 lineups… so i wasnt too worried about it… but when i passed out there was STILL no announcement on chris paul or russell westbrook….

    I’m not whining.. i fell asleep thats on me… whatever…. but boy it sure would be nice to know that it was okay to take a nap and not get SMOKED by the fact all that late breaking news came out… sure would be nice for a guy who plays golf on sundays to be able to enjoy his twilight round without having to monitor twitter…. sure would be nice for a man to be able to act like a FATHER and eat dinner with his family, help his kid with his homework, or drive back from visiting the grandparents on Sunday evening instead of being glued to a computer like he’s a Goldman Sachs Financial Analyst waiting for the non-farm payroll report.

    You’ve really got to be a selfish prick to not understand why people don’t like late swap. And why it’s not good for the long-term future of DFS.

    Any benefit i ever get from late-swapping will be more than offset by the legion of people who just quit playing altogether because their losses are massive.

  • mtdurham

    @moped_jones said...

    They want to be good at this but don’t want to put in any actual effort. They think they deserve to be good at this……..but want it to be super easy.

    That’s just my take. I’m sure many people will disagree (especially if it hits a little too close to home).

    Moped_Jones NBA Leaderboard Rank: 9,696 / 10,190

    Which person in this forum are you better than at this?

  • tonytone1908

    I remember all the complaining when someone’s “YOLO punt” that they went all-in on with 150 LU’s later in the night leading to:

    A late scratch, JJ Barea sprains his pinky toe in warmups
    Early exit due to injury or just plain stinking up the court
    The famous and lethal 8 min “start” then rides the bench ala Amir Johnson a couple years ago
    Coaches like Pop randomly resting guys or constantly tinkering with wacky rotations
    Finishing .2 pts below the cash line by spending up for guaranteed pts when you knew you should’ve just punted altogether
    Always a couple hundred short of a LU you really liked. New format allows you to do that every time.
    Complaints about pricing being too loose resulting in lots of overlap on short slates. (Guys that actually get playing time now
    are almost never full min salary and can be up to 4k or so. Value hunting, esp low-owned, is much tougher work)
    We could go on and on

    Point being, there were obviously a few consistent complaints and the new format immensely alleviates pretty much all of them. Late swap was and is, never going to happen. It’s basically the only thing that separates FD from DK. FD has been adamant for quite awhile that late swap was not something they wanted to do. There have been many threads on this topic over the last few years and it usually resulted in the majority of Fanduel’s most loyal players stating that it was the sole reason they played on FD and not DK. The beauty of it has always been that people had the option to do one or the other or even both if they wanted! I never understood that argument yet with the current state of affairs in our country lately, I’m really not surprised anymore. Overall I’m happy with the change. My preference would have been to use a position for a substitution slot. Even still I don’t have an ideal way to execute that without bringing up a myriad of other problems. The new format actually uses my preference and eliminates all the issues and leaves a pretty level playing field. I really don’t see why the change should adjust how you build LU’s either. You should still be value hunting and hunting hard because it’s not as easy as just plugging in a min salary guaranteed zero. That strategy has been tried millions of times before and maybe worked out a handful of times. Almost every big winner has at least 2 min salary guys and many times uses 3 with maybe 1 of them a little higher. In my situation and the way I build lineups this helps me immensely. I seem to do well at finding value that pays off well but get scared to play more than 1 in a LU and it always kicks me in the ass. Now I can play 3 of them, have a 2 in 3 shot at choosing wisely and in the end, dropping off very little salary. Using only 1 punt that gets 0 will often lead to 5k+ salary guys getting dropped, which definitely ain’t helpful in any way. Salaries on the low end are being adjusted now with guys that are seeing consistent, even if minimal minutes. Where last year you may have been fine with 18 pts for 3.5k it’s not exactly a plug and play this year at even 3.8k. I think it should be a great way to bring in some newer players even if they’re extremely casual. Start with a couple of backups getting a surprise start that you’ve been eyeing and waiting for an opportunity, then finish the rest with guys that are going to play actual minutes and are actually good and not rooting for a blowout that never comes so your 1.4% owned 3 string shooting guard can MAYBE get in and make 6 points for you. Then ends up with 3. I like knowing that if I absolutely hate the SF position I won’t get suckered into playing Robert Covington and wasting 3k extra even though that could in itself be a contrarian move, its definitely one that has never paid off for me, ever. I won’t get mad for making a bad play but I’ll try my damnedest to at least find someone who will contribute. Have to admit this does make it much harder to find contrarian plays and I find myself using guys at a higher salary then I’m comfortable with spending in order to use my deep punts but at least I’m rooting for stars at the end of the game instead of a blowout. In ways the new format plays to my style but it makes it much more challenging if I’m really trying to win and makes it easier to throw a last minute LU together just to make the game interesting for me.

    In the end I think the arguments are pointless. It’s dumb to think they’d ever offer late swap considering there long standing opinion on the subject. If you want late swap, go play DK already even though you probably already are. Yes there are going to be occasions where the new format hurts you, and other times it helps you. Just like last year when scratches could hurt you or give you a huge advantage if you guessed the situation right.

    I think the ideal situation would be to maybe run some freerolls for a few weeks with a few different ideas and let the players actually test them out. Run them all side by side at least for the main slate each night. People got bright ideas but they’re not always so fun when forced to actually play by them. Just my .02 cents. Sorry for the rambling.

  • superjon

    @mtdurham said...

    Moped_Jones NBA Leaderboard Rank: 9,696 / 10,190

    Which person in this forum are you better than at this?

    You aren’t even on the NBA Leaderboard.

    I guess that means he’s better than you.

  • lineupofpeace

    So I’m sure all the FD players with Adams and Wiggins are totally unfazed by these late scratches since FD’s new scoring system fixes everything right?

  • dolphinkick182

    @TheRyanFlaherty said...

    It dawns on me that people say “they don’t have time” but how many people play DFS daily and aren’t watching games, constantly checking play-by-play, looking at your score on the apps, etc.?
    Because to make the time argument you’re basically saying, I set the lineup at 7 then check it in the morning.

    I’m not even that pro-late swap, I just think the effects are wildly overstated. The majority of people aren’t on DK tinkering all night, it’s a necessary function there to use in case of emergency. If you research you also usually know what news your waiting be on and have contingency plans in place. It’s not like you need to be researching after 7.
    As I questioned to start this post…how many people aren’t following scores in some manner? If you have your phone around doing that it takes like a minute every half hour or so to double check if there’s something to be aware of.
    And if that’s not fun, then I don’t understand how NBA can be fun because that’s what it’s deviolved to. Hitting refresh all day in “player news”.

    Couldn’t agree more. Even for most of those who claimed to be “set-it-and-forget-it” people, you can find their late night posts on RG forums. Though I GET IT! If you don’t like late swap, then just say that. Sure there are many reasons for not liking it. No need for a long drawn out post about little Timmy’s late baseball game. It’s crap. If you play any amount of money beyond a few single bullets and some quarter entries, you’re looking. You know you are (even during “family time”). Don’t lie. Just say you don’t like late swap. That I get.

  • dolphinkick182

    @mtdurham said...

    Moped_Jones NBA Leaderboard Rank: 9,696 / 10,190

    Which person in this forum are you better than at this?

    People in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones. You know how the rankings work right? I’d bet that he’s easily better than you.

  • drewcrawford03

    • 2019 FanDuel FantaSea Finalist

    • 384

      RG Overall Ranking

    • 2018 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    Just wanna throw this out there for Nik and the FanDuel people on here…

    The new system is very dumb. Example- when I have lost this year, 2/3 of the time I outscore the majority of my opponents, I just have a higher lower score. Tonight, for instance, a common 2v2 was Steph/E’Twaun vs. Lowry/Barnes. My side won handedly, yet I lost those high $ contests because it came down to basically his highest score vs. Mine in those pairs. This isnt a best ball format. And the increased disadvantages that are present in cash games are further expounded with this change.

    To recap, most nights I am outscoring my opponent rather handedly, but losing my contests. The user experience is now, well, terrible. Save the sample size argument, and “it’s only been a few weeks”. I’ve seen enough, and, unfortunately, won’t be playing NBA on FD for the foreseeable future. You wanted some feedback, there’s mine.

  • yisman

    @TheRyanFlaherty said...

    It dawns on me that people say “they don’t have time” but how many people play DFS daily and aren’t watching games, constantly checking play-by-play, looking at your score on the apps, etc.?
    Because to make the time argument you’re basically saying, I set the lineup at 7 then check it in the morning.

    I’m not even that pro-late swap, I just think the effects are wildly overstated. The majority of people aren’t on DK tinkering all night, it’s a necessary function there to use in case of emergency. If you research you also usually know what news your waiting be on and have contingency plans in place. It’s not like you need to be researching after 7.
    As I questioned to start this post…how many people aren’t following scores in some manner? If you have your phone around doing that it takes like a minute every half hour or so to double check if there’s something to be aware of.
    And if that’s not fun, then I don’t understand how NBA can be fun because that’s what it’s deviolved to. Hitting refresh all day in “player news”.

    I can’t speak for others but I usually set my lineup and that’s it. I’m not sitting there all night watching scores, with certain exceptions, like if it’s a showdown slate that I played and I am watching the game.

  • 2Slik

    Had VanVleet goose egg on my best lineup last night.

    For every owner Gurley hurt by not scoring a touchdown there was an owner on the other side that profited because of it.

    I think the rule is flawed but I’m gladly in favor of it over Full Late Swap.

  • smoke1j

    • Ranked #44

      RG Tiered Ranking

    Has this been super successful??? I keep waiting on FD to either kill it or at least bring back the old system and am disappointed every day.

  • yisman

    I just want to point out that we had at least one poster insisting that late scratches don’t matter because they are so rare.

    I can’t help but laugh.

  • bhdevault

    • Lead Moderator

    • Blogger of the Month

    You know what I miss the most so far? Those nights when there is a late scratch, and I didn’t have the guy in my lineup and how that almost gave me a guaranteed winning night.

    That happened MUCH more than it hurt me last season.

  • purefilth

    2014 FD FFFC Finalist

    • 2014 FanDuel WFFC Finalist

    So this really only helps if one of your lower priced players gets scratched. Because if Ad or lebron gets scratched your still going to lose because of the price tag you paid for them.

  • theinnovative

    After the first couple weeks, have to say I’m not a fan of the new structure. Arguably, it’s cool to have a new challenge in lu construction but I feel it was unnecessary. I would have FD rather implemented tighter salary caps (as they have done this year) and add late swap. I consider myself a casual player and I have no issue checking my phone or at the minimum remaining aware of a player possibly sititng.

    If in the event I missed on a player sitting, it was my fault. I am aware of it being my fault when I entered the contest. In a nutshell, roster construction isn’t as fun when you have to factor in a score possibly dropping. I just want to do research and make a lu based off that research, simple…

  • ttucowboy84

    • 365

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #46

      RG Tiered Ranking

    I don’t think anyone has talked about the person who won $100K the night Tyus Jones was late scratched. Hate it or love it, that’s exactly what FD had in mind when they made this change. Tyus Jones lineups on DK were as dead as doornails and this person won $100K on FD.

    Off-topic – This is the first time I’ve played on FD in a couple years. The scoring is atrocious. Blocks and steals are weighted way too heavily. Feels like a crapshoot, especially since steals are such a subjective stat. In my perfect world, I’d pair FD’s rule change with DK’s scoring and roster setup.

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