INDUSTRY FORUM

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  • FDRep

    • FanDuel Representative

    Hi everyone! Nik here. Football is right around the corner, and we wanted to share with you some of the awesome things that we’re rolling out. Some people go to the beach, hit the links, or chill by the lake when the weather gets hot but not us – we’re on the grind making sure that you’ve got awesome new tools and features to enjoy.

    Discover
    One thing we hear a lot from casual and intermediate players is that it can be challenging to find the right contest – a lot of contests have similar names, and a spreadsheet-style lobby can be too dense and intimidating. Inspired by Netflix, we built Discover – an AI-based dashboard that incorporates your play history, your sport preferences, your skill level, and a host of other variables to create a flexible dashboard where the “right” contests are always visible and recommended to you.

    Survivor
    No need to re-invent the wheel here – you probably know what a Survivor pool is. But have you played one where the winner gets $250,000? Survive and advance, win life changing money. Doesn’t get better than that.

    Pick’Em
    If you’ve been following what we’ve been doing on the free-to-play side, you’ve seen us roll out Bingo for the Super Bowl/NBA All-Star Game, the March Madness Challenge, and then World Cup Pick’Em. Nearly 200,000 people played the World Cup game, so we decided to run it back for NFL. Pick all the winners correctly from a reduced slate, claim stake to the $10,000. And if no one wins a given week thanks to the Browns suddenly becoming competent, then it rolls over to the next week.

    Friends Challenge
    One thing I love about the RG audience is that so many of you are super sharp players who want to get into the big contests, pull down a huge score. We also know however that we’ve got a huge contingent of players out there who just want to play with their friends, whether it’s a side bet to a season-long matchup or a simple day to sweat alongside a night of baseball. It used to take eight or nine clicks to do this – so instead we built out a quick wizard to get the contest created as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    Guru
    Last but not least – Guru. It’s finally here. But first, let me tell you a quick story. I originally came to FanDuel when they bought my company, numberFire. For a long time, we didn’t know what we wanted to do with the core IP that we built at numberFire – it was cool, people used it, but we didn’t know how to bring it to a wider audience. Until now.

    Powered by numberFire – and in the future, any projection or rankings system you want – Guru helps you create better lineups, quicker. Not sure who to stack? Use Guru. Not sure how to complete your lineup? Use Guru. Guru contextually uses remaining salary, injury updates, confidence intervals, and a whole host of other variables to create a fully interactive, fully responsive lineup creation wizard.

    Oh, and we’re not done – we’ve got multiple huge new things coming soon. Multiple. Isn’t the Summer awesome?

    - NB

  • Brandon6385

    @FDRep said...

    Discover
    One thing we hear a lot from casual and intermediate players is that it can be challenging to find the right contest – a lot of contests have similar names, and a spreadsheet-style lobby can be too dense and intimidating. Inspired by Netflix, we built Discover – an AI-based dashboard that incorporates your play history, your sport preferences, your skill level, and a host of other variables to create a flexible dashboard where the “right” contests are always visible and recommended to you.

    Really??… My dashboard recommends a $88, $1,600, and $333 contests.. I’ve never played anything above $50…. This discover thing sucks, and is a pain

  • JTSnow4091

    @Brandon6385 said...

    Really??… My dashboard recommends a $88, $1,600, and $333 contests.. I’ve never played anything above $50…. This discover thing sucks, and is a pain

    Really have to echo the sentiments above. Maybe over time I’ll get used to it, but it really seems counter-intuitive and makes it harder for me to find what I want. Liked what it was before with the filters and clear layout. I know I can get to that view if I click on the tab for the individual sport, but it was nice having the opening interface with all the sports IIRC.

  • bigez952

    @FDRep said...

    Guru
    Last but not least – Guru. It’s finally here. But first, let me tell you a quick story. I originally came to FanDuel when they bought my company, numberFire. For a long time, we didn’t know what we wanted to do with the core IP that we built at numberFire – it was cool, people used it, but we didn’t know how to bring it to a wider audience. Until now.

    Powered by numberFire – and in the future, any projection or rankings system you want – Guru helps you create better lineups, quicker. Not sure who to stack? Use Guru. Not sure how to complete your lineup? Use Guru. Guru contextually uses remaining salary, injury updates, confidence intervals, and a whole host of other variables to create a fully interactive, fully responsive lineup creation wizard.

    Does this mean users can just let someone else fill in their lineup for them and not have to make any decisions for their own? This seems like a really odd feature to be offered by a site in what is supposed to be a game of skill. I guess we just need to finally call DFS gambling and then it would make total sense to have the site offer quick picks so people can get action with minimal user input.

    Maybe I am reading it wrong but this seems like a really odd feature.

  • superjon

    The new interface is very Netflixy

  • Dunzor

    @bigez952 said...

    Does this mean users can just let someone else fill in their lineup for them and not have to make any decisions for their own? This seems like a really odd feature to be offered by a site in what is supposed to be a game of skill. I guess we just need to finally call DFS gambling and then it would make total sense to have the site offer quick picks so people can get action with minimal user input.

    Maybe I am reading it wrong but this seems like a really odd feature.

    Ya that is how I read it too, as in a built in optimizer feature. If that is the case isn’t that just going to wildly increase the number of duplicated lineups in every big contest? I guess it could give the rest of us an edge if the optimizer sucks but seems a very strange path for FD to take

  • dolphinkick182

    Nik who? Oh wait your cash cow is getting ready to start. Glad to see that the announcement of FD on the forums wasn’t FAKE news. So far behind the competition for customer service….Soooooooooooo far.

  • stellagirl

    Thanks Nik!

    I am sorry that some of the feedback above was downright rude, even if some of the feedback was valid. Here is my .02, and I hope it’s constructive for you and your team:

    Discover: It just feels like a landing page on the mobile app that advertises bigger buy-ins, and sports, that I simply don’t play. Not a single one of my routinely entered GPP’s is even listed. As an accomplished professional in the big data and AI industry, it’s simply not AI. If it were AI, there would be no WNBA, NBA, and MMA on my screen. I’d see primarily single entry, in my buy-in range etc, etc. The story line is that the intent is to make choosing a GPP easier for a newbie. But folks who cannot navigate a pretty intuitive normal “lobby”, certainly are not playing any GPP with entry fees in the hundreds or thousands. In short, I find myself swiping directly to the old lobby screen.

    Survivor: LOVE IT! Well done, and thank you for the great contest and format!! I would even pay for this in various other formats (double elimination, etc)

    Pick ‘em: Ditto above: Love it!

    Friends: I don’t use this feature so do not have on opinion.

    Guru: The jury is out, for me. It appears to be a simple LU builder/suggester in it’s current instantiation. It seems to just list groups random players at each position. I’ve used it for multiple LU builds, and the QB group is just a random 3 guys every time. I pick a QB, and it (obviously) “suggests” the 3 top WR’s to stack from the same team…… DFS 101….

    As a technologist in the IoT/AI/Big Data space, I believe it’s important to know the audience. Are they answer seekers that just need to be fed simple, aggregated data? Or, are they intelligent power users that need to understand the methodology? I have seen a LOT of AI and Big Data implementations that are simply descriptive in nature – that is, they simply report the past. For DFS, I won’t consider putting any faith in a tool that isn’t at least predictive, and even better, prescriptive.

    But I have NO IDEA where Guru lands. IS there a methodology? Algorithms? Mathematical and statistical creativity beyond suggesting the last few players that will fit into the cap, simply based on salary?

    Because I have no visibility into this, it is a PASS for me, but mostly based on lack of knowledge. I consider myself at least an average, if not slightly above average DFS player. The tool doesn’t (appear) do anything that isn’t already just common sense or part of my routine. If there is some magic behind the scenes, I’d love to hear about it!

    Lastly…… Both FD and DK are missing one of the biggest opportunities they have: Use of the immense amount of data you all have from not only the games played, but the DFS lineups everyone enters. I mean….. it’s CRIMINAL. Data is worth SO MUCH, but you all don’t really embrace it.

    DFS’ers are, by nature, data driven. I cannot log into the FD website or app and really see much of anything compelling regarding my picks, history, lineup success, bankroll management……. IN GAME probability of player scores, percentage chance to catch an opponent, etc.

    For heavens sake.. On any given Sunday or Monday night during NFL season, when the slate is almost over, it takes an act of congress for me to figure out who I am chasing, and who is chasing me. For my entertainment, deciphering a bar graph, “minutes left” or tiny generic pie chart is ridiculous.

    You have all the data to create an intriguing “late night sweat” view. The possibilities are endless, and it’s not difficult programming, and you have access to all the data!!

    Anyhow, as a data monger and someone in the industry (sort of), I hope my feedback is at least interesting, if not helpful.

  • FDRep

    • FanDuel Representative

    Hey guys, just wanted to drop in again – the feedback has all been helpful, thanks. I’m swamped today so I can’t respond to everyone right now, but I’ll loop back later in the week and check in again.

    - NB

  • JeffElJefe

    • 81

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • $1M Prize Winner

    • x2

      2019 DraftKings FFWC Finalist

    @FDRep said...

    Guru
    Last but not least – Guru. It’s finally here. But first, let me tell you a quick story. I originally came to FanDuel when they bought my company, numberFire. For a long time, we didn’t know what we wanted to do with the core IP that we built at numberFire – it was cool, people used it, but we didn’t know how to bring it to a wider audience. Until now.

    Clever name!

  • pburghpens22

    Not liking this guru idea…..Fanduel should not be recommending players for people to pick or pointing out best values, etc, etc…

  • gridironguru99

    • 367

      RG Overall Ranking

    there is only one true Guru …

  • YoungFischer

    Excellent suggestions by Stellagirl. The last point is particularly good.

  • FDRep

    • FanDuel Representative

    @stellagirl said...

    Lastly…… Both FD and DK are missing one of the biggest opportunities they have: Use of the immense amount of data you all have from not only the games played, but the DFS lineups everyone enters. I mean….. it’s CRIMINAL. Data is worth SO MUCH, but you all don’t really embrace it.

    DFS’ers are, by nature, data driven. I cannot log into the FD website or app and really see much of anything compelling regarding my picks, history, lineup success, bankroll management……. IN GAME probability of player scores, percentage chance to catch an opponent, etc.

    For heavens sake.. On any given Sunday or Monday night during NFL season, when the slate is almost over, it takes an act of congress for me to figure out who I am chasing, and who is chasing me. For my entertainment, deciphering a bar graph, “minutes left” or tiny generic pie chart is ridiculous.

    You will see our solution to this very, very soon. In fact, 10% of you are seeing it right now!

    Thanks for your candor re: Guru (and others) – we knew it would rock the boat a little. Our guideline was to help people make a lineup in two minutes or less. So with that lens, I’d view it much less as an “optimizer” (in the sense that we’ll never programmatically fill anyone’s lineup for them) and more of bringing the research that most people are already doing externally and bringing it within the app.

    There’s a differentiation between “things that FD suggests” vs. “things that a third-party suggests”; we’re moving towards a provider-agnostic world where Guru (and eventually other areas of research) will be powered by your provider of choice (RG, Rotowire, numberFire, etc.), therefore Guru is simply to turning those projections into a responsive and visual tool, one that is in-line with your drafting experience.

    - NB

  • ivymoose

    Not a fan of the Discover tab. It’s an extra click or tap for me to get to the main lobby. Maybe provide an option to hide it in settings or something.

  • mambaland

    mine only recommends high rake contest..that could be all of them though LOL…i hate the tab too

  • Jvanspro

    I’m really not liking this Guru function. In fact I hate it I’ve played exclusively on FanDuel since I started. Really considering the switch to DK because of the Guru. What’s the point? You should not be able to recommend picks to players as the provider. That’s just wrong.

  • Jvanspro

    Also the discover is the worst AI design I’ve ever seen. There is no way this looks at the contests I play and offers based on that. Everything that is offered to me is GPP and large entry. If the AI actually looked at how I play instead of just advertising it would know I play mostly cash games and small field or single entry GPP. None of which are on the discover. Also why is it recommending experienced player excluded contests?

  • joeycis

    • Blogger of the Month

    @Jvanspro said...

    Also the discover is the worst AI design I’ve ever seen. There is no way this looks at the contests I play and offers based on that. Everything that is offered to me is GPP and large entry. If the AI actually looked at how I play instead of just advertising it would know I play mostly cash games and small field or single entry GPP. None of which are on the discover. Also why is it recommending experienced player excluded contests?

    Samesies.

  • kujo33

    I hate the idea of Guru and I hate it way more if you are thinking of letting third party sites run it also. You are pretty much saying it is not an optimizer and then in the same post saying you are going to let third party sites turn it into one.

  • FDRep

    • FanDuel Representative

    @kujo33 said...

    I hate the idea of Guru and I hate it way more if you are thinking of letting third party sites run it also. You are pretty much saying it is not an optimizer and then in the same post saying you are going to let third party sites turn it into one.

    I’m curious, and I don’t mean this to come across as being flippant because I really am curious and want to get a place of understanding – if RG were to build a script that when you went to the MLB lineup screen, it automatically showed their analysts’ picks with a yellow background, how exactly would that be different that we built? Would you have a similar philosophical problem with that?

    We user tested this probably 5x more than anything we’ve ever built. Study after study, when we asked people to fill out a lineup, the first thing they did was open up multiple tabs in their browser: Rotoworld, RG, you name it. The insights that are baked into Guru are the same as the information that you’d get there, so is it the integration that concerns you?

    Just to be 100% clear: at no point does Guru fill out your lineup for you, nor does it ever remove agency from you, nor are you ever forced into using it in the first place. An overwhelming number of new and casual users find the spreadsheet-style design of the draft screen incredibly intimidating; that was the primary starting point for the feature. How can make this process more visual, more engaging, more fun?

    Happy to chat more over email: nik.bonaddio@fanduel.com

    - NB

  • Dunzor

    @FDRep said...

    The insights that are baked into Guru are the same as the information that you’d get there, so is it the integration that concerns you?

    Yes the integration is the biggest issue, and less so for simply providing information (I wouldn’t have an issue if you provided links to strategy articles within a contest screen and then allowed people to make their decision alongside reading those if they wished), the issue is that by presenting it in the manner you have developed it guides the public towards less differentiated lineups and will create an ever increasing number of duplicates since that group of the population is being suggested the same 2 or 3 picks at each position in place of the 30-50 they could have.

    The biggest problem I think people have is the one that people complain about regarding ‘lineup sellers’ as well, anything that reduces individual uniqueness in lineups and trends contests towards large trains of duplicate lineups is bad for the game

  • Zieg30

    @FDRep said...

    You will see our solution to this very, very soon. In fact, 10% of you are seeing it right now!

    Thanks for your candor re: Guru (and others) – we knew it would rock the boat a little. Our guideline was to help people make a lineup in two minutes or less. So with that lens, I’d view it much less as an “optimizer” (in the sense that we’ll never programmatically fill anyone’s lineup for them) and more of bringing the research that most people are already doing externally and bringing it within the app.

    There’s a differentiation between “things that FD suggests” vs. “things that a third-party suggests”; we’re moving towards a provider-agnostic world where Guru (and eventually other areas of research) will be powered by your provider of choice (RG, Rotowire, numberFire, etc.), therefore Guru is simply to turning those projections into a responsive and visual tool, one that is in-line with your drafting experience.

    - NB

    Hi Nik,

    Were you responding to stellagirl’s comment about the late night sweat or just each user’s personal history? I am hoping it’s the former, as one of my biggest problems with FD is that it’s so difficult (as stellagirl suggests above) to determine ones’ chances of actually holding ones’ position. It’s a hugely cumbersome process to flip back through multiple pages of entrants behind me to see what entries within striking distance still have players going and which players. If there’s any way to improve this, it would be fantastic.

    Thanks

  • Dunzor

    @Zieg30 said...

    Hi Nik,

    Were you responding to stellagirl’s comment about the late night sweat or just each user’s personal history? I am hoping it’s the former, as one of my biggest problems with FD is that it’s so difficult (as stellagirl suggests above) to determine ones’ chances of actually holding ones’ position. It’s a hugely cumbersome process to flip back through multiple pages of entrants behind me to see what entries within striking distance still have players going and which players. If there’s any way to improve this, it would be fantastic.

    Thanks

    Allow contest CSV EXPORTS!!!

  • kujo33

    @Dunzor said...

    Yes the integration is the biggest issue, and less so for simply providing information (I wouldn’t have an issue if you provided links to strategy articles within a contest screen and then allowed people to make their decision alongside reading those if they wished), the issue is that by presenting it in the manner you have developed it guides the public towards less differentiated lineups and will create an ever increasing number of duplicates since that group of the population is being suggested the same 2 or 3 picks at each position in place of the 30-50 they could have.

    The biggest problem I think people have is the one that people complain about regarding ‘lineup sellers’ as well, anything that reduces individual uniqueness in lineups and trends contests towards large trains of duplicate lineups is bad for the game

    This is exactly how I feel as well. If I land on a certain player that does well that is heavily recommended by guru it will decrease my chances of a top lineup. On the other side, if I make a decision to fade a player that guru is heavily recommending and they do well my chances of min cashing will be decreased. I expect the net result of this will be the popular, well known players being higher owned (I doubt many min priced, low owned guys will be suggested by guru).

  • bigez952

    @Dunzor said...

    Yes the integration is the biggest issue, and less so for simply providing information (I wouldn’t have an issue if you provided links to strategy articles within a contest screen and then allowed people to make their decision alongside reading those if they wished), the issue is that by presenting it in the manner you have developed it guides the public towards less differentiated lineups and will create an ever increasing number of duplicates since that group of the population is being suggested the same 2 or 3 picks at each position in place of the 30-50 they could have.

    The biggest problem I think people have is the one that people complain about regarding ‘lineup sellers’ as well, anything that reduces individual uniqueness in lineups and trends contests towards large trains of duplicate lineups is bad for the game

    In addition to these comments I think it is a scary thought that the site has the power to influence ownership by who they recommend to the causal player who will love this easy to use feature. You would think after the blowup years ago with the Ethan Haskell conspiracy that you wouldn’t want the sites involved with any system that can and will affect ownership. Especially if you allow third parties to have the ability to control the “guru”. Now they could push certain plays through the fan duel interface to bump up ownership while pushing other guys on their own websites at a hopefully reduced ownership.

    It is probably a non-issue and you have thought about all of this and already have a plan in place for tight security around who controls this but from the outside looking in this just reeks of a chance to blow up into another controversy if it is found that a third party was using this system to manipulate ownership and take advantage of that info prior to contests locking.

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