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  • DraftKings_CM

    • DraftKings Representative

    Hi all,

    We wanted to let you know of some CFL (Canadian Football League) DraftGroup changes we’re going to be making to start this season.

    • We intend to offer Showdown contests exclusively on days where there is only one game
    • We intend to offer Classic contests exclusively on days where there is more than one game

    There are a few reasons for this change but all of them aim to encourage more users to enter CFL contests. In emerging sports like CFL, we’ve seen an increase in adoption by offering Showdown contests.

    Overall, the team believes this will help us to post larger and more attractive contests, which hopefully means bringing more new players into the sport.

    - Steven and Christie, DraftKings Community Team

  • jterryn

    • 2015 FAFC Finalist

    So no 4 game slates at all? This is a horrible idea! There are only 4 games anyway, can we please get some classic full 4 game slates please? You are probably gonna do this for NFL too, right? Hopefully this goes over as well as “New Coke” and the outcry will be enough that we can get back to the classic “game of skill” instead of this showdown BS! (I know CFL dfs is a small niche so the outcry will be small, but come on!)

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    After fun starts to each season the last two years (some $30-40k prize pools) you guys successfully killed CFL DFS by letting the prize pools become so small ($2-3k) that they weren’t playable.

    This decision should be the nail in the coffin. The people playing CFL were mostly serious DFS players that dabble in all sports. I’m confident in saying very few people of that ilk want multiple showdown slates over 3-4 game slates with more lineup options/skill. There are minimal playable options on each team to begin with.

  • zpruitt3

    Thanks thats exactly what the community wants. More 1 game Canadian Football slates

  • KindGuy

    CFL is killing themselves with the schedules tbh. Stop having like 2 games per day lol. Just have all the games on one day.

  • fluffynuggets

    BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!
    How long before your entire format consists of one-game slates? Decisions like this are horrendous. The proliferation of one-game Showdown contests (at the expense of traditional, multi-game slates) is maddening. Introduce your new, ridiculous formats; but please stop doing so to the degradation of previous styles.

  • SwedishFishy

    Really unhappy with this. CFL 4-game slates were fine and teams having to post starting lineups 24hr in advance made it easy to start up to date even across multiple days.

    Very disappointing to not have full week slates. CFL may be a small audience, but they are very passionate and working to expand the interest, tooling, and content available for this sport. Super bummed.

  • kriemersma

    Please keep the 4 game slates.

  • thetitanlb

    Wow reading this really frustrates me. Sure have the showdown but why take away the 4 game slates? Sigh

  • yountingly

    • 466

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #50

      RG Tiered Ranking

    @Stewburtx8 said...

    After fun starts to each season the last two years (some $30-40k prize pools) you guys successfully killed CFL DFS by letting the prize pools become so small ($2-3k) that they weren’t playable.

    This decision should be the nail in the coffin. The people playing CFL were mostly serious DFS players that dabble in all sports. I’m confident in saying very few people of that ilk want multiple showdown slates over 3-4 game slates with more lineup options/skill. There are minimal playable options on each team to begin with.

    Great post. I was excited to play CFL for first time and learn/watch game last year and had fun with early on and as profitable. As season went on and prize pools dwindled, I became less interested and played less or not at all.

    IF they are going to move to more showdown slates and have virtually no 4 game slates, then I won’t even bother with CFL.

    For the most part, I am not a fan of showdown. I don’t mind NBA for the playoffs/finals since I’m watching the game anyways most of the times so it’s nice to save some lus in. Got into DFS for the fun of it first so I’m ok with that. But I’ve played almost no MLB showdown and really hope the NFL product isn’t watered down into more showdown slates.

    IT should be about the quality of the product you put out DK and not just what might bring in more profit because if you drive players out with poorer quality of offerings, then the profits slowly will shrink if players like myself and maybe others in this thread are not playing.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @yountingly said...

    For the most part, I am not a fan of showdown. I don’t mind NBA for the playoffs/finals since I’m watching the game anyways most of the times so it’s nice to save some lus in. Got into DFS for the fun of it first so I’m ok with that. But I’ve played almost no MLB showdown and really hope the NFL product isn’t watered down into more showdown slates.

    This is where I stand on Showdown contests as well. I think they have a place in DFS for events like the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, NHL Final, UCL Championship, World Cup Final, All-Star games, hell even Sunday night baseball or Monday Night Football (as an overlap of the Afternoon or Primetime slates already running). It is fun to have the option to still play DFS for entertainment on the biggest events that are truly 1 game slates.

    BUT…and this is a HUUGE BUT…. they are going to shove these Showdown contests down our throats way too often. Showdowns are going to become the biggest contests for Thursday Night, Sunday Night and Monday Night football. The more and more they can push them, they will. That to me is terrible for DFS. If there is a viable Classic slate, it should always take precedence over the less skilled Showdown contests. I am confident I will play very little CFL this year based on this decision.

  • Mattg45

    wow seriously dk

  • MHDU2424

    Ill still play for big prizes but like most have said here I prefer a full slate

    Showdowns are good for single events that can’t really be connected to other games….and I think they’re fine even when they can be as long as they’re the secondary contest to a bigger classic slate

    Unfortunately it seems like they’re sometimes taking over as the main slate which is just wrong

    I get it, they wanna churn the rake but at some point they need to strike a balance for the long haul

  • whoisjohngalt420

    @yountingly said...

    Great post. I was excited to play CFL for first time and learn/watch game last year and had fun with early on and as profitable. As season went on and prize pools dwindled, I became less interested and played less or not at all.

    IF they are going to move to more showdown slates and have virtually no 4 game slates, then I won’t even bother with CFL.

    For the most part, I am not a fan of showdown. I don’t mind NBA for the playoffs/finals since I’m watching the game anyways most of the times so it’s nice to save some lus in. Got into DFS for the fun of it first so I’m ok with that. But I’ve played almost no MLB showdown and really hope the NFL product isn’t watered down into more showdown slates.

    IT should be about the quality of the product you put out DK and not just what might bring in more profit because if you drive players out with poorer quality of offerings, then the profits slowly will shrink if players like myself and maybe others in this thread are not playing.

    Agree with Stewburtx8 and youtingly 1000%. I was looking forward to CFL… until I saw this thread. If the slates are not going to be full 4 game slate Classic style i just simply have no interest in putting in the time.

    While I do want DK to succeed as a whole, I am concerned about these Showdown’s possibly succeeding in CFL and what that could mean for NFL offerings.

  • kettlebell

    @whoisjohngalt420 said...

    Agree with Stewburtx8 and youtingly 1000%. I was looking forward to CFL… until I saw this thread. If the slates are not going to be full 4 game slate Classic style i just simply have no interest in putting in the time.

    While I do want DK to succeed as a whole, I am concerned about these Showdown’s possibly succeeding in CFL and what that could mean for NFL offerings.

    This. Keep the full slates.

  • DraftKings_CM

    • DraftKings Representative

    @jterryn said...

    So no 4 game slates at all? This is a horrible idea! There are only 4 games anyway, can we please get some classic full 4 game slates please? You are probably gonna do this for NFL too, right? Hopefully this goes over as well as “New Coke” and the outcry will be enough that we can get back to the classic “game of skill” instead of this showdown BS! (I know CFL dfs is a small niche so the outcry will be small, but come on!)

    CFL has four games week, split among 3 days. We intend to feature the Classic contest format on the days where there are 2 (or more) CFL games played on the same day. On days where there are only one CFL game, that is the only time we intend to use Showdown for the feature.

    Why you may ask? Our research and extensive data tells us that most DFS players prefer to play games over a single day, this encourages more people to try CFL for the first time – and in turn helps us to build big prize pools to make everyone happy.

    PS: We know that the RG community prefers 4 CFL games within the set, but we also have extensive evidence from the entry patterns of the majority of our customers that shows that is not what they want. We plan to test a non-feature full 4 game Classic set that spans out over 3 days as an option as well. If the demand for a 4 game set is high, then we will certainly remain open to making further adjustments. It’s in everyone’s best interest to see both Showdown and also Classic formats thrive.

    After fun starts to each season the last two years (some $30-40k prize pools) you guys successfully killed CFL DFS by letting the prize pools become so small ($2-3k) that they weren’t playable.

    Your description is putting the cart before the horse Stew. We want to build big prize guarantees just as you do want to play in big prize guarantees. If the players don’t support CFL, then the prizes shrink in size. That is what happened in prior seasons, players lost interest and in turn prize pools shrunk as you correctly pointed out. That would be likely to happen again if we didn’t embrace Showdown on days where there is only only game, it will encourage more casual players to cross over from other sports.

    The people playing CFL were mostly serious DFS players that dabble in all sports.

    We see that as a problem that needs to be fixed, our goal is bigger prize pools this year that can be accomplished by introducing Showdown as the featured contest (only on days where there is one game scheduled). If our strategy is successful, this will encourage a crossover of players that learn to love CFL as much as you do. We really are the good guys trying to do the right thing here, we hope in hindsight you look back at the end of the season and say “wow, they were weren’t doing something bad after all”.

    DraftKings Community Team

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    Your description is putting the cart before the horse Stew. We want to build big prize guarantees just as you do want to play in big prize guarantees. If the players don’t support CFL, then the prizes shrink in size. That is what happened in prior seasons, players lost interest and in turn prize pools shrunk as you correctly pointed out. That would be likely to happen again if we didn’t embrace Showdown on days where there is only only game, it will encourage more casual players to cross over from other sports.

    I understand this sentiment to an extent, but it is not exactly what happened. Interest absolutely decreased, but DraftKings also perpetuated a cycle that made it much worse than it needed to be. There were weeks early in the season where a $30k contest would fill (with max rake) and the next week would be $20k for no real rhyme or reason. Then the $20k contest would break even or make only 5% rake and the next week would be $15k. Then the $15k contest would come up just short of break-even and the next week would be $8k. Eventually the biggest CFL contests were $2-3k per week.

    As I said in my post above, most of the people playing CFL were more serious DFS players and they were playing CFL every week. These players are VERY price sensitive when it comes to the guarantees. So in a $30k contest ($8-10 entry fee) I might enter 10 entries. In a $20k contest I will enter 7 entries. In a $10k contest I will enter 3-5 entries. In a $5k contest I will enter 1-2 entries. Any thing less than $5k (with $750-1000 to first), I will just decide it is not worth playing. MANY other people in this community (and those investing time in CFL) play the same way as I do. So as you can see, as the prize pools decreased, a vicious cycle occurred where even those people that were playing every week started decreasing their entries or just not playing at all.

    I understand DraftKings is in the business of making money. But do you guys remember what made you quickly become the 2nd biggest DFS site and eventually the biggest DFS site VERY quickly? It was embracing overlay and putting out contests that made people want to play. As completely expected, that model had to change once you brought in new customers and built up your user base. But I never understood why that model changed when it comes to the smaller, niche sports that you want to grow. Instead of occasionally embracing overlay or being happy with just breaking even or making minimal rake (if it keeps people playing), you guys quickly decrease prize pools ANY time you do not make max rake. But making 4% rake on a $10k contest is still better than making 15% on a $2k contest. And when a larger contest does fill, run it back the next week or make it bigger. Build on momentum. Don’t decrease it based on some stupid internal statistics that tells you something like the 3rd Saturday of the month has lower participation than the 2nd Saturday.

    Just my opinion of why I still stand by my statement that DraftKings helped kill CFL DFS the last two seasons. That being said, I will dabble in the early season Showdown contests (less entries than I would if it was a 4 game slate) this year with large prize pools and see how it goes. I just think CFL especially lends itself poorly to the Showdown format due to lack of playable options. There is going to be insane overlap of players.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    We see that as a problem that needs to be fixed, our goal is bigger prize pools this year that can be accomplished by introducing Showdown as the featured contest (only on days where there is one game scheduled). If our strategy is successful, this will encourage a crossover of players that learn to love CFL as much as you do. We really are the good guys trying to do the right thing here, we hope in hindsight you look back at the end of the season and say “wow, they were weren’t doing something bad after all”.

    As I said previously in our discussion on Showdown contests, I hope your right that you can convert those players who give Showdown a shot into players that will ultimately play the Classic format. I’m just afraid you are going to do that at the expense of some of the more experienced players that want very little to do with the much less skilled Showdown format.

    As always, while I have a difference of opinion, I appreciate the back and forth banter. Your representation and responses here are greatly appreciated even if its not always what we want to hear.

  • PigskinaBlanket

    • 346

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • x2

      2016 DraftKings FGWC Finalist

    • x3

      2019 DraftKings FGWC Finalist

    Stewburt – very well said and I agree completely. CFL DFS was a bast to start the season and then DK started tinkering with the sizing….and its just not worth the cost benefit to put in the effort. I am not interest in showdown type formats, so this will probably kill my interest in CFL completely this year.

    CFL had unique strategy when playing over three days. I will miss it.

  • PigskinaBlanket

    • 346

      RG Overall Ranking

    • Ranked #64

      RG Tiered Ranking

    • x2

      2016 DraftKings FGWC Finalist

    • x3

      2019 DraftKings FGWC Finalist

    And y the way DK…….. Golf is played over 4 days and icontinues to crush. Youve been able to supplement the four day games with some one round showdowns. this would be a much better approach. SUpplement not replace.

  • kantiger77

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    Hi all,

    We wanted to let you know of some CFL (Canadian Football League) DraftGroup changes we’re going to be making to start this season.

    • We intend to offer Showdown contests exclusively on days where there is only one game
    • We intend to offer Classic contests exclusively on days where there is more than one game

    There are a few reasons for this change but all of them aim to encourage more users to enter CFL contests. In emerging sports like CFL, we’ve seen an increase in adoption by offering Showdown contests.

    Overall, the team believes this will help us to post larger and more attractive contests, which hopefully means bringing more new players into the sport.

    - Steven and Christie, DraftKings Community Team

    This is a horrible decision. I love the four-game classic CFL slates. If you want to do the showdown stuff fine, but lots of us really prefer traditional slates. This is the type of thing pushing some of us away from DFS.

  • kantiger77

    @DraftKings_CM said...

    CFL has four games week, split among 3 days. We intend to feature the Classic contest format on the days where there are 2 (or more) CFL games played on the same day. On days where there are only one CFL game, that is the only time we intend to use Showdown for the feature.

    Why you may ask? Our research and extensive data tells us that most DFS players prefer to play games over a single day, this encourages more people to try CFL for the first time – and in turn helps us to build big prize pools to make everyone happy.

    PS: We know that the RG community prefers 4 CFL games within the set, but we also have extensive evidence from the entry patterns of the majority of our customers that shows that is not what they want. We plan to test a non-feature full 4 game Classic set that spans out over 3 days as an option as well. If the demand for a 4 game set is high, then we will certainly remain open to making further adjustments. It’s in everyone’s best interest to see both Showdown and also Classic formats thrive.

    After fun starts to each season the last two years (some $30-40k prize pools) you guys successfully killed CFL DFS by letting the prize pools become so small ($2-3k) that they weren’t playable.

    Your description is putting the cart before the horse Stew. We want to build big prize guarantees just as you do want to play in big prize guarantees. If the players don’t support CFL, then the prizes shrink in size. That is what happened in prior seasons, players lost interest and in turn prize pools shrunk as you correctly pointed out. That would be likely to happen again if we didn’t embrace Showdown on days where there is only only game, it will encourage more casual players to cross over from other sports.

    The people playing CFL were mostly serious DFS players that dabble in all sports.

    We see that as a problem that needs to be fixed, our goal is bigger prize pools this year that can be accomplished by introducing Showdown as the featured contest (only on days where there is one game scheduled). If our strategy is successful, this will encourage a crossover of players that learn to love CFL as much as you do. We really are the good guys trying to do the right thing here, we hope in hindsight you look back at the end of the season and say “wow, they were weren’t doing something bad after all”.

    DraftKings Community Team

    Just a point – when you are talking to a core community of DFS users, be very careful about lecturing to people about what they want. This is now the second time that you’ve interacted with users here in a way that I feel is more lecturing than communicative. Your point about a 4 game slate over 3 days not being popular could be due to a number of reasons – one of them could be that people are simply not used to the CFL format because most people don’t follow it. That doesn’t mean people don’t want it. It seems the best answer would be to offer a variety of contests, which would mean keeping the traditional format while also introducing the new one. That way you don’t offend one group of users while still appealing to the second group. Basically, pay less attention to stats and algorithms and more to the feedback you claim you want. As someone said above, supplement – don’t replace.

  • nizzle365

    The reason CFL is spread out over 3-4 days is that so every game is nationally televised. Not to mention the only way to put it all in one day is on the weekends. However CFL can never compete with college or NFL.

    I became much more interested in CFL because of DK and actually started watching games more often. However with the elimination of the 4 games slates I probably won’t have much interest.

    The showdown slates are okay but I don’t find them that fun when you make a good lineup and realize 30 others have the same one.

    Like someone else said not sure why you can’t keep what you already had and add the showdown to it. Hopefully DK changes it back as the season goes on.

  • sethayates

    Just saw this thread. I tend to be a glass-half-full kind of person. As some of you know, I wrote CFL articles for most weeks early in the season last year. I happened to get extremely lucky and win the $40K Special GPP opening week for $3,000. That win was the result of playing the late swap game.

    In my Week 2 article, I briefly re-hashed the thought process on that swap. For those of you that don’t remember last year, there were a ton of value WRs. On top of that, Toronto played on Sunday and we weren’t entirely sure on Thursday who those value WRs would be. I ended up swapping to DeVier Posey who went nuts for 30.7 DK points at 0.6% owned. The entire explanation is here if you want to re-read it.
    https://rotogrinders.com/articles/cfl-dfs-breakdown-week-2-1962705

    Anyways, back to my thoughts on DK going to single-game showdown. As most of you know CFL teams release their depth chart (starting lineup) 24 hours prior to kickoff. When all four games are included you likely do not have the depth charts for the final game and sometimes even the second-to-last. That’s difficult for the average player because they have to plan out a late swap strategy in advance. This was a huge advantage to experienced players like us here at RotoGrinders.

    The other late swap strategy that I employed often was simply mapping out my exposure by game and then pivot as needed. For example: If Edmonton was playing the first game of the week I might build one lineup with Reilly, Bowman, White and one other Edmonton WR. Then I would mix and match lineups dropping one of those people out. I would also build several lineups that included exactly zero people from the first game. Once, I knew the results of that first game I could plan out my strategy. If a player from that game went nuts I would find my best lineups with that person included and I would make sure he was paired with my best-rated options in later games. The reverse is also true. If the first game was a bust I had a huge advantage having lineups that hadn’t used anyone yet where I’m playing against 20-30% of the field that took 0-5 points from a roster spot. That edge is gone now. Note: I think this also hurts DK because I would typically enter each of my lineups twice so that if I couldn’t decide on a swap I could simply middle it and do both.

    On the other side of this argument I see DK’s point. There were a lot of weeks that were really difficult for the casual player. There were weeks that we honestly had no idea who the starting RB would be in the final game. If you gambled on it being someone cheap and it wasn’t you were stuck. Or, if you saved money for a mid-priced guy and he’s out you had to just leave that salary if you didn’t leave a second spot open to use that salary. These are things the average player doesn’t do.

    Last of all, do I think there will be an edge in Showdown slates? Yes, I do. In CFL you have a lot of options. There are going to be a lot of ways to “game theory” each slate and the smartest people are going to sit back and reap the rewards when the 30-40% owned players take a 0. I’ll even toss you guys/gals one possible strategy. There are going to be slates this year where it will make sense to intentionally take a min-priced RB even if that player gets you 0 points. The public isn’t going to do that but people like us will. (Note: It will be a nice bonus if that min-priced RB happens to return some kicks or somehow snipe a goal line TD.)

  • davefulche

    Stewburtx8 hit the nail on the head for me. Yes I do love a 40K prize pool. But I looked and it’s a 100% crapshoot. You are picking 6 players from 2 viable QB (sometimes 1), 2 viable RB and 10 total WR (with generally about 5 viable).

    It takes the fun and skill of navigating across a 3-4 game slate and turns it into a which WR4 caught a 40 yard pass.

    Other years, I would play CFL up to my current available funds, but as the prizes shrunk I no longer cared to play. If you cranked out an $8/$30k each week then it would continue to garner interest and you could probably fill a $33/$4k$5k as well on good slates.

  • Stewburtx8

    • 2012 FanDuel WFBC Finalist

    @sethayates said...

    There are going to be slates this year where it will make sense to intentionally take a min-priced RB even if that player gets you 0 points. The public isn’t going to do that but people like us will. (Note: It will be a nice bonus if that min-priced RB happens to return some kicks or somehow snipe a goal line TD.)

    Seth, appreciate your response. But is your comment above not indicative of how awful Showdown contests are? There are only so many lineup combinations and there will be insane overlap and ties. When the answer is that you should waste a roster spot (20% of your roster no less) and likely take a zero as the only way to differentiate, is that really the kind of contests the sites should be pushing as their biggest contests? Play daily fantasy sports, where intentionally taking a zero is the best way to give yourself a chance to win.

    I also do not agree that this decision has anything to do with the availability of depth charts for the last game or two of the week in CFL. I think this is just part of an overall change of course by DK to push Showdown contests in every sport as much as possible. Unfortunately I think this is a much bigger issue than just CFL for those of us that have been playing “Classic” DFS for a long time.

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