How to Sign Up and Play at Yahoo Fantasy Sports Daily
In July 2015, Yahoo launched the Yahoo Fantasy Sports Daily website. The service is meant to compete against FanDuel and DraftKings in the increasingly lucrative daily fantasy sports industry.
Industry experts and business analysts provided their snap opinions on the launch. One FanDuel spokesman claimed they saw a lot familiar with the service, insinuating Yahoo stole a lot of ideas from the company.
FanDuel and DraftKings React
FanDuel CEO Nigel Eccles suggested Yahoo’s DFS site had no chance to succeed, due to the insurmountable head-start his company had in the niche. This is almost a requisite quote on the subject, since it’s always in the best interests of the champ to convince competitors they have no chance, whether it’s true or not.
For its part, DraftKings (the #2 in the industry) shored up its financial side by announcing a partnership with Fox Sports the very next week, in what was seen as a bid to assure they did not allow Yahoo Fantasy to surpass their service. DraftKings is preparing for a big challenge.
Why Yahoo DFS Might Succeed
Yahoo! has a lot to recommend as a competitor. The site’s Alexa rank is #5 worldwide. Alexa ranks sites by their commercial web traffic data. FanDuel is around #1500 in the United States alone. DraftKings is around #2000 in the USA. In all, Yahoo! has 300,000,000 users worldwide. That’s a demographic the size of the US’s population. It’s simply huge, and its competitors simply cannot hope to take a section of the population that large.
The company is not only a key search engine competitor spoken in the same breath as Google (sometimes), but it has a strategic partnership with Bing and MSNBC, as well as Microsoft and NBC Sports. If you combine Yahoo Sports with NBC Sports, they collected 58 million unique visitors in May 2015 alone. That is a huge
The company has spent the past 18 years gathering a very dedicated community of sports fans. It is a way of life for these millions of people to visit Yahoo Sports every day to get their news and play online games. A certain percentage of these people are bound to try daily fantasy sports, and they might well prefer to play their DFS on Yahoo’s site, too.
Yahoo Sports was one of the first comprhensive sports resources on the Internet. It was launched on December 8, 1997 as a portal for sports news. The site uses STATS Inc. for the major its information, but it also uses writers to supplement the stats with news, opinion pieces, and prognostication. Every major North American sports franchise has a team page, while most every global sports has space dedicated to them. This runs the gamut from NFL, MLB, and NBA all the way to spprts like Rugby, Figure Skating, and Swimming. Motor Sports, women’s sports, and college sports are included.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports has been a major success for the online search engine company, too. Each years, millions of Americans play in leagues hosted on the Yahoo Fantasy Sports service. Fans can host their local league on the Yahoo pages, while they can also sign up on leagues started by people elsewhere in the world. These leagues are set up to handle league fees and prize money through services like LeagueSafe, but Yahoo Fantasy is known for its free leagues, too.
With all that in mind, I want to give a full review of the Yahoo Fantasy Sports Daily web service. I’ll discuss advantages and disadvantages owners might have with Yahoo. In many cases, I’ll compare the product to FanDuel and DraftKings. Those comparisons are inevitable, because those are the obstacles to success Yahoo Fantasy faces. Who wins and who loses is left to the future, though. Let’s discuss the present situation of Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Signing Up for Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy
- Funding Your Yahoo DFS Account
- Popular Blogs and Online News Sources
- Joining a Contest and Creating a Starting Lineup
- Social Media Links
- Yahoo Sports iPhone App
- NBC Sports Group
Adding Funds to a Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy Account
If you want to make a deposit at Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy, you’ll need to use either a major credit card or PayPal. The supported cards on Yahoo! are Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, and American Express. When Amex allows transactions on a gaming site, it’s a sign of safety and legitimacy. I’ve noticed American Express does not allow payments to many online and mobile gaming sites.
It’s my understanding that debit cards issued by Visa (Electron) and MasterCard (Maestro) should work. Foreign credit cards associated with one of the four companies listed above–such as Japanese Credit Bureau (JCB) is with Discover–I am not so certain about.
When you want to fund your account, simply click on “My Account” and then “Add Funds”. Then select a payment method from the credit or Paypal prompts. This brings up a variety of dollar amounts: $20, $50, $200, or “Other”. If none of the three default methods work, simply use the customizable box to select whichever amount you want to deposit.
You can link a PayPal account or credit card to your Yahoo Sports account. If you are playing on a public computer, I would suggest you not do so with a credit card, though you’ll soon learn that PayPal is essential. Most people play on personal devices, so it’s your decision about the risk-to-convenience ratio you are comfortable with.
What Is a $1 Authorization Fee?
Those who pay with credit cards might notice a “$1 authorization fee” added to your credit card statement. This is nothing sinister. Instead, it’s a method used to verify you are who you say you are. The $1 charge is removed within a week, and often quite sooner than a week.
To withdraw money from your Yahoo account, you’ll need to link your Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy account to a PayPal account in good standing. A link is provided which shows how this is safely done. This is the only method of cashing out, so keep that in mind.
The entry fees range from free to $1 to $250. In between, you’ll find every gradation, including $2, $5, $10, $25, and $100 plateaus. Most players will find an entry fee they can afford, but which still makes things interesting for them.
The variety of player pools is impressive for a service which just launched last week. The groups include 5-team, 10-team, 25-team, 50-team, and 100-team groups. Of course, head-to-head competitions exist. The options include not just “head to head”, but also “group”, “50/50”, and “guaranteed to run”. These are quite similar to what you’ll find on FanDuel. Players have the options of challenging friends and followers on their social networks.
Also, you’ll find many different prize levels. At present, you can find $1000-guaranteed, $2000-guaranteed, $5000-guaranteed, and $10000-guaranteed leagues (in baseball right now) on a daily basis. The prize amounts should increase over time.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports is going to offer MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA games. Because they’ll be easy to set up, you should be able to play NCAA football and basketball when they are in-season. Anything available on FanDuel should be available on Yahoo. In fact, I suspect the variety of play options is going to be much bigger than the competition over time. Yahoo has comprehensive coverage of the global sports world. If not NASCAR and PGA golf, then expect English Premier League soccer and other UEFA European football leagues, at the very least.
Strength of Player Pools on Yahoo
I also have a theory that the player pools are going to be fairly weak on Yahoo Daily Fantasy, at least in the beginning. For a long time, Yahoo Sports has had a reputation for having easier fantasy leagues, mainly because of the free leagues. People would sign up for free leagues to draft while waiting for their main leagues to start. When their local league got going, they often would abandon them. Or they would abandon them when their team didn’t do well. I knew a guy who signed up for 40 leagues every year, then would slowly pare down the leagues according to which teams were good. The rest of his teams were left to wither on the vine. That’s not going to happen in daily fantasy sports, but other reasons exist why the player pool might be weaker, allowing you to clean up against the competition.
When I said “mainly because to the free league” earlier, I meant that specifically. Yahoo Sports attracts a lot of mainstream sports fans. When I say mainstream, I mean casual fans. They love sports, but might not have an elite knowledge of the game. A certain amount of those people are going to be enthusiastic about fantasy sports, so they’ll sign up DFS accounts on Yahoo. The many sports-related services on Yahoo should feed a constant stream of casual players who want to put a few dollars on the line to make things interesting. They might not put a lot of time and effort into starting lineups, or they might tend towards favorite players, homer selections, and other quirky choices.
In the online gaming industry, these people are known as “fish”. In essence, I think Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports is likely to have a lot of fish in the contests. With a bit more research, you can be a shark.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports Blogs
Speaking about the casual gaming element, one great thing about Yahoo Sports is it offers one-stop shopping, the way Costco does for household items. A fantasy owner can set up an account at Yahoo Sports and never have to leave the site again. That includes blogs and news sites about their favorite sport or hobby.
Below are the dedicated sports blogs for Yahoo users. I’m not suggesting you should use only these sites. In fact, I’d argue you should go outside Yahoo eventually, since many of your opponents are likely to scour the same information. You want to stand out–not join the pack. But this is a beginner’s manual, so these resources are a good place to start.
- Shutdown Corner – NFL Football
- Big League Stew – MLB Baseball
- Ball Don’t Lie – NBA Basketball
- Puck Daddy – NHL Hockey
- Dr. Saturday – NCAA Football
- The Dagger – NCAA Basketball
Again, these are the basic list of blogs. Get a feel for what’s being discussed on these sites. Read a few tips and strategy pages, while getting news updates. Later, when you branch out and read independent daily fantasy sports blogs and forums, you’ll have a reference point to test out the quality level.
Play in a Free Contest
When you go onto the site, you’ll be given the option of playing in a free contest. At this time of the year (July 2015), the contest offered is Major League Baseball. Each team fills out a roster of 10 players with a budget of $200, so each player started is going to average $20 or less.
Picking a Starting Lineup
The starting lineup for each team is going to consist of 2 pitchers, 1 catcher, 1 first baseman, 1 second baseman, 1 third baseman, a shortsop, and 3 outfielders. Essentially, you pick 2 pitchers and one position player at every position.
As a nod to the fact pitching is so important in MLB games and daily fantasy baseball, I like the idea that two pitchers are required. In its own way, this keeps one pitcher from dominating play, while helping to assure that most teams won’t have the same (obvious) pitcher, thus making the selection fairly repetitive and useless. Two assures you have to hit on two players, while differentiating you from the other competitors.
I noticed one major oversight when I began to pick position players, though. Though the starting pitchers show the team they are playing and allows you to cross-reference easily against the worst hitting teams in the Major Leagues, the position player simply shows the team match-up. You don’t see which starting pitcher you’ll be facing, which makes it harder to research the best match-ups.
Notice I used the word “harder”. Making is harder to research basic stats is actually to your advantage, if you don’t mind doing a little bit of research or you have tools which give you that information quickly. In other words, this little hole in the set-up allows serious owners to beat the competition by doing so good, old-fashioned work. That is an advantage to you, if you choose to exploit it.
Teams are coming back from the All-Star Break, so they’ve had a chance to reset their starting lineup. A few of the All-Star pitchers are going to be unavailable, because they appeared in the Summer Classic. That means a few top pitchers won’t be starting, but it also means the lesser pitchers are likely to be hidden for the first couple of days of the second half of the season.
Also, lesser teams are more likely to be playing their one or two solid starters, because those teams are less likely to have All-Star pitchers returning off work earlier in the week. All of this means there should be fewer mismatches to exploit.
Finding Good Pitcher/Hitter Match-Ups
I made a short list of the pitchers with ERAs over 4.50, then cherry-picked top players from among their list of opponents. Most of my lineup was among the top 5 at their position and were hitting against pitchers with an ERA above 5.00. That assures nothing, but it provides a solid basic for a team. If I can consistently make such decisions and find those match-ups, I should do well.
Since I’m still a newbie to Yahoo DFS Baseball, my methods are not as advanced as the professional players. But with 15 to 20 minutes of my time and a bare minimum of research, I increased my chances of winning by a significant factor.
Once you complete filling out a starting lineup, the site confirm this and shows you a clock until gametime starts. You’ll also see a handy link to the iPhone App for playing DFS on Yahoo Sports. Simply click on the link and download the Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports app from the Apple iTunes store.
The page also shows confirmed entrants, who in this case joined a 50-player, 16-game contest. That means all 50 of us have a choice from the full slate of games, which should lead to high scoring.
DFS Social Media Pages
These are the main social media pages for Yahoo Sports or Yahoo Fantasy. Surprisingly, it is still a mixed bag for Yahoo in the social media. While it blows FanDuel out of the water in its use of the social media, Yahoo still does not appear to have an official Pinterest page.
Yahoo Daily Fantasy Sports iPhone App
People who own and iPhone or iPad can download the Yahoo Sports iPhone app (). This helps owners keep track of their favorite teams and players, while interfacing with the Yahoo Sports site.
NBC Sports Group
Since 2012, Yahoo Sports has partnered with the NBC Sports Group in an online partnership. The two work together to bring “editorial depth” through the use of talent like Bob Costas and Mike Florio of NBC, alongside Adrian Wojnarowski and Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. The two also work on original video programming, as well as programs like Rivals on Recruiting, NBC’s Alli Sports, Pro Football Talk Live, and Football Night in America. The two also work together on NBC Sports’ Rotoworld, live streaming, and NBC’s regional sports networks.
It’s an interesting partnership, because of the investment NBC Sports Group made in the early success of FanDuel. If Yahoo Fantasy Sports Daily does not work out for the online search engine corporation, one might have to keep in mind that Yahoo Sports and FanDuel have the same business partner.
Does “Yahoo Sports Fantasy Daily” Have an Affiliate Program?
Your guess is as good as mine. I asked and apparently my question was deleted. I went back in a couple of hours to their questions page and did not find the answer.
On the same FAQ page, a player had asked about welcome bonuses. Yahoo’s customer support rep said they did not have bonuses at present. The best I can figure is this is such a new idea that an affiliate program does not exist.
If you Google “Yahoo Sports Daily Fantasy Affiliate Program”, one of the entries is a Russian site with Cyrilic writing. That’s a pretty good sign no such program exists, because you think there would be a ton of sites discussing it, otherwise. But maybe I’m dense. Yahoo’s Sports pages have a ton of content, so it would be easy to overlook a link.
It would have been nice to have a definitive answer. Surely, they don’t look down on such tawdry things. Google has made a killing off of making their users their business partners, using the Adsense and Adwords program. Say what you will about intrusive ads, but it lets a lot of small business owners chase the American Dream. FanDuel and DraftKings have borrowed a page from other industries to build large communities of DFS players. You know, that brings me to a point I wanted to make.
Let me make a prediction.
If Yahoo Sports decides not to have an affiliate program, then their service will fail. They might think with the large database of players, they won’t need such connections. Right now, their networks are several times larger than the fan base of the DFS leaders. But this is a long game being played. Eventually, FanDuel and DraftKings are going to build communities with several million players. They’ll catch up in that regard.
It pays to give people incentives. By allowing affiliates, FanDuel and DraftKings are motivating people who love their products and the sports they commercialize to promote them. They get people building sites, building networks, and buying ads to drive customers to their product. In the end, that business model is a proven winner, and it will win in the one-day fantasy sports industry.