FanDuel released a video on Thursday announcing a major change to their NFL DFS structure.
Yes, after getting trashed on Twitter about it for years, FanDuel is dropping kickers from its NFL Daily Fantasy games. Players now have an additional flex spot, which makes for much more strategy in lineup selection.
Kickers have long been a staple in fantasy football, despite their limited output. It’s generally recommended to take kickers in the final year of fantasy drafts, mostly due to their lack of scoring. According to FantasyData.com, the highest scoring player in fantasy was Russell Wilson with 347.92 points, and Greg Zuerlein was the top kicker with 170 points.
It’s a thrilling day for DFS players, who are sick of the randomness of kicking. It’s nearly impossible to project a kicker’s involvement, and to some, that makes it more difficult to win consistently. Personally, I have stayed away from FanDuel’s NFL DFS product for this exact reason. Kickers just aren’t fun.
DraftKings has never used kickers in NFL DFS, and they had a good time on Twitter letting FanDuel know how they feel about the decision:
The change is the latest in major moves for both major DFS companies. DraftKings and FanDuel were merging once upon a time, but now find themselves in an arms race after the overturn of federal gambling laws. FanDuel was purchased by Paddy Power and BetFair in May, leading to the opening of their own sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. Not to be outdone, DraftKings secured a deal to open a physical sportsbook in Atlantic City, and recently debuted their standalone sportsbook app.
Both companies have also begun to push single-game contests, something that started to appear during the 2017 NFL season. On DraftKings they’re called “Showdown” slates, and they’re now available for nearly every major single-game sporting event.