NFL DFS

Examining Changes in Rake Structure in Week 4 NFL DFS Contests

DFS players across twitter have been abuzz with concern when news was released that rake would be raised in certain games this upcoming NFL Week 4 Slate. Brian Jester and our friends at Occupy Fantasy specifically study rake rates in different game types across sites, to help players make quality decisions in game selection.

Q: Can you describe the news released this week regarding the change in rake structure?

A: The news actually wasn’t released — the sites quietly upped the rake on a handful of contests for Week 4. Whereas most GPPs maxed out around 14 percent rake, this week we’re seeing the site take nearly 16 percent in some of the larger GPPs. While this change doesn’t affect many of the lower-risk contests (50/50s, Head-to-Heads, Double Ups), it makes GPPs an even worse value — effectively increasing the likelihood of casual players going broke.

Q: For those of us afraid to ask, what is ‘rake’?

A: Rake is the percentage of the prize pool from each contest that the sites take for themselves.

Q: So, rake changes from contest to contest? Where is it highest and where is it lowest?

A: Yes, the rake changes in different contest types. The lowest rake occurs in Head-to-Head contests (roughly 10 percent — the rake is a bit lower in H2H contests with $109 or higher entry fees), while the highest rake is taken in large-field GPPs (up to 16 percent).

Q: Should we be worried about rake?

A: Yes! The higher the rake, the higher your win rate needs to be in order to be profitable.

Q: How can I calculate rake on my own?

A: RotoGrinders has a fantastic Google Chrome extension that will automatically calculate the rake and overlay for each contest on FanDuel & DraftKings.

If you want to do it manually, here’s a simple formula:  (total prize pool) / (maximum number of contest entries * contest entry fee)

An example: 

Contest: DraftKings Week 4 Millionaire Maker 

Max Number of Entries: 250,000

Entry fee: $20, 

Prize Pool: $4,250,000

($4,250,000 / (250,000 X $20)) = 0.15 = 15%

Yes, DraftKings is profiting $750,000 every time they run a Millionaire Maker contest of this size (as long as it completely fills).

Q: Can you offer 2-3 of Occupy Fantasy’s ‘Golden Rules for Game Selection?’

A:

  1. Always check the contest entrants list — you don’t want to be in a contest filled with sharks if you don’t have to be.
  2. Look at the payout structure — the DraftKings Millionaire Maker contest has the allure of winning $1 million, but in reality, only 11.4 percent of the field doubles their money. It’s one of the biggest bankroll draining contests in the industry.
  3. Since it’s the hot topic, look at the rake! When trying to choose between two contests, the rake can be a simple tiebreaker.

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