San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has always been a proponent of professional athletes preparing for life after sports. On Thursday, he took a step forward in his own life by announcing that he is stepping into the world of daily fantasy sports. DraftKings and FanDuel have led the way, but Sherman is looking to get in on the action.
Sherman is the co-founder of Daily Number, a daily fantasy game that will offer a unique angle to what ha become the regular for DFS. Players create a seven-player roster that attempts to surpass a “daily number” set by the site. You can pick any players you want with no salary cap, but the type of prize you win will depend on the roster you select. If you pick all big names, you will earn less than if you pick lesser known names. Effectively, you create your own degree of difficulty.
The daily number is set based on an algorithm that factors in things like the schedule of games, available players, and matchups. The game assigns a star-rating for each player based on criteria such as matchup strength and historic and recent performance.
The price range for competing in each game is $1 to $10. The paid version is only available on iOS for the time being, while a free version is available on Android. DFS is currently legal in 23 states, so if you are not in one of those states, you will not be able to play. The states where it’s legal include: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Daily fantasy gets into the gray area between fantasy sports and gambling. Personally, I think daily fantasy and sports gambling are sufficiently close that distinguishing between them is strictly for lawyers and businesses looking to profit off it. That’s not to say I have a problem with it. As many of you know, I am very much a fan of sports gambling. I just snicker at the hoops people try to jump through in distinguishing between both. Additionally, the Supreme Court decision earlier this year that allowed states to start legalizing sports gambling could make it easier for DFS to expand its reach.
All that being said, it is interesting to see an active player getting involved in this. It’s a growing marketplace, but it also is dominated by DraftKings and FanDuel. Both those games have had their share of issues, particularly with people taking a more professional approach with algorithms and the like. I stopped playing both because it just never seemed like I had much of a chance of winning much of anything. DraftKings is offering a new live game this year that will take place quarter-by-quarter, so we are starting to see some changes.
We’ll see if Sherman’s game can make a dent in the marketplace. In theory, it offers an easier way for people to get into DFS, so that could bring in more recreational players. But, it’s not the easiest market to build a strong foothold in, so we’ll see what this first season brings for Sherman and Daily Number.
Sherman put together a fun little advertisement for the game, which you can watch below.