Yahoo entered the daily fantasy market in the middle of 2015, diving right into the MLB season. This is the first season-long fantasy sports hosting site to make the leap providing daily fantasy contests. Yahoo is one of the biggest season-long fantasy sports sites on the internet, and the daily fantasy industry turned their heads quickly when the news broke about them joining DFS. However, the industry quickly turned their head back as Yahoo delivered basic product to the table.
FanDuel and DraftKings are the two big names at the top of the industry, and many had the anticipation of Yahoo possibly shaking things up a bit. As of early 2016, Yahoo has delivered a lackluster platform, and not much difference from scoring, roster construction, and salary from the other sites. The prize pools are also not enticing enough to have users come over from the main sites, but also from the smaller sites in the industry. This is a growing product for Yahoo, so many eyes will still be keeping tabs to see if any dramatic movement occurs from the site.
Yahoo offers NBA, NHL, SOC, MLB, CFB, and NFL as far as contest go, from an entry fee range of $0-$10,500. There are group, 50/50, head-to-head, and guaranteed to run contests featured in the lobby in various entry fees. The large GPP contests are lacking at Yahoo, but on occasion you will find a decent size prize pool. Yahoo rosters and scoring are comparable to FanDuel and DraftKings. There is a very similar feel for roster construction, scoring, and player salary. They even have a “late-swap" feature that resembles DraftKings.
The one area Yahoo differs from other DFS sites is the ability to manage your daily and season-long teams in one quick transition. This is expected given the site hosts both formats. If you are a season-long player making a transition to DFS, Yahoo is a quick and easy place to start. Yahoo has an untapped resource for users, but they will need to get them to make the leap.
While Yahoo fantasy sports have been around for ages, the DFS platform is fairly new, and we should treat it as such. We have seen smaller sites take some time before growing into a competitive site, and the same shall go for Yahoo. The Yahoo name gave us a much higher expectation, but they have the funds, advertising, and volume to deliver an exceptional product. They will be a year old in the summer, and we can revisit then.
Chances are you have a Yahoo account already, which makes the signup process easier, because you can skip filling out any info. If you don't, the signup process is similar to any other website. You will need to do this before you can play any sort of contest.
If you are signed up, and ready to play for some real money, you will need to deposit money into your account. You can deposit via PayPal, and various major credit cards, anywhere from $10-$2,000. This is an incredibly easy process, but you might have one concern. The $1 authorization charge fee. When you add a card to an account to deposit, you are charged this fee. Why? It is Yahoo's way of confirming your card. Don't worry, the charge will be dropped within a week.
First-time deposit bonuses vary, but if you have played with them in season-long, they will reward you with a 200% deposit bonus. This bonus is then disbursed at a 4% rate of your buy-ins for real-money contests.
The lobby is pretty straight forward, and you can filter by sport, contest type, and entry fee. The lobby shows you start times, prize pools, and how many entries are currently in a contest. The usual rundown of a DFS lobby. If you are wondering what the “G" and “M" letters are next to contests, they stand for guaranteed and multi-entry. Guaranteed contests will be run regardless if it fills or not. Multi-entry allows a user to enter multiple lineups, compared to contests that allow just one single entry only. I am glad Yahoo offers both styles of contests, as single entries have been brought up in the DFS industry more and more over the last few months.
Constructing A Team
Once you have selected a lineup, it is time to construct a lineup. There is a salary cap you need to stay within, creating a balanced lineup of value, and/or high-priced players. You can sort by salary, position, fantasy points per game, and an overall game. Yahoo does have a graph feature that shows how consistent a player has been over the last ten games. This is a cool visual that FanDuel or DraftKings do not have. Clicking on a player will bring you up his player card, which features news from Rotoworld, and Stats Inc. They also feature a game log that runs the entire season. The game log is a step above the other sites in terms of length, but the card lacks matchup research.
You will need to familiarize yourself with the scoring for the different sports.
Let's say you have won a few contests, and you want to take out some to go enjoy a nice victory steak dinner. You will need a PayPal account to withdraw your funds, which is a free site to sign up for and use. From there you can transfer money from PayPal to your bank. This is a standard with the industry, although while some sites off mailing a check, Yahoo does not.
Withdraw funds is located in your my account and is just a few simple clicks. You insert the amount you want to withdraw, and click withdraw funds. Withdrawals are processed within two days, according to the FAQ page. It is as simple as that.
Navigation & Functionality
Yahoo's platform and layout is pretty smooth, as you would pretty much expect from a veteran search engine. You have your lobby, my contests, my account, and help pages easily accessible, and it views in a somewhat minimalistic way. Everything about Yahoo's design is easy on the eyes, and simple to use for the average person. What is available is laid out to the point of where I am not searching for something, which is something I can't say for every website.
Yahoo has an iOS mobile app available for daily fantasy, and works efficiently. While it is a step behind FanDuel's and DraftKings', it is designed nicely, and most importantly it works. I have the ability to join contests on the fly, and can edit lineups away from my computer.
There is in fact a email and phone support system, which is somewhat hidden. Clicking help in the navigation bar just brings you to the FAQ page, and most common questions are answered there. However, I do have a problem with this as other sites help button leads you to a support ticket first. On the FAQ page there is a contact us button in the top right-hand corner. Not very big, and you might even miss it first glance.
Is It Legal?
For the most part yes, depending on what state you are a resident in. If you are a part of Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, or Washington, you are not eligible to play for money. You could still play for free. States have blocked the DFS industry, while others recognize the law included in the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which determined that fantasy sports a “skill" game as opposed to a “chance" game.
This is where Yahoo has lacked so far. There were a few bigger prize pool contests to kick things off, and nothing since. A promotions page isn't available, which FanDuel and DraftKings both make a big part of their site.
Personally I would keep checking back in on the lobby page to see if anything is going on. E-mails and advertising haven't shown much focus on promoting any sort of contest in some time.