Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has made a teeny-weeny change, but it’s one that has a potential to gain greater traction in the near future.
Last week, the DFS operator decided to remove a feature called late swap for its NBA contests. Based on the name itself, late swap allows users to remove a player from their lineups—as long as his game hasn’t started yet—and replace him with another player, whose game also hasn’t started yet.
But with DraftKings’s announcement, which will take effect on October 18, “all lineup selections will lock at the start of the contest (i.e. you will no longer be able to swap players after contest lock).”
“This change will allow our customers to enjoy the games and follow their teams rather than monitoring for late breaking news leading up to tip-off of each game,” the DFS operator said.
Of course, the surprise change was met with differing opinions especially since the late swap feature is the one thing that sets DraftKings’ NBA contests apart from its main rival, FanDuel. Nate Weitzer, of Scout Fantasy, posits that the change could be an indication of a merger between the two DFS giants “down the road.” The two operators, after all, have been reported several times of being in talks to fuse the two companies.
DraftKings representative Jonathan Aguiar has a much simpler explanation: removing late swap makes the contest simpler.
“This decision is meant to make DFS NBA more palatable to those with jobs, families, and busy lives. Committing three hours after lock is hard,” Aguiar said in a series of tweets. “DFS should not be about following beat writers. Late swap remains for every other sport because injury/lineup reporting is manageable.”
Whatever the reason is, Legal Sports Report’s Dustin Gouker believes the change will be good for the daily fantasy sports industry. Gouker said in order “for the DFS industry to grow and be a viable product moving forward,” it needs to adapt. How? Make the games “simpler and more accessible to casual players” could very well be the first step in the right direction.