This past weekend I had the chance to interview Grant Gurtin, the founder of Fantasy Elite, which is a fantasy app that I have fortunately been able to beta test. I was pretty excited about the opportunity test out the app and let me tell you, it’s pretty addicting. As fantasy sports players, any sort of drafting is an instant hook. In the interview I ask Grant about the drafting process and also the features the app has. I think that by the time it’s all said and done you guys will be pretty excited about Fantasy Elite as well!
Chris Kay (LuDawgs): For all of those who haven’t heard at all about Fantasy Elite, give me the brief rundown on what it is.
Grant Gurtin (Fantasy Elite): Fantasy Elite is a new DFS game for iOS and Android that combines snake drafting with a salary cap. Not only does this add a new layer of interactivity to one’s DFS experience, but it also adds a lot of strategy. The snake element ensures that there is no lineup overlap and allows users to block their opponent from taking their biggest sleepers for the day. However, the salary cap makes it challenging to draft top players like Kevin Durant without a very keen knowledge of value plays for the day.
CK: What motivated you to create Fantasy Elite?
GG: The most popular part of Fanium Fantasy Football was the draft and we knew that transitioning from season long to daily would allow our users to experience this part of our game every day. Besides some unique contests introduced by DraftDay, StarStreet, and SportsTradex, almost every new offering in the daily fantasy space has been a carbon copy of FanDuel and DraftStreet with a minor twist. We feel there is a big opportunity to take advantage of mobile and bring something completely new to the table.
CK: The concept of snake drafts and having a salary cap is really cool and has been fun to play. Do you feel there’s a certain type of night that really takes advantage of this concept?
GG: Because we have no lineup overlap, we have found that Fantasy Elite is far better with smaller games slates than any other DFS service. We have used this to make both short and big days more exciting on our platform than anywhere else. Thursday night games on Elite are a blast because almost every player in both nationally televised games are in play in each contest, creating a very exciting sweat. On bigger nights, we have as many as four unique contests with games grouped together based on start time. This allows volume players to get an unprecedented amount of diversity on a given night while still using their optimal lineup in each game. It is also creates a far faster pace with contests ending significantly faster. For example, a contest with all 7 PM EST games could be over by 9:45. It is possible on some nights that a user could parlay an early slate win into late slate games.
CK: I know Draftstreet and now DraftDay do something like this.. Have you found a strategy for the new players that you like to use when picking a team?
GG: I’d recommend that a new users start a day by entering free games and see who their opponent is drafting. You can actually add players to your watch list from an opponents roster during a draft if they take someone you believe is interesting. They should also find lower salary players who have been playing well in the last few games and take them early. When in doubt, ask an expert. As mentioned above, there are plenty of people in the LuDawgs forums who are happy to assist.
CK: To those worried about not having enough information at hand when drafting, what do you have to say to them?
GG: We have provided a player research tab within the app that provides a Twitter feed with expert information about a given player and game logs. If users want additional assistance, LuDawgs always has a great fantasy basketball thread each day and plenty of people available to answer draft questions. We also recommended content on Fantasy Insiders and Daily Fantasy Radio.
CK: With the snake draft format, it doesn’t seem like “sharks” will want to play Fantasy Elite due to time investment. Do you agree and if so does this bother you?
GG: I strongly believe top players will be motivated to play on Elite because being able to block an opponent from taking a player provides an opportunity to get a far larger edge in our game than on any other platform. We are also the only salary cap DFS game that one can play short/late slates with no lineup overlap which is a strong selling point. With that being said, due to the time investment, sharks will not waste their time with low dollar games which is very beneficial to new users. It is also impossible to multi entry, so users will always be on a level playing field in every contest they enter.
CK: To start the Fantasy Elite season off, will there be any freerolls or promos for new users?
GG: As our beta testers have learned, we love surprising users with freerolls in our lobby to keep them on their feet. Freerolls on our game are generally capped at 4-6 users and are very winnable if you are able to track them down!
Download Fantasy Elite from the App Store NOW by clicking the image below!