DraftKings Scraps Fantasy Football Draft Amid Collusion Concerns

Posted on: July 25, 2023, 01:29h. 

Last updated on: July 26, 2023, 10:08h.

DraftKings recently scrapped a “best ball” fantasy football draft after a user produced solid evidence of collusion.

DraftKings app
An image for DraftKings’ sports wagering mobile app. The operator recently voided a fantasy football draft amid allegations of collusion. (Image: OddsJam)

The operator made its name as a pioneer in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) space. It now offers season-long fantasy contests for the NFL, NBA, and Major League Baseball (MLB) under the best ball branding.

Teams are drafted in a Snake Draft, and that roster is used for the entire duration of the contest. This means there’s no roster management to worry about. There’s no crossover between teams like you’d typically find in DFS contests. Prizes are paid out at the end of the contest,” according to the gaming company.

The best ball draft in question occurred several days ago, and started innocently enough with the first two selections being Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson and San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. From there, things got suspicious, stoking concern among a draft participant by the screen name “blackburn72419.”

Blatant Collusion in DraftKings Best Ball Draft

The third pick of the draft in question was Buffalo Bills wide receiver Gabriel Davis, a player who wouldn’t normally go anywhere close to that high in fantasy. The next two selections were equally as dubious. Then, blackburn72419 selected Cincinnati Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase with the sixth selection, a reasonable spot for that player.

The dodgy behavior continued from there as the draft’s other participants extended the pattern of selecting players well ahead of where most fantasy football gurus had them slated. As the draft moved along, it became apparent to blackburn72419 that nine of the league’s competitors were sandbagging their selections to allow at least one participant to build a “super team.”


(Image: DraftKings, Courtesy: blackburn72419)

The participants picking first and second spots in the draft made sensible selections, though it’s not clear if both were in on the alleged collusion. It’s believed at least one of them is involved.

DraftKings Responded Quickly

To its credit, DraftKings swiftly dealt with the matter.

Pursuant to the Terms of Use, the DraftKings Game Integrity Committee has decided to void this contest. We thank you for your patience while DraftKings Game Integrity monitored multiple rounds of the draft to assure our findings were fair and warranted,” according to a tweet from the @DK_Assist Twitter account.

DraftKings and rival DFS operators have dealt with allegations of collusion in the past, some involving their employees. In one of the more notable examples of collusion on the DraftKings platform, the company in January 2020 stripped a $1 million prize from a “winner” after it became evident that she colluded with her husband on a DFS football contest.

The dubious duo was Jade Roper Tolbert and Tanner Tolbert, who were former contestants on the popular reality show, “The Bachelor.”