LeagueSafe has been in business since 2008, helping fantasy football commissioners collect entry fees and ensuring players get paid when they win. Since the company’s formation, it has been a favored tool among fantasy football players. LeagueSafe’s early data from the 2023-24 NFL season suggests that fantasy football is more popular than ever.
This year, the company collected more than $31.5 million in entry fees from over 56,000 private fantasy football leagues. Additional data points to the ongoing growth of fantasy football, even in the midst of sports betting’s rapid expansion.
Fantasy Football by the Numbers
LeagueSafe’s most recent numbers show a strong uptick in league fees, which are up an average of 22% compared to the 2022-23 NFL season. LeagueSafe processed 574,043 payments ahead of this season, a 29% bump from last year.
Average league fees were $55, and LeagueSafe collected $565 per league on average. Unsurprising in the context of that average is the most common league fee: $50. Just over a third of LeagueSafe’s participating leagues have a $50 entry fee. 25% of the leagues have a $25 entry fee, and 20% pay $100 per participant. High-roller leagues are still very rare. Entry fees of $500 or above make up only 0.4% of the leagues.
League fees tend to vary by platform, according to LeagueSafe’s findings. Average entry fees by platform are as follows:
- CBS Fantasy: $122.39
- MyFantasyLeague.com: $93.50
- Yahoo! Fantasy: $91.18
- ESPN Fantasy: $70.38
- Sleeper: $45.10
LeagueSafe also broke out the five states with the highest average entry fee and the five with the lowest average.
The highest entry fees by state were:
- Vermont: $183.21
- New Jersey: $168.46
- Hawaii: $162.22
- New York: $161.85
- Nevada: $154.15
Meanwhile, these five states had the lowest average entry fees:
- Idaho: $101.31
- Oklahoma: $101.14
- Iowa: $100.97
- Oregon: $91.25
- West Virginia: $84.12
What Do These Numbers Tell Us?
First, it’s important to note that LeagueSafe’s numbers aren’t all-encompassing. They are a solid representation of the fantasy football community with a large sample size to pull from, though.
In general, these numbers are encouraging for fantasy football. While some might have expected sports betting and DFS to encroach on the traditional fantasy football audience, LeagueSafe’s most recent data indicates the exact opposite could be true. With sports betting on the rise and constantly expanding to new markets, it could be part of the rising tide that lifts all boats, including fantasy football’s cruise liner. Consider New Jersey and New York, two states that offer online sports betting. They both breached the top five average entry fees.
It’s also great news for LeagueSafe, of course.
Rob Phythian, Chief Executive Officer of SharpLink (LeagueSafe’s parent company), said:
“2023 is proving to be a banner year for LeagueSafe, expanding its dominance as the premier private fantasy league commissioner assistance service in the industry and providing SharpLink with the means to significantly increase the income earned through higher interest yields on the tens of millions in cash currently be managed by the platform. According to a 2023 survey conducted by the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association, there were 62.5 million people playing fantasy sports in the U.S. and Canada in 2022—up from 59.3 million in 2021. While LeagueSafe’s market share currently stands at a fraction of the total addressable market, this suggests that LeagueSafe’s long-term upside growth potential is enormous—particularly as we move forward with our planned national brand and business building initiatives in the coming year. We are very proud of the success that LeagueSafe continues to achieve and the important role it is playing in the growth of SharpLink.”
SharpLink’s 2022 merger with SportsHub Games Network brought LeagueSafe under the company’s umbrella. LeagueSafe allows fantasy football league commissioners to collect and protect entry fees, send automatic payment reminders, and pay out end-of-season winnings.