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A Tool for DFS Players: RotoWire – Is it Worth it?

In 1997, three Northwestern graduates, Peter Schoenke, Jeff Erickson, and Herb Ilk, came up with the idea that changed the fantasy sports market forever – to provide real-time news and analysis for fantasy sports junkies like themselves. RotoNews.com was born and it revolutionized the industry.

RotoNews was eventually sold to a company that badly mismanaged it and drove the company into bankruptcy in 2001. 

The RotoNews team decided to soldier on and continue to provide the fantasy news, information, and commissioner services that served the industry so well, but as a new business: RotoWire.com.[1]

Wondering if RotoWire is right for you? This RotoWire review takes a deep dive into the software and discusses its strengths, weaknesses, and what you need to think about before investing your hard-earned money. 

An Overview of Rotowire

Rotowire

RotoWire is your premium fantasy sports resource. They pioneered real-time fantasy sports news and Player Notes back in 1997 when the Internet was in its infancy.

They provide the most in-depth analysis, the fastest real-time news, and the most extensive scope of coverage of any fantasy sports site or app.Their quality has won them many industry awards – it’s why they have high-profile partners such as ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, DraftKings, and NBA.com.[2]

Lastly, they are Board and Hall Of Fame members of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association and Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 

Key specifications of Rotowire:

  • Price plan: very reasonable annual, semiannual, and monthly plans that are covered in detail later in the article.
  • Game coverage: National or International, if it’s a sport, they include it.
  • Tools Suite: Draft preparation kit, DFS lineup optimizer, DFS performance tracker, My Leagues, MLB Baseball Commissioner, iOS apps, and personalized advice from experts.

PROS

Superlative season-long fantasy tools.
Price is beyond reasonable.
 Support over 25 sports leagues, both national and international.
 “Ask an Expert” feature is truly transcendental.
Brilliant iOS apps provide access on the go.

CONS

Very steep learning curve with ZERO guidance.
iOS draft app is not included with subscription.
No trial.

Who Should be Buying or Using Rotowire?

RotoWire offers award-winning features for both season-long and daily fantasy contests. However, its best tools and apps render it ideally suited for season-long fantasy competitions.

Season-long fantasy tool suites should perform two functions exceptionally well. These are drafting players and managing your team throughout the season. RotoWire performs brilliantly concerning those primary functions. 

Also, if you would like to eliminate the hassle involved in overseeing a season-long fantasy baseball league, RotoWire’s highly-customizable, completely automated MLB fantasy commissioner is a no brainer.

If you are a season-long fantasy player, there are few options more appropriate than RotoWire. By that same token, if you are strictly a DFS player, I would recommend that you check out RotoGrinders or Draft Dashboard.

Features and Benefits of Rotowire

#1 Cost

The costs for a subscription to RotoWire depends on three crucial factors:[3]

  • Annual, semiannual, or monthly subscription.
  • Season-long tools, DFS tools, or both.
  • Access to just one sport or all sports.
  • An annual subscription for one sport with DFS tools included will run you $60/year.
  • A monthly subscription for one sport with DFS tools included will run you $9.99/month.
  • An annual subscription for all sports with DFS tools included will run you $108/year.
  • A monthly subscription for all sports with DFS tools included will run you $14.99/month.

In addition to these low rates, RotoWire offers special promotions when you subscribe to their product.

#2 Sports

If the sport exists, either foreign or domestic, RotoWire likely covers it: racing, football, cricket, tennis, basketball, baseball, eSports, MMA, golf, hockey, college basketball, college football, and soccer.

Now, when I say “covers it,” that means, at a minimum, articles, lineups, and other information are available.

However, only about one-third of the nearly thirty sports leagues covered include additional outstanding features: Ask an Expert, My Leagues, Draft Kits, and Lineup Optimizer DFS support.

I address each of these features later on in the article. 

#3 Draft Preparation

A comprehensive, award-winning Draft Kit is available for seven sports: college basketball, college football, golf, NASCAR, MLB, NBA, and NFL.[4]

A RotoWire subscription to any of the above sports affords you free access to that sport’s Draft Kit.

Below are just some of the incredibly useful tools and functions offered in the draft software:

One of the features you will enjoy is the unlimited customizability provided by the software.

For instance, the players are ranked based on the league’s setup and scoring parameters. However, the roster requirements and the scoring settings are adaptable to those of your league, and the player rankings will be adjusted accordingly:

In the image above, you can see how to adjust the point values associated with the passing game. Although not pictured, you follow identical procedures for changing the points corresponding to rushing, receiving, kicking, and others.

The software will also track your draft in real-time, assisting with your selection of players.

For this review, I reviewed the drafting process via mock drafts; a feature included with the software. I must say that the software’s recommended selections were on point concerning both my roster needs and the all-important positional scarcity ramifications. A must-have to dominate any draft, football, or otherwise!

#4 The DFS Lineup Optimizer

The Lineup Optimizer is the most convenient tool for any DFS player. RotoWire provides a relatively simple yet highly-rated optimizer for eleven sports: college basketball, college football, racing, KBO, WNBA, golf, soccer, NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL.[5]

The options available for each sport’s lineup optimizer vary somewhat. However, I will illustrate the most relevant features for the NFL’s Lineup Optimizer.

Before running the optimizer and generating up to 150 lineups, you must first select vital parameters:

  • Daily site (red oval) – There are seven DFS sites from which you can choose. Due to the different scoring systems on each of the sites, the fantasy projections for all players will differ depending upon the website indicated. 
  • Projection source (black oval) – The RotoWire estimates are provided free of charge. Separate fees are required to access the other projection sources.
  • Ownership projections (green box) – Once again, the RotoWire projections are provided free of charge, while access to the UFCollective ownership projections requires an additional surcharge.
  • Specific teams and their entire rosters are removable from the lineup optimizer, just by clicking on that team.
  • Clicking on the ❌ next to the game excludes specific games (red box) and players participating in those games from the lineup optimizer.
  • You may individually exclude players from the lineup optimizer by clicking on the ❌ next to the player’s name.
  • You may “like” a player, which will increase his projection by 20%.
  • Similarly, you can lock a player, forcing the optimizer to include said player in every generated lineup.
  • Some additional options enhance the functionality of the LO.
  • Upon clicking “Stacks,” you can easily view and add the highest-rated stacks to your lineups.
  • Altering the projection models used by the lineup optimizer enables you to tailor the projections to the types of contests that you enter:
  • Ceiling/Upside (red box) is ideal for GPP tournaments.
  • Floor/Consistency (green arrow) is perfect for cash games.
  • Upload Projections (blue oval) allows you to upload your own edited projections for use in cash games or GPPs.

#5 Performance Tracker

If you are a regular DFS player, you probably play multiple types of contests, encompassing several sports on numerous DFS sites. To further complicate issues, you participate in competitions with different entry fees and varying quantities of participants.

Due to the sheer volume of play and the many variables that exist, you probably have no idea at which contests you excel and where you should be focusing your efforts.

What if I told you that you could precisely determine the sports, contest types, and entry fees at which you perform well, and, conversely, those at which you are just burning money?

They say that knowledge is power, and armed with such experience, you can elevate your DFS game to higher and more profitable levels.

One of RotoWire’s features that is worth the price of admission is the DFS Performance Tracker pictured above. The tool enables you to sort your DFS results by site, sport, contest type, and time frame to obtain a rough idea of how well or poorly you perform concerning those variables.

The picture above indicates that the user is in the red for $451 over the past year of DFS competition.

While informative, such information does not help you determine those particular contests that are most

profitable.[6]

This particular user plays mostly NBA and MLB contests. Let’s examine his performance in those two sports:

It appears that the player enjoys more success with MLB, so let’s try to nail down those specific MLB contests at which he excels, along with those that he should avoid.

The player is nearly +$3,000 in GPPs, and -$400 in showdown contests. By focusing on MLB tournaments, this player could certainly be more profitable.

We need to determine at which MLB tournaments this player excels.

The above picture organizes all MLB DFS contests by the entry fee or AVG. FEE. The PRF column is the profit associated with the entries at a given fee. A quick perusal of the PRF column indicates that despite being +$2,500 in MLB contests, this player is in the red at every entry fee other than $4.00.

As the blue oval indicates, at the $4 entry fee, this player is +$3,500 for the MLB DFS season!

With some basic research and analysis, we have determined that this player should focus on MLB GPPs with a $4 entry fee to maximize his profit.

Knowledge is power. Without the application of this tool, this player would likely continue to burn his money on contests in which he performs poorly, rather than entering more games that are profitable.

The analysis performed on this player applies to all DFS players! I encourage all to take advantage of this remarkable tool!

#6 My Leagues

  • My Leagues (red box) is located in the main menu.[7]
  • Receive personalized advice for your leagues.
  • Clicking on My Leagues will bring up the above screen.
  • Manage your season-long fantasy contests for most platforms.
  • Sync your season-long fantasy leagues with RotoWire and simplify team management.
  • Available for MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, CFB, CBB, EPL, PGA, and NASCAR.

#7 Commissioner

  • Available only for MLB.
  • $99.99 per league.
  • Return the joy to fantasy baseball by eliminating all the paperwork, calculations, etc.
  • Customize your league in all possible ways: scoring, league type, schedule, standings.[8]

#8 Mobile Draft App

  • Provides all the great features of the RotoWire Draft Kit for mobile usage.[9]
  • Available for iOS only.
  • Best used on iPad rather than iPhone due to larger screen size.
  • App is not included with the RotoWire subscription.
  • Price is $4.99 at iOS app store.  
  • Similar draft apps available for NBA and MLB.

#9 Ask an Expert

  • Available for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, PGA, NASCAR, CFB, and CBB.
  • Real experts will respond to your fantasy questions.[10]
  • Two question limit per week.

What are People Saying About Rotowire?

I scoured the internet and found some reviews that seemed somewhat positive about the product.[11][12]

The people have spoken and I am in complete accord. The RotoWire Draft Kit is a fantastic tool. It is equally effective whether used from the website or an iOS device.

Alternatives to RotoWire

Let’s see how three similar alternatives compare to RotoWire: FantasyPros, RotoGrinders, and Draft Dashboard.

1. FantasyPros

FantasyPros provides some excellent tools for season-long fantasy players. It’s draft preparation and season-long fantasy management tools are right there with those of RotoWire.

However, RotoWire provides Draft Kits, and DFS support for a far greater quantity of sports.

For a more in-depth analysis of FantasyPros, check out this review.

Considering the pricing is nearly identical, I don’t believe that FantasyPros can stand toe to toe with RotoWire.

Nonetheless, everybody enjoys their own preferences and some players do prefer FantasyPros. For that reason, you should give FantasyPros a shot.

2. RotoGrinders

RotoGrinders Review Featured Image

RotoGrinders is strictly a DFS research site that focuses on the process of creating profitable DFS entries.

For an in-depth analysis of RotoGrinders, I encourage you to check out my review.

RotoGrinders is relatively expensive at $39.99/month; however, it is one of the only DFS research sites that doesn’t merely spoon feed you the best plays of the night, but instead offers insightful opinions and statistical reasoning as to why such plays are ideal.

If you are new to DFS or would like to improve upon your player selection process, while learning from the greatest DFS players around, RotoGrinders is your best bet.

3. Draft Dashboard

Draft Dashboard is a multi-sport DFS research suite that I recently reviewed. Please check out my review to learn more about this impressive site.

The cost of the first month’s subscription is $1, with each additional month, billed at $39.95.

The data and tools are substantial, and the visuals are very pleasing. Draft Dashboard provides a significant quantity of information, enabling you to create profitable DFS lineups with minimal time investment.

If you are a participant in DFS contests and are searching for an aesthetically-pleasing, information-relevant site to guide your DFS endeavors, there are few products better than Draft Dashboard. I strongly encourage you to give them a try.

Conclusion

With award-winning draft preparation tools, My Leagues to synchronize season-long fantasy leagues, and the brilliant MLB Baseball Commissioner tool, there is no better site to lead you through a full season of fantasy competition.

Furthermore, with iOS apps to provide for superb functionality on the go, you cannot go wrong. Toss in the DFS Performance Tracker, and you really can have it all for a very generous price.

The one significant issue with RotoWire is the lack of any guidance concerning the site’s myriad features. There are no videos, no “help” section, nothing whatsoever to assist in the efficient navigation of the site. I found it beyond frustrating.

For season-long fantasy participants, I rate this site a 4.5/5.

Were directionality assistance provided, this site would be rewarded with a perfect rating, as its content and price point are truly superlative.

Nonetheless, I encourage season-long fantasy players to take a long look at this excellent site by clicking on this link.


Resources:

[1] “About RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/about.php. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.
[2] “About RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/about.php. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.
[3] “RotoWire Subscription Prices.” https://www.rotowire.com/subscribe/rates.php. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[4] “2020 Fantasy Football Draft Software – RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/football/draft-software.php. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[5] “RotoWire FanDuel NFL Lineup Optimizer | Full Roster – All.” https://www.rotowire.com/daily/nfl/optimizer.php. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[6] “DFS Tracker – RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/daily/tracker/. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[7] “My Leagues – RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/myleagues/. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[8] “2020 MLB Commish from RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/mlbcommish/. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[9] “‎Fantasy Football Draft Kit ’20 on the App Store.” 23 Jun. 2020, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fantasy-football-draft-kit-20/id1436191723. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[10] “Ask A Fantasy Football Expert – RotoWire.” https://www.rotowire.com/football/ask-expert.php. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.
[11] “Rotowire : fantasyfootball – Reddit.” https://www.reddit.com/r/fantasyfootball/comments/93tcy0/rotowire/. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.
[12] “Rotowire Fantasy Subscription – worth it? : fantasybaseball.” https://www.reddit.com/r/fantasybaseball/comments/18jjuz/rotowire_fantasy_subscription_worth_it/. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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