Study Shows Women Make Up A Significant Portion Of Fantasy Football Players

CivicScience research shows females are especially playing daily fantasy at a high rate
women football

There’s a company called CivicScience that, to the untrained eye, is a survey company. But that’s like seeing a tesseract and calling it a square. The company provides real-time information about what people are doing and thinking. If I’m gushing a bit about the place it’s because I used to freelance there and had access to the data, and boy howdy, is it ever a treasure trove.

The coolest thing they do centers around the ability to take two disparate subjects and see where the connections lie. One of the more famous ones was the study that showed people who love Kia cars are absolutely bonkers for the actor Gary Busey — which led to a Kia dealership using Busey in an ad.

Anyway, one of CivicScience’s latest studies revolved around fantasy football, and while there were no Busey-Kia shocking correlations, there were a few numbers that definitely stood out.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway? Women are a much bigger part of fantasy football — especially when it comes to daily fantasy — than current (and past) ad campaigns from FanDuel and DraftKings would have you believe.

“Yeah, I was definitely a little surprised by it,” said Noah Brode, the senior content writer at CivicScience. “The level of women playing was more than I expected to be, for sure. It still tilts male, but not nearly to the extent I thought it would.”

In season-long leagues, men outnumber women by a roughly 2-to-1 margin. But when it comes to DFS, the numbers start to flatten. In fact, according to the study, among people who plan to play daily fantasy football in the coming season, 44% are female.

Young and diverse

In addition to women, African-Americans make up a significant percentage of daily fantasy football players, with 30% of the population planning to play DFS football identifying as African-American. This compares to 36% of players who are white. 

Additionally, youth rules the day when it comes to DFS, with 96% of daily fantasy players being younger than 44 years old.


FanDuel and DraftKings started as daily fantasy companies, but post-PASPA, things changed. While they are still the clear market leaders (duh), it’s also clear that DFS isn’t exactly the most important thing to the companies’ bottom line. (It’s the legal online casinos, double duh.)

But perhaps these companies — and some of the upstarts, like Underdog — are missing a huge marketing opportunity when it comes to the current crop of daily fantasy players.

“These are the demographics advertisers dream of,” Brode noted. “Young, female, diverse.”

Notable here is that this does not translate to season-long fantasy football players.

“Season-long players tended to be more male, more white, older, wealthier,” Brode said. “Just a different crowd playing these games.”

A few other findings

A few other interesting takeaways from the study …

  • Daily fantasy players were much more likely to be interested in ads via social media than season-long players.
  • Fantasy players of all stripes were significantly more likely to have invested in cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and use of mobile payment apps.
  • Unsurprisingly, 56% of fantasy football players have placed bets online; only 4% of non-fantasy football players have done so. 
  • Overall, some 22% of Americans plan to play fantasy football in some way, shape, or form this year. (Please send your daily fantasy head-to-heads to @nealcassady on both DraftKings and FanDuel.)

Photo: Shutterstock


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