Related: What features does Sleeper have that other platforms don't have?
You are likely on this page because you heard other people raving about Sleeper, but are unsure if you are making a major mistake by switching from an existing platform that you know.
ESPN & Yahoo! are the two oldest and most well-known fantasy platforms. Both of these companies have been in the industry for over a decade and a half. If you played fantasy football anytime within the past 15 years, chances are, you have used one of these two platforms to host your league.
Below, we'll take a look at some of the most common questions people have.
Can I trust Sleeper Leagues? You guys are new, right?
While Sleeper fantasy football leagues were launched in 2017, Sleeper has been around since 2014 as a popular mobile app for fantasy football chat. From 2014-2017, Sleeper grew to the single largest fantasy football community. The team behind Sleeper (formerly Sleeperbot) include some of the best designers and engineers in the industry, backed by some of the most reputable investors in tech.
Since launching leagues, Sleeper has been growing more than 10x year over year with the company's singular focus on providing a great leagues experience. Yahoo! and ESPN as companies both have other priorities besides fantasy. Yahoo! previously was forced into a sale to Verizon, and ESPN is scrambling to adapt to a new business model. If Sleeper's growth rate continues, it will be the same size as Yahoo! in 2020, and ESPN in 2021.
There are always going to be reasons to distrust a company, but for now, Sleeper is the only platform that has not gone down on a Sunday and locked people from updating their lineups, or glitched out and froze scoring for hours on multiple occasions.
For ESPN and Yahoo!, fantasy leagues is a way to increase revenue via digital advertising. ESPN's main focus is digital video in sports, for example. Sleeper's mission is to connect you to your friends over sports, and is built like a messenger app.
What's the biggest reason to pick Sleeper over ESPN and Yahoo!?
Over the years, many companies have tried to provide an alternative to ESPN and Yahoo! based on features alone, and not design. You may have heard of MyFantasyLeague, NFL.com, CBS, and FleaFlicker. None of them became mainstream due to confusing design, lack of modern native apps, or because they charge money for critical features.
Sleeper fantasy football is the first platform where design is at the forefront of every decision that is made to the product, and is widely considered to be the best designed fantasy football product in the space, as well as being among the most feature rich. Weekly iterations ensure that the design is constantly improving over time, at a pace that will make it difficult for other platforms to catch up.
Due to this focus, Sleeper is often called the Slack or Discord of sports due to both the aesthetics and the focus on chat being central to the user experience.
Does Sleeper serve Ads?
Sleeper does not and will never serve ads. Fantasy leagues need to display a lot of information on the screen in a clear way, which means that every pixel is important. Ads take up precious space, particularly on mobile devices, which hinder the user from viewing and managing their leagues efficiently. They also drain your battery.
While ESPN and Yahoo! play catch up on design, it is very unlikely that they can ever be the industry standard for design without removing ads. Both these companies must show ads to sustain their businesses for now. The bigger the ad, the more jarring the ad, the more frequent the ad, the more money they make. ESPN's full screen mobile ads are an example of their choice to put monetization over making the best decision for the user.
How will Sleeper make money?
We will be making money via optional cosmetics for your team, such as Mascots.
Can you tell me more about your chat features?
One of the most cited reasons for people who have made the switch is that Sleeper offers modern league chat and direct messages.
Modern chat is critical to running a league, including organizing the draft, staying informed with leaguemates, making trades, and trash talking. Sleeper leagues are more active and fun due to chat being central to the league experience.
League chat shows adds/drops/waivers, weekly reports, commissioner rule changes, gifs, photos, polls, and is completely synced between the mobile and web apps. This means that you no longer need email or a messenger platform to chat with your leaguemates or to conduct trade discussions.
ESPN and Yahoo!'s mobile chat is not available on web. Yahoo! also does not allow group chats within the league, and ESPN does not allow 1:1 or group chats on their platform.
Which company has the best technology?
Sleeper is the only platform that has yet to go down. ESPN and Yahoo! both have a history of glitches that have prevented people from setting their lineup or viewing live scores, despite many years to fix these bugs.
Sleeper also loads much faster than Yahoo and ESPN. Whether it's add/drops, waiver processing, viewing matchups, checking scores. Almost everything on Sleeper is noticeably faster.
Technology decisions also affect product features. One example is waivers. Yahoo! and ESPN take hours to process waivers, while Sleeper has a feature called Waiver Countdown where waivers are processed at precisely midnight in under 1 second, for every single league. It's a conscious architectural decision born from the frustration of waiting hours for a waiver claim to clear on Yahoo! and ESPN. Waiver Countdown is now a much anticipated event on Sleeper.
Who has the best mobile apps?
Sleeper objectively has the highest rated mobile apps of the 3 platforms. However, we encourage you to take all 3 apps for a spin. We designed the interactions on Sleeper to be buttery smooth, and focus a lot of attention onto the first time user experience, as well as making research and navigation fast for repeat users.
Who has the best web apps?
Prior to 2019, it was a matter of preference between ESPN, Yahoo! and Sleeper. While Sleeper was the clear winner on mobile, Yahoo! remained the standard for web apps in terms of research, while Sleeper's app was the best for social engagement with your leaguemates.
With the summer 2019 redesign, Sleeper is firmly ahead of both ESPN and Yahoo! in terms of research capabilities and messaging.
Do you have all the scoring settings offered on Yahoo! and ESPN?
Sleeper has all of Yahoo! and ESPN rules and settings, and more. In fact, we offer a quick way to load up default Yahoo! and ESPN settings as a starting point so you begin with familiar settings, and then tweak things from there.
A simple way to think about Sleeper is a more modern version of ESPN and Yahoo! with no ads. You're league will also be far more active as Sleeper's chat experience is on the same level as modern messaging apps that you and your friends use on a daily basis.
It can be difficult to capture the experience of using Sleeper in an article. We encourage you download the Sleeper app on the App Store or Play Store to decide for yourself.