Related: What features does Sleeper have that other platforms don't have?
You are likely on this page because you are intrigued by Sleeper's design and chat features, 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 mobile app for fantasy news and 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 people in tech.
Looking at the trajectory of the three platforms, Sleeper is rising, while Yahoo! was forced into a sale to Verizon, and ESPN is scrambling to adapt in a world where people are unsubscribing from cable at an alarming rate.
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.
After over a decade of dominance for Yahoo! and ESPN, it was only a matter of time before someone came along with an alternative that will push the entire industry to innovate.
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.
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 products 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 a great example their struggles to balance monetization with making the best decision for the user.
How will Sleeper make money?
We will be making money via casual sports betting, pro leagues, and our API integration platform.
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 on every single screen for every single interaction. Whether it's add/drops, waiver processing, viewing matchups, checking scores. 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. Without major architectural and technology changes, ESPN and Yahoo! will never be able to offer something like this.
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. The interactions on Sleeper are simply much smoother, and the latest redesign will put Sleeper's design in a place that will be hard to reach for either ESPN or Yahoo!.
Who has the best web apps?
ESPN's web app has not changed in the last 7-8 years, and is universally considered by far the worst web experience of all fantasy platforms, ranking below not only Yahoo!, but also NFL.com and CBS. Yahoo!'s web app has been updated to be very modern in terms of league management. Like Yahoo!, Sleeper also has a modern league management interface, but also comes with league chat being core to that experience.
Being able to communicate easily with leaguemates in-app without having to have a second messenger app or using email makes coordination and trades fun while these things are frustrating on other platforms.
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.
The best way to think about Sleeper is better design than ESPN and Yahoo!, with more customization options.
We hope all of these reasons convince you to try us out.