Sports

Meet the Coast's fantasy sports king

Jason Quave of D'Iberville won a million dollars in 2014 playing Draft Kings fantasy football.
Jason Quave of D'Iberville won a million dollars in 2014 playing Draft Kings fantasy football. SUN HERALD

Jason Quave doesn't hesitate or have to think much about it.

"Joe Flacco, Brandon Oliver, Lamar Miller " he said last week, asked which was The Lineup. "I can spit them out as fast as anyone asks."

The 39-year-old Red Bull sales manager from D'Iberville is more than just the dude at your office water cooler who thinks he's a fantasy football expert -- Quave

has the receipts to back up his game.

He hit it big last year when he won DraftKings' Week 6 Millionaire Maker contest, besting about 85,000 other fantasy football entries. He entered seven lineups with varying players at $27 a pop. After the conclusion of the Monday Night Football matchup, Quave's lineup was on top.

"It was fun and a hell of a roller coaster ride," he said.

Quave had a "silent partner" with whom he split his $1 million. After she got her cut and Uncle Sam got his share, Quave said the bulk of his winnings went to pay off both of his kids' college funds and his house. He also bought a boat and got out of credit card debt.

"We had a good time with it," he said.

Quave's lineup stood out because he had only one highly drafted player in Oliver, who was owned in 30.5 percent of leagues. Flacco, Miller and Andre Holmes were owned in less than 2.7 percent of leagues. His "stack" -- which is when you pair a running back, tight end or receiver with their quarterback -- cashed in big. Flacco and Ravens target Steve Smith combined for 60.24 of Quave's 229.84 total points. The rest of his team was Jordy Nelson, Julius Thomas, Mohamed Sanu and the Broncos defense.

"I had two solid sleepers no one else had. They even said on DraftKings, 'How in the heck did you have these players?'" he said. " That's how you win. Of course you have to have your studs, the all-stars everyone else has, but you have to pick players who you think are sleepers. Either that or you'll be just like everyone else. That's my strategy."

Quick study

Quave, the son of D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave, started playing fantasy football about 2004 and quickly got into dynasty leagues -- which are much deeper than the average league.

"I kept up with football all year long, so come March, I was reading any news that was out there about particular players and eight years later you know who the fifth-string wide receiver is for the St. Louis Rams," he said. "You learn all these players and that's what helped me win the million."

His success has carried over to this year. He said he plays 10 to 15 lineups every week, mixing in various leagues such as 50-50s, the Millionaire Maker and others, and averages a couple hundred dollars in winnings.

"At the beginning of the year I deposited $200, and I have yet to deposit again," he said.

The future of 'DFS'

Daily fantasy sports has made plenty of headlines lately -- and not because of how wonderful it is, but rather questioning the legality of the web-based operations.

It's already illegal in a number of states, including Louisiana. A New York courtroom is hearing arguments on the topic from FanDuel and DraftKings. According to the Associated Press, more than 100 lawyers, observers and reporters were on hand for Wednesday's hearing in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Skill or chance?

It all comes down to whether daily fantasy sports are skill based or chance based.

Those who oppose it argue it's based on games of chance and depends on future events bettors can't control and thus is in violation of the gambling provision of penal law and New York's constitution, in this instance.

Companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings maintain their product is not gambling, because players pay a fixed fee to participate, prize money is known ahead of time and compiling a successful roster is a matter of skill, not chance.

Mississippi's stance

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood remained neutral on the subject in a statement to the Sun Herald: "As co-chair of the recently formed National Association of Attorneys General Gaming Committee, I am aware of and researching more about the issues surrounding daily fantasy sports following the recent release of the Nevada Attorney General's memorandum (which banned daily fantasy sports) on the legality of fantasy sports under Nevada law."

With lawmakers and lawyers alike circling the daily fantasy bubble, it's probably only a matter of time until it bursts.

"I'm concerned about it just because we're a gaming state," Quave said. "With the casinos being here, I'm sure there's been conversations."

Quave calls himself a realist when it comes to daily fantasy sports.

"I'm anticipating this may be going away one day if the powers that be get their way, so I'm going to enjoy it while I can," he said. "We'll see how long it lasts."

The Associated Press, contributed to this report.

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