[toc]The daily fantasy sports industry has not had much interest or success in iterating the product away from the model that has worked for FanDuel and DraftKings.
The top two sites, in particular, have not attempted to move away from their basic salary-cap model. That, after all, is got them to where they are — more than a billion dollars in investment money and a merger on the horizon.
FanDuel is at least trying to break out of the comfort zone with a new product innovation called “Mixup” that simplifies its core DFS contests.
More about FanDuel Mixup
FanDuel already hinted at the new Mixup format as it launched a “late swap” feature for some of its contests.
Today, FanDuel announced Mixup is now live for MLB contests. What exactly is Mixup? According to FanDuel, it “combines the best of FanDuel’s traditional game format with smaller rosters and changing weekly themes.”
Mixup contests have just five roster slots right now, making contests easier to play and requiring less research. For MLB, this requires entrants to select two pitchers and three offensive players. (The core FanDuel MLB contests have nine roster slots.)
A salary-cap structure is in place for Mixup contests, and the contests still use FanDuel’s standard scoring.
According to FanDuel, other features of Mixup include:
- Fun, weekly challenges: Each week, a new theme will be announced, adjusting the player pool for all Mixup contests that week. Offering a new, fresh challenge every week, example themes include “Night Owls,” where users will draft from players in night games and “No Animals Allowed,” where teams with animals for mascots will be removed from the player pool.
- H2H availability: Head to heads for Mixup will also be available, meaning users can compete against a single opponent in a Mixup contest.
Mixup contests are available for MLB on the website and on the mobile app.
More coming at FanDuel?
A spokesperson for FanDuel said that the company hoped to implement Mixup for other sports down the road.
There’s also the possibility of more product development on the way.
“We’ve been focused on creating new products to appeal to the everyday sports fan and to ensure there is something for everyone on our platform,” said Tom Griffiths, chief product officer for FanDuel said. “We built Mixup because we wanted to introduce new contest variants while designing a fun, fast, fan-friendly product that appeals to all users.”
There are other versions of DFS that diverge wildly from the FanDuel/DraftKings model, like USFantasy and Boom Fantasy. But those have remained niche offerings to date.
DraftKings, FanDuel keep working
How much product development FanDuel will get to roll out before a planned merger with DraftKings is unclear. But with the newest offering at FanDuel, it is clear the companies are not just counting the days until the merger happens. Other examples:
- Earlier this year, FanDuel and the NBA rolled out free in-game contests called InPlay.
- FanDuel added “late swap,” a feature of DraftKings contests for years.
- FanDuel added fantasy golf contests before The Masters.
- DraftKings isn’t sitting still either, constantly improving its DK Live app.