FanDuel launches Mixup, a more fun version of daily fantasy sports for casual fans

If you’re new to daily fantasy sports, playing (and winning) can be daunting — especially when you’re playing stat-heavy sports like baseball.

To try to fix this FanDuel is launching a new product called FanDuel Mixup, which aims to make daily fantasy sports more appealing to casual users. First announced in March, Mixup is now available for players starting today.

The new game style is like a “lite” version of daily fantasy sports, and has two main differences designed to make it easier for beginners and casual players.

First, each week there will be a weekly theme for all Mixup contests that limit the types of players you can draft for your team. These will be things like Road Warriors (only players playing away games that day) or Old Timers (only players over 30).

The second component is that lineups will consist of just five players (two pitchers and three field players) instead of the nine-spot roster that FanDuel’s regular baseball games have.

While these changes sound minor, reducing the pool of players available to draft and downsizing the lineup size could make a big difference for casual players. Specifically, it means that users don’t have to take as much time drafting and researching their team, which is something that casual users often complain about.

It also disincentives hard-core players from joining these contests, as it’s difficult to seriously use statistics to build a team when you don’t know what players you’ll have access to until the theme is announced each week.

Essentially Mixup is a watered-down version of daily fantasy sports for casual users who don’t want to spend hours focusing on statistics and drafting the perfect team. And the theme component probably makes it the most casual (and fun) daily fantasy sports game to date, which should help FanDuel recruit sports fans who may have previously been turned off by how serious a traditional daily fantasy sports can get.

Mixup launches today for MLB, and the company plans to launch it for other sports down the road. Themes will be announced each Monday, and there will be multiple entry-fee levels for each theme.