DraftKings is testing a fantasy contest focused on a single NFL game

A few days ago DraftKings announced an NFL product called Showdown, which lets you play in a fantasy football contest centered around just a single football game.

This means that all your players will be drafted from just the two teams playing in that game. Lineups will consist of only six players – four offensive players and two defensive players.

Later today it’s being tested for the first time during the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints playoff game at 4:40pm ET.¬†And DraftKings plans to continue offering Showdown throughout the NFC and AFC championship game. If it’s well received, don’t be surprised to see DraftKings make it available during the regular season next year, or even expand it to other sports.

This new offering is important for a few reasons. First, it allows DraftKings to offer fantasy contests well into the postseason and potentially during the Super Bowl. Before this new offering the company required users to draft NFL lineups with players from multiple games, meaning users couldn’t play on days with only one NFL game, like during the playoffs. In turn DraftKings likely has been missing out on a ton of missed revenue and fan interaction during the time of the season where fans are most into the games.

It’s also important because the six-player structure used by Showdown simplifies fantasy sports on DraftKings in general, making it more accessible to casual fans who don’t like spending time perfecting their lineups and just want to casually play to make the game they’re watching more exciting.

The single-game format complies with all state laws passed over the last few years that legislate daily fantasy sports, which all generally just require that contest not be based on the performance of a single team or athlete.

Going forward, expect to see more products from DraftKings and other daily fantasy sports providers that continue to simplify game play in an effort to appeal to a broader group of casual sports fans.