FanDuel has answered the recent release of DraftKings Leagues with a release of their own called Friends Mode. The introduction of FanDuel Friends Mode comes on the heels of a major “Sportsrich” rebranding that was unveiled in early August and is just in time for football season. Friends Mode is an effort by FanDuel to make daily fantasy sports more social.
The concept of FanDuel Friends Mode is familiar: a FanDuel player starts a league as a commissioner and invites their friends. From their league page, players can compete for prizes each week against their friends and follow their progress all season long.
FanDuel players wanting to participate might want to start soon. To get the full benefit of Friends Mode, you’ll want to create your league before the season starts. FanDuel will also be giving a $10 reward to every commissioner that gets a Friends Mode league going that meets minimum requirements (must play a Week 1 contest with 5 or more friends and play in a Friends Mode contest with $5 in entries per player).
Details of FanDuel Friends Mode
The main aim of FanDuel Friend Mode is to meld the world of daily fantasy sports with traditional season-long contests. Instead of playing against strangers in daily fantasy contests or against friends in your regular fantasy leagues, you can now play DFS with your friends in a centralized league environment complete with real money contests and standings. When joining a league, new real money DFS contest will automatically be created every week for your league, with a standard amount of rake taken from FanDuel Friends Mode contests.
Players can participate in Friends Mode via the FanDuel website of FanDuel mobile apps. You will be able to join a variety of the leagues with different groups of friends.
There are some shortcomings with the product, however. Most notably, players will notice the lack of customization that can be done with multiple contests as well as a lack of message board for communication between members. There is also a requirement that players must join each contest manually every week, rather than one time for the entire season. For this reason, you will want to make sure to choose your league members wisely as any weekly contests that does not have full participation will not run.
Leagues are able to have only one contest per week, but commissioners will be given the flexibility to edit contest details each week or even skip weeks if they choose to do so. Like DraftKings Leagues, there is currently no way to add season-long contests.
Despite the limitations, it would not be a surprise if FanDuel rushed out Friends Mode a bit to respond to DraftKing’s Leagues and also make sure they have something to give to players before the NFL season. Like DraftKings Leagues, there is definitely room for improvement and likely will be, especially if the feature catches on.
So what’s the difference between this and just creating contests manually week? The main perk is organization. Friends Mode leagues will be located on a central hub page for the contests you play against your friends. In addition, league standings — which will count scores from your top five weeks — will keep track of the performance of you against all your friends.
Despite the limitations, Friends Mode is an excellent way to add the continuous fun — and bragging rights — of season-long fantasy sports with your friends who enjoy playing DFS.
Instructions for Participating in a Friends Mode FanDuel League
To get started, find “Friends” from the top of the FanDuel lobby once you are signed into FanDuel.
Once you are on the main league page, you will want to “Start My League” to create your league. Any player on FanDuel can create a league. The player who creates the league will be the commissioner.
Assign a name for your league. Optionally, you can also add a league image and league description for quick identification of your league. These can be edited later.
Create your weekly contest. The contest must have at least 5 participants to be a real money contest. Otherwise, it will be played as a free contest. Commissioners can also select from entry fees of Free, $2, $5, $10, $25, $50 and $100. You can choose a prize structure of winner-take-all, top 3 or top 1/3 receive a prize. You can change contest details from week to week.
Once you have created your first contest, you can share the link manually, or if you know your friends’ FanDuel usernames, you can find and enter them here. If you don’t know all of your friend usernames, you can add additional friends after you created your league.
Your league is now created. You can check out your league details and invite additional friends as you wish. Once your friends are added, they will need to enter each contest manually every week to play. Commissioners are able to update the details of their contest at any time.