Every week, some lucky person takes home a million dollars by winning the DraftKings Millionaire Maker contest, AKA The Milly Maker. The contest is $20 to enter with a maximum of 150 entries per person. I looked at a few key trends from two years of winners this summer and pulled some key trends that can be found here – Five Key Trends from Million Dollar DraftKings NFL DFS Lineups. In this series, we’ll look at what the winning lineup did each week on DraftKings and see if it aligns with prior trends, or if there are new ways to take down the contest.
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NFL DFS Week 1 DraftKings Millionaire Maker Lineup Review and Strategy
The Winning Lineup
The winning lineup was a stack of the Packers/Vikings game. Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard made up the winner’s Green Bay stack, and they ran it back with Adam Thielen, the opposing WR1. That game finished with 77 points, 43 of which were scored by Green Bay. The line closed at 44.5 with the Packers as +2.5 dogs. The lineup also ran a mini-stack of Greg Olsen and Calvin Ridley, who played in a shootout of their own.
This build follows nearly all of the rules established by previous winners of the Millionaire Maker. Stacking was always used in some capacity, and it was often more than just a QB/WR1. Secondary stacks were common as well and this one featured a form of that with the Ridley/Olsen move. It also committed high ownership to its most-expensive running back in Josh Jacobs, which follows the history of previous winners as well. This lineup should affirm most of the trends found in two years of data from the winners.
The lineup spent a bit less at running back than previous winners, but Week 1 prevented some egregious values at running back including Jacobs, who was an Awesemo favorite in cash games. Going high-mid-low at receiver with a cheap tight end and defense falls in line with the 2018 and 2019 winners as well.
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Stacking in NFL DFS
The big pivot in this lineup was moving off of Tampa Bay/New Orleans and Seattle/Atlanta in favor of the Green Bay/Minnesota game. The total of the game was significantly lower, but it featured a competent passer in Kirk Cousins versus a historically great passer in Rodgers. All four passers in those other two games were projected to be more popular but Rodgers arguably has as much upside on a weekly basis. That pivot was the deciding factor in this lineup winning someone a million dollars. Ridley as the only player on Atlanta is interesting but makes sense. He has scored touchdowns at a higher rate than Julio Jones for both of his NFL seasons which means he can end up as the Falcons’ highest scorer if touchdowns break his way. That was the case in Week 1.
Based on the history of winners and backed up by this lineup, every lineup entered into the Millionaire Maker should feature a quarterback, two of his receiving weapons (one of which is often but not always a receiver) and an opposing receiver. It should also feature a second stack. That can feature at least two players either on the same team or in the same game.
Christian McCaffrey has been priced at or over $10,000 in every slate since Week 9 of last year. He’s appeared in at least 50% of the top 0.1% of lineups in just one slate over that span. He only scored 17.2 points that week. However, he led you to play the right cheap plays, so it worked out. It’s a small sample, but his five-digit price tag appears to be completely prohibitive to joining the highest-scoring lineups on a given slate. A player like Jacobs doesn’t enter the week with an absurd projection like McCaffrey. He can leave the slate with a better score, though. The name of the game is finding McCaffrey scores at sub-McCaffrey prices.
Lamar Jackson could fall into this territory as well. He was not a top-owned player in the upper echelon of lineups in Week 1. That’s despite throwing three touchdowns and rushing for nearly 50 yards. In Week 16 of last year, Jackson scored 33.8 points and was still under 10% owned in the best of lineups. There will always be a seemingly random quarterback who scores close to as much as Jackson. Find him and pay up at running back and wide receiver. Like McCaffrey, the opportunity cost of spending thousands of dollars to get a premium player like Ridley in the flex or an Adams/Thielen stack at receiver is too great to be rostering Jackson at his current price.
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