Every week, some lucky person takes home $1 million by winning the DraftKings DFS 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 with its DraftKings picks for the Millionaire Maker and see if it aligns with prior trends or if there are new ways and DraftKings lineup advice we need to take down the contest. Here is the Week 11 breakdown.
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DraftKings NFL DFS: Week 11 Millionaire Maker Review
The Winning DraftKings DFS Lineup Picks
The winning lineup featured an unstacked Taysom Hill in his debut as a starting quarterback for the Saints. This was the first time this year that a team won the Milly Maker without stacking their quarterback with one of his pass catchers. It also falls into the minority group of lineups that do not feature a run-back from another team. It did feature a stack of the Minnesota/Dallas game and a secondary stack of the Cleveland/Philadelphia game. With most of the premier offenses off the main slate, it only took 222 points to take home $1 million this week.
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Naked Quarterback in NFL DFS
It’s difficult to recommend playing a quarterback without using one of their pass catchers, but it may have made more sense to do so with Hill than any other passer this year. Most quarterbacks need to hit 300 yards and score multiple times in order to have a ceiling performance. That means that if a normal quarterback is going to win you a GPP, one of their receivers is almost certainly going to have a GPP-winning outing as well. A quarterback having a massive day and none of their receivers hitting aren’t mutually exclusive events. However, it is rare to see one without the other.
Quarterbacks who Break the Mold
There are some exceptions to this rule. This week, Deshaun Watson scored twice through the air and passed for 344 yards. Despite his incredible performance, none of his receivers hit even 15 DraftKings points. Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller topped 80 yards each, but neither hit the 100-yard bonus or scored. Randall Cobb was off to a hot start with a score in the first half but was unable to finish the game due to a foot injury. Keke Coutee scored once on two catches. This is the unpredictable outlier of the potential quarterback-without-receivers outcomes. Watson also punched in a rushing scored but would have been the No. 2 scoring quarterback on the main slate without it. For players who aren’t threatening the 100-yard bonus with their legs, there’s no reason not to stack them with a pass catcher.
The other scenario is when a quarterback can break the slate with his legs. Even for these quarterbacks, it’s rare to see them have a big game without at least one receiver being brought along for the ride. Lamar Jackson is the easiest example of this type of player. In his three weeks with over 25 DraftKings points, Mark Andrews has topped 20 points twice. Nick Boyle scored once in the third of those games and would have been a solid value in a Jackson stack if anyone actually had the gall to play him. Stacking a quarterback with one of their pass catchers has been mandatory in every week this season until Week 11.
The difference between Hill and other rushing quarterbacks was his price. Because Jackson and Kyler Murray routinely cost of $7,000 as DraftKings picks, they need a notable outing through the air and on the ground to pay off their lofty price tags. Hill could have thrown for 100 fewer yards, just 133 in total, on the day in and still come in as the second-best value based on his $4,800 salary. His cost combined with his rushing ability changed the dynamics of stacking entirely. We’re unlikely to see another player like Hill priced below $5,000 for the rest of the season. He will serve as a good reference point if the situation arises again though.
Stacking in DraftKings DFS
This lineup didn’t use a quarterback to attack one game, but that doesn’t mean it avoided a game stack entirely. It used three players from the Minnesota – Dallas game but chose to leave Kirk Cousins on the bench. The monstrous volume and touchdown potential of Dalvin Cook plus the efficiency of Minnesota’s passing attack made this type of build possible. Cook was averaging 30 touches for 196.7 yards and two scores in his three games before Week 11. Cousins is currently third in touchdown rate and first in yards per attempt, but he is only 23rd in overall attempts. That allows his receivers to blow up without him having the necessary volume to top 30 points. The dynamics of this team made it possible to game stack without a quarterback and secondary stacks generally appear to be underrated based on how often they show up in the winning lineup.
Stacking is typically used to increase the ceiling of a lineup but it also correlates the outcomes of a roster. Every lineup entered is a nine-leg parlay of the chosen players. All of the legs (or maybe eight legs on a low-scoring week) need to hit to take down a tournament. Using players who correlate well within the same game reduces the number of legs. The winning roster in Week 11 bet on Cook soaking up volume with Adam Thielen getting his based on efficiency. That isn’t an uncommon occurrence for the Vikings offense. Add in a cheap receiver from Dallas getting to square off versus a weak Minnesota defense, and it dropped the number of legs in the parlay to seven.
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