2020 DraftKings NFL Milly Maker Winners: Trends, Strategies, Roster Construction - Roto Street Journal
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2020 DraftKings NFL Milly Maker Winners: Trends, Strategies, Roster Construction

Before the 2020 season kicked off, Establish The Run guru Adam Levitan penned the single most valuable DFS Article I’ve ever read: Winning DraftKings Milly Maker Trends.

Levitan explored the 452 different Top-10 lineups in each low-stakes, regular-season DraftKings NFL Millionaire Maker from the past three years. Before you go any further, be sure to check out this piece. It’s overhauled my approach to GPP lineups and significantly improved my DFS fortunes. 2020 has been, by far, my most profitable year.

Now halfway through 2020, DraftKings has crowned eight Millionaire Maker Winners. I wanted to revisit some of the key trends Levitan identified, and examine:

Which trends still apply? Have new ones emerged?

Note: Catch The Wolf’s LIVE DFS Stream this Friday @ 3pm EST, featuring PFF’s Ian Hartitz! Find it on FacebookYouTube, and Periscope

2020 Draftkings NFL Milly Maker Winners

DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 8 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 7 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 6 Milly Maker Winning Lineupdraftkings nfl week 6 millionaire maker winner

DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 5 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 4 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 3 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 2 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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DraftKings 2020 NFL Week 1 Milly Maker Winning Lineup

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2020 DraftKings Milly Maker Winner Trends

1) Stacking is (obviously) the key…

Entering 2020, 93.6% of Top-10 Milly Maker Lineups “stacked” their QB with at least one teammate. 41.2% stacked their QB and two weapons.

Thus far in 2020, 100% of Milly Maker Winners have stacked at least weapon. More illuminating, seven of eight (87.5%) stacked two pass-catchers; no double-stacks featured an RB.

Takeaway: Selecting the right QB + at least one, ideally two, of his weapons = the single-most important DFS decision each and every week.

Yet, beyond this…

2) Bringing-it-Back has been paramount, too

Bring-it-back means using at least one opponent of the winning QB.

Entering 2020, 36.3% of Top-10s “brought-it-back.” In 2020, a whopping seven of eight (87.5%) brought it back. Interestingly, every “bring-it-back” player was a WR.

2020 Milly Maker Winner Stacks and Run-Backs so far:

Week 1: Aaron Rodgers + Davante Adams & Allen Lazard; Adam Thielen Run Back

Week 2: Dak Prescott + Amari Cooper & CeeDee Lamb; Calvin Ridley Run Back

Week 3: Russell Wilson + DK Metcalf & Tyler Lockett; Michael Gallup Run Back

Week 4: Dak Prescott + Amari Cooper & CeeDee Lamb; Odell Beckham Run Back

Week 5: Pat Mahomes + Tyreek Hill & Travis Kelce (No Run Back)

Week 6: Matt Ryan + Julio Jones & Hayden Hurst; Justin Jefferson Run Back

Week 7: Russell Wilson + Tyler Lockett (No Double); DeAndre Hopkins Run Back

Week 8: Pat Mahomes + Travis Kelce & Demarcus Robinson; Denzel Mims Run Back

Takeaway: Essentially, Milly Maker Winners find the shootout and picking the highest scoring pieces within it.

3) O/U Almost Always the Highest of the Week

Thus far, the Milly Maker Winner has stacked and ran-back the week’s highest-scoring game in 6 of 8 Weeks (75%). The scores:

Week 1: Packers 43 / Vikings 34 = 78 points (+15 next closest)

Week 2: Cowboys 40 / Falcons 39 = 79 points (+16)

Week 3: Seahawks 38 / Cowboys 31 = 69 Points (+2)

Week 4: Cowboys 38 / Browns 49 = 87 points (+18)

Week 5: Raiders 40 / Chiefs 32 = 72 points (+1)

Week 6: Falcons 40 / Vikings 23 = 63 points  (Not highest – Titans 42 Texans 36, 78)

Week 7: Seahawks 34 / Cardinals 37 & Browns 37 / Bengals 31 

Week 8: Chiefs 35 / Jets 9 = 44 points (Obviously not highest, Chargers 30 / Broncos 31)

Teams on the list multiple times: Cowboys (3, RIP), Seahawks (2), Chiefs (2), Browns (2), Vikings (2), Falcons (2)

4) Flexual Healing – What Flex Position is Most Common in DFS 2020 Milly Maker Winners?

Entering 2020, 58% of Top-10 Lineups used an RB in the flex. 33% used a WR, while only 9% used a TE.

This script has flipped to begin 2020. Out of the eight flexes for 2020 Milly Maker Winners thus: four featured WRs (50%), three had RBs (37.5%), and just 1 inserted a TE (12.5%).

Week 1: WR – Calvin Ridley

Week 2: TE – Jordan Reed

Week 3: RB – Derrick Henry

Week 4: RB – Mike Davis

Week 5: WR – Robby Anderson

Week 6: RB – D’Andre Swift

Week 7: WR – DeAndre Hopkins

Week 8: WR – Kendrick Bourne

Perhaps the pricing upcharge for minimum RBs ($4,000) has skewed more WR-heavy lineups, with the best values coming from the position?

Regardless, as long as you’re avoiding double-TE, you’ll be doing just fine.

5) Chalk Talk: Cumulative Ownership Numbers in 2020 Milly Maker Winners

“Cumulative ownership” is calculated by adding up all nine players’ ownership rates for a final sum. Entering 2020, Levitan calculated the distribution of cumulative ownership among Top-10s:

Sub-50% – 8 teams (1.8%)
50-75% – 46 teams (10.22%)
75-100% – 85 teams (18.8%)
100-125% – 158 teams (35%)
125-150% – 105 teams (23.2%)
150-175% – 43 teams (9.5%)
175+% – 7 teams (1.5%)

Only 11% above 150%, with a sweet spot of nearly 60% of teams in the 100-150% range (100-125% the clear best)

2020 has trended in a different direction, at least for the ultimate winners.

Starting with Week 1, the 2020 DraftKings Milly Maker featured a cumulative ownership of: 88%, 92.1%, 91.6%, 119.2%, 129.2%, 77%, 129.7%, 111.9%.

Yes, we are only halfway through the year, but this means:

Sub-75% – 0 teams (0%)
75-100% – 4 teams (50%)
100-125% – 2 teams (25%)
125-150% – 2 teams (25%)

None have crossed the 130% threshold, and none have fallen below 75% either.

Takeaway: Nothing super-chalky has (or likely will) win a Milly, but you also don’t have to be crazy contrarian, either.

6) Chalk Talk, II: 20%+ Owned Players

For chalkiness at the player-specific level, winners featured X 20% or higher-owned players:

Zero 20%+: 2 lineups (25%)

One 20%+: 4 Lineups (50%)

Two 20%+: 1 Lineup (12.5%)

Three 20%+: 1 Lineup (12.5%)

Historically, Top-10 Lineups entered the year averaging 1.9 players at 20% or higher ownership. This has flipped a bit to begin 2020, with 75% of Milly Making lineups having one or fewer 20%+ owned players.

Of nine 20%+ higher who’ve entered lineups:

  • Four were RBs (Derrick Henry x 2, Jamaal Williams, Josh Jacobs)
  • Four were WRs (Adams, DK, Robby A, Slayton)
  • One was D/ST (WASH)

Takeaway It’s fine to have one in the lineup, but after that, you’re putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage thus far in 2020.

7) *New Trend* More Expensive QBs = the play in 2020

Entering 2020, the Top-10s rostered a sub-$6K QB 45.4%. Additionally, they used a $7k or higher QB just 10% of the time.

This has taken a dramatic turn in 2020.

Week 1: Aaron Rodgers ($6300)* Cheapest of 2020 so far

Week 2: Dak Prescott ($6800)

Week 3: Russell Wilson ($7300)

Week 4: Dak Prescott ($7200)

Week 5: Patrick Mahomes ($7300)

Week 6: Matt Ryan ($6600)

Week 7: Russell WIlson ($8000)

Week 8: Patrick Mahomes ($8100)

Punting the position has become a thing of the past. Perhaps it’s QB-play being at an all-time high. Maybe defenses are at an all-time low. Whatever the reason:

Sub-$6k QBs = 0%, down from 45.4%

Only 1 under $6.5k (12.5%)

$7k or higher QBs: 5/8, 62.5% huge spike up from 10%

Takeaway: Punting at QB is disadvantageous thus far in 2020. A Top-3 QB salary-wise has made up 75% of winning lineups. Go elite at QB, especially if they have a strong opponent who can keep pace.

Summary: Most Trends Continue (or heighten), Outside 1

Yes, drawing a huge sweeping conclusion on just eight lineups isn’t always advisable. This is why Levitan’s approach to analyzing Top-10s provided more reliable trends.

Still, there’s value in looking at not just Top-10 placers, but the ones winning the whole damn thing. The most noteworthy trends so far:

  • Double-Stacking = 87.5% so far, compared to 41.2% entering the season
  • Bringing-Back = 87.5% so far, compared to 36.3% entering 2020.
  • 75-100% cumulative ownership = the sweet spot (50%), compared to 18.8% entering the year
  • Having more than one 20%+ owned player has put you at a serious disadvantage, with 75% of lineups featuring 1 or fewer.
  • Perhaps the biggest change = QBs. Whereas 45% had featured $6k or under QBs, 0 lineups have done so in 2020. Five of eight(62.5%) have featured $7k or higher QBs, a huge spike up from 10% entering the season.

I hope this breakdown of the eight 2020 NFL Milly Makers has been helpful. If it drives you to a Milly Lineup, don’t forget a quick H/T to @RotoStreetWolf 😉

If you want to talk more DFS with me, I’ll be LIVE with the great Ian Hartitz this Friday at 3 PM EST, giving you our optimal lineup and roster construction based on these findings. We’ll be LIVE on FacebookYouTube, and Periscope

Author

  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.

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