Millionaire Maker Lineups, Part 4

Running Backs

by Alec Aubry (@FantasySpuds)

Welcome back all! It’s been a little bit since the last installment of this Millionaire Maker Lineups series. I have actually been on vacation this past week in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Had the time of my life. For those who love the outdoors, history and breweries in a laid-back environment I’d highly recommend a trip out west to Denver! Anyways, let’s get back to where we left off and discuss our strategies, trends, and fun facts for Running Backs.

Strategy

Running Back is truly a unique position when discussing which players we want to target week in and week out. Luckily, when comparing Running Backs to the other positions, this uniqueness makes it the easiest position to nail down who will be at the top.

There are two viable situations at the Running Back position every week. The first being to pay up for two elite backs to anchor your lineup. (Define paying up as RBs costing $7,000 or more in DK Pricing). This strategy of paying up for two elite backs occurred in eight of the seventeen Millionaire Maker winning lineups. Knowing this strategy was performed by nearly half the winners from last year’s contest safely puts this strategy within our blueprint for the 2019 season.

The second situation is deploying two low cost Running Backs who have either earned a larger role that week, typically due to injury, or simply because they are mis-priced. A great way to save salary if you are looking to pay up at other positions such as Wide Receiver. This strategy was used in a respectable five of the seventeen lineups. It is best used in weeks where the elite Wide Receivers seem to be superior options to the elite Running Backs. These weeks are less abundant, but they do still occur nonetheless. 

Trend

Here is a quick view of the overall numbers. The 34 Running Backs (not including FLEX Running Backs) had an average DraftKings Price of $7,088. This number is the reason for the $7,000 marker used earlier in this article. They also averaged a 21.2% ownership mark, and put up an average of 31.8 DK Points. 

The high average DK price comes at no surprise knowing that paying up for elite Running Backs was the most abundant strategy at the position. What is interesting is the chalky average 21.2% ownership mark. Of the 34 Running Backs, a majority of 20 Running Backs, surpassed this 21.2% ownership mark. This ownership report reveals Running Back is not the place to “get cute” and go searching for a diamond in the rough. What proves this point even more so is the fact that there was only ONE Running Back who was below 7% ownership found in these lineups. 

Again, we want to separate ourselves from the field, and low owned players are the way to do just that. The Running Back position is just not a position where hunches and bold moves are well warranted. 

Fun Fact #16: Mack Hack

Remember about three lines ago I mentioned only one Running Back was less than 7% owned in a winning Millionaire Maker Lineup last year? Well, by the title you probably know that Marlon Mack was that cheat code to the chalk Running Back formula. Mack put together a fantastic performance in Week 15 against the Dallas Cowboys, putting up 29.9 DK Points at a price point of $4,500, and ownership of only 2.00%! Just a friendly reminder that outliers do exist, but don’t bet on them. They are outliers, and not the norm for a reason.

Fun Fact #17: Fantastic Four

The importance of elite Running Backs in DFS cannot be stated enough. There were four players who tied for the most appearances in these seventeen lineups. The mark for the most appearances was four. All four of the players were elite Running Backs. You can see the number four is frequently used in this fun fact. These four Running Backs were (total points from these four performances): James Conner (148.8), Christian McCaffrey (144.4), Ezekiel Elliot (126.1), and Saquon Barkley (124.3). Four elite Running Backs, sixteen amazing performances, millions of dollars, and one fun fact. Who said numbers aren’t fun!

Fun Fact #18: Elite Eight

Elite status is something that is earned, not given. Only eight backs earned this status with these twenty performances that put them on the ultimate pedestal in DFS, that is Millionaire Maker winning lineups! This is also a reminder the best of the best at this position is a very limited pool. Nailing down who to play at Running Back is one of the easier ways to start your lineup off right. When also factoring in each elite Running Back will not have good matchups every week makes it even easier to pinpoint which backs to use. One final interesting fact from this group is that only one of these backs fell below 13% ownership. Last time I’ll say this, chalk gets the job done at Running Back. Check these performances out below:

Fun Fact #19: Salary Saver Squad

I can’t mention the elite backs without also mentioning their counterparts. These salary savers are also immortalized for those who used them at the right place and the right time. This group contains eight of the nine lowest owned Running Backs in this group of 34 RBs. A very important trend in this group is how the last three weeks of the season was prime time for these salary savers. This is a time of year where everyone in the NFL is dinged up, so this trends doesn’t come as much of a surprise. 

Fun Fact #20: Top 5 Ownership vs Pricing

As always, I had fun fiddling around with these numbers. I mean c’mon you don’t expect me to make a massive spreadsheet and not tinker around with it to see what I can find! For this fun fact I took the five highest owned Running Backs of this group and pinned them up against the five highest priced Running Backs of this group. Before you look at the graph, who do you think will win? I’ll give a tiny bread crumb and let you guys know it’s very close. If you looked anyways that’s alright too, I’m not too great with patience either.

It was the high price with 172.3 DK Points that took the victory over the high ownership with 165.6 DK Points. It was really Aaron Jones brutal performance that sunk the ownership group. The high price group is much more consistent mostly staying in the mid-30s range while the high ownership really bounces all over the place. 

Well that’ll do it for this fourth part of the Millionaire Maker Series, hope you all enjoyed! I can’t wait to get to the next one! From myself and Expand The Boxscore, have an awesome day and don’t worry the start of the NFL season is almost here!

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