Millionaire Maker Lineups, Part 2

General Stategies

by Alec Aubry (@FantasySpuds)

Welcome back for those who started this journey with me last week. I’d also like to send a warm welcome for those who are joining for the first time! Part 2 in this Millionaire Maker Series will break down two general tournament strategies that many will find familiar. However, with this familiarity also comes information you most likely have not encountered. Then, I will dive into a few fun facts you won’t want to miss. With that being said, let’s dive into it!

General Strategies

The first strategy to discuss is the Team Stack Strategy. This strategy involves a lineup construction of at least three players of the same team in one lineup. It will always include a Quarterback, as the Quarterback distributes the ball and remains the center of most offensive production. This strategy comes into play when a team as a whole, projects to score massive points.

Found on ten of the seventeen (58.82%) grand prize-winning lineups, this strategy clearly displays elite success. A perfect example of this came in the Week 14 winning lineup with QB-Dak Prescott (30.4 DK Points), RB-Ezekiel Elliot (34.2 DK Points) and WR-Amari Cooper (52.7 DK Points). Typically, when using this strategy, if you want to use a RB in your stack, you will want to use a pass-catching back. This is especially vital on Draftkings with the PPR (Point Per Reception) format.

The second general strategy I want to touch on is the Game Stacking Strategy. This strategy is very similar to the Team Stack Strategy. It again incorporates using multiple players from the same team, typically a Quarterback and pass catchers. But this time, we will also “run it back” with a player(s) from the other team as well. This strategy is most often used in shootout games with both teams project to score a lot of points, regardless of who wins.

This strategy was used in six out of the seventeen (35.3%) grand prize-winning lineups. It’s not as prominent as the previous strategy, but still very relevant in today’s DFS tournament landscape. (Hint: if it’s showing up in lineups that are winning millions of dollars, it probably works. Which is kind of the whole point of this article, but just a friendly reminder.) We can find an example of this strategy being used all the way back in Week 1 where Tampa Bay QB,Ryan Fitzpatrick (45.28 DK Points), TB WR, Mike Evans (30.7 DK Points), TB WR, DeSean Jackson (30.7 DK Points), NO RB, Alvin Kamara (46.1 DK Points) and NO, WR Michael Thomas (42.0 DK Points) led this lineup to the highest lineup score of the year. As you can see, when games turn into full blown shootouts, such as this one, this strategy is well on its way of reigning supreme for the week.

Most often the strategy will only use one player from another team but using two is also an acceptable strategy (as seen above). Of the six lineups using a game stack strategy: four lineups used one player to “run it back”, leaving two lineups using two players to “run it back”. 

These two strategies are ones of many throughout the DFS industry to abide by, and for good reason. Seeing these strategies used as often as they are in the most optimal lineups should indicate these strategies work. I’ve been singing this tune throughout this article and will continue to sing this same song throughout this series. Learn from the successes of others and follow their breadcrumbs. Now let’s get to the fun stuff in our fun facts!

Fun Fact #6: Game Stacking Correlated with Top QB Performances

It’s true! If we look at the graph below, we can see that four of the six Game Stack (GS) QB performances were also four of the five highest QB performances. This should not come as a huge surprise as we know this strategy is meant to be used on high scoring shootouts where both real points and fantasy points are abundant.

Fun Fact #7: Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

Who was the highest scoring team stack of the year, you might ask? I did not do this on purpose, but it was already mentioned in this article. Here it is once more below: 

Yes, it was the week Amari went absolutely bonkers with 10 receptions, 217 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Even though Amari overshadowed his teammates a bit this week, Zeke and Dak both still had rock solid performances as well. These Cowboys totaled 117.3 DK points just edging out the Week 1 Tampa Bay team stack of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson who totaled 110.58 DK Points.

Fun Fact #8: Run It Back with Chalk

Of the eight players that were “run it back” plays of the six game stacks, we see only one player regardless of price failed to hit an extremely high 32 DK Point threshold. This we can see was Elijah McGuire who set the floor both for % Owned at 9.90% and DK Points at a respectable 23.5 DK Points. All of these performances are fairly chalky options, yet all of them put together awesome performances. When you’re rolling out a team stack projected to be low-owned, and there’s a chalky option on the other side of that particular game that you believe will do well, the 2018 numbers recommend eating that chalk almost every time.

Fun Fact #9: Ryan Fitzpatrick is such a DFS Prankster

To finish off the article and the fun facts, I found probably the funniest fun fact of the article. The lowest owned QB used in any of the ten team stack lineups was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The highest owned you might ask? Also, coincidentally Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now here’s where Fitzpatrick’s elaborate prank comes into play. The week he was lowest owned, he was the second best QB performer of those ten Team Stack lineup QBs, falling only 0.6 DK Points short of Aaron Rodgers for the top spot. The week he was the most owned Team Stack QB, he put together the worst performance of the ten Team Stack QBs! His low score surely did not bother the winner of the Week 9 Millionaire Maker, but I can imagine others might have wished they’d gone a different direction that week.

Fun Fact #10: The Shootout South

This is probably my favorite stat of the article. Why that is, I don’t really know, I just think it’s awesome! During my research I found six game stacks. Of those six game stacks, FOUR of them were NFC South Divisional games! These four occurrences were: Week 1 Tampa Bay at New Orleans, Week 3 New Orleans at Atlanta, Week 9 Tampa Bay at Carolina & Week 17 Atlanta at Tampa Bay. Seeing Tampa Bay in there three times out of four probably wasn’t shocking, as they were notoriously the best team to stack against in the 2018-2019 NFL DFS season.