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NFL DFS Lineup Study: Milly Maker Refresher

NFL DFS Lineup Study Week 2 Milly Maker Review

We’re all ready for some football and another 18 weeks of trying to win it all in an NFL DFS Milly Maker. Before we get to that let’s all take a deep breath and exhale. It’s been an unprecedented year and a half, and if you’re reading this hopefully it means you’re taking a break from the madness to relax and to maybe win enough money to alleviate a problem or two or 99.

The information below comes via Fantasy Cruncher. Thanks Fantasy Cruncher! Their Lineup Study feature allows you to look back through years of contests on DraftKings and FanDuel, and the Lineup Rewind feature lets you practice different lineup building strategies without burning through your bankroll with trial and error. The site provides these services for the NFL and nearly all the other sports that DK and FD offer.

NFL DFS for Winning the Milly Maker

NFL DFS Lineup Study: The Basics

It would be too simple to say that winning a million bucks (Or any large field tournament) only requires solid lineup construction. It’s the truth even if it doesn’t really explain how to take down the Milly Maker. Today I want to briefly go over what made people successful in previous Milly Makers. There’s no guarantee that what worked last year will work this year, just like there’s no guarantee that what worked yesterday will work tomorrow.

When we dropped our first NFL DFS Milly Maker Report it showed that 76% of Milly Maker winning quarterbacks came from games in the top five for implied game total on the given slate. This trend continued at an 83% clip through the first 12 weeks of the 2020 NFL season. I’m using that as a starting point for the 2021 season until I see a reason to change.

It’s pretty easy to see why this leads to success: The teams that are projected to score a lot of points should produce a lot of fantasy points IF Vegas is right. This is only a starting point. You’ll still want to do your research to find the quarterbacks you want to build around for the week.

NFL DFS Study Hub for NFL DFS Lineup

Team Rise or Fall NFL DFS Study Hub

(For those that are new to DFS and the jargon, what I’m saying is take a look at the game totals or over/unders for every game on a slate. Then use quarterbacks from games within the five highest totals to build your stacks. “What are stacks?” you ask, well let’s continue.)

NFL DFS Lineup Stacking

If you haven’t tuned in to DFS n Donuts Youtube channel you’ve missed out on A LOT of information for NFL DFS lineup building for tournaments, single entry, and showdowns. I’ll only be looking at first place lineups from NFL Milly Makers although some of the information translates no matter what type of contest you’re playing.

Stacking your lineups, or using multiple players from the same team, is generally the most effective way to build for NFL DFS. There’s the occasional winner that features a naked quarterback (A quarterback that isn’t played with any teammates in the same lineup), but that strategy paid off twice in the last 51 (2018-2020) slates that I’ve analyzed.

Here are the winning stack types that took down tournaments in 2018 and 2019:

Stacking for NFL DFS Lineup

There were 14 different stack types in 2018 and 10 different stack types in 2019. Last year saw 10 different stack types take first place for the $1 million grand prize.

NFL DFS Lineup Winning Stacks 2020

A few things standout to me right away. The QB+ 2 WR+ OPP WR lineup showed up four times last year. A quarterback was paired with two receivers and any other combination of players just five times in 2018 and 2019 combined. Running backs were all the rage waaaaay back in 2018 and 2019.

There was a running back paired with his quarterback or the opposing running back in 16 out of 34 lineups in 2018 and 2019. That happened only three times out of 17 slates in 2020. If I told you that something went from happening nearly 50% of the time to just 18% of the time, I think you’d find that interesting. Which way will the trend go in 2021?

In 2018 and 2019 combined there were 12 out of 34 lineups (35%) that used the a wide receiver from the opponent of the quarterback. That number climbed to 10 out of 17 (59%) in 2020.

*The OPP RB was used once in 2020 and six times out of 51 slates (12%)

*A TE was paired with his QB four times in 2020 (24%) and 10 times in 2018+2019 (29%).

Circling back to the naked QBs we can see that although it only happened twice, it did happen in the most recent sample. I still won’t be going that direction even though I’m pointing this out.

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NFL DFS LINEUP Quarterbacks

The quarterback is the centerpiece of our lineups so the position will be the most discussed in NFL DFS. Every year 32 QBs start the season but we’ll see a lot more quarterbacks play due to injury, covid protocols, and overall ineffectiveness. The thing is, we don’t want to focus on ALL of the quarterbacks. We want to put ourselves in position with quarterbacks with the best upside on the particular slate.

Here are the 10 quarterbacks that led a milly winning lineup in 2018:

2018 Quarterbacks NFL DFS Lineup

Here are the 14 quarterbacks that led a milly winning lineup in 2019:

Milly Winning Quarterbacks 2019 NFL DFS Lineup

Here are the 13 quarterbacks that led a milly winning lineup in 2020:

NFL DFS Lineup Milly Maker Winning QBs

There’s an average of 12 quarterbacks per season that take down the top spot in the Milly Maker. It seems crazy that Josh Allen didn’t take down a Milly Maker in 2020. I’m more of a game of skill man than a gambling man but I’d say Josh Allen shows up in the winner’s circle at least once this year.

The overall point in this section is to show that in the last three years there’s been no need to try to play every single quarterback that’s available. Let’s narrow down our options using Vegas and the playmakers around the quarterback. There are no guarantees on a week-to-week basis but along as we’re giving ourselves a chance every slate bybuilding lineups that are fundamentally sound.

This will be a weekly feature on Wednesdays throughout the NFL season. Check back next week for a review of the 1st place lineup from the opening day Milly Maker.

Good luck out there!



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