Shark Autopsy Report – Analyzing DraftKings Milly Maker Lineups to Make You a Better Player

Welcome back to the Shark Autopsy Report, NFL Edition Week 11! If this is your first time reading the Shark Autopsy Report, Welcome! Over the course of the remainder of the NFL season this article will deconstruct winning DraftKings lineups in contests where the dark waters of Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) contests that are ripe with sharks. Navigating these waters where the sharks smell blood in the water is not easy, but the DFSArmy has you covered, providing you with the essential daily tools to help our VIPs turn into sharks!

The article will be released weekly, with each day’s article looking at multi-entry GPP contests, specifically the Milly Maker contest.

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In this edition of the Shark Autopsy Report, we look at the illustrious Milly Maker contest, a massive GPP tournament that pays out $1 million to first place. A true tale of the tape contest that everyone in the industry knows about, discusses and writes about extensively throughout the course of the week. Many think that lineup construction to win this tourney is all about the most contrarian construction possible, sometimes that is the case, but most of the times that is not the case.

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Synopsis of the Shark Autopsy Report

Lineup deconstruction is what all of the DFS analysis sites are pushing these days. Every site is wanting to get in on the action of making sure their DFS site is breaking down the winning lineups of these massive payout contests that are the DraftKings’ Milly Maker and FanDuel’s Sunday Million contests.

The Shark Autopsy Report is different from the other lineup breakdown reports that you can read online, there’s a multitude of these types of articles. The Shark Autopsy Report dives deeper than those other lineup deconstruction articles showcasing: the top ten winning lineups (position-by-position), the number of lineups the top 10 DFS players entered into the contest, the average amount spent by position in the winning lineup, top 10 player ownership percentages, and week-to-week salary distributions of the top 10 lineups to determine if there’s salary correlation amongst the top ten lineups, to help better predict winning lineup construction in future weeks. 

DraftKings $3 M Milly Maker Contest

As DFS players, fish and sharks alike, we are so attracted to the light shining down from the DFS Universe of the $1 M dollar first place prize in the DraftKings Milly Maker contest, and we pump a multitude of our bankrolls into these contests annually. Because of this, I understand why DFS sites are analyzing these winning lineups. It should be part of your repertoire as a DFS player to revisit the prior week’s winning lineups, not just for the Milly Maker and Sunday Million contests, but for all of the contests you entered to see how the winning lineups were constructed. Additionally, you should be looking at your own lineups to determine WHY certain plays in your lineups went off and WHY other plays did not. This will ultimately make you a better player, but it will help you determine trends that you may not have otherwise noticed if you were not reviewing over past week’s lineups.

Changes in the NFL rules landscape has led to greater scores amongst the top finishing lineups in all NFL DFS contests, not just the Milly Maker and other colossal entry contests, but in cash games and smaller GPPs as well.

The trend continues for the winner of the Milly Maker for the tenth week in a row, the winner of the Milly Maker DID NOT MAX ENTER the tourney. The Milly Maker winner in week 11, BillyVonElds entered 20 lineups into the Milly Maker and came out a MILLIONAIRE! Gone are the days of Max Multi Entry to take down the colossal tourney.

Top 10

Winning Lineup

BillyVonElds’ lineup featured a perfect balance of chalk and contrarian plays, rostering Drew Brees in a projected highest game total of the main slate by Vegas lines at a game point total of 57. BillyVonElds’ stacked Brees with Tre’Quan Smith, who is the third or fourth option most DFS players would have stacked in their lineups with Drew Brees after Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara and possibly Mark Ingram. BillyVonElds got off the chalkier play in the Carolina vs. Detroit game in rostering D.J. Moore over Devin Funchess, great move! BillyVonElds’ lineup featured two great plays at RB, rostering Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott over the likes of Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, Melvin Gordon and David Johnson gave his lineup the boost needed to overtake the rest of the field. Though Barkley and Elliott were two players that were of the top 10 highest owned NFL players in week 11, BillyVonElds was able to get off of a chalky lineup construction with three plays that exploded in Moore, Reed and Smith. Zigging when other Zag is the name of the game, and BillyVonElds lineup did that with rostering Smith over the likes of Michael Thomas or Alvin Kamara, who were no brainer great plays. The only blemish in this lineup is that of Corey Davis, who during the week most pundits saw his prior week’s performance and thought he’s primed for another big performance on the fast track of Lucas Oil Stadium, but that was not the case. The best play in the Millionaire winning lineup was that of T.Y. Hilton, Hilton was on fire and is a different player when he’s at home on the turf. Barkley, Elliott, Moore, Hilton and Smith were the 5 highest owned players in the top 10 lineups, rostered between 80-100% respectively.

The winning lineup incorporated 2 RBs and 4 WRs at an average salary spend of $8,600 for RBs and $5,300 for WRs. As you can see below, 7 of the top 10 lineups utilized the RB in the Flex position, 3 of the top 10 lineups utilized the WR in the Flex position.

Top 10 Lineups at a Glance

Over the course of the 2018 NFL season, we will be comparing on a weekly basis how the top 10 scoring Milly Maker lineups have distributed their salary across each position within their lineups to determine if there’s correlation week-to-week amongst the top 10 lineups.

For the weeks 1 to 10 of Milly Maker top 10 lineups, we can see some trends for each allocable position. The top 10 lineups allocated on average 11.51% of their salary towards the QB position, 14.83% on average to the RB 1 position, 11.03% on average to the RB 2 position, 14.37% on average to the WR 1 position, 11.71% on average to the WR 2 position, 8.85% on average to the WR 3 position, 12.59% on average to the FLEX position, 8.79% on average to the TE position and 6.09% on average to the DEF position. The outliers of where the most amount of the top 10 lineups salary was allocated was towards the RB 1 and WR 1 positions, which saw 14.37% and 14.83% average spend towards the position, these percentages equate to an average monetary spend of $7,417 and $7,184 respectively towards the position. Over the first nine weeks of the season, the top 10 lineups on average spent a total of $49,886 of the $50,000 ceiling.

In week 11, there was a $955 increase in salary spend at the RB 1 position from the first 10 weeks, which is attributed to 100% of the top 10 lineups employing two players with a salary of $8,500 or greater in the RB 1 slot.

Field Ownership

The field ownership graphic displays the week’s highest owned (by field ownership) NFL players and the percentage of top 10 scoring Milly Maker lineups employed the highest owned plays in the tourney. What can be gleaned from the graphic is that of those top 10 scoring lineups in the weekly Milly Maker contest are either over-weight or under-weight on the week’s highest drafted NFL players as compared to the tourney’s overall field ownership. In week 11, the top 10 lineup’s field were bullish on Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott exceeding field ownership in the Milly Maker by 70.19% and 74.61% respectively. Otherwise, the top 10 lineup’s field was bearish as compared to the field.

The top 10 scoring lineups take a stand on a play or two and either go under or over weight on those respective plays that week.


 Which Player’s Salaries Encompass Top 10 Milly Maker LUs

We now have a good amount of data from the first 11 weeks of the season and those top 10 scoring lineups across all 11 weeks. As a result, what trends can we see week in and week out. 63.6% of the first 11 weeks, the winner of the Milly Maker spent at or below $2,900 on a defense. 54.5% of the first 11 weeks, the winner of the Milly Maker spent at or greater than $8,000 on the RB 1 position, and of those 5 weeks, on two separate weeks the Milly Maker winning lineup employed an RB 1 whose salary was greater than $9,000. 63.6% of the first 11 weeks, the winner of the Milly Maker spent below $6,000 on the QB position, which is justified when the winning lineup is rostering an RB 1 54.5% of the time at or greater than $8,000 in salary. A trend I found of particular interest was that the winning lineup of the Milly Maker rostered RB 1 and RB 2 who had a salary difference that were between $0 to $800 at 72.7% of the time. This means that these winning lineups roster construction is stable at the RB position and these lineups are placing strong valuation on the position where point production is of greater stability in the process. WR point production has more outlier performances, as in week 11, Tre’Quan Smith and D.J. Moore meets this. Thereby, the winning lineups are spending up at RB 1 and then in similar intent spending at or near the RB 1 salary for RB 2. 63.6% of the first 11 weeks, the winning Milly Maker lineups spent more than $7,000 at the WR 1 position and 57.1% of the time the winning lineup spent at or greater than $7,800, but never greater than $8,300 on the WR 1 position. 90.9% of the first 11 weeks, the winning Milly Maker lineup spent less than $4,500 on the TE position and the lone week where this wasn’t the case, the TE spend was $5,900.

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