Welcome back to the Shark Autopsy Report, NFL Edition Week 17! If this is your first time reading the Shark Autopsy Report, Welcome! Over the course of the NFL season this article has deconstructed each week’s winning DraftKings Milly Maker 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! As the author of the Shark Autopsy Report, I am here to tell you that your dreams can become reality with the right tools, lineup construction methodologies, hard work, and gumption! It’s my belief that I have found the successful recipe to creating a top 10 scoring lineup in the Milly Maker!
You have the opportunity to access all of the prior week’s NFL Shark Autopsy Reports here, to gain valuable insight into the minds of the winning Milly Maker DFS players!
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In this edition of the Shark Autopsy Report, I am very excited about a rare opportunity that not too many in the industry who write lineup deconstruction articles get to write about, deconstruction of our own top 10 Milly Maker lineup!
The Milly Maker contest is 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.
Little Bit about the DFSArmy
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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, FanDuel’s Sunday Million and Yahoo’s Million Dollar Baller contests.
The Shark Autopsy Report is different from the other DFS site’s lineup breakdown articles that you can read online, as there are 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 $2.5M 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 $1M 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 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 you may not have otherwise noticed if you were not reviewing over past week’s lineups.
Top 10 Number of Lineups Entered
Author’s Top 10 Scoring Lineup
How’d This Lineup Come Together?
Like many in the industry, all of my lineups are constructed with understanding how Vegas projects the games scoring. I am looking a few aspects of the Vegas lines that can put me on the right games to target where the games will be high scoring and provide a greater number of fantasy points. I take the original Vegas lines and total projected points for the games to project each team’s implied totals, I do this to directly correlate the number of TDs projected to be scored per game for each team.
Week 17 Closing Vegas Lines (via VegasInsider.com)
As you can see via the above image of the Vegas closing lines provided via VegasInsider.com, that the one game on the main slate that Vegas projected to be close and high scoring was the Atlanta at Tampa Bay game. Many touts in the industry touted against this game, because neither of the teams had anything to play for in week 17, and that is viable information, but I couldn’t ignore Vegas on their projection of this game and how they saw it playing out.
Being in the industry since getting my start in 2011-2012 NFL and CFB seasons, I knew that you need to target QBs in games projected to be high scoring, has a line that projects a possible shootout, and favor the home underdog. This advice has been instilled in me since day one, by the DFSArmy’s Founder and CEO @FFootballGeek on twitter and in DFSArmy’s Slack channel.
I can’t stress this enough, if you are not a member of the DFSArmy and are looking for a DFS site that will grow your DFS skill set, you need to go to DFSArmy and sign up for our VIP Membership! You will receive instant access to not only the Founder and CEO, @FFootballGeek, but you will gain access to all of the site’s coaches and tools, and the Shark Autopsy Report, a second to none lineup deconstruction article geared to unveiling the hidden secrets to top 10 Milly Maker lineups!
Stacking is the Most Advantageous Strategy
To make serious gains on your competitors and move up the leaderboards, you must learn how to construction lineups utilizing artful stacking process! This doesn’t mean that you stack every game on the slate, but to choose those games you have researched and believe will go off on that given slate. In my top 10 scoring lineup, I artfully stacked two games, the main game I stacked was the highest projected game on the slate (Atlanta vs. Tampa Bay) and the second game I stacked was a game I believed could have fantasy goodness, the LA Rams vs. San Francisco game. The LA Rams vs. San Francisco game was a perfect game to target, because there were some things going on in this game that I couldn’t ignore. Firstly, the Vegas line pointed towards the game being a great game to target the run game for the Rams, with a -10.5, this meant that Vegas saw the Rams getting out to a big lead and would rely on the run game to run out the game. Secondly, though we don’t use it as much in NFL DFS as we do in NBA DFS, narrative street played a significant role in this game with George Kittle’s successful day. Kittle was in range to top Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce as the record holder for the season’s most receiving yards by a tight end.
Tools I Utilize Weekly
I utilize every tool available to me from the DFSArmy’s vault of successful tools and coaches. THE one tool I utilize the most in my thought processes and research of each slate is the FFootballGeek’s NFL Weekly Geeks Picks. The other tools I utilize are the WR vs. CB breakdown chart (by the way, I develop this tool on a weekly basis), DFSArmy’s Research Station, DFSArmy’s coaches articles (MME Playbook Article by DFSnDonuts, DabbingPuggle’s Draw Plays Article, FFootballGeek’s Early Look Vegas Lines Podcast, and the Player’s Club Podcast, among other DFSArmy coaches articles). Additionally, I develop my own player projections and system that I utilize in the construction of my cash and GPP lineups.
Position by Position Plays Used
As I had notated above, the Vegas lines are an essential tool to determining the games to attack with your lineups. Knowing that Jameis Winston was at home underdog, in a high projected game that was projected to be close scoring, I knew that Winston would be a staple of my lineups. In fact, Winston was in 33% of my Milly Maker lineups I constructed. Additionally, Atlanta had the 4th worst defense DVOA vs. the pass. Below are FFootballGeek Geek’s Picks sentiments on Winston for Week 17:
At running back I utilized two running backs that I thought had elite usage potential for week 17 as their team’s starters were out for the week or on the IR thrusting Jamaal Williams and C.J. Anderson into the spotlight again for the second week. But, most importantly I utilized methodologies that I have formulated by tracking the season’s salary usage at the running back position of the top winning Milly Maker lineups have been utilizing and correlating the winning lineups successful lineup construction around the RB position was vital to the success of this lineup. Though Jamaal Williams didn’t breakout in week 17, the spot was still good and the choice at that spot was still viable, even though Detroit was 13th ranked DVOA versus the run and 11th ranked DVOA versus pass catching running backs. C.J. Anderson was in an absolute smash spot versus Arizona in week 17, not only per the Vegas line predictions but also Arizona had the 4th worst DVOA versus the run.
My centerpiece of my lineup was Jameis Winston, and stacking him with his wide receivers was imperative to putting the lineup in position to score the maximum amount of points possible. Mike Evans has simply been amazing this season putting up strong fantasy scores on a near weekly basis. The value of the week for my lineups was that of Chris Godwin, I believed he had a great matchup and had slate winning potential. Godwin was in 75% of my week 17 lineups, so I was basically all in on him, but my research supported this percentage of ownership, especially with the news that DeSean Jackson was out for the game and Atlanta was one of the worst defenses versus the pass on the season.
With Josh Gordon departure from the NFL and the Patriots, I knew that the success of the Patriots in week 17 would filter through Julian Edelman. In week 16, I loaded up on Chris Hogan thinking that he could have benefitted from Josh Gordon’s departure that week at $3,300 in salary. Edelman’s receiving touchdown in week 17 definitely helped the lineup move up the leaderboards.
Zay Jones was the one WR I was extremely bullish on in week 17 and had 40% ownership in Jones across all of my lineups. I knew that everyone would be on Foster in the Bills receiving corps, but Jones could benefit the most against a banged up Dolphins secondary, and DFSArmy’s correlation matrix had him as the highest correlated WR with Josh Allen for week 17.
As notated above, Kittle was on narrative street to become the record holder for the most receiving yards by a tight end. Knowing this and the fact that the 49ers would likely force feed him the ball during the game, I loaded up on him. Though he wasn’t my highest owned tight end for the week (Kelce got that claim), he was paramount to several of my lineups including my 2 tight end lineups in week 17.
In my research of winning Milly Maker lineups, I knew that defenses whose salary was at or below $2,900 were in the majority of the winning lineups. But this play to me was extremely obvious, the Chiefs were at home in a must win situation to get the bye in the first week of the playoffs and they were going up against one of the worst offenses and the 8th worst offensive line in the NFL.
This lineup came together utilizing extensive research and the wealth of tools available at DFSArmy. But, more than anything, I utilized ideologies I have refined and developed through writing the Shark Autopsy Report each week to determine exactly how top winning lineups were winning. To construct a top 10 scoring lineup in the Milly Maker against over 190K entrants takes knowing utilize your salary available to your advantage in addition to knowing what plays could go off during that week’s slate of games.
To My Weekly Readers
I want to thank my weekly readers for reading the Shark Autopsy Report this NFL season, it means a great deal to me and the DFSArmy!
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