Each week this season, we will spend some time on Tuesday analyzing the highest scoring lineups from the previous weekend's DraftKings $10M Millionaire Maker contest. We highlight trends and strategy such as how much to spend per position, which stacking strategies (if any) have been successful, and which position has been best used in the flex spot. We will also compare results from the 2015 season to our in-depth study of the results from the 2014 season and see if the conclusions we drew over the offseason hold up when more data is added to the equation.
We will also look forward to the upcoming Millionaire Maker contest and point out some players who are priced in the same ranges and have matchups similar to the players that helped previous DraftKings contest winners take home huge cash prizes.
THE WINNING LINEUP
DraftKings user ChipotleAddict had the only entry to top 200 points in a very low-scoring Week 4 in the Millionaire Maker. His lineup notched 200.02 points to earn him $2,000,000 and used a Blake Bortles-Allen Hurns stack. He rode the hot hand with Devonta Freeman at RB and paired him with Matt Forte. In additions to Hurns at WR, ChipotleAddict also used DeAndre Hopkins and Amari Cooper with Demaryius Thomas in the FLEX spot. He also used top tight end Charles Clay and the Seahawks defense.
The last-minute fumble forced by Kam Chancellor was enough to put ChipotleAddict narrowly over the top and was a million-dollar play for this week's DraftKings Millionaire Maker champion. Imagine being in ChipotleAddict's shoes and watching that final Lions drive...
THE TOP 20
Below are the lineups of the top 20 finishers in DraftKings' Week 4 Millionaire Maker tournament:
|1||Bortles||Forte||Freeman||Hurns||Hopkins||A. Cooper||Clay||Dem. Thomas||Seahawks|
|2||Carr||Charles||Freeman||V. Jackson||Maclin||Ju. Jones||Clay||Ja. Jones||Panthers|
|3||Rivers||Freeman||K. Williams||Hurns||K. Allen||Beckham||M. Bennett||Dem. Thomas||Packers|
|4||Rivers||Gore||Freeman||V. Jackson||Dem. Thomas||Hilton||Clay||Charles||Broncos|
|5||Rivers||Spiller||K. Williams||Maclin||Dem. Thomas||Hopkins||M. Bennett||Charles||Broncos|
|6||Dalton||L. Murray||Freeman||A.J. Green||Hopkins||A. Cooper||M. Bennett||Hurns||Packers|
|7||Taylor||A. Peterson||Freeman||Maclin||A.J. Green||T. Austin||Clay||Forte||Seahawks|
|8||Rodgers||Ingram||Freeman||V. Jackson||Hurns||A. Cooper||M. Bennett||Cobb||Seahawks|
|9||Bortles||Forte||Freeman||Maclin||A.J. Green||Al. Robinson||Barnidge||Hopkins||Panthers|
|11||Dalton||Charles||Freeman||V. Jackson||Maclin||A.J. Green||Fleener||Lacy||Colts|
|12||Dalton||Forte||Freeman||Dem. Thomas||Hopkins||A. Cooper||Clay||K. Williams||Panthers|
|14||Rivers||Freeman||K. Williams||E. Sanders||A.J. Green||Hopkins||Clay||Fitzgerald||Falcons|
|15||Rivers||Charles||K. Williams||Maclin||K. Allen||A. Cooper||Fleener||Hopkins||Panthers|
|16||Rodgers||Freeman||K. Williams||A.J. Green||Hurns||Hopkins||Clay||Cobb||Panthers|
|17||Dalton||Forte||Freeman||Ja. Jones||A.J. Green||Hopkins||M. Bennett||K. Williams||Panthers|
|18||Rivers||Randle||Freeman||Fitzgerald||Maclin||Ju. Jones||Fleener||M. Bennett||Panthers|
|19||Rivers||Ingram||Freeman||Fitzgerald||K. Allen||Hopkins||Clay||Ja. Jones||Broncos|
|20||Bradford||Forte||Freeman||Maclin||Dem. Thomas||J. Matthews||Clay||Woodhead||Panthers|
The Top 3 Plays
For the second straight week, Devonta Freeman was the key player to own. His 37.9 points outpaced the field at running back and he was by far the highest-owned (85%) player on the top rosters. No other player appeared on more than half of the top rosters, but hitting on one of the top tight ends was another key this week. Each of the top 20 finishers had one of the four highest-scoring tight ends. Charles Clay appeared on 50% of the top 20 rosters. Lastly, Allen Hurns was one of Week 4's best bargains and highest overall scorers and appeared on 35% of the top rosters. The number would have been even higher for Hurns but the savings from his cheap salary was not an advantage with most of the highly-priced options having down weeks.
Overall, 65% of the top finishers used a single-stack. As mentioned above, Chipotle Addict finished in first place pairing Blake Bortles with Allen Hurns. The two most common stacks amongst the top finsihers were Philip Rivers-Keenan Allen (20%) and Andy Dalton-A.J. Green (15%). Surprisingly, the popular Aaron Rodgers-Randall Cobb stack appeared on 10% of the top 20 lineups despite the pair underperforming expectations. Week 4 was the rare week where even missing badly on your QB-WR stack didn't preclude a top finish since scoring was so far down overall.
Over the first four weeks, we've seen many players find major success pairing one of the mid-lower priced options at quarterback with his top receiving option. Pairing Philip Rivers ($6,200) with his top target Keenan Allen ($7,200) looks like an attractive option again for Week 5. Sam Bradford ($6,000) and Jordan Matthews ($6,400) seem due for a breakout performance at some point and are priced at bargain prices. At the top of the price range, nobody has been as consistently high-scoring as Tom Brady ($7,800) and pairing him with touchdown-machine Rob Gronkowski ($7,500) is always a strong option.
As with every position in Week 4, scoring was down at quarterback. Even the top finishers only averaged 23 points at quarterback. The average price of the quarterbacks was much lower than in previous weeks at just $6,170 and the 3.7x multiple was also lower than previous weeks. The top scorer in Week 4 was Philip Rivers (29.22 points) and he was also the most highly-owned player amongst the top finishers, appearing on 40% of the top rosters. Andy Dalton was the second highest-owned quarterback (20%) on the top rosters as he produced his fourth strong performance in a row this season.
We already mentioned three of our favorite quarterback options for Week 5 above (Philip Rivers, Sam Bradford and Tom Brady). A couple other intriguing options that share much in common with the quarterbacks that have led to big money in the first four weeks are Peyton Manning ($7,000) and Tyrod Taylor ($5,800). Both have elite scoring potential and favorable matchups in Week 5.
It was all about Devonta Freeman again this week. He appeared as a RB1 on 20% of the top rosters and as RB2 on 65% of the top rosters. The most common path to success in Week 4 was pairing Freeman as RB2 with one of the highest-priced backs like Matt Forte (35%) or Jamaal Charles (30%). Even with Freeman appearing as a RB1 on 20% of the rosters, the RB1s overall scored only 22 points at an average price of $6,465 (3.4x). Hitting a solid RB1 choice was a key to success, but with the lower-scoring across the board in Week 4 it didn't take a homerun performance at the position.
RB2 was one of the two key positions in Week 4 and the top owners hit a huge 6.2x scoring multiple at the position. On average, for a price of $4,820 the top finishers scored 30.2 points. Much of the success was based on Freeman, but Karlos Williams (25%) also acheived a healthy 4.7x multiple with his bargain price of $3,400.
Looking forward to Week 5, it is hard to fade Devonta Freeman ($6,300) after what he has done the past two weeks. He is too hot and still not priced like the elite option he is at this point of the season. Justin Forsett ($5,800) finally broke out in Week 4 and faces a sweet matchup against the soft Cleveland run defense in Week 5. Dion Lewis ($4,800) has been a strong producer every week for the Patriots and is priced attractively. The fourth intriguing option is C.J. Spiller ($3,900) whose big-play ability and low price make him a nice GPP option heading into Week 5.
We may never see another week in which the WR1s underperform so severely. The top 20 finishers got only 15.6 points of production from their WR1s desptie a huge average price of $7,785. The 2x multiple at WR1 is astonishingly low for top finishers at any position in a huge-field GPP like the Millionaire Maker. Even Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr, Jr. who failed to hit even the 1x level appeared on some top 20 rosters. It was possible to roster one complete bust in Week 4 and still finish at the top of the standings.
The WR2 position produced 22.4 points at an average price of $6,620 (3.4x) and WR3 produced 25.8 points at $5,235 (4.9x). The fact that the WR3s out-scored the WR2s and WR1s in Week 4 is an interesting and rare phenomenon. Would limiting your spending to only $45,000 have produced the highest-scoring team in Week 4? Quite possibly. It is an interesting strategy to consider going forward as it would definitely add to the uniqueness of your roster and in a week like Week 4 would have provided a major advantage with the high-priced WRs underperforming across the board.
DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green were recommended receivers for Week 4 and while neither had huge weeks, they were amongst the higher-scoring WR1 options and thus appeared on many of the top rosters. Looking forward to Week 5, Willie Snead IV ($3,000) could be this week's Allen Hurns with WR1 production at a bargain WR3 price point. Mike Evans ($6,100) could be overlooked after getting shut down by Josh Norman in Week 4. Julio Jones ($9,200) might have a lower ownership level in Week 5 after a disappointing performance in Week 4. Expected high ownership levels for Devonta Freeman might also push Jones' ownership percentage down, which adds to his attractiveness as a top Week 5 option.
Along with RB2, the TE position was the only one that put up the type of huge multiples we are accustomed to seeing from top rosters in a GPP. The top 20 averaged 23.5 points at only $3,570 (6.6x) and every single top finisher owned one of the top four finishers: Martellus Bennett, Coby Fleener, Charles Clay and Gary Barnridge.
Looking forward to Week 5, Charles Clay ($4,100) and Martellus Bennett ($5,000) look like decent bets to again produce at a high level. Rob Gronkowski ($7,500) is always a good GPP option due to his legitimate three touchdown upside. If Crockett Gillmore ($3,100) is healthy, he looks like a nice option with the Ravens other pass catchers still banged up.
Par for the course in Week 4, we saw modest scores from the Flex position. At an average price of $5,975 and 19.8 points, the top rosters achieved only a 3.3x multiple at the position. Wide receiver (60%) was again the position of choice at the Flex spot. Allen Hurns was a popular and productive option at Flex in Week 4 and the most common choice of the top finishers.
TOURNAMENT PLAYER INFORMATION
For the first time this season, we had a max-entry player land a spot in the top 20. CSURAM88 (8th) and dandydon (20th) both placed one of their 500 entries near the top of the standings. The $2,000,000 winner ChipotleAddict entered 36 lineups this week and was the first Millionaire Maker champion this year to have entered a relatively large number of lineups. Overall, 12 of the top 20 finishers entered either one or two lineups, so there were still plenty of "Average Joes" at the top of the standings. But the lower scoring seemed to lead to more pros near the top of the standings than we saw over the first three weeks.