FanDuel's Sunday Million Week 1 Recap

Taking an in-depth look at FanDuel's Week 1 Sunday Million Contest.

FanDuel offers some of the biggest payouts in all of daily fantasy sports. Among them is the $4 million FanDuel Sunday Million contest where a $7 entry has a shot at the $1 million first-place payout. More than 560,000 entries encompassed the Week 1 contest and payouts stretched to 164,700 spots to profit at least +42% on their entry fee ($10 payout). Each week FanDuel will be running a Sunday Million GPP Contest and we will break it down here at and see what the keys were to having the top lineup on the week and taking home the top prize of $1,000,000. 

Here is how Week 1 of the Sunday Million shook out:


DFS Screen Name Points Prize Money
1st rubes1978 173.18 $1,000,000
2nd mtaylor26 168.88 $200,000
3rd cain 168.14 $100,000
4th footballjohn1980 166.94 $60,000
5th sanders_tj 166.78 $40,000

The opening week winner of $1 million was relative newcomer rubes1978 with a relatively comfortable 4.3-point victory. They blended chalk and a few bold calls en route to the victory. LeSean McCoy and Todd Gurley was a chalk tandem at running back, each owned in the 19-23% range for the contest. Their wide receiver corps was also one of the more common combinations with Antonio Brown, Jordy Nelson, and Larry Fitzgerald all at least 14% owned. Matthew Stafford was a common quarterback among top finishers this week, but sparsely owned in the contest overall at 2.3%. Even more bold was the use of Jesse James at tight end, only 0.7% owned, to produce multiple touchdowns at a salary of $4,700. Blair Walsh and the Jaguars defense were moderately-owned in the 5-7% range and minimal cost at $4,500 and $4,100 respectively.

Rubes1978 blended a studs and duds approach to perfection, shooting the needle for a 4x performance from Jesse James, but the real key was hitting on Jacksonville's defense for nearly 7x, including a safety, four turnovers, and a touchdown scored. Larry Fitzgerald was the lone player to not hit at least 2x value with 6-74-0 on his $6,400 salary.

Position Player Salary FanDuel Points % Owned
QB Matthew Stafford $7,600 28.08 2.3%
RB LeSean McCoy $8,500 18.40 19.1% 
RB Todd Gurley $7,300 18.10 22.4% 
WR Antonio Brown $9,100 23.70 20.8%
WR Jordy Nelson $7,700 17.40 14.2% 
WR Larry Fitzgerald $6,400 10.40 17.0% 
TE Jesse James $4,700  19.10 0.7% 
K Blair Walsh $4,500  10.00 5.8% 
D Jacksonville Jaguars $4,100  28.00  6.6% 
    $59,900 173.18  


Buying Running Back Game Script: LeSean McCoy and Todd Gurley encompassed 15-of-20 running back slots in the top-10 finishers. Both the Bills and the Rams were favorites for comfortable victories against the tenuous quarterback situations of Scott Tolzien and Josh McCown. As a result, both McCoy and Gurley dominated snaps in their respective backfields while the game was in doubt and their teams were able to stick with the run game.

Antonio Brown: 9-of-10 teams paid up for Brown at $9,100. Despite a slow start and a generally lackluster offensive game by the Steelers (namely LeVeon Bell and Martavis Bryant), Brown heated up as the Steelers pulled away with 11-182-0. 

Hit Big on Defense: All of the top-10 finishers owned either the Rams and Jaguars on defense, each producing 28 points and around 6x value. 


The Stud Running Back: LeVeon Bell and David Johnson were expensive and vogue stacks in Week 1 looking for a high floor at the position. However, the pair combined for less than 20 FanDuel points with Johnson leaving with a wrist injury and Bell totaled only 47 yards on 13 touches despite a Pittsburgh victory.

Texans Defense: At 17.7% owned, Houston failed to score a point on FanDuel this week as Jacksonville controlled the ball and game manager Blake Bortles showed up as Houston was one of the big disappointments of the week at $5,100 salary.

Kelvin Benjamin: The medium-priced Carolina receiver was owned north of 17% in the contest. Despite the strong matchup and Carolina winning comfortably, Benjamin corralled only 1-of-5 targets from the largely inaccurate Cam Newton against the 49ers for 3.0 points.

Finish Score QB RB1 RB2 WR1 WR2 WR3 TE K DEF
1 173.18 Stafford McCoy Gurley Brown Jordy Nelson Fitzgerald James Walsh JAX
2 168.88 Stafford McCoy Gurley Brown Tate Garcon Cook Zuerlein LAR
3 168.14 Mariota McCoy Gurley Brown Cooper Pryor Hooper Zuerlein JAX
4 166.94 Mariota McCoy Gurley Brown Cooper J.J. Nelson Witten Zuerlein LAR
5 166.78 Stafford McCoy Howard Brown Tate Crabtree Hooper Prater JAX
6 166.68 Wentz McCoy Gurley Brown Cooper Kupp Ertz Bailey LAR
7 166.58 Wentz Gurley Cohen Brown Green Jordy Nelson Ertz Bailey LAR
8 166.34 Goff McCoy Elliott Brown Jordy Nelson Kupp Ertz Zuerlein JAX
9 165.68 Stafford McCoy Montgomery Jones Jordy Nelson Garcon Hooper Zuerlein LAR
10 165.24 Mariota Elliott Gurley Brown Tate Kupp Walker Zuerlein LAR

Overall, variety was the name of the game at quarterback, ancillary wide receivers, and tight end in Week 1. Jordy Nelson was on four lineups in the top-10, but the gap from Antonio Brown's ownership in the money to any other receiver was vast. Cooper Kupp, Golden Tate, and Amari Cooper each were owned by three owners in the top-10. At tight end, six different options were owned in the top-10, including single ownership of Jesse James, Jared Cook, Delanie Walker, and Jason Witten.

***FanDuel's Week 2 Sunday Million will drop to a $3 million overall payout with $1 million remaining for the top overall prize, but with a steeper drop in prizes (for example, $5,000 by 10th place). The $7 entry fee will remain and the entry total will hover around 500,000 - a drop of more than 10% from Week 1.

Head over to FanDuel now and catch the action for Week 2.