DraftKings Millionaire Maker Week 7 Recap

Recapping Week 7 of the DraftKings Millionaire Maker Contest and Previewing Week 8

Each week this season, we will spend some time on Tuesday analyzing the highest scoring lineups from the previous weekend's DraftKings 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 in the same price ranges and have matchups similar to the players that helped previous DraftKings contest winners take home huge cash prizes.


DraftKings user Guzzi52314 scored 283.04 points for a relatively comfortable winning margin of almost 5 points to win $1,000,000 in DraftKings' Week 7 Millionaire Maker contest. He rode big performances from his trio of running backs (Lamar Miller, Todd Gurley and Mark Ingram II) and benefitted from some huge late-game production from Philip Rivers and T.Y. Hilton to lead his team. He also rostered key players Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and the Rams DST. His decision to roll with the hot hand of rookie Stefon Diggs also proved to be a decisive factor in his victory as Diggs put together his third consecutive strong performance.


Below are the lineups of the top 20 finishers in DraftKings' Week 7 Millionaire Maker tournament (RB1, RB2, and WR1-WR3 are ordered by price):  

1 283.04 Rivers Ingram Gurley Hilton Evans Diggs Gronkowski L. Miller Rams
2 278.2 Brady Gurley L. Miller Ju. Jones Evans N. Washington Gronkowski La. Green Rams
2 278.2 Brady Gurley L. Miller Ju. Jones Evans N. Washington La. Green Gronkowski Rams
4 277.02 Luck Gurley L. Miller Hilton Evans M. Bryant Gronkowski Woodhead Rams
5 273.9 Brady Gurley Woodhead Ca. Johnson Hilton N. Washington Gronkowski Diggs Rams
6 272.72 Luck Gurley L. Miller Hilton Evans Moncrief Reed Gronkowski Rams
7 270.92 Luck Gurley Woodhead Hilton Cooper M. Bryant Gronkowski L. Miller Rams
7 270.92 Luck Gurley Woodhead Hilton Cooper M. Bryant Gronkowski L. Miller Rams
7 270.92 Luck Gurley Woodhead Ju. Jones Hilton Evans Reed Diggs Rams
10 269.74 Rivers Gurley L. Miller Ju. Jones Hilton Evans La. Green Cooper Rams
10 269.74 Rivers Gurley L. Miller Ju. Jones Hilton Evans La. Green Cooper Rams
12 269.22 Luck Gurley L. Miller Hilton Evans Moncrief Gronkowski Diggs Rams
13 266.42 Luck Gurley L. Miller Hilton Evans Moncrief Gronkowski C. West Rams
14 266.14 Rivers Gurley L. Miller Evans Moncrief Diggs Gronkowski Foster Rams
15 265.9 Brady Gurley L. Miller Hilton Evans Garcon Gronkowski Amendola Rams
16 265.38 Tannehill Foster Ingram Hilton Landry N. Washington Reed Gronkowski Rams
17 265.22 Luck L. Bell L. Miller Hilton Evans N. Washington Olsen Gurley Rams
18 264.62 Luck Gurley L. Miller Ca. Johnson Hilton Jo. Brown Reed Evans Rams
19 264.3 Brady Foster L. Miller Cooper Landry N. Washington Gronkowski Mi. Floyd Rams
20 264.28 Tannehill Gurley L. Miller An. Brown Cooper Landry Reed Foster Rams

The Top 3 Plays of the Week

Todd Gurley was the week's highest owned player overall and with his big performance (35.3 points), it was tough to finish highly if you decided to fade him. Of the top finishers, 90% owned Gurley. Fellow running back Lamar Miller was the week's top overall scorer (41.6 points) and thus one of the key players to own in Week 7. He was owned by 85% of the top finsihers. T.Y. Hilton finally got rolling late and his big finish was key for the 75% of top finsihers who owned him. Mike Evans (70%) and Rob Gronkowski (70%) earn honorable mention. Both were players who had huge performances and commonly appeared on the rosters of the top finishers.   


A full 90% of the top finishers utilized the popular strategy of stacking their quarterback with his top target. The two most successful stacks in Week 7 were Andrew Luck & T.Y. Hilton (45%) and Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski (25%). Both stacks came up big and produced ~63 points. 

We suggested Ryan Tannehill and Jarvis Landry as a stacking option for Week 7 and the duo produced big numbers and appeared on multiple top 20 rosters. Looking forward to Week 8, the pass-heavy Houston attack led by Brian Hoyer ($5,300) provides a trio of intriguing stacking options with Nate Washington ($3,600), Cecil Shorts III ($3,000) and DeAndre Hopkins ($8,700) all capable of having big games. A double-stack with two of the three receivers is also a very viable strategy. Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,200) (with either Brandon Marshall ($7,600) or Eric Decker ($5,300)) looks like another quarterback capable of producing big numbers at a low cost. At the higher salary levels, Ben Roethlisberger ($6,700) is a nice contrarian option in his first game back and Antonio Brown ($7,800) and Martavis Bryant ($5,300) are both priced attractively as well.


Only four quarterbacks appeared on the rosters of the top 20 finishers in Week 7: Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill. Luck was the most common (45%), but none of the four quarterbacks provided a substantial scoring advantage over the others (all four finished within ~5 points of each other). Overall, the quarterbacks produced 30.1 points at an average price of $7,415 (4.1x). 

The high average pricepoint (driven by Luck and Brady) was a reversal of a recent trend that had seen the top finishers finding success primarly with lower-priced quarterbacks. However, the way the week played out, the stat is a bit misleading. First, most of the top performers (especially at running back) were mid-lower priced options, which meant that paying up for an expensive quarterback had very little opporuntiy cost. That is unlikely to be the case most weeks. Second, the success of Luck/Brady owners was heavily tied to the fact that so many stacked with Hilton and Gronkowski. The high-scoring stackmates offset the fact that neither Luck nor Brady reached the 4x multiple typically necessary for GPP success.


Last week, we pointed out the extremely strong options in the $4,600 to $5,000 price range at running back in Week 7 and specifically mentioned Lamar Miller, Todd Gurley and Danny Woodhead as top options. The trio did not disappoint with each hitting production multiples of more than 7x. Both Gurley (90%) and Miller (85%) were major keys to success for the top finishers.

Overall, the RB1 position averaged 33.5 points at a cost of $5,485 (6.1x) and the RB2 position produced a whopping 38.8 points at a cost of just $4,705 (8.2x). The conventional wisdom that there was a great deal of value in the mid-priced tier proved prophetic with Miller (41.6 points) proving to be an especially strong option for the second straight week. 

Looking forward to Week 8, it looks like it could be worth riding the "hot hands" again. Devonta Freeman ($8,000) has a favorable matchup against Tampa Bay. Todd Gurley ($6,300) and the Rams will be big home favorites again against San Francisco and the game script should again be in his favor. Lamar Miller ($4,700) has a tougher matchup at New England, but has not seen his price jump up as would be expected after his recent surge in production. Justin Forsett ($6,100) hasn't been producing like the previous three backs mentioned, but will also likely be a great option with a tempting matchup against San Diego. He could post big numbers against a soft Chargers defense. It will be risky to fade any of these four backs too heavily even though each is likely to be highly owned. 


The scoring at wide receiver position bounced back after an abnormally low scoring output from the position in Week 6. In week 7, the average WR on the top rosters scored more than 28 points. Nate Washington (36.7 points), T.Y. Hilton (34 points) and Mike Evans (33.4 points) were amongst the top options at the position. 

Overall, the WR1s scored 29.1 points at an average price of $7,335 (4.0x), the WR2s scored 30.9 points at an average price of $6,360 (4.9x) and the WR3s scored 25.6 points at an average price of $4,600 (5.6x). Due to the top running back scores being amassed by players priced at or below $5,000, it allowed for more leeway in targeting at least two highly-priced wide receivers. We even saw 20% of the top finishers pay over $6,000 for their WR3s. 

Looking forward to Week 8, we've already mentioned some of our favorite receivers above as stacking options. A.J. Green ($7,600), Stefon Diggs ($4,800) and Donte Moncrief ($5,500) are also high-upside options we like in Week 8, but are less inclined to stack the trio with their quarterbacks.


Rob Gronkowski had a strong week (30.8 points) and appeared in the TE spot on 55% of the top rosters. He also appeared as a FLEX on another 15% of the top finishing teams. Jordan Reed (30.2 points) and Ladarius Green (18.5 points) both posted big stats during their teams' comeback attempts and were owned by many of the top finishers. Overall, the TE position produced 27.7 points at an average price of $6,245 (4.4x) at the top of the standings.


Unlike recent weeks which were mostly dominated by teams playing a fourth wide receiver, there was no clearcut best strategy in Week 7. 40% of the top finishers used a RB in the Flex spot while 40% used a WR. The remaining 20% rostered a second tight end. Overall, the scoring average of 29.6 came at a price of just $5,425 for a multiple of 5.5x that mirrored the overall multiple required for a top finish. 

With the quartet of strong running back options mentioned above, it could again be a strong strategy to use the Flex spot to add a third runner with a great chance at scoring multiple touchdowns. 


Only 10% of the top finishers were single entry players as the multi-entry contestants dominated for the second week in a row. The vast majority of the multi-entry top finishers entered 11 lineups or less however. For the first time this season we had a player who recorded a pair of top 20 finishes. rikkidee entered 236 lineups and saw two of them place in the top 20 (T-10th and 17th).