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NFL DFS Week 4 DraftKings Millionaire Maker Lineup Review and Strategy

Kyle Dvorchak



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Every week, some lucky person takes home $1 million by winning the DraftKings Millionaire Maker contest, aka The Milly Maker. The contest is $20 to enter with a maximum of 150 entries per person. I looked at a few key trends from two years of winners this summer and pulled some key trends that can be found here: Five Key Trends from Million Dollar DraftKings NFL DFS Lineups. In this series, we’ll look at what the winning lineup did each week with its NFL DFS picks on DraftKings and see if it aligns with prior trends or if there are new ways to take down the contest.

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NFL DFS Week 4 DraftKings Millionaire Maker Lineup Review and Strategy

The Winning Lineup

Week 4’s winning lineup this week featured a Cowboys stack with Dak Prescott up top and CeeDee Lamb plus Amari Cooper at receiver. It also featured a runback with Odell Beckham from the same game. Three of those four scored over 35 fantasy points. Prescott topped 40 for the second time this year and made the DraftKings Millionaire Maker-winning lineup for the second time as well. This is the fourth consecutive week that featured a winning lineup with the QB-WR-WR-Opposing WR stack exactly. It’s clear that stacking multiple receiving options with their quarterback and then looking at the other side of the game for extra correlation is optimal for building successful tournament lineups. Mixing in tight ends on both sides of the stack is also a perfectly viable strategy. Dalton Schultz could have been in the winning lineup and was in the mathematically perfect lineup with 72 yards and a score.

The only other correlation in the lineup was playing Ronald Jones with his defense. However, the Buccaneers defense scored six points and put their offense at an early deficit. The correlation didn’t pay off, but on a slate where no defense blew up, it wasn’t a hindrance either. Lastly, Joe Mixon as a home favorite versus the Jaguars defense probably should have been more popular than 3.8% ownership. 

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The easiest reason to point to for explains why this lineup worked is the expensive busts at running back. Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara weren’t horrible. They both topped 20 points but also cost $7,800 and $8,000, respectively. Jones, Mixon and Mike Davis all cost a fraction of the price and scored more points. It’s easy to say “play cheap running backs who score a lot of points,” but these three backs were projected to see similar market share numbers as the more expensive backs on good or good-enough offenses. Jones was slated to play without Leonard Fournette, and Davis had 17 targets in fewer than two games without Christian McCaffrey. Both backs were projected as top-three values at the position using the FantasyCruncher Rewind Tool. Before Week 4, Mixon was averaging 20.3 opportunities (targets plus carries) per game. 

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The expensive running backs won’t bust every week. If he doesn’t cede two scores to touchdown-vulture extraordinaire Latavius Murray, we’re discussing Kamara as part of the million-dollar lineup. It’s important to know which plays can open your roster up to ceiling performances across the board. The affordable workhorse running back is a great way to achieve 90th-percentile outcomes at every position.

Ownership Distribution

Last week saw a handful of no-name running backs make the winning lineup. This week, the chalk hit on inexpensive backs, and they were the key to winning the slate. That represents a sharp reversion to the mean in terms of the historical ownership of winning lineups.

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With the Prescott/Cooper/Lamb stack coming in at an average of less than 10% ownership, “ROYALPAIN21” had no problem taking the popular values at running back. Not every selection has to be a 1% play. Running back value has historically been the way winning lineups stay with the field.

Securing Touchdowns

One final edge that this lineup took advantage of was Vegas game totals. Whether on purpose or not, this lineup does not feature a player who played in a game with a total below 50 points once lines closed. The exception is the Jones/Tampa stack, which doesn’t thrive in a game that features seven touchdowns. Looking at implied team totals for more clarity shows an even higher touchdown potential. The average team total of a player in this lineup was 26.8 points. Davis and Darren Waller were on the lowest-scoring teams at 24.75 implied points for each.

Touchdowns are difficult to capture, but sharp DFS players put their lineups in positions to rack up scores at an excessive rate. Tournament lineups should always highlight players who could see high market shares of their team’s above-average total or a reasonable share of an absurd amount of scoring. Davis exemplified the former this week, while the Cowboys stack is a great example of the latter. Correlate your lineups with double stacks and a runback. Take the value at running back if it presents itself. Build lineups that can score touchdowns with reckless abandon. Win $1 million.

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If you like fantasy football and care about data, there's a 50/50 chance I've written for your favorite site. In a few short years I've covered, season-long, dynasty, best ball, and DFS for football. I used to be watching games and pretend to know what I was talking about but now I just spew numbers that forecast outcomes better than any scout. Come for the numbers, stay for the bad jokes and Zach Zenner references. RIP XFL.

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