2020 Milly Maker Trends & Analysis
By now we should all know that stacking is a key facet when constructing DFS lineups, whether it’s stacking a couple of teammates or going with a full onslaught game stack. But how key is it? The following chart was originally created by one of the brightest minds in the industry, TJ Hernandez of 4for4.com. I have made a few additions (in blue/gray) to help myself, and hopefully others, visualize and understand the theory and mindset behind the lineup construction of the weekly Millionaire Maker winners on Draftkings.
It should come as no surprise that stacking a QB with a WR was the most commonly utilized stack of the bunch. If, however, this is news to you, consider this your first lesson in becoming a better DFS player. STACKING IS KEY!
I’m aware that in the “Primary Stack” column I’ve labeled the WR position as WR 1 and WR 2. To be clear, I do not mean this as the WR 1 and WR 2 in an offense. It is solely to decipher that 94% of Primary stacks used at least one WR and that 25% used another WR from the same team in a stack. Off the top of my head I do not know which WR’s were used for each stack, but I’m sure with some simple digging anyone can figure it out.
Which kind of brings us to my next point. Since I have started playing DFS I have always used the QB/WR stack and more times than not I’ve always ran it back with an opponent WR (or pass catcher of some sort). I think that this stacking strategy is fairly common and probably used by a lot of fantasy gamers. Not until recently, maybe ¾ of the way through the season last year, did I start to deploy the 3x1 stack. It made me nervous to have so many eggs in one basket at first. But looking back it makes so much more sense. Finding a good game environment is not very hard to do. Sure, some games don’t blow up like we expect while others dud out, but for the most part the chalky stacks are chalk for a reason. As the chart shows the 3x1 stacks were the most commonly used primary stacks by nearly 20%!
One last thought on the primary stacks… Tight ends appeared more in the Primary Stacks than Running Backs. Anomaly? Probably not considering the NFL has been a much pass heavier league in addition to more teams using a committee backfield rather than the more traditional workhorse back.
Now when it comes to the Secondary Stack, a RB was used eight out of 10 times a Secondary stack was in play. Of those eight instances, four lineups had a player from the other side bringing it back. This leads us to the conclusion that while most teams aren’t using just one RB, some teams still do heavily utilize a single Running back. Theoretically, using a high volume RB in a secondary stack makes a lot of sense especially if they are home favorites in a game with a larger spread and have a high implied team total. If you are interpreting the Vegas lines correctly, playing a high volume RB that will get the rock for the majority of the second half with an increased chance to fall into the endzone makes a lot of sense. On top of that, you run it back the other way with one of their opponents' pass catchers, knowing they will be working in a negative game script and you have a great complementary stack. I wish I would have thought of this before now!
“Hindsight is always 50/50” - Cam Newton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBau6MRZSiE
I shouldn’t pick on Cam like that. Truthfully I’m a huge Auburn football fan and I skipped out on my family Thanksgiving one year and took a road trip to watch him come back and beat Bama in the 2010 Iron Bowl!
Anyways, a few more things that stuck out to me:
The sweet spot of four correlated players (31% of lineups) OR six correlated players (25% of lineups) but not five players (6% of lineups). Looks like the 3x1 primary stack with or without a two player secondary stack seems to be money.
The biggest thing I think we get from this is that correlation is an absolute must. Even if we deploy a 2x1 primary stack, we still have to make sure the rest of the lineup correlates and makes sense. Not just a bunch of random plays.
The use of a third stack. Makes me wonder how purposefully these were used. Did it align because of player pool restrictions? Or did those three winners deploy three stacks in multiple lineups?
Also, in two of the three “Third Stacks” both players used were on the same team. Makes me think I need to do some of that digging I referenced earlier and look more into the lineup construction. Maybe this means I’ll be back for a second segment of this observation and theory analysis behind these Million Dollar Lineups.