DFS NFL Strategy: Playoff Millionaire Maker

Ok, with the NFL regular season over, NBA in full swing, and with fantasy golf just starting, DFS NFL might be one of the last things on your mind right now. But there are a couple things happening this week that I think should put NFL on your radar. First off, as I write this article, the $3.5 Millionaire Maker this week is only 1/3 full, and it starts in less than 24 hours. It’s very likely that this tournament has a significant overlay.

Second off, in terms of strategy, I feel there are some angles we can take this week that can very intelligently differentiate ourselves from the field. Usually on such a small slate, I’d suggest skipping it entirely even with an overlay because there just aren’t many ways to grab an edge. But because I feel there are clear, +EV strategies that will be significantly different from the field, I think with NFL we can make lineups with a big edge this week.


Pay Up at Receiver

Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, and A.J. Green all are in plus matchups and situations, and given we will likely be using 4 WRs in almost every lineup (3 WRs and 1 in the Flex), it seems wildly unlikely that at least 2 out of these 3 will not be in the Millionaire Maker winning lineup. I don’t really see a reason why any of these 3 should have a bad game, so I think our best bet is to try to use these 3 receivers as much as possible and try to have 2 (or even 3) in every lineup. On DraftKings WRs have the highest upside because of PPR, so paying up at this position for 3 elite guys makes a lot of sense.


Fade Jordan Reed

Ok, so here’s the bold move. My reasoning for fading Reed is actually mostly based on lineup construction and not really based on expecting Reed to play badly. I actually think Reed is the best choice at TE. But he isn’t the best choice for your lineup.

Here’s why: With only 1 TE position in our lineups, as long as Reed isn’t the highest scoring TE out of every TE, fading him will work in our favor. With WR, if we choose to fade a player like, let’s say, Antonio Brown, he would likely have to finish out of the top 3 at WR for us to successfully fade him, which is much more unlikely than the Reed scenario. Basically, if we’re going to fade a player at a specific position this week, TE is the smarter choice because it’s much more likely our fade succeeds.

Aside from fading Reed for lineup construction purposes, there’s also an argument for fading him because of the other options. There are quality options available at much lower salary at TE, and these are players that are pretty close to Reed. One of these options is Heath Miller, who had 10 catches in each of his last 2 games against the Bengals, and should benefit from the absence of DeAngelo Williams as a check down option and a red zone option. Tyler Eifert has had multiple TD games in several games this season, outperforming Reed is clearly not out of the question.

And, if you think about it, Reed does have a young QB in Kirk Cousins throwing to him, it’s not out of the question that Reed has a poor game simply because Cousins really struggles.


Spread it out at RB

The proverbial icing on the cake to our strategy this week is at RB. There really aren’t any good options at RB, and I think the best way to take advantage of this is to spread out our picks at RB and hope one of our low owned plays hit. This means even using guys like Pierre Thomas, Jordan Todman, and Jonathan Grimes. I think they have a chance, with such a weak field at RB, to be in top lineups.

What I particularly appreciate about this strategy is that it differentiates us from the field if we have an almost identical lineup to others at the top. Let’s say we have a lineup that looks like this:

QB Ben Roethlisberger
RB Charcandrick West
RB xxxxx
WR Antonio Brown
WR James Jones
WR Desean Jackson
TE Heath Miller
Flex A.J. Green

If we have someone like Fitzgerald Touissant or Spencer Ware in that last RB spot, it’s incredibly likely that your lineup will be the same as a few others. But if we instead have Jordan Todman, there’s almost no way that will be the case. So if you have Todman, and he has a better performance than those few players at that same price-point, than it’s the difference between $1,000,000 and $100,000-$200,000. Now, obviously, you would likely be happy with a six figure score, but in terms of making this tournament actually worth it, maximizing a $1,000,000 score makes our lineups much more profitable.


Like every week on DraftKings, winning the Millionaire Maker is a long shot. But by following these strategies, I think you can make some very profitable lineups and take advantage of some potentially big overlay. Good luck!

View all posts by Max J Steinberg
Max J Steinberg

About the Author

Max J Steinberg Max Steinberg is a professional poker player and a top Daily Fantasy player who uses his creativity and mathematical abilities he cultivated as a poker player to win money on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He already has several big tournament scores to his name including the Victiv Bowl and countless MLB Monster wins. Follow him on twitter @maxjsteinberg.

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