2021 DraftKings Millionaire Maker Trends Through NFL Week 5

If you missed the 2020 Millionaire Maker Top 10 recap, you can catch up here. Since we are now five weeks into the 2021 season, it’s time to start looking at this year to see if there are any trends we can take advantage of, and also discuss ownership trends historically once bye weeks start hitting.

Stacking

Below is a chart showing which versions of Team or Game Stacks have appeared in Top 10 lineups through Week 5.

Game stacks were absolutely dominating amongst the Top 10 lineups last season, but so far have just a slight advantage over team stacks. We haven’t really had many back-and-forth shootout-type games this season except for the Browns and Chargers last week, which seems to be the main reason that game stacks haven’t been appearing as often as last season. It’s still a good idea to have some variation in the types of teams you make for the ultra large-field tournaments like the Millionaire Maker and not just blindly make 4-man game stacks for every team. With only four types of stacks showing up in the Top 10 through five weeks, making a team that is based on a stack not shown here is a longshot. Stick to what actually works and makes it to the top of tournaments.

Flex Usage

Below is a graph of how many times each position has shown up in the flex spot over the first five weeks.

— Last season RBs in the flex made up 34% of Top 10 lineups while the field used them 43% of the time.

— This season RBs in the flex make up 32% of Top 10 lineups while the field used them 28% of the time.

— Last season WRs in the flex made up 54% of Top 10 lineups while the field used them 46% of the time

— This season WRs in the flex make up 60% of Top 10 lineups while the field used them 60% of the time.

It seems that the field has reached what I would consider to be a near-optimal rate of usage of WRs in the flex. The one spot the field still gets wrong is the usage of TEs in the flex. This has been a long-term losing proposition year after year among Top 10 lineups and generally you would be better off simply eliminating using a TE in the flex in the ultra large-field GPPs across the industry.

Average Ownership (AO)

The Average Ownership of all Top 10 lineups through five weeks last season was 103%. This is the summed-up ownership of all players in Top 10 lineups. This season that number is down to 91.9%. A few things are happening to bring the AO of Top 10 lineups down.

— DraftKings is doing a better job pricing than previous seasons, creating a flatter pricing structure without missing on too many injuries when they make salaries.

— We also made some pretty poor choices on player selection. This happens every year, however it was noticeable in the first two weeks of the season.

I also want to show you what has happened over the past few seasons in terms of AO when the bye weeks start hitting. Over the first few weeks when there are more games, the AO tends to be lower as there are more players to choose from. Once the bye weeks start hitting the AO of Top 10 lineups tends to move up rather dramatically. Here is some data on those.

— In 2019 through four weeks the AO of Top 10 lineups was 101%, over the next six weeks the AO was 128%

— In 2020 through four weeks the AO of Top 10 lineups was 103%, over the next six weeks the AO was 118%

If you use AO at all in LineupHQ or in your head when making lineups in these large field GPPs, make sure to adjust the number up during the bye weeks as it’s just fine to have more total ownership in your lineups.

Low-Owned Players

Through the first five weeks of 2021, we are seeing an average of 2.4 low-owned (5% or lower) players per lineup. Through the first four weeks of last season before bye weeks, we had two low-owned players per lineup. With the flatter pricing, we are seeing an uptick in low-owned players this season compared to the historically high-scoring 2020 season. When it comes to the bye weeks over the next few weeks, low-owned players per lineup tend to decrease slightly since there are fewer players to choose from in general. Each of the past two seasons we have seen one or two bye weeks where the highly owned players fail in spectacular fashion and we see over four low-owned players per lineup on those weeks, but generally the trend is to see the number of 5% owned or less player dwindle over the next 5-7 weeks. If this is something you focus on in your lineups it’s okay to relax on specifically forcing more than one low-owned play into your team for the next few weeks.

Bust Rates

Below is a chart of Bust Rates of the three highest owned players at each position through the first five weeks of the season. There is no real formula I use for these, and are based on my opinion if that particular player had a performance that was giving you a shot at a good-to-great lineup that week.

Outside of the RB position in which we have become much better at predicting strong performances over the years, the general trend of missing on 50-60% of the highest owned plays every week across positions has remained rather steady to start the season. This differs from last season when we were much better at predicting QB performances, which seems to be tied to the increase in scoring last season due to no fans in the stands and a downtrend in offensive holding penalties during the 2020 season. Scoring is down almost two points per game this season while holding penalties have increased to a more normalized level. The lower scoring environment has now put QB bust rates back into historical levels of the 2018-2019 seasons. Since we are now missing on a good amount of highly owned QBs, we are also back to missing on 60% of the highest owned WRs every week, which also has returned to normal levels after missing on them just 43% of the time last season.

That does it for this week’s recap of the 2021 season. I’ll be back after Week 7 with an update on what is happening to start the bye-week portion of the 2021 season. Don’t forget that while this article looks specifically at the largest field Millionaire Maker on DraftKings, the information here is easily transferable to many of the mega field contests on DraftKings for NFL and even other sites across the industry.

Image Credit: Imagn

If you missed the 2020 Millionaire Maker Top 10 recap, you can catch up here, but since we are now five weeks into the 2021 season it’s time to start looking at this year to see if there are any trends we can take advantage of, and also discuss ownership trends historically once bye weeks start hitting.

Stacking

Below is a chart showing which versions of Team or Game Stacks have appeared in Top 10 lineups through Week 5.

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About the Author

  • Brit Devine (britdevine)

  • Brit Devine is a former low/midstakes Online Poker Pro/Coach who quickly transitioned to DFS in 2011 after Black Friday. He was the Operations Manager at DFS site Fan Throwdown before parting ways, where he then turned to playing DFS full-time. Mainly a cash game player, Brit provides expert analysis frequently via written columns and GrindersLive appearances.

  • Mohawk86

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    Brit, For the stacking numbers, do the “Game Stack” numbers include the “Team Stacks” or are the “Team Stacks” only those team stacks where the lineup did not bring it back with an opposing player. And how many total lineups are we talking about? Is it top ten from each week (i.e. 50)? Would I be correct in reading the data that 20 of 50 had a team stack of 2 or 3 with no gamestack; 25 of 50 had a game stack of 3 or 4; and 5 had no stack at all.

  • britdevine

    • 2014 StarStreet MLB Playboy Mansion Finalist

    @Mohawk86 said...

    Brit, For the stacking numbers, do the “Game Stack” numbers include the “Team Stacks” or are the “Team Stacks” only those team stacks where the lineup did not bring it back with an opposing player. And how many total lineups are we talking about? Is it top ten from each week (i.e. 50)? Would I be correct in reading the data that 20 of 50 had a team stack of 2 or 3 with no gamestack; 25 of 50 had a game stack of 3 or 4; and 5 had no stack at all.

    You have it correct

  • vogter18

    Hi Brit, appreciate the work you put into this article. I was wondering your thoughts on the possibility of adding information about salary spent (should we leave money on table and, if so, how much?) for top 10 lineups, along with Vegas spreads and totals data. I try to focus my QB stacks (and almost my entire player pool) primarily on Vegas favs only and game stacks on close spread, high total games believing this formula is more likely to be in winning lineups but don’t have the data to back that up. Thanks!

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