Unfortunately I only have the last couple weeks of DK Millionaire Maker CSVs, but I wanted to take a gander at Mallen21’s work after his aristeia this past weekend. I’m curious about any process that leads a person to cash half of the top 10 spots in the Milly.
Here’s some of my findings. It’s liable to be old hat to any seasoned hands, but for a rookie like myself, I found it interesting to get a sense of how people are building their cores and rotating fliers around it. The contrasts in his builds between Week 5 and Week 6 are extremely stark and give a sense of just how explosive your lineups can be when you take a successful stand on low-owned guys.
150 entries, at least 54 of which cashed, peaking at 24th place ($3,000). The 54 rosters included in the CSV represent the most successful subset of his lineups for the week, so the data may be skewed. Unless he’s already written this post for me and I’m wasting my time, it’s all we’ve got to go on.
Players With 10%+ Exposure
- Vikings – 59%
- Rams – 20%
There are some interesting busts here and some fantastic hits, but only one where he felt completely comfortable pulling the trigger. The Vikings DST is conspicuous as the only “player” exposed on over a third of all rosters. It’s probably the chalkiest play of the whole week, and it hit. He owned one cashing share of the Bills—the only DST that outperformed the Vikings in Week 5.
In the second tier of 20-33% exposure, we find mostly high-floor plays and stud candidates for positive regression. All solid plays without hindsight. Amari Cooper and Brandon Marshall are the best of the bunch and probably should’ve been higher, but the others gave only fair to middling performances. Mallen’s overweight by nearly double or more on all of these plays, relative to the field (and the Vikings too, for that matter).
The lineups are rounded out with mid- to low-single-digit fliers. Some are underowned sleepers, some are chalk you’d hate to lose to. The most popular choices are Andrew Luck, Jordan Howard, Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown, Will Tye, and Ravens DST.
145 entries, at least 132 of which cashed, peaking at 1st place ($1,000,000). Five cashed in the top 10, and 17 cashed in the top 100. We have a much more complete picture of this week’s rosters, by dint of their astounding success.
Players With 10%+ Exposure
- Matthew Stafford – 75%
- Steelers – 41%
- Eagles – 25%
- Seahawks – 11%
- Texans – 11%
This week, Mallen takes a stand. He knows Taters picks up the slack for Ebron and Riddick, he knows Matt Stafford is a beast under the dome, he knows we’re going to get a Gronking to remember, he knows Shady and Lamar are going to fly heads, and he knows that bum Jay Ajayi is done with Arian Foster back. Go back to England, you soccer ball-humping poofter! Real men play football with their bloody hands!
Besides Ajayi (literally 0 shares in Week 6), the most interesting notes from Week 5 are that he faded OBJ (bad call), mostly faded Cooper (good call that would’ve served him just fine either way), and refused to chase Hilton on the road (great call).
Delanie Walker and Steelers DST are the other conspicuous misses. I think the Steelers play was clearly poor, since Shazier and Heyward were still out and Steelers road letdown games are par for the course. Still scratching my head on Walker’s mysterious disappearance myself. Can’t fault him there.
The rest of the lineups are again rounded out mostly by mid- to low-single-digit fliers and insurance policies. There’s some Brees for safety and some Keenum for emphasis. There’s CMike, Gurley, and Hyde. There’s some Edelman, Pryor, and Hurns. There’s too little Jimmy Graham and too much Travis Kelce.
Clearly, this is a high-risk strategy. Someone who wins thousands of dollars from the Milly in a relatively down week and can afford to reinvest $2,900 of that in another round of near-max entries is going to be able to take shots like this, while most of us can’t. One Matt Stafford injury and his whole spot would’ve got blown up. Even continued underperformance from Taters would’ve damaged him severely, though Stafford may have been able to salvage it elsewhere. Tate’s salary made it easier to take a stand on him.
On the other hand, I don’t know how else you sweep the Milly as thoroughly as this champion did. He found select chalk he trusted—McCoy, Miller, Bell, arguably Thomas—then shuffled them with low-owned guys he trusted implicitly—Stafford, Taters, Britt, Cobb, and amazingly Gronk. He hedged around most of the chalkier plays (DeMarco Murray being a notable exception), while sticking to his guns and stacking pivots in a week where he was confident in his calls.
My first experience with something like this was Week 5, when I was on Bennett and kept listening to podcasts and reading articles saying to myself “What about Bennett? Why isn’t anybody talking about this guy as much as he deserves?” In retrospect, I wish I’d stacked him even more than I did. All the signs were there.
Moving forward, I’m going to pay more attention to plays like that: game stack and player pivots where others are reluctant to pull the trigger. In weeks where I don’t especially like the slate, I’ll probably approach it more like Mallen’s Week 5 roster: spread exposure, reduce variance, try to walk away in the profitable middle. In weeks where I feel confident, I’m going to focus on narrowing my core, homing in on a smaller pool of favorites, and getting as many different configurations of them as possible. Sometimes you gotta stick to your damn guns.
Fatcat leverages voluminous bankroll with smart predictions, smart pivots, and fundamentally sound multi-entry construction. Play good. Play gooder. Become all the money.