DraftKings Millionaire Maker Review: Week 15
Welcome to the DraftKings Millionaire Maker review, ladies, and gentlemen. This will be a weekly digest of the DraftKings' Millionaire Maker to give you an idea of what it took to win $1 million in addition to seeing what some of the top professional DFS minds did in this large-field GPP.
DraftKings Millionaire Maker Week 15 Review
Today marked the last Millionaire Maker of the season on DraftKings and it took a massive score to win the week. ‘JWest64' finished off the Milly Maker season in impressive fashion with a 243.98 score. JWest played only six lineups, so it was the first non-professional winner in quite some time. JWest got off to a hot start with Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton in the 1 PM slate as he tossed four touchdowns and ran for over 50 yards to compile over 30 DK points. He was one of the more popular options at the position at nearly 16%, but he hit value to slot himself firmly in GPP-winning conversation. Also in the 1 PM slate were LeSean McCoy, Keelan Cole, Alshon Jeffrey, Benjamin Watson, Greg Olsen, and the Minnesota Vikings.
McCoy, who has been one of the best DFS plays all year had yet another monstrous performance, putting up 25.6 DK points. He came in at low ownership, too, allowing JWest to gain leverage on the field. Cole was an enormous leverage play that paid off. He was just 4% owned and his wide receiver partner Dede Westbrook was significantly north of that – and with a slash line of 7-186-1, he was one key to a successful GPP build. Jeffrey was lower owned due to Nick Foles at the helm instead of Carson Wentz, but he still found the endzone to get to nearly 15 DK points. He wasn't a smash play, but he did just enough to get JWest over the top, as JWest won by 0.2 points.
Watson, who hadn't done much recently, was playing the Cleveland Browns and took advantage. A starting tight end vs. the Browns at just 4% ownership? Absolutely. Naturally, Watson grabbed a touchdown and went over 70 yards receiving to crush his value. Then we have Olsen, who JWest stacked up with Newton. Olsen was an interesting play that was talked about by many in the DR Slack channel. Although he was coming off an injury, he was playing against the Green Bay Packers who have been susceptible to the tight end all year and his price tag was absurdly cheap for his talent level. At sub-7% ownership, his 29.6 DK point performance was a virtual lock for GPP-winning lineup consideration. It is also worth noting that JWest played 2 TEs on his winning lineup, a sharp FLEX usage that is uncommon.
Then we have the Vikings' defense, who has been tremendous all year long, but this week was a special situation. With reports of Cincinnati Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis leaving after the year surfacing before game time and the Bengals just being in utter disarray, this was a pretty juicy spot to attack. The Vikings came in at sub-10% ownership. The last two pieces were San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley. Goodwin and his new QB Jimmy Garappolo have had a special connection since Jimmy G came to the helm of the club, and it was showcased yet again today. Goodwin went for 10-114-1 and one of them came in a dramatic last-minute drive to win the game for the 49ers. He was one of the chalkier plays of the slate, with 16% ownership.
Last but not least, you have THE slate breaker of the day. Gurley, who has been a terrific DFS option all season, scored a remarkable 48 DK points (and sat out much of the fourth quarter!) against a usually-stout Seattle defense. There really isn't much more than can be said about Gurley at this point in the season. He's been an elite play week in and week out. At just 8.3% ownership, having Gurley virtually locked up a nice finish for you in Week 15. As we've seen in some other weeks with multi-entry winners, not many other entries came close. JWest's next best entry was 4834th in the Milly Maker. That goes to show how difficult building the winning lineup can be! Congratulations to JWest64 on becoming a new millionaire.
With a lot of professional players in Miami for the DK Live Final, there weren't a ton of folks that max-entered the Milly this week, but DFS pro ‘youdacao' finished 19th in the Milly this week. He is one of the best players in the industry and showed his ability with this top-flight finish, as he played some similar players to JWest. Gurley and Olsen were staples of youdacao's top lineup, but he stacked up Nick Foles and Alshon Jeffrey to get his correlation. One of the best plays of the day, Sterling Shepard, made an appearance on the roster, but such plays as Jerick McKinnon limited his upside. That result in addition to Michael Thomas kept him from a higher finish. For those that didn't watch, Thomas has two touchdowns that were overturned, and if they would've both counted, his DK performance would've been in Gurley territory in terms of must-haves. Nelson Agholor was also on the team, as Foles-Jeffrey-Agholor were triple-stacked – and Agholor dropped a touchdown pass that would've changed his day, too. It was a “what could've been” day for youdacao with some poor variance in this lineup.
DraftKings Live Final Quick Recap
It would be a huge understatement to say that ‘chess_is_ok' has had a decent DFS year. You might recognize this name, as I profiled him earlier this season in the Millionaire Maker recaps for winning a Milly Maker in 2017. On this Sunday, however, he binked a $2 million score. One of the top pros in the game, chess bested 199 other live final entrants with a total score of 188.38. Although this score seems rather pedestrian, one must remember that there is a lot of money on the line and the seat worth of $66,000 causes a lot of players to be more conservative with their plays.
Like we saw in the Milly Maker recap for this week, chess also used Cam Newton to bolster his lineup and Todd Gurley to be the utter smash – but had some duds as well. Kenyan Drake made an appearance as well – although he was the uber chalk of this week, he paid off his price tag with Damien Williams out for the week, he figured to get a wealth of opportunities and did enough to contend in a smaller field GPP.
There were a few head-scratcher plays in here, too. Damiere Byrd, for example – perhaps you've never heard of him. Well, he had an opportunity to get playing time and took advantage of it. At minimum salary, he had a remarkably controversial touchdown that will be dubbed the “Butt Touchdown” for quite some time. Randall Cobb is a name that you've surely heard before, but wouldn't seem to be a very appealing target. However, with Aaron Rodgers back at the helm as opposed to Brett Hundley, Cobb figured to get more action in the passing game. Sure enough, he caught a 33-yard TD from Rodgers and easily paid off his tag as a result.
At the end of the day though, an elite RB stack of Gurley and all-world LeVeon Bell led chess to success. Bell went for 30.5 DK points, so although the squad mustered just 188, the trio of Newton-Gurley-Bell accounted for 110 of those. Luckily for chess, one of his two duds was fairly highly owned. He tried to work Newton in with WR Devin Funchess. Funchess dropped a touchdown pass and injured his collarbone, finishing with just 2.9 DK points. Austin Seferian-Jenkins also put up a weak line of 3.3 DK points. ASJ rated well in a lot of projection systems, but he just couldn't find the rhythm with backup QB Bryce Petty. That being said, he was cheap enough to allow chess to fit in the likes of Newton, Gurley, and Bell, which made all the difference on this Sunday. Huge congratulations to chess_is_ok on the $2 million win!
Thanks to all that read this column all year. Here's to hoping one of us binks the Millionaire Maker in the 2018 season!
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