NFL
November 16, 2021

How the DraftKings NFL Milly Maker Was Won: Week 10

The newly-minted 18-game NFL season has begun its second half, and the $3.5 million DraftKings Fantasy Football Millionaire contest remains the crown jewel of the Daily Fantasy universe. Another million-dollar champion was crowned in Sunday’s Week 10 action, and eight more regular-season Sunday-slate Millionaire contests remain to be decided.

At Lines.com, we will break down the winning entry each week to try and learn from the decisions made that led to the winning score. In the process, we will look to explode the myths and reinforce the truths about DFS NFL strategy that could give you an edge toward cashing in Daily Fantasy’s greatest treasure.

The Week 10 winner went by the handle “eppy99” and finished first with a total of 213.14 points. The lineup looked like this:

This was another unusual week for the Milly Maker, as the winning score checked in below 220 points, something that has happened two weeks in a row, but had only happened a handful of times over the past five years combined.

This was a dreadful week for quarterback play, and if you didn’t have either Josh Allen or Dak Prescott you were pretty much out of the running for first place. Indeed, our Week 10 winner went with Allen and stacked him wisely with Stefon Diggs, who was a smash-week just waiting to happen, but still came in under 10% ownership. 

This was the kind of week where going with three running backs, a strategy staple of an earlier age, was the winning formula in November 2021. Not just any three backs, in this case. Eppy99 kept his ear to the ground and his fingers on Twitter refresh and stocked his lineup with the Big 3 replacement backs: D’Ernest Johnson (Nick Chubb), Mark Ingram II (Alvin Kamara) and critically, Rhamondre Stevenson, who himself was not certain to play until the inactives came out Sunday morning. Damien Harris had already been ruled out, but Stevenson’s availability changed everything.

Just from looking at eppy99’s roster construction, you can make the case that adding in Stevenson was a last-minute swap. For one, he also played Patriots tight end Hunter Henry, which once again paid off as Henry has become the Cris Carter of tight ends: All he does is catch touchdowns. But pairing a running back with a tight end is not a traditional strategy, and that eppy99 had Stevenson in the flex makes me think that was a last-minute swap to take advantage of the late-breaking news. 

And it paid off massively, as Stevenson dropped a 30-burger at just 3.3% ownership. Johnson and Ingram had big games as well, but their ownership was considerably higher and their point totals, while certainly good and made people money, were nowhere near Stevenson’s. That proved the difference for eppy99.

The other spot where eppy99 was able to separate from the field was at defense. The chalk defense Sunday was the Tennessee Titans at $2,600 and 22.6% ownership. And it was a smart play on paper: A cheap defense playing well against an offense missing its top play-maker. But the Titans' defense busted, scoring just six points.

Where eppy99 went was just $100 more, to the $2,700 Eagles, taking on the Broncos on the road, a week after Denver shredded the Cowboys. But the Eagles delivered with a 15-point performance at just 3.3% ownership. And while the Cowboys were the big winners on defense Sunday, posting a 23-point game at 4.6% ownership, the extra $300 required would have tilted eppy99’s lineup construction, as he left just $100 on the table.

Photo: Getty Images