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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 86: Winning the Millionaire Maker

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I’ve made it a goal to finish this 100-day series within 200 days, and I ALWAYS accomplish my goals.

At DraftKings, I published a quick guide on how to attack this weekend’s Millionaire Maker. Here’s an excerpt:

Law No. 7: Go against the grain as a contrarian thinker.

You don’t need to bypass every obvious value to go against the grain, but jumping on one or two players you know won’t be highly owned can provide you with the lineup differentiation that you’ll need in a tournament. One of the shrewd moves that I see again and again from the game’s top pros is playing elite players in tough matchups; A.J. Green can get his numbers against any defense, but he won’t necessarily be a popular choice against one of the league’s top Ds.

I think this last “law” is really important for the Millionaire Maker. With nearly 100,000 lineups, we are going to see more similar lineups than we’ve ever witnessed. Even if a player has 10 percent usage, that’s over 9,000 lineups!

It’s more important than ever to create a unique lineup, finding upside where others aren’t looking. Normally, it makes sense to try to hit on one player, maybe two, who you know will be underutilized. Well, this might be the time to load your roster with contrarian plays.

Last week, I emphasized the mathematics behind using a more balanced strategy in tournaments—as opposed to using a couple scrubs and elite players—because it maximizes the probability of hitting on everyone.

Well, this might be a time to disregard that advice. Not only will you need to hit on every player, but you’ll need to hit on players who aren’t in a ton of lineups, too. That’s why I think a high-low strategy with maybe three or so players who are close to min-priced is the way to go. If you can identify that talent and hit on it, you’ll have 1) a unique source of points others don’t have and 2) a whole lot of cap space left to fit the elite players into your lineup.

Personally, I will be spending the majority of my time this week researching under-the-radar players at the bottom of the salary lists—guys like Justin Hunter, Austin Davis, Bishop Sankey, Jared Cook, and so on. By emphasizing those sorts of low-usage players (maybe not those exact guys in particular) and spending big elsewhere, I think you’ll put yourself in the best position to benefit from variance in Week 5.

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