DFS Tournament Tips & Advice from a Former Milly Maker Winner
Anyone who plays DFS dreams of finishing at the top, winning thousands, or in my case a Million dollars. In Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season, I won the Milly Maker and several other 6 figure contests on DraftKings. I’ve also been to five live finals where I have competed against some of the best players in the industry. A dream came true and it’s possible that yours can too if you follow some of these principles.
Here are my top 5 simple tips and advice for approaching GPPs from a 10,000-ft view.
First, we need upside from top to bottom. From our QB to our DEF, we need as many points as possible. Now, this doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze in a cash play into our GPP lineups. But we can’t be scared to take some chances especially if we’re trying to finish in the top 1%. The only way we are going to finish at the top is if each of our players has a big day and nothing less. Usually, the upside lies in some of the more expensive players, but if you look hard enough, you should find value that’s being overlooked by the rest of the field.
I like to start by picking out a few of my favorite games on the slate and then deciding which one I’m going to stack. Once you have the core built out it gets easier to fill in the missing pieces. Feel free to stack up to a couple of weapons with your quarterback, and even coming back with a player on the other team as well. For me, I like to stack teams that don’t have a ton of weapons outside of maybe one or 2 players. Take the Miami Dolphins for example. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 3,066 yards, 15 Touchdowns, and 194 receptions in 2022. Third in line for the Dolphins last year was Trent Sherfield at a whopping 417 yards receiving. Now, you can stack any team you’d like on any given week, and I implore you to embrace the volatility, but let’s also try to find the spots where we can mostly predict the outcome. Stack with purpose and don’t overcomplicate things. Stacking is all about getting a couple of things right for DFS.
Predicting game flow is one of the more important skills we need to win a GPP. If we can predict how the games will go, we’ll know which parts of the team we want. There are a few great ways to have correlations throughout your lineup. You could take a Running Back on one side with a Receiver on the other, hoping that your running back is on the team that has control of the game throughout and the opposing team is throwing a little more than usual. Another way is to pair your Running Back with your Defense. Again, if that team is in control and the defense is playing well, they should be running the ball therefore giving your running back plenty of opportunities. Correlation is important because once we start to spread it out too much we add more risk where it is not necessary. With that said, having a couple of one-offs is not the worst thing in the world if you have great value in a great matchup.
4. Ownership & Leverage
This is where I personally think I give myself the biggest advantage. Many players play GPPs and will fade every play that they believe will be chalky. I think this is the biggest mistake you can make in GPPs. In my opinion, it’s ok to eat chalk if you believe that it gives you the best opportunity to put up the most points. Now, we don’t want the entire lineup to be chalky because at that point we aren’t differentiating ourselves enough. You can be different even by just having a player or two on your team come in super low-owned, even if the rest of the team is chalky. My Milly Maker lineup was relatively chalky, however, I had Mike Williams at 6% ownership, and he put up 35 points. I didn’t win with Mike Williams alone, but he certainly helped my team separate itself.
Don’t be afraid to get creative when you’re building your lineups on Saturday night or Sunday morning. We can’t win if we play scared, so have some fun and enjoy the process. When I first started playing DFS I felt like I was overthinking and wanted to fit in with everyone else if that makes sense. I was afraid to take chances because I was playing not to lose, I wasn’t playing to win. Now, after all the experience I have playing, I have a whole different perspective. Whether you’re playing a few bucks, or a few thousand, play to win and embrace playing differently than how others play. I usually play 1 or maybe 2 lineups every week and I have always hand-built my lineups. If you’re max entering large field contests, feel free to use the Fantasy Footballers brand-new optimizer if you don’t want to build lineups for hours.
These principles are all tied together, and of course, we could go a little bit more in-depth or even add a few more but let’s keep it simple. Of course, we’ll need a little bit of luck on our side, but if you put in the work and constantly obtain as much information as you can, you’ll be in a great position to succeed. Also, remember that it’s just not possible to win big in every tournament you play. We need to stay resilient throughout the season because one large victory can make up for many losses throughout the season. Always remember to have fun and don’t be too high or too low on yourself based on your performance. You’ll perform much better if you can put the past behind you and look forward to the week ahead!