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FantasyLabs: NFL DFS Week 10 $555 Millionaire Maker Review: Dissecting the Winning Lineup


As DFS players, we spend most of our time looking forward to the next slate, the next season, etc. Equally important, though, is looking back. Figuring out the thought process that leads to winning lineups is crucial. That’s what makes us better players long term.

This week, rather than break down another MME-enabled takedown of the $20 flagship millionaire contest, let’s take a look at the $555 version. It can be illuminating to see how higher stakes players build lineups, especially when playing with just a single lineup — like ShortGamerTV did this week.

The Lineup

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The Stack

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This lineup used two “stacks” in a sense. The main stack was built around the Cowboys passing attack, with Dak Prescott and two of his pass catchers — CeeDee Lamb and Jake Ferguson.

With Dallas as massive favorites against the awful Giants, they were bound to have considerable offensive production in Week 10. Players are occasionally scared to roster quarterbacks expected to win blowouts, but our Trends Tool has consistently shown it’s not an issue. For a team to get a big lead in the first place, they had to see a ton of production from somewhere.

In this case, it was the passing game. Dallas and Tony Pollard have struggled massively on the ground this season, and the Week 10 offense flowed through Prescott. He threw for four touchdowns and ran in another. Lamb was a fairly obvious stacking partner as the Cowboys’ alpha receiver, but tight end Jake Ferguson was an interesting choice. He did enough to get this lineup there, but a roster with either of the Cowboys’ secondary receivers (Michael Gallup or Brandin Cooks) would’ve scored more for less salary — you couldn’t go wrong loading up on Cowboys.

This lineup also used three Texans without a bringback. Running back Devin Singletary paid off as the classic post-chalk play after he was a highly-owned dud in Week 9. Noah Brown stepped into a massive role with Nico Collins out, and Robert Woods limited. Finally, he used the Texans defense — an interesting choice, but a logical one if you expected the Bengals to be playing from behind due to production from Brown and Singletary.

The Chalk

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The much smaller field size of the $555 millionaire maker makes it much more viable to “play the best plays” with less concern over ownership. ShortGamerTV did just that with Rachaad White and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Brown was the top receiver for the favored team in the highest total game on the slate. Getting some exposure to Chargers/Lions should’ve been a priority in Week 10, and why not do it through the best player?

White had an ostensibly tough matchup with a pass-funnel Titans defense. However, he’s done his best work through the air this season, so the Bucs’ skewing pass-heavy probably was a boost for him. He caught just two passes but turned that into 47 yards and a touchdown while adding 50 yards on the ground.

The Sleepers

There were some pregame reports that TJ Hockenson would be limited for the Vikings in Week 10. However, Minnesota was extremely thin at pass catcher, with Justin Jefferson yet to return from IR and KJ Osborn out with a concussion. Wisely, the Vikings chose to use Hockenson’s “limited” snaps almost entirely as a receiver instead of wasting him as a blocker.

Given the lack of talent around him, that turned into a massive 11/134/1 day for the star tight end. With considerably lower ownership thanks to the late-breaking news surrounding his health.

We already touched on Jake Ferguson as part of the Cowboys stack. However, it’s worth noting that by using two tight ends, this lineup was even more contrarian than either player’s individual ownership indicates. While ShortGamerTV still could’ve won with a different Cowboy, this made a ton of sense as a leverage play.

Another important point is that this lineup didn’t include bringbacks for either of the stacks involved. While most Cowboys stacks likely didn’t this week, I suspect most teams built around the Texans included one of Joe Mixon or Ja’Marr Chase. Not only did this lineup fade those chalky plays, but it leveraged against them by including the opposing defense. While Singletary and Brown were popular, the number of lineups with one or both of them and the Texans’ defense — or even just “without a Bengal” was likely much lower.

Projections and the field as a whole are very efficient these days. That makes it hard to find viable low-owned players, as the good plays tend to be identified. This is a valuable reminder that we can be contrarian through unique lineup construction, even without necessarily finding low-owned individual players.

As DFS players, we spend most of our time looking forward to the next slate, the next season, etc. Equally important, though, is looking back. Figuring out the thought process that leads to winning lineups is crucial. That’s what makes us better players long term.

This week, rather than break down another MME-enabled takedown of the $20 flagship millionaire contest, let’s take a look at the $555 version. It can be illuminating to see how higher stakes players build lineups, especially when playing with just a single lineup — like ShortGamerTV did this week.

The Lineup

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The Stack

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This lineup used two “stacks” in a sense. The main stack was built around the Cowboys passing attack, with Dak Prescott and two of his pass catchers — CeeDee Lamb and Jake Ferguson.

With Dallas as massive favorites against the awful Giants, they were bound to have considerable offensive production in Week 10. Players are occasionally scared to roster quarterbacks expected to win blowouts, but our Trends Tool has consistently shown it’s not an issue. For a team to get a big lead in the first place, they had to see a ton of production from somewhere.

In this case, it was the passing game. Dallas and Tony Pollard have struggled massively on the ground this season, and the Week 10 offense flowed through Prescott. He threw for four touchdowns and ran in another. Lamb was a fairly obvious stacking partner as the Cowboys’ alpha receiver, but tight end Jake Ferguson was an interesting choice. He did enough to get this lineup there, but a roster with either of the Cowboys’ secondary receivers (Michael Gallup or Brandin Cooks) would’ve scored more for less salary — you couldn’t go wrong loading up on Cowboys.

This lineup also used three Texans without a bringback. Running back Devin Singletary paid off as the classic post-chalk play after he was a highly-owned dud in Week 9. Noah Brown stepped into a massive role with Nico Collins out, and Robert Woods limited. Finally, he used the Texans defense — an interesting choice, but a logical one if you expected the Bengals to be playing from behind due to production from Brown and Singletary.

The Chalk

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DFS Army - Daily Fantasy Sports

The much smaller field size of the $555 millionaire maker makes it much more viable to “play the best plays” with less concern over ownership. ShortGamerTV did just that with Rachaad White and Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Brown was the top receiver for the favored team in the highest total game on the slate. Getting some exposure to Chargers/Lions should’ve been a priority in Week 10, and why not do it through the best player?

White had an ostensibly tough matchup with a pass-funnel Titans defense. However, he’s done his best work through the air this season, so the Bucs’ skewing pass-heavy probably was a boost for him. He caught just two passes but turned that into 47 yards and a touchdown while adding 50 yards on the ground.

The Sleepers

There were some pregame reports that TJ Hockenson would be limited for the Vikings in Week 10. However, Minnesota was extremely thin at pass catcher, with Justin Jefferson yet to return from IR and KJ Osborn out with a concussion. Wisely, the Vikings chose to use Hockenson’s “limited” snaps almost entirely as a receiver instead of wasting him as a blocker.

Given the lack of talent around him, that turned into a massive 11/134/1 day for the star tight end. With considerably lower ownership thanks to the late-breaking news surrounding his health.

We already touched on Jake Ferguson as part of the Cowboys stack. However, it’s worth noting that by using two tight ends, this lineup was even more contrarian than either player’s individual ownership indicates. While ShortGamerTV still could’ve won with a different Cowboy, this made a ton of sense as a leverage play.

Another important point is that this lineup didn’t include bringbacks for either of the stacks involved. While most Cowboys stacks likely didn’t this week, I suspect most teams built around the Texans included one of Joe Mixon or Ja’Marr Chase. Not only did this lineup fade those chalky plays, but it leveraged against them by including the opposing defense. While Singletary and Brown were popular, the number of lineups with one or both of them and the Texans’ defense — or even just “without a Bengal” was likely much lower.

Projections and the field as a whole are very efficient these days. That makes it hard to find viable low-owned players, as the good plays tend to be identified. This is a valuable reminder that we can be contrarian through unique lineup construction, even without necessarily finding low-owned individual players.

About the Author

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Billy Ward writes NFL, MLB, and UFC DFS content for FantasyLabs. He has a degree in mathematical economics and a statistics minor. Ward's data-focused education allows him to take an analytical approach to betting and fantasy sports. Prior to joining Action and FantasyLabs in 2021, he contributed as a freelancer starting in 2018. He is also a former Professional MMA fighter.

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