This week, my in-depth analysis will focus solely on the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings, with a look at the keys to strategy, as well as a few of my favorite picks.
DraftKings is giving away $1 million to the winner, and all you have to do is beat 236,763 other lineups.
If you are new to these large-field tournaments, welcome to some of the greatest sweats in all of DFS. There are a couple of aspects that make it so much different than any other sport, and the first is that there is simply no correlation between players.
All six of your golfers will perform individually, with no chance to pair them for greater upside like in other sports.
The other is the cut factor. The first key as always in PGA DFS is getting all of your players through the cut line. This week, the cut will just be the Top 50 and ties making it to the weekend, which is a change from eliminating players within 10 shots from prior years.
One thing to note, though, is that 50 of the 92 players is still 54% or more of the field making it beyond the first 36 holes, against the typical number hovering around 42% making a cut in a standard 156-player field, with a Top 65 and ties cut line. All this tells us is that you’re mostly drawing dead if you don’t get all six players through the cut in large-field tournaments.
We have a bit more information than we have had in prior years, as DraftKings rolled out these large Millionaire Maker tournaments nearly weekly after the COVID-19 hiatus. I have broken down structure in the winning lineups for those GPPs around lineup ownership (combined ownership of your six golfers); the highest and lowest owned % player in each lineup; and, the amount of salary used.
Let’s take a look:
Charles Schwab: Solo Winner; 61.49% Lineup Ownership; 19% highest owned player; 1.08% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
RBC Heritage: Solo Winner; 82.59% LU Ownership; 27.92% highest owned player; 2.51% lowest owned; $49,900 salary
Travelers: Solo Winner; 61.79% LU Ownership; 22.11% highest owned player; 0.46% lowest owned; $49,700 salary
Rocket Mortgage: Solo Winner 78.11% LU Ownership; 27.61% highest owned; 1.37% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
Memorial: Two-way split; 79.07% LU Ownership; 26.15% highest owned; 1.11% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
3M Classic: Three-way split; 87.8% LU Ownership; 29.92% highest owned; 4.55% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
PGA Championship: Solo Winner; 88.23% LU Ownership; 27.83% highest owned; 3.02% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
U.S. Open: Solo Winner; 91.93% LU Ownership; 22.48% highest owned; 6.49% lowest owned; $48,900 salary
Overall Average: 78.7% LU Ownership; 25.38% highest owned; 2.6% lowest owned; 5 of 8 used full $50,000 salary
Below are the last three Masters Millionaire Maker winning lineups and how they broke down. The obvious difference for The Masters versus the above tournaments is field size, with a tighter invite list, which will naturally condense ownership.
Masters 2017: 112.1% LU Ownership; 31% highest owned; 4.4% lowest owned; $49,700 salary
Masters 2018: Solo Winner; 84.68% LU Ownership; 24.1% highest owned; 6.51% lowest owned; $50,000 salary
Masters 2019: Two-way split; 74.41% LU Ownership; 19.56% highest owned; 6.97% lowest owned; $49,900 salary
It is interesting to me how many of the winning lineups have used the full salary above, as in the past, simply leaving salary on the table has always been pointed to as a quick way to be different. I still believe in that theory, and I think the balance between that and your overall lineup ownership is apparent in those winners.
Ignoring the 2017 Masters, the winner of the last Millionaire Maker for the U.S. Open had the highest combined lineup ownership, but that winner balanced it out by leaving a fairly remarkable $1,100 in salary on the table. It certainly takes some guts to go to that extreme, as you can always find a golfer that feels more comfortable with seemingly higher upside by paying up with that much extra salary.
My general game theory in these big field events is to leave at least $100 on the table, and target lineup ownership at no more than 85 percent. I try to keep my focus on overall lineup ownership rather than that of individual players, which is highlighted above, that you do not need to fade every player over 20% ownership. In fact, each of those winning lineups had at least one player 19% owned or more, but offset it with at least one single digit owned player.
To me, it is more about the build than it is the individual ownership.
Now, let’s get into a handful of my favorite picks for The Masters Millionaire Maker.
Bryson DeChambeau $11,200
All of the talk this week will be about DeChambeau and his quest for more distance. He has become the player with the lowest odds to win — and rightfully so — after his performance at the U.S. Open.
DeChambeau recently said he really sees this course as a Par 67 for him, basically making each Par 5 a Par 4 in his eyes. He hasn’t said where the other stroke comes in, but I believe it’s the short Par 4 third hole he will seek to drive the green each day. The scary part is that after playing with him Monday, Justin Thomas confirmed that thought in Tuesday’s interview, saying DeChambeau can take lines this week that simply no one else can.
I share all of that to highlight just how big of an advantage it could be this week off the tee, and add the fact the “scientist” is one of the best putters in the world. I’m certainly not making that fade with all of that in mind, even though the price requires he finish within the top few. He will be my first play in most lineups, and I think as the media hype continues to build throughout the week, we may actually see his ownership reverse. We currently project him between 17-20% owned, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him slip to the 13-16% projection.
Dustin Johnson $10,000
I will start my write-up on Johnson by saying I fully expect him to be the highest-owned player across all DK tournaments. He is simply priced incorrectly, as the number came out before last week when there was uncertainty about his form in his first event following his positive COVID-19 test at the CJ Cup.
He proceeded to be tied for the lead down the stretch in Houston before ultimately finishing in second place.
Johnson is the No. 1 player in the world. He is tops in most statistical categories — both short and long term — and has great course history at Augusta National. In fact, as my chart reflects from yesterday’s article, he’s averaged a finish of 5.5 in the past four Masters he’s played, with a 10th being his worst finish.
I’m eating the 21-25% chalk on Johnson and expecting his actual ownership in the top end of that range as many will start their build with him, but I’ll look to be different elsewhere.
Adam Scott $8,900
Sandwiched between Bubba Watson and Tony Finau, with a trending Hideki Matsuyama a couple hundred dollars below him, former Master champion Adam Scott appears to be the forgotten man in this price range. We project him at just 5-8% owned despite the great history he has in Augusta.
Similar to Johnson, Scott came back to tournament golf in Houston. He also noted putting a new ball and driver in his bag. Scott proceeded to lead the field in driving distance, but it’s actually his 3.9 strokes gained on approach that caught my eye for his form coming into Augusta National. We know the Australian has the talent to win at the highest level, and he showed enough form for me to buy in at low ownership.
Justin Rose $7,700
If you are searching for good form, then you are likely to pass right by Rose, as he has been really hit or miss since the summer. Rose seemed to come out of nowhere to finish ninth at the PGA Championship in August, following three consecutive missed cuts prior to that event. He’s a player who can turn it on at any point, and while he has fallen short of winning a green jacket up to this point in his career, his record speaks for itself outside of last year’s missed cut.
In the four Masters prior to 2019, Rose finished 12th/2nd/10th/second. You can’t ask for much better than that at $7,700 and projected for just 9-12% ownership.
Cameron Champ $7,100
I am changing course here a bit, as I turn to my first rookie play. As we have all seen in prior Masters, course history and knowledge are factors that matter more at Augusta National than most other TOUR stops. There hasn’t been a first-time winner in 41 years, and while any of these young guys are capable, I don’t expect that to change this week.
Despite all of that, what I like about Champ is his potential fit on this course. He is one of, if not the longest player on TOUR, and has had experience in contention on the major stage with his 10th-place finish at the PGA Championship.
I see a lot of ownership pooling around some veterans in this price range, but I see Champ with the biggest upside in DraftKings scoring this week. He can roll in birdies with the best of them, and a made cut may be all that’s needed to exceed his value. The ownership trending at just 5-8% is simply an added bonus on a player with this much upside.