Building a Winning DraftKings Millionaire Maker Lineup for the PGA Championship
Since writing our DraftKings PGA Championship sleepers article, I have been asked several times to write an article on building a winning DK Millionaire Maker lineup. This could end up a 30,000 word article, but I want to keep it concise, and if you would like more detail on any section feel free to post a question in the comment section under the article.
Before jumping into how you should build your lineups, I want to discuss the odds of winning. Obviously in a tournament that could have as many as 190,000 entries, the more lineups you have the better. You want to be able to take risks and think outside of the box in a tournament, because it’s guys that take risks that often end up winning these massive tournaments.
That being said, even if you only have one entry, you still have better odds than you ever would in the lottery so take your time, craft a solid, well thought-out lineup, and see how things shake out this weekend.
Their are really only two points I want to make about scoring. The first is obvious: draft golfers that are going to make the cut. You can’t win if you don’t get four days of scoring from all six of your golfers. To avoid too much risk, target only one stud, or two second tier golfers, and hope that they are both in contention on Sunday, then balance out the rest of your roster.
The second important note regarding scoring is to target guys that shoot birdies and eagles. You should already know how to locate these stats, but click here if you haven’t already found them. As you can see from the scoring chart below, a birdie is worth 3 fantasy points, but a bogey is only -0.5 points. Eagles are actually easier to predict than you might think… if you get a long golfer that can eagle 2 or 3 par 5’s over the course of the tournament, that is a 10-15 point advantage over a shorter golfer that takes birdies on most par 5 holes.
Don’t blindly pick golfers with solid birdie/round numbers, look into where they are racking up their birdies. Despite his 4.5 birdie/round number, I wouldn’t draft Vaughn Taylor (if he was in the tournament) because he racked the majority of those birdies up in small tournaments earlier this season. On the flip side, Phil has played 54 extremely tough rounds and has averaged 4.06 birdies/round, a much more impressive number.
Pick Your Stud
If you are only doing one entry, and can only pick one big name golfer, make sure it’s one you think has ‘runaway potential’. To win the Masters Millionaire Maker this season you needed to roster Jordan Spieth, because he put up 20 more points then the next highest scoring player. If a guy is going to run away with this tournament, you want him to do it on your roster.
Looking at the studs for this tournament, you have to like Spieth and Day, but I think you should also have a Rory McIlroy lineup. He won here last year, and was close at Whistling Straits in 2010.
I lean towards drafting Day this year, because with any lineup I use that has Rory or Jordan, I struggle to add a second big name guy that could potentially win. Whereas with Jason Day you can still draft a Henrik Stenson who could potentially win the tournament, and fill out your roster without having to add more than one fringe player (Perez, Finau, Jones…).
Another strategy that has won in the past is to avoid the bigger name guys like Spieth, Day and McIlroy and load up on guys in the $7,500-$8,500 range. The lineup below is a perfect example of going completely balanced, and targeting 6 golfers that could be in contention come Sunday.
It’s worth noting here that nobody rostered 6 top 10 finishers in the last millionaire maker, but almost 60 entries had 5/6 golfers on their DraftKings roster in the top 10. How many golfers do you have in your lineups that could realistically finish in the top 10? This is a reason I like to limit my sleeper and high value picks to just one golfer, and will never have two golfers under $7,000 in one lineup.
This is where that sleeper research comes into play. I think our picks for PGA Championship sleepers and value targets are solid, and for those of you that didn’t read the article, here are my top four sleeper picks:
- Kevin Kisner – $7,300
- Robert Streb – $6,800
- Pat Perez – $6,000
Once you identify a handful of solid value picks, mix them into your rosters. I don’t like to go ‘all-in’ on one value player, simply because you never know when one of these guys are going to come out and throw up all over the course on Thursday and Friday, destroying your chances to win if you put him in the majority of your lineups.