NFL DFS Week 13: Using The Stokastic Sims Tool To Win Big on FanDuel

In this article, we will take a journey through the NFL Sims process. I’ll be sharing my initial reactions and thoughts as we dive into the world of NFL DFS Week 13 lineup building on FanDuel with the help of our trusty Contest Simulations Tool.

Keep in mind that my perspectives may evolve as the weekend progresses, but this article offers a unique peek into how I interpret the results in the Sims, a valuable skill for your DFS journey.

NFL DFS Week 13 – FanDuel NFL Sims Preview

Before we get into the Week 13 NFL DFS analysis, here is a short breakdown of each of the components of the Stokastic NFL Sims tool.

Contest Generator: An industry first! Create a pool of lineups that reflects projected ownership for a given slate. See which players, lineups, and stacks are likely to comprise the field (available only for NFL & NBA).

Pre-Contest Simulator: Take into account both what is happening on the field and with competing lineups. Simulations pit lineups against each and derive simulated profitability for each, resulting in a superior ranking methodology to any other tool.

Post-Contest Simulator: Stop tweaking your process based on yesterday’s results–a sample size of one is meaningless. Instead, leverage simulations to review ROI for DraftKings contests at the individual lineup, user and player level. This feature is not currently available for FanDuel.

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Ownership Analysis: Starting with the Week 13 Contest Pool

We’ve looked at DraftKings the last few weeks, so let’s take a look at what we are seeing on the FanDuel side of things this week.

Steve "dacoltz" Buzzard shows how to win using the NFL DFS Sims tool for Week 13 daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Our NFL DFS Week 13...

The first thing that stands out is Zack Moss is major chalk and one of the chalkiest plays we’ve had so far this year. Whether you like it or not, the sites have gone out of their way to price up backup running backs this year, so we don’t get savings when the starter is out.

But this week they’ve priced Moss down a bit, and with Jonathan Taylor out, we get the first week to take advantage of a backup priced well. Just a few weeks back when Taylor was out, we saw Moss priced between $6,100 and $7,400 and he is down to $5,600 this week. He isn’t a lock by any means as he has had multiple games that busted but at his price point, I think he is good chalk.

With the extra savings, we get to have fun and build a lineup with exciting players like Tyreek Hill, who looks to be the second most chalky player. I said a couple of weeks ago that I have been heavy on Hill for most of the year and I think that will continue this week. Over 27% pool exposure is starting to get a bit on the high end, and I think you can make a good argument for starting to fade if he gets much higher, but I think I am going to continue to roll with him and he feels like some more good chalk.

Christian McCaffrey is another guy that we can get to with the cost savings from Moss. It’s not easy to fit in McCaffrey and Hill so even with Moss you might only be able to get one of them easily. But there hasn’t been anyone in the league more consistent than McCaffrey with a touchdown in every game but one and seven of eleven games over 20 FanDuel points. At 22% pool exposure he seems fine, and I think he may come even lower since he hasn’t had a crazy high game since Week 4.

Rounding out the top 5, we see Breece Hall and Rachaad White. I think White will come in below this probably as we’ve estimated high on him a few weeks in a row. I might give him two bump downs on the exposures which will make him look good.

Hall might go the other way as he tends to be a popular exciting rookie. That might lead me to a fade, but he has the upside to break the slate and in the right lineup he makes a ton of sense. But let’s see what the NFL Sims think.  

Stacks: Finding the Winning FanDuel NFL DFS Combos

Gardner Minshew and the Colts lead the way in stacks. This isn’t too surprising because the Sims are absolutely on board with Zack Moss chalk, suggesting 100% in the lineups that I built.

Steve "dacoltz" Buzzard shows how to win using the NFL DFS Sims tool for Week 13 daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Our NFL DFS Week 13...

Moss isn’t enough by himself to justify playing Minshew, but Josh Downs and Michael Pittman Jr. are also both strong plays coming in at upper 20% exposure levels, and with Minshew’s low price point combined with all three of those flex players’ low price point the Colts make for a formidable stack. In additional to the strong stacking partners you can pick up some leverage on Moss teams if the passing game crushes and Moss fails. 20% exposure feels like a little bit much for Minshew, but I can see the argument for the Colts being one of your highest exposed stacks.

The second player on this list gives me a bit more pause, but that is part of the reason why the Sims like him so much. Kenny Pickett is coming in 12% of my lineups with a 4% pool exposure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go even lower than that as he hasn’t scored more than 20 points on the season. There is some renewed optimism around Pickett though with the departure of Matt Canada as offensive coordinator — Pickett followed up with a season-high 278 passing yards, although it resulted in zero touchdowns.

The Steelers’ team total is as good as the Colts against the struggling Cardinals, and like Minshew, he has three good cheap stack partners in George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth. At this point, I am not sure how much Pickett I want, but after seeing the baseline exposures from the Sims he is someone I am more interested in now. 

The last two on the list are Derek Carr and Jalen Hurts. The Stokastic Sims aren’t recommending a heavy stance on either. We know from the last few weeks that the Sims like Carr because of how high his percentage of points are from passing, which helps the stacks. 

On the flip side, we know how much upside Hurts has from the Tush Push in a game that the Eagles will need all the offense they can get in a huge game against the 49ers. Both of these QBs make a ton of sense to have near the top of your player pool.  

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Tying it All Together: A Winning NFL DFS Week 13 Lineup Build

In conclusion, my fifth-best lineup embodies a great strategy by pulling all these pieces together even if this isn’t the lineup, I would have had in mind to start my research.

Steve "dacoltz" Buzzard shows how to win using the NFL DFS Sims tool for Week 13 daily fantasy football on FanDuel. Our NFL DFS Week 13...

We start with Kenny Pickett this week. The game’s total is sneakily high under their new offensive coordinator in a good matchup and we can pair him with George Pickens. We’ve normally been using bigger stacks in this article, but this smaller stack doesn’t put as much pressure on a huge score from Pickett, which is desirable. We also run it back with Trey McBride, which will slightly push the Steelers in the air a bit more, and Pickett may need that. 

I also love that this lineup lets us get in Moss, Hall, and McCaffrey as chalky running backs due to the more contrarian style of the Steelers stack. Chris Olave and Adam Thielen are both pass catchers who have been heavily peppered all season long, and if they reach the end zone could push the upside of the lineup even more so at modest ownership. I think this is a great example of a lineup with chalky pieces built around a more contrarian stack!

This format should provide insights into how I approach the DFS Sims when crafting lineups. Hopefully, this helps to provide some more information on how I think through the tool each week.

Let me know if you have any additional ideas going forward! Best of luck on your NFL DFS Week 13 adventures.

Steve Buzzard
Steve has been a life long sports fan supporting the Cubs, Colts, and Bulls. Growing up he would spend countless hours listening to the Cubs on the radio and perfecting Andre Dawson's swing or Michael Jordan's fade away. He has played fantasy sports since the 90's and has won a wide variety of season long leagues and online contests in NBA, MLB, and NFL. He started playing DFS in 2014 which took his fantasy sports obsession to another level. During the 2018 NFL season he won the World Fantasy Football Championship as well as a Milly Maker and several $100k prize payouts. He has also had multiple six figure wins and live finals appearances in NBA, MLB, and MMA. You can contact him on Twitter at @SteveBuzzard

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