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 14 lineup building on DraftKings with the help of our trusty Contest Simulations Tool.
— ShortGamerTV (@ShortGamerTV) November 13, 2023
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 NFL DFS journey.
NFL DFS Week 14 – DraftKings NFL Sims Preview
Ownership Analysis: Starting with the Contest Pool
I am going to jump back over to DraftKings and see how things look over there this week.
The first thing that stands out is once again we have Zack Moss as the biggest chalk play on the slate. This week he isn’t coming up as a play that everyone will be on, but his 45% pool exposure and his 35% marquee tournament ownership projection are both on the high end. This week Moss is $5,900 compared to $4,600 last week, so he isn’t nearly as good of a value despite a similar projection and role. Moss also had a disappointing week last week, which might keep his ownership in check a bit. His outcome wasn’t to be unexpected, though. He’s had two weeks already earlier this year when he got 18 carries and put up a similar output as last week. My initial thought is Moss looks like good chalk once again, but he isn’t a guy that I am going to have in 80% of my lineups again at this price point. I will likely be overweight on him, though.
At 26% pool exposure the next highest-owned player is Christian McCaffrey, just like we have seen in recent weeks. McCaffrey hasn’t had a game you absolutely needed since Week 4 but continues to be very consistent. McCaffrey has a rematch with the Seahawks against whom he scored 34 two weeks ago, which wasn’t necessary to win that week, but it helped a lot. That’s pretty much been the story of McCaffrey this year. He’s consistent but hasn’t been the guy you need to win. I will treat McCaffrey the same way this week. If he fits my lineup, I will get him in there, but he isn’t a guy I need, and at this ownership, I want to be underweight.
Keenan Allen is chalk one week after I was way overweight on him, and he put up a dud with his second-lowest output of the year, so surely he will bounce back and have a huge game. Allen’s already had four games over 30, which is two more than McCaffrey. Even at chalk levels, you want some Allen in your lineups, and I will probably be somewhere around the field if these exposure levels hold.
Rounding out the top 5 are Brandon Aiyuk and David Njoku. With both McCaffrey and Aiyuk as expensive chalk, it is going to be easy to gain field on one or the other, as it is pretty tough to stack Brock Purdy with both of them. Aiyuk has had a decent year, but with only one game over 30 points, I am leaning towards McCaffrey first.
Njoku has been nearly as consistent as McCaffrey since Week 6 until last week when I was on him as well. It wasn’t a great week for me last week if you hadn’t noticed the trend. Njoku’s scores haven’t been slate-breaking though and you can generally survive without him. At high ownership, my first inclination is to fade him and look for someone else, but I will have some exposure to him.
Stacks: Finding the Winning Combos
This week we’ve got two stacks that are well ahead of the others, and they are probably two teams you would have expected at the beginning of the year with the Chiefs and Bengals. But you probably wouldn’t have been expecting a Jake Browning-led Bengals to be at the top.
Browning is coming off one of the best NFL DFS games of the week scoring nearly 30 points with 354 passing yards! His price stayed flat last week as well, rising from $5,100 to $5,200. This week he also gets the Colts who have been getting lit up by opposing quarterbacks all year. Browning has a great stack partner in Ja’Marr Chase, and you can also get additional leverage with either Joe Mixon who looks like a solid play or going a bit more contrarian with Tee Higgins. Given Browning’s price point, you don’t need to double or triple-stack him unless you want but with those weapons and against this Colts defense, it’s certainly reasonable. I don’t know if I trust Browning enough after one big game to jam him into 25%+ of my lineups but at this modest ownership level, I like this call from the Sims.
Patrick Mahomes is a quarterback that I am always excited to see pop up in my lineups, especially at single-digit ownership. This week the Chiefs have the game that everyone wanted to see in the AFC championship against the Bills. Although those championship game aspirations are fleeting, this week’s game still looks like one of the highlights of the year and we could certainly see a massive shootout here. Mahomes has only had one game that you had to have him this season but with the highest total on the slate, it wouldn’t be surprising to see this replicate it. Mahomes is expensive so if you want some of the other expensive pieces, we’ve talked about you might have to forego Mahomes especially since a Mahomes stack will likely come with Travis Kelce. If you want to go Mahomes I see a lot of the stacks the Sims like include not only Kelce but also a cheaper secondary option like Rashee Rice, Sky Moore, or even both. If you are going to see Mahomes make the winning lineup the game is going to have to shoot out and that means multiple Chiefs, and probably a Bill so make those stacks big!
Rounding out the top 5 we have Brock Purdy, Baker Mayfield, and Justin Herbert. Just like their exposures nothing from these quarterbacks stands out too much for me. They are all good plays that will be in my player pool. Going underweight on Purdy makes a lot of sense to me given the chalky status of McCaffrey and Aiyuk plus how hard it is to stack them together. Once you add in a chalky Purdy as well, I start to get worried.
Of these 3 I will probably be the most overweight to Herbert because he can easily be stacked with the chalky Allen and try to get different elsewhere. Herbert has already had 2 games with over 30 points, which is more than Mahomes at a cheaper price point and similar ownership. I prefer Mahomes still, but it might be closer when all is said and done.
Tying it All Together: A Winning Lineup Build
In conclusion, my 10th-best lineup embodies a great strategy by pulling all these pieces together. We start with Jake Browning as we look for him to run back some of his magic from last week but even more importantly, we look to take advantage of the stumbling Colts defense. We get to stack him up with both Chase and Mixon. We don’t need Mixon to have all his points come from passing work because of Browning’s price point. We also get to use the chalky Zack Moss as a runback.
Because of the Browning’s cheap price and relatively low ownership, we get to jam in two chalkier high-upside pieces in Aiyuk and Allen. We get to round out the lineup with a piece of that potential shoot-out in Kansas City with Skyy Moore and maybe this is the week that Kyle Pitts finally puts it all together.
Hopefully, this format helps to provide some insight into how through the NFL DFS Sims let me know if you have any additional ideas in the future!