Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 14 - DFS Karma
Connect with us


Sam’s Matchups, Stacks, & GPP Breakdown – NFL Week 14

Sign up here for access to the NFL Projections Portal, Final Thoughts, and all staff core plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and OwnersBox, as well as prop plays from MonkeyKnifeFight and PrizePicks.

Follow Sam on Twitter @sscherman


There are certain types of contests on both DraftKings and FanDuel (as well as other Daily Fantasy sites) where ownership, across any sport, is not something to focus on. Head to heads, double ups, 50/50s, or a contest with less than 20 entrants, however, when playing large field GPP tournaments and gunning for that $1 million prize, or even just a top 10 in a contest of 100k+ entrants, ownership is imperative when constructing your rosters. While I would never make the argument that ownership is everything, or the most important aspect of playing/winning DFS, I think many more people than we think overlook it and fall into groupthink more often than they should as a fear of “a cheap guy going off” or playing someone at 50% or more projected ownership to ensure not getting dusted by the field. Again, in cash games or very small field tournaments, I get that idea, as playing an obvious backup RB who’s locked into an every down roll and 20+ touches and is the min $4,000 on DraftKings and is going to be owned by 45 of 50 players in a tournament… yes, I would probably play him since you have just about 0% chance of cashing if he goes off. The last thought to keep in mind, and perhaps the most important, is being contrarian does not mean making a lineup of 9 guys less than 5% owned… that is not by any means optimal and not a +EV strategy in any DFS sport. What I like to do each and every week is use a strategy by one of the pioneers of DFS Football, Adam Levitan (check out their stuff at EstablishTheRun because their team is very, very sharp), which is figure out my ACO, or “Average Cumulative Ownership,” on all my tournament teams. To calculate ACO, add up all 9 players ownership, and divide by 9 and look to target somewhere in the range of 9-16% (16% is the absolute max that I will have) for your whole team. If CMC is going to be 35% owned, that doesn’t mean an auto fade, it just means you have to differentiate elsewhere because his ceiling is insane and he’s not someone to fade just because “he’s chalk.” That’s enough rambling, let’s get to the breakdown!


Key Takeaways:

  1. Only game this week with a Vegas total >50 (and the spread is only around 2 points, depending on your book)
  2. Both teams rank top 8 in seconds/play on offense through 13 weeks
  3. Over the full season, the Lions rank 9th in EPA/Play and EPA/Dropback; over their last 4 games they rank 4th in EPA/Play and 2nd in EPA/Dropback
  4. Coming off his best fantasy performance since Week 1, Swift is (maybe?) over his injury and saw 51% of the snaps vs. the mid 30% range in the previous 3 weeks on top of running a route on 51% of Goff’s dropbacks; over the last 2 weeks he’s played on 67% of the 2-minute snaps (per Dwain MacFarland; PFF)
  5. Continuing on Swift, despite his questionable/limited usage this season, he still ranks 6th among RBs on the slate in High-Value Touches (“HVTs”; Ben Gretch) per game (4.3)
  6. The Vikings rush defense ranks 11th in EPA/Rush allowed; however, they have also allowed 7.3 targets per game to RBs and nearly 48 receiving yards/game to opposing RBs (3rd most in the NFL)
  7. If I need to sell you on Justin Jefferson well then you have bigger problems in roster construction… he has a 30% target share, a 43% air yards share, 50% EZ target share, and facing a Lions D that’s surrendered 40+ DK Points/Game to WRs
  8. Similarly, if I need to sell you on ARSB… the only negative is that he’ll be mega chalk again but man… facing the Vikings D that’s given up 41+ DK Points/Game to WRs (2nd most; DET is 4th most) with a 27% target share, a 32% Target/Route Run, and if that wasn’t enough should see a lot of Chandon Sullivan, the MIN slot CB, who has given up the most yards (by a wide margin) in slot coverage this season (566) of any SCB in the NFL along with the most YAC (381)
  9. This game will be very chalky, and probably for good reason, but I don’t think Dalvin Cook gets steamed too much and he feels too cheap at $7,300 on DK with >70% of the Vikings RB snaps and rush attempts, 100% of <5 yard attempts, 100% of the 2-minute snaps, and just under 16 Wtg. Opps. per game (5th most of RBs on the slate)
  10. GPP PIVOT + WILD STAT OF THE WEEK: DJ Chark has seen 30 targets this year and 37% of them have been “deep” targets (20+ yards) and 43% (!!!) have been in the RZ… he is always risky and can fail but has a mega ceiling despite lower volume



Key Takeaways:

  1. Although it will likely come at well over 20% ownership, Mixon is set up for a smash spot after missing the last 2 games with a concussion against the Browns horrendous rush defense that ranks dead last in EPA and has yielded 113 rush yards/game, 6.3 targets, 37 receiving yards/game for an average of just under 150 yards/game to opposing RBs
  2. (1b) Mixon ranks 1st among all RBs on the slate in HVTs/Game with 6.6, 2nd in Wtg. Opps/Game (18.9), and has run a route on 81.6% of snaps he lined up as a pass catcher through the first 13 weeks (only played 10 games)
  3. Nick Chubb is one of the better RBs in the league but 1) saw his share of the team rush attempts drop to 44% last week, he lost 100% of the 2-minute snaps to Kareem Hunt
  4. The Bengals rush defense isn’t great, ranking 26th in the league in EPA/Rush allowed on defense but they have held opposing RBs to less than 90 rush yards/game on average
  5. I have a solid amount of interest in Burrow stacks with Ja’Marr Chase and 1 other pass catcher as the ownership should be held in check with Burrow’s historical struggles against Cleveland; after returning in Week 13 after 5 missed games, Chase ran a route on 93% of Burrow’s drop backs with a 27% target share, 29% air yards, and 2 RZ targets; worth noting as I have been developing a different WR Wtg. Opp. model, Chase ranks 3rd as 34% of his targets this season have been in the RZ (only 6 qualified WRs in the NFL have a higher % of their targets in the RZ)
  6. I think last week’s game was difficult to draw any conclusions with regards to Deshaun Watson as he looked terrible but it had also been just under 2 years since he played in a game… not sure I’ll roster him in particular, but Amari Cooper… phew… ran a route on 100% of dropback’s in Week 13 for a 43% target share, 61% air yards share, and 100% of the EZ targets for the Browns



Key Takeaways:

  1. What a year Geno Smith is having, just truly amazing; he’s not only been competent/solid, but rather fantastic with the 7th highest PFF passer grade of qualified starting QBs this season
  2. We never know with Pete Carroll but with KW III likely sidelined, DeeJay Dallas banged up, Travis Homer expected to play but also banged up last game, we could see a solid passing approach as even with the stud rookie Walker, the Seahawks still rank 7th in PROE through 13 weeks
  3. DK Metcalf is an alpha. Further, through 13 weeks he’s tied with Diggs for most EZ targets among all WRs (16), which accounts for a whopping 16% of his total targets (!)
  4. Sporting a similar profile, Tyler Lockett has been a stud this season and has seen 28% of his targets come in the RZ
  5. (3+4) Combined, Metcalf + Lockett have accounted for 70% of the team’s air yards, 50% of the target share, and a combined 15-20 targets per game and no longer, at least this season, negatively correlate with each other and/or cannibalize each other’s upside (for the most part)
  6. On the Carolina side of the ball, there isn’t a ton to “love” but Darnold’s play in week 12 before the bye while an extremely small sample size, to say the least, was more than adequate and DJ Moore was the main beneficiary
  7. (6b) DJ Moore ran a route on 100% of Darnold’s dropbacks in Week 12 and saw a 31% target share, 74% (!) of the air yards, and 50% of the EZ targets; when Darnold was the QB last season Weeks 1-9, DJ Moore saw 9.4 targets/game; in that same span, Moore saw 18 RZ targets (21.2% of his total targets) and 6 EZ targets


GPP Leverage/Low Owned Plays

Trevor Lawrence: Trevor got injured last week but came back in (somehow) and appears on track to be a full go on Sunday; over his last 4 games he has thrown 7 TDs, zero INTs, and is facing a Titans defense that is a pure pass funnel, facing 39.1 pass attempts/game, the highest in the NFL, and a middling EPA/Dropback on defense rank of 19th but 2nd in EPA/Rush on defense; Lawrence should go nearly under owned as he’s squeezed between the two chalkiest QBs on the slate in Goff and Cousins and makes for a great GPP pivot stack with the likes of Kirk/Zay/Engram (meh)/Travis Etienne

Tyler Huntley: The Ravens shouldn’t have to heavily adjust their game plan as Huntley has a similar QB profile to Lamar, albeit not as strong a thrower (or runner); his passing stats in the 5 games he started in 2021 are middling/below average; however, he did have 4-5 rush attempts per game for a total of 284 rush yards (56.8/game)

Chris Godwin: The Bucs offense has looked underwhelming to say the least; however, Godwin has really looked like the WR1 stud he is the last several weeks as he appears to be over his latest injury… the SF defense is very good; however, where they’ve been leaky is against slot WRs, where they’ve given up an 82% catch rate on 105 total targets and where Godwin has seen just under 70% of his targets this year; averaging 10 targets/game including 8+ in 7 straight games and double digit targets in 5 of those 7, I love Godwin as a low owned GPP pivot that should be overlooked due to the SF defense/poor game script/and poor play of the Bucs this season

Mark Andrews: When Huntley was the starter in 2021, Andrews combined for 54 targets (10.8 per game), saw 13 RZ targets (2nd in that span only to Ertz with 14), 4 EZ targets (tied with most for TEs), and the highest PPR Points/Snap of all TEs in the NFL during that span; the gravy is that yes there’s risk and he isn’t “cheap” but I imagine most will spend up to Kelce or drop down and punt or play a 30+% owned Greg Dulcich, leaving Andrews at probably sub 5% ownership with a mega ceiling

Diontae Johnson

David Njoku

GPP and Ownership Overview

Overall, don’t fade someone just because of ownership and don’t try to make your whole roster contrarian. There’s a ton of value at all positions and I think the most likely route I’ll go is fading the super cheap RBs and maybe the chalk defenses, or only play one cheaper RB in one lineup and pivot elsewhere to not have a chalky lineup(s).

I think it always make sense to stack the popular games, but if playing 3-5 lineups, or even 20, try out a leverage stack. I think many, including myself, get caught up in trying to target games and stacks based on what “should” happen but rather what “could” happen that most of the public won’t target. There’s always an edge as 90+% of DFS players will base stacks off of Vegas totals and good/bad defenses, but always be looking for games with low combined ownership and grabbing pieces of a game that maybe don’t need a QB stack. If a game has a high Vegas total, sure the game can shootout, but not everyone can explode for 30+ fantasy points as there just isn’t enough plays and touchdowns so try to get different while still attacking the fast paced/high scoring matchups. As I always say, you don’t need to make your entire lineup contrarian, just a couple pieces that differentiate you but keep you in that average cumulative ownership range. Good luck this week!

More in Football