Inside the Matchup Matrix: Week 6

Kevin Cole goes inside the numbers to identify attackable and avoidable DFS matchups. He brings a scientific approach coupled with years of NFL knowledge to the table in identifying noteworthy situations on a weekly basis.

Week 6

This is the Matchup Matrix, where I simulate every game on the main Sunday slate in order to find stacks with the highest upside. You can find last week’s results here.

Last week this article was able to highlight two of the best stacking teams, even if we didn’t have the exact receiver combinations. Packers stacks were featured across the board, and the proper WR selections with Aaron Rodgers would have been very successful.

In my Find Your Edge article from Week 1, I went through the last two years’ worth of DraftKings tournament contest results and identified a number of stacks that tournament winners (top-0.1% of entries) are using more than the field.

Three of the commonly rostered stacks with the greatest leverage, or winner usage over the field, were QB/WR, QB/WR/TE and QB/WR/WR. Those are the stacks I’m focusing on in my simulations.


Rather than layer tons of assumptions for projected scoring, scoring distributions, and player correlations, I decided to use actual historical results from similar games.

I calculate the profile of each week’s matchup by using the trailing scoring for the QB, RB1, WR1, WR2, TE1, and the games’ spreads and over/unders. I then match those profiles to thousands of games from the last ten seasons to find the 150 that are the most similar.

Once I have the most similar games identified, I look at the actual fantasy points scored from each game, then calculate the combined fantasy points for the relevant stacks.

While I also include DraftKings and FanDuel salaries for each stack in the analysis, we also have fantastic resources for determining which stacks will be chalkier and which contrarian. Our ownership projections (pOWN%) and info from Buzzscore on who’s being hyped up are available in the premium section of LineupHQ.

QB/WR Stacks

The graph above shows the density, which you can think of as the percentage of outcomes you can expect in that range, for each team’s QB-WR1 combination.

The table below gives more details on the exact names, the “ceiling” (98% percentile outcome), and the combined salary at DK and FD with the corresponding ceiling fantasy points per dollar amounts.

Doug Baldwin was a decoy last week, so ownership should be tiny despite a great matchup.

QB/WR/WR Stacks

These stacks include both WRs with the QB, which I found to be the highest leverage play for tournament winners over the field.

The Bengals QB/WR/WR stacks are relatively cheaper considering that you get a top-notch WR in A.J. Green as part of the package. The Bengals are in position to smash as a home favorite in a game with a 50+ total.

QB/WR/TE Stacks

The Browns are particularly interesting this week because they’re likely lowly owned, and the offense could be forced to open things up facing a strong Chargers offense. David Njoku has also seen much more volume recently, and now he might find the end zone.

About the Author

  • Kevin Cole (colekev)

  • Kevin Cole previously worked on Wall Street as an equity and credit analyst before transitioning to data-related sports analysis. For a number of years, Kevin has specialized in creating predictive sports models that includes published work at Pro Football Focus, Rotoworld, numberFire, and RotoViz. He is now the Director of Data and Analytics at RotoGrinders.


  • gswenson0607

    Extremely helpful article as always Kevin. Im curious as to what your thoughts are/what the data says in regards to 4-man stacks. I find myself firing up 4-mans with SD and LAR due to the high red zone equity of Gordon and Gurley.

  • Awkoutroubis

    Is Darnold naked viable in GPP?

  • Wrecko

    Hey Kevin – I may have missed this bit of info in your other articles but I am trying to figure out the ceiling numbers and how they are developed. Thanks.

  • CptheBreeze

    This article is just another example of why RotoGrinders is an essential tool for DFS players to have. Thanks to you and the rest of the RG staff.

  • colekev

    @Wrecko said...

    Hey Kevin – I may have missed this bit of info in your other articles but I am trying to figure out the ceiling numbers and how they are developed. Thanks.

    I use a nearest neighbor algorithm to match the current offensive stacks to historical, grab the 100 most similar and then calculate the ceilings based on 97th percentile outcomes.

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