The Sharp Report Week 3

An in-depth analysis of the best DFS NFL players and what they deem most important in the lineup-building process.

THE SHARP REPORT

One of the most proficient gamblers that sportsbooks have ever seen, Haralabos Voulgaris, is on record saying the main reason he retired from professional gambling is that he was gradually losing his edge against the sportsbooks. Voulgaris explains that every time he placed a bet, he gave the sportsbook a metaphoric piece to the puzzle that, once solved, would completely erase his edge to the point where he would no longer be a profitable bettor. The same way sportsbooks learned from Voulgaris’ bets and eroded his edge, daily fantasy sports players can learn from their top competitors and eat away at their edge. These top competitors, known as sharps, typically play DFS at a much higher level and for much more money than others. These players normally have very advanced and accurate projection systems that give them their edge over the field. Fortunately, every time they enter a contest the sharp players’ lineups are available to the public to be broken down, analyzed and learned from. The Sharp Report will be a weekly article that uses all available and applicable data to draw conclusions regarding how the industry’s smartest decision makers and their projections systems come to their final conclusions when building lineups. Over the course of the entire season, The Sharp Report’s goal will be to project what the best players in the industry will do in upcoming contests and, in turn, figure out what it is that gives these high-level players their edge over the field.

Throughout each week, more and better information regarding things like player availability, individual matchups, and depth charts will become available. The section of this article projecting which player is likely to be rostered by most of the sharp players next week will be updated by Saturday afternoon each week after all applicable information has become available. If enough data reveals itself that a completely new player is deemed worthy of being mentioned as Next Week's Sharp Play, the original section will appear in red font and the new section will appear in green font. If all available information leads to the same conclusion made earlier in the week, the original section will be changed from black font to green font.

The players analyzed in this article consistently play, and win, in high-stakes contests and are also ranked in the top ten percent in RotoGrinders’ super heavyweight division of DFS players. Players’ names will be omitted from the article, but all lineups analyzed are from the $30K Sun BIG NFL $1,065 30-Man 50/50 on FanDuel.

the teams

These are the full lineups entered by two of the sharpest NFL DFS cash-game players in the industry. This week, both players cashed in the BIG NFL $1,065 30-Man 50/50. This article, however, is not focused on the results of these two teams, but rather the process that led the DFS players to select the players in their lineup.

TEAM #1: 137.58 points

TEAM #2: 136.78 points

THE overlap

The overlap between sharps’ lineups is where true learning points are found. When the best players in the industry agree on specific players and matchups, that serves as an indicator that this specific spot is worth further investigation. On FanDuel, the top players in the industry clearly identified a handful of spots to hold the most value on the opening slate of the NFL regular season.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers followed up their disappointing Week 1 performance in Cleveland at home against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. The Chiefs battled the Los Angeles Chargers to a 38-28 victory. Throughout that opening game, the Chargers whiffed on several great opportunities to put points on the board, so it easily could have been a much higher scoring game. The top players in the industry took notice, and 50 percent of the players in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50 on FanDuel rostered Roethlisberger this week.

Ben Roethlisberger has some of the most drastic home/road splits of any quarterback in the NFL over the past four years. This matchup, unlike Pittsburgh's Week 1 struggle, took place in the friendly confines of Heinz Field. At home, the Steelers entered this game as 4.5-point favorites, in a game projected by the betting markets to total over 52-points, the highest total on the entire slate. In addition to this game being expected to be one of the highest-scoring games of the day, the Steelers were once again without Le'Veon Bell. In games where Le'Veon Bell is not available since 2015, Ben Roethlisberger averages 4 more pass attempts and nearly 3 more fantasy points per game. Roethlisberger played in one of the best matchups of the week and was priced significantly below other top-tier quarterbacks, which drew half of the field in the highest-dollar contests to roster him.

Why Ben Roethlisberger?

  • Quarterback in a game with a very high projected total
  • Change in role, for the better, without significant piece of the offense
  • Weak opposing defense
  • Team projected to win the game at home

JAMES CONNER
James Conner once again makes his way into The Sharp Report after being rostered by 93.33 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-man 50/50. Conner, along with Ben Roethlisberger, took on the weak Kansas City Chiefs' defense in Week 2; however, Conner had a great day last week as he proved he could be a serviceable NFL running back.

Conner finished Week 1 with a whopping 36 times against the Browns. The rain and wind in Cleveland throughout the game, which led to increased volume on the ground for James Conner. Conner contributed 192 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opener... Against Kansas City, Pittsburgh was favored by 4.5 points in a game projected to total 52.5 points between the teams. 0 games in Week 1 entered with a projected total over 49.5 points, which serves to show just how much of a shootout this game was expected to be. In a matchup with this level of expected offense, Conner's projected workload for only $7,000 caught the eye of the sharpest players in the industry.

Why James Conner?

  • Bell cow running back on a favored offense
  • Other viable running back was not available for the game
  • High projected game total
  • Team favored to win the game at home

ALVIN KAMARA
Alvin Kamara once again spearheaded the New Orleans Saints' backfield as they played their second of four games without Mark Ingram II available. In Week 1, Alvin Kamara hauled in 9 receptions for over 115 yards and 1 touchdown to add to 2 more rushing touchdowns. This week, 63.3 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-man 50/50 on FanDuel rostered Kamara hoping for similar fantasy production.

Alvin Kamara and the Saints faced off with the Cleveland Browns at home in Week 2 in a game projected to total 51 points. The Saints were also favored to win this game by 9 points, according to betting markets. Kamara's price increased just $300 after playing 81 percent of snaps the prior week, a career high. Kamara projected for similar playing time in the Saints' second game of the season. Few players in NFL history have matched Kamara's efficiency to this point in his career, and as the clear number-one running back on a team favored by 9 points, not even a $9,000 price tag was enough to scare away the sharps.

Why Alvin Kamara?

  • Other viable running back was not available for the game
  • Running back on a near-10-point favorite at home
  • High projected game total

QUINCY ENUNWA
Quincy Enunwa's price in Week 2 did not reflect the high-volume role he returned to in the Jets' offense in Week 1. For just $5,000 in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, 40 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-man 50/50 chose to roster Quincy Enunwa in his second game since missing the entire 2017 season.

The New York Jets used the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to select quarterback Sam Darnold out of USC. After one game, the jury is still out regarding whether or not he is an immediate improvement over last year's starter, Josh McCown. With Darnold under-center for the Jets, they put up a whopping 48-points against the Detroit Lions in Week 1. While it would have been farfetched to expect the same offensive explosion in Week 2, Quincy Enunwa's role in the offense figures to be a consistent one. Now, after missing the 2017 season with a neck injury, Enunwa returned to the lineup, playing in the slot for the Jets, and commanded double-digit targets in his season debut. This volume is right in line with the role he assumed to end the 2016 season. In 2016, Enunwa commanded at least 6 targets in each of the final 5 games of the season, and he has picked up right where he left off.

Why Quincy Enunwa?

  • Underpriced given his role in the offense
  • Top wide receiver option in a (seemingly) improved passing attack
  • Team favored to win the game at home

ANTONIO BROWN
Arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Antonio Brown, was gifted a matchup with a depleted Kansas City secondary in Week 2 of the 2018 NFL season. Brown was many things, but cheap was not one of them on FanDuel's main slate of DFS contests this week. This price tag, however, did not deter 86.67 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-man 50/50 contest on FanDuel.

It is worth noting that Le'Veon Bell has not yet signed his franchise tag, and has subsequently missed each of Pittsburgh's first two games. Antonio Brown, since 2015, in games without Le'Veon Bell has seen an average of 3 more targets per game as well as an increase of over 6 FanDuel points per game. Couple this with a secondary as weak as Kansas City's and it is as close to a perfect matchup as Antonio Brown will get this season. In Week 1, Kansas City allowed the Los Angeles Chargers' top wide receiver, Keenan Allen, to haul in 8 passes for 108 yards and 1 touchdown. Phillip Rivers threw for 424 yards and 3 touchdowns in the game (along with 4 other potential scores that wide receivers failed to reel in, but probably should have), further displaying the ineptitude of the Chiefs' defense. This early-season matchup taking place in Pittsburgh was projected to total 52.5 points, the highest total yet this year. As the number one aerial threat in the offense expected to put up the highest score of any team this week, Antonio Brown was tough to pass on, especially against such a weak defense.

Why Antonio Brown?

  • Role change and volume increase without a significant piece of their offense available
  • Elite talent at wide receiver facing a weak pass defense
  • High projected game total
  • Team favored to win the game at home

Next week's sharp play

COREY CLEMENT
Jay Ajayi picked up an injury significant enough for Mike Groh, Philadelphia's offensive coordinator, to say there's a "good chance" he won't be able to play on Sunday against the Colts. Darren Sproles missed Week 2 with an injury and is also questionable for the Eagles' Week 3 matchup at home with Indianapolis. In Sproles' absence in Week 2, Corey Clement stepped into the passing-down role that Darren Sproles filled in Week 1. In Week 2, Clement tallied 6 targets, 5 catches, and 55 yards along with 6 rushes for 30 yards. Carson Wentz is slated to return to the Eagles' lineup and (hopefully) inject life into their offense this weekend. The Eagles come into the game as 6.5-point favorites over the Colts and in a matchup like this, teams typically run the ball substantially more to preserve the lead and ensure a victory. In Carson Wentz's first game back from a torn ACL, it would not come as a surprise if Doug Pederson were to call a very conservative game once a lead is secured. Should Ajayi and Sproles both miss the Eagles' Week 3 home game against the Colts, Clement will likely see a massive uptick in playing time and usage in Philadelphia's offense. For just $5,800 on FanDuel and $4,300 on DraftKings, Clement will provide significant salary relief to fit higher-priced options elsewhere if Sproles and Ajayi are not available.

Why Corey Clement?

  • Other viable running backs potentially not available
  • Team favored to win the game at home
  • Price does not reflect his potential role in the offense

PREVIOUSLY PROJECTED SHARP PLAYS

Week 1: Christian McCaffrey- 20.9 FanDuel points/30.9 DraftKings points