The Sharp Report Week 4

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: 127.20

Team1

Team #2: 134.70

Team2

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 Week 3 main slate.

DESHAUN WATSON
Deshaun Watson was rostered by 47.2 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50. Watson and the Texans hosted the New York Giants in Week 3 as 6-point favorites in a game projected to total 44.5 points between the teams. Deshaun Watson, however, was not exceptionally expensive on this slate, as he cost $7,700 on FanDuel.

Deshaun Watson, one of the league's greatest dual-threat quarterbacks, has returned to the field this season following a torn ACL in 2017. In his return to the field, the Texans have yet to win a game, but that has not been due to his lack of production, outside of Week 1 in Foxborough against the Patriots. In Week 3 at home against the New York Giants, the Texans were favored to win their first game of the season, and by a fairly sizeable margin. As the quarterback for one of the heavier favorites on the slate, Watson instantly became a viable fantasy option. The New York Giants' defense to this point in the season had struggled to put pressure on the quarterback, totaling just one sack entering this game. The lack of pressure on the quarterback by New York, coupled with Watson's suppressed price compared to his rookie season, led to nearly half of the smartest players in the industry rostering Deshaun Watson in cash games in Week 3.

Why Deshaun Watson?

  • Favored quarterback at home
  • Suppressed price
  • Facing a defense that has not been able to pressure the quarterback

ALVIN KAMARA
Alvin Kamara was rostered, once again, by a stunning 80.6 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50 on FanDuel in Week 3. The New Orleans Saints went into Atlanta to take on the Falcons as 1.5-point underdogs in a game projected by the betting markets to total about 54 points. Kamara's role in the New Orleans Saints' offense has increased dramatically without Mark Ingram II, but his price has not yet reflected this expanded role.

Through 2 weeks, Alvin Kamara ranked 6th in the NFL in targets and 2nd in air yards amongst running backs. In Week 3, Kamara and the Saints faced off with an Atlanta Falcons defense missing, amongst others, Deion Jones and Keanu Neal-- both of whom typically play a significant role in covering running backs. Last weekend against the Falcons, Christian McCaffrey hauled in 14 passes for 106 yards. McCaffrey, as one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, posted an extreme outlier performance. However, Kamara is one of the few running backs in the NFL whose receiving skills rival that of Christian McCaffrey. Given the high projected game total paired with the Saints entering as an underdog, the New Orleans passing game forecasted to be one of the most active on the entire slate. Pairing Kamara's elite efficiency on the ground with top-notch aerial volume led over 80 percent of the sharpest players in the industry to roster him in cash-games.

Why Alvin Kamara?

  • Elite pass-catching running back in a fantastic matchup
  • Price has not yet risen to reflect his involvement and production this year
  • Other viable running back is not yet available
  • Underdog in the game
    • Positive potential game script for the passing game

LATAVIUS MURRAY
88.9 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50 rostered Latavius Murray this weekend as he and the Minnesota Vikings hosted the winless Buffalo Bills in a Week 3 showdown. Minnesota was favored in the matchup by an astonishing 16.5 points over the Bills, which typically leads to a positive game script for the favored team's running back. As a fill-in for the injured Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray was the most rostered player amongst sharp players in high-stakes cash games.

Latavius Murray entered the season as the Minnesota Vikings' backup to Dalvin Cook. He was used in Week 1 as a buffer to ease Dalvin Cook back into rhythm following his torn ACL last season, but Dalvin Cook was unable to play in Week 3 due to a hamstring ailment. In Cooks absence, Murray was slated to assume a full workload in the Vikings' backfield at home against the Buffalo Bills. The Vikings, favored by 16.5 points, were expected to throttle the winless Buffalo Bills in this matchup, which would have led to a run-heavy game script. Latavius Murray certainly stood out amongst the cheapest running backs on the slate. Paying just $5,200 for the expected bell cow running back for the most heavily favored team on the weekend was a situation that was too juicy to pass up on for players in the high-stakes cash games.

Why Latavius Murray?

  • Other viable running back is not available for the game
  • Running back for a massive favorite
  • Priced as a backup with the playing time and role of a starter

TYLER BOYD
55.6 percent of players rostered Tyler Boyd in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50 in Week 3. Boyd and the Cincinnati Bengals were 2.5-point underdogs in Carolina against the Panthers this week, but that did not deter the sharpest players in NFL DFS from rostering him. The game was projected to total a pedestrian 44.5 points between the 2 teams, but the expected matchups for Tyler Boyd appear to have caught the eye of some of the top decision-makers in the NFL DFS community.

In Week 2, Tyler Boyd had a coming-out party of sorts. In a primetime game against the Baltimore Ravens, Boyd was targeted 9 times, catching 6 of them for 91 yards and 1 touchdown. During this game, A.J. Green was also targeted 9 times, finding the end zone on 3 of those occasions. Through the first 2 weeks of the season, Boyd accounted for about 35 percent of the total air yards in the Bengals' offense, which is substantially higher than anyone else at a comparable price. In Week 3, Boyd was poised to go up against the likes of James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, amongst others. Both Bradberry and Jackson grade as sub-par cornerbacks at this point in their respective careers, increasing Tyler Boyd's potential value even more. For just $200 over the minimum price for a wide receiver, Tyler Boyd projected to substantially outperform his price this weekend, leading over half of the players in the BIG $1,065 30-Man 50/50 to roster him.

Why Tyler Boyd?

  • Priced as a backup with the playing time and role of a starter
  • Weak opposing secondary

NEXT WEEK'S SHARP PLAY

GIOVANI BERNARD
Giovani Bernard steps into the every-down role for the Bengals in Joe Mixon's absence with a knee injury. His price has adjusted more than Latavius Murray's did last week, but this is also a completely different matchup. Giovani Bernard, over the course of his career, has derived much of his fantasy value through the air. Bernard is one of the league's premier pass-catching running backs, and this week he and the Bengals take on the Atlanta Falcons. The same Atlanta Falcons that, without Deion Jones, allowed Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara to catch 14 and 15 passes, respectively. This matchup between Cincinnati and Atlanta is expected to be the highest scoring game of the Week 4 main slate and, as underdogs, the Bengals will likely need to throw the ball at an increased rate. Giovani Bernard's role in the passing game should assist in providing excellent value for $6,400 on FanDuel.

Why Giovani Bernard?

  • Other viable running back is not available for this game
  • Elite pass-catching back in a fantastic matchup
  • Underdog in the game
    • Positive potential game script for the passing game

PREVIOUSLY PROJECTED SHARP PLAYS

Week 1: Christian McCaffrey- 20.9 FanDuel points (2.8x value)/30.9 DraftKings points (4.4x value)

Week 2: Corey Clement- 9.0 FanDuel points (1.6x value)/10.5 DraftKings points (2.4x value)

Thanks all, and if you have any feedback or recommendations for future versions of The Sharp Report feel free to send me your thoughts and follow me on twitter @ThaGreatZambino!


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