The Sharp Report Week 8

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, one player cashed while the other did not in the BIG $1,065 50/50 on FanDuel. 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:

TEAM #2:

the overlap

Todd Gurley (Last week’s analysis used to forecast this week’s chalk)

There's no need to get cute here. Todd Gurley II's price has risen above $10,000 on FanDuel this week, but he will likely be one of the highest owned players amongst sharps. The Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers as 9.5-points favorites in a battle between 2 of the sharpest offensive minds in the NFL. The game is projected to total over 52-points between the teams, and Todd Gurley will likely play a large role in this offensive outburst. Cooper Kupp has played a large role in the Rams' red zone offense in a variety of ways. Kupp, unfortunately, is expected to miss a few games with a sprained MCL (which he somehow played through in their last game against Denver.) Kupp's absence may lead to an increased role (if that is even possible) for Todd Gurley in and around the end zone. Look for Todd Gurley to be the go-to running back for the best NFL DFS players when they build their cash lineups in Week 7, barring any late news.

Why Todd Gurley?

  • Unmatched production floor.
  • Only viable running back on a heavily favored team
  • Potentially increased usage in and around the red zone without one of the team's main options in that area

Nick Chubb

Nick Chubb, Cleveland’s second-round pick in this year’s draft, assumed the starting role in the offense this week for the Browns. Following the trade of Carlos Hyde, Chubb assumed the starting role. Since the trade happened after FanDuel had already posted the slate and priced each player, Chubb’s $4,800 price tag led over 82 percent of players in the BIG $1,065 50/50 to roster him on FanDuel

In Week 7, the Cleveland Browns faced off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. To this point in the season, Tampa Bay’s defense has proven to be weak in nearly every facet of the game. Nick Chubb was the fortunate beneficiary of such a favorable matchup at running back, and given his new role atop the depth chart, he was the second most-rostered player in the contest. The Cleveland Browns shipped Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a mid-week trade that forced head coach Hue Jackson to shuffle his depth chart. The natural fit for the high-volume role as the team’s number one running back was the talented rookie, Nick Chubb. Fortunately for fantasy players, Chubb was still priced like the backup running back that he entered the week as. For a bottom-dollar price of just $4,800 82.4 percent of players in the highest-stakes cash games utilized the incredible value Nick Chubb offered in Week 8.

Why Nick Chubb?

  • Other viable running back not available for the game (traded away)
  • Priced as a backup but receiving the volume of a starter
    • Much needed value on a slate with high-end running back options

Ezekiel Elliott

Through six games this season, Ezekiel Elliott proved to be the only reliable producer in the Dallas Cowboys’ offense. In Week 7, Dallas went into Washington D.C. to take on the Redskins as slight favorites. In FanDuel’s BIG $1,065 50/50, 82.4 percent of players also deemed Ezekiel Elliott to be an essential piece of successful cash-game lineups.

The Cowboys have yet to establish a solid secondary threat within their offense following the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant over the offseason. Dak Prescott’s performance throughout the first half of this season has been underwhelming, to say the least. In the midst of this turmoil, the only consistent piece in the Dallas offense has been Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke, as the most-talented piece in the offense, is the only player with an unwavering touch-rate in Dallas’ offense, for better or worse. This matchup with weak Washington rush defense (26th in the NFL in DVOA allowed to the rush) led to over 82 percent of the sharpest NFL DFS players in the industry rostering Ezekiel Elliott in cash games.

Why Ezekiel Elliott?

  • Only viable running back for his respective team
  • Running back as a slight favorite
  • Matchup against one of the weakest rush-defenses in the NFL

Jarvis Landry

Jarvis Landry, Cleveland’s clear number one option in the passing attack, made his way onto 70.6 percent of rosters in the BIG $1,065 50/50 in Week 7. The Browns’ offense was blessed with a matchup against the worst defense in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, last week and Landry made the most of it.

Jarvis Landry had commanded over 27 percent of the team’s targets through the first 6 games of the 2018 season. Couple this high target-share with Landry’s 29 percent share of Cleveland’s total air yards, and Landry is a significantly different receiver this season compared to last year in Miami. Landry entered Week 7 at just $6,500, a mind-boggling price considering this incredible matchup and his role in Cleveland’s offense. Tampa Bay’s secondary ranks dead-last in the NFL in DVOA allowed to passing plays, and slot receivers have thrived especially going up against Tampa Bay’s weak cornerbacks. Leading up to this matchup, primary slot receivers had registered at least 100 yards or 1 touchdown in every game this season. While Landry’s route tree and role in the Cleveland offense may differ from his route tree and role in Miami, he still plays primarily in the slot. After considering all of the potential alternates, 70.6 percent of the sharpest NFL DFS players in the industry rostered Jarvis Landry in their high-stakes cash lineups in Week 8.

Why Jarvis Landry?

  • Underpriced relative to his consistent volume in the offense
  • Matchup against the weakest secondary in the NFL
  • Plays primarily in the slot, an especially strong matchup against Tampa Bay's weak secondary

Next week's sharp play

Tyler Boyd

Tyler Boyd steps into the same spot filled by Jarvis Landry last week: the primary slot receiver against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Boyd has finally begun to live up to the high expectations held by many following his selection in the second round of the 2017 NFL draft. The Cincinnati Bengals enter as 4.5-point favorites over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a game projected to total 54 points between the 2 teams, one of the highest totals on the entire slate. Facing off against the 32nd-ranked secondary in DVOA allowed to passing plays, Tyler Boyd and the Cincinnati Bengals will surely look to attack the Bucs through the air. A.J. Green would make for a great option, if his price wasn't so high (nearly $9,000), but Tyler Boyd is far more reasonably priced at $6,800 on FanDuel, which should lead him into many sharp NFL cash lineups in Week 8.

Why Tyler Boyd?

  • Matchup against the weakest secondary in the NFL
  • Plays primarily in the slot, an especially strong matchup against Tampa Bay's weak secondary
  • Team is favored in a game with one of the highest projected totals on the slate

PREVIOUSLY PROJECTED SHARP PLAYS:

Week 2: Christian McCaffrey- 20.9 FanDuel points (2.8x value)/30.9 DraftKings points (4.4x value)

  • 0.0 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

Week 3: Corey Clement- 9.0 FanDuel points (1.6x value)/10.5 DraftKings points (2.4x value)

  • 16.7 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

Week 4: Giovani Bernard- 23.6 FanDuel points (3.7x value)/25.6 DraftKings points (4.1x value)

  • 86.1 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

Week 5: T.J. Yeldon- 22.2 FanDuel points (3.42x value)/26.2 DraftKings points (4.7x value)

  • 33.3 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

Week 6: Jameis Winston- 32.9 FanDuel Points (4.45x value)/35.9 DraftKings points (6.19x value)

  • 86.7 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

Week 7: Todd Gurley- 28.6 FanDuel Points (2.80x value)/30.6 DraftKings points (3.12x value)

  • 85.3 percent rostered in BIG $1,065 50/50

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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