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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 GIANT $1,060 50-50 on DraftKings.
Once again, Leonard Fournette appeared in the hefty majority of sharp NFL DFS cash lineups in week seven. Fournette's price remained relatively unchanged compared to last week, and ultimately, at just $7,000, he made his way into a whopping 97.1-percent of lineups in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 on DraftKings.
Leonard Fournette's increased role in Jacksonville's 2019 offense under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has made him one of the most valuable running backs in all of fantasy football. Fournette is the perfect embodiment of a bell-cow running back in the modern NFL. He rarely leaves the field, playing over 90-percent of Jacksonville's offensive snaps, on average, and he plays a role in the passing game as well as on the ground. Leading up to week seven, Fournette had tallied at least 17 touches in every game this season, including 5 straight 20-touch outings. Fournette's role in Jacksonville's passing attack has grown significantly this season, as he is approaching career-high numbers less-than halfway through the year. Targets are far more valuable than carries for fantasy production (especially in PPR scoring formats, like those of DraftKings and FanDuel.) This past weekend, against Cincinnati's 32nd-ranked run defense, Leonard Fournette projected for not only massive volume but also top-end efficiency numbers. Fournette made his way into the majority of sharp cash lineups two weeks ago at $6,700 in a far worse matchup against the New Orleans Saints. A price increase of only $300 was not enough to deter nearly every sharp NFL DFS player from locking Leonard Fournette into his or her respective cash lineup in week seven against the worst run defense in the NFL.
Why Leonard Fournette?
- Elite matchup against Cincinnati's porous run defense
- Recently chalky sharp play in worse matchups
- Price has not risen as much as it should
- Bell-cow running back getting 20+ touches/game
The sharpest NFL DFS players collectively expected T.Y. Hilton to continue his dominance over the Houston Texans in week seven. Hilton, the clear-cut number-one receiver for the Indianapolis Colts, made his way into 92.8-percent of lineups in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 on DraftKings last weekend.
T.Y. Hilton cost just $5,900 on DraftKings in week seven, a price that jumped off the page as an error in the pricing algorithm. T.Y. Hilton entered week seven with 24 receptions across 4 games, a total twice as high as the next-best wide receiver on Indianapolis' roster. During that span, Hilton led the team in not only targets, but also receptions, receiving yards, air yards, and touchdowns, even though he missed a game due to an injury. There is no debate to be had: T.Y. Hilton is the obvious number-one target for quarterback Jacoby Brissett through the air this season. A matchup against a depleted Houston secondary, coupled with a stunningly-low price, made Hilton an elite option for cash games in week seven. The Houston Texans' number one cornerback, Bradley Roby, was unable to play last weekend due to a hamstring injury, and the replacement cornerbacks for Houston leave much to be desired. Rookie Lonnie Johnson, Jr., Johnathan Joseph, and Phillip Gaines have all posted horrific numbers in coverage throughout the 2019 season. The Houston Texans' defense excels against the run while struggling mightily in pass defense, gifting intelligent play-callers like Frank Reich a clear gameplan to exploit their defensive shortcomings. Reich called a masterful game in week seven, as Jacoby Brissett posted season-high passing numbers across the board. T.Y. Hilton played a massive role in the aerial attack, as expected, and he paid off for sharp NFL DFS players in week seven, providing 19.4 DraftKings points at just $5,900.
Why T.Y. Hilton?
- Elite matchup against Houston's banged-up secondary
- Obvious number-one pass-catcher in his respective offense at a shockingly-low price
(Last week's analysis used to project Kupp as a Sharp Play)
Following a disappointing performance from the entire Los Angeles Rams passing game last week against San Francisco's stout defense, they face a far weaker defense this week. In week seven, the Rams head to Atlanta to face off with the Atlanta Falcons' horrid pass defense inside the dome of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. So far, in 2019, the Falcons' defense ranks in the bottom-five of the NFL in passing yards allowed, passing touchdowns allowed, interceptions, and net-yards-per-attempt allowed. The Falcons also field one of the NFL's worst pass-rushes, tallying a league-worst five sacks through six games this season. Los Angeles' biggest weakness offensively is along the offensive line, where they struggle mightily to protect quarterback Jard Goff. When Goff has had time to throw, however, he is an effective quarterback, and Cooper Kupp is his favorite target. Kupp leads the NFL with 69 targets through six games. Kupp has converted these targets into 45 receptions for 522 yards and 4 touchdowns this season, all ranking in the top-6 in the NFL amongst receivers. The Rams have yet to face a secondary as weak as Atlanta's so far the season, and at $7,400 Kupp's price is not accurately adjusted for the matchup. The Rams and Falcons are expected to total over 54 points this weekend, the highest total on the entire main slate of games. There will be no shortage of chances for Cooper Kupp to wrack up receptions, yardage, and hopefully touchdowns against arguably the league's worst pass defense. Expect Kupp to be a mainstay in sharp cash lineups in week seven in a tremendous bounce-back spot of one of the NFL's most consistent pass-catchers.
Why Cooper Kupp?
- Most-targeted wide receiver in the NFL entering this week
- Elite matchup against Atlanta's horrific pass defense
- Game projected to total a slate-high 54.5 points between the two teams
- Passing attack playing in a dome is an added bonus
In week seven, Mark Andrews stood out as the best receiving for the Baltimore Ravens as they faced off with a struggling Seattle Seahawks secondary. Injuries elsewhere in Baltimore's receiving corps increased Andrews' expected volume in the passing attack, making him a top value option at just $4,900. Ultimately, 37.7-percent of players in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 plugged Mark Andrews into their cash lineups.
Last weekend, the Baltimore Ravens traveled to Seattle as 3 point underdogs in a game projected to total nearly 50 points between the teams. Baltimore's number-one wide receiver, Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, missed the game due to an ankle injury, left a significant void in the Ravens' passing attack. Brown was the second-most targeted pass-catcher on Baltimore's roster entering week seven. In his absence, Mark Andrews, the team's leading pass-catcher was poised to absorb a significant portion of his volume. As underdogs, a typically run-heavy offense was expected to turn towards a more pass-heavy approach to try to make up ground in a high-scoring affair. A matchup with Seattle's pass defense also stood out as one of the best situations on the slate. Seattle's starting linebackers, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, have both struggled in coverage this season, and Andrews was likely to match up with them for the majority of the game. Mark Andrews is known as one of the most efficient pass-catchers in the entire NFL. In his young career, his yards-per-route-run numbers rank amongst the best in the NFL. In an expectedly pass-heavy game for the Ravens without Hollywood Brown, Andrews' playing time and involvement in the offense was projected to spike far above the expectations of a typical $4,900 player. Ultimately, a rainy Seattle afternoon stifled Baltimore's passing attack, leaving the 37.7-percent of sharps in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 disappointed with the 5.9 DraftKings points produced by Mark Andrews.
Why Mark Andrews?
- Team's second-leading receiver inactive this week, opening up volume for Andrews to absorb
- Already one of the NFL's most-efficient pass-catchers
- Matchup against Seattle's struggling pass defense
- Playing for a 3.5-point underdog typically leads to a more pass-heavy offensive attack, maximizing Andrews' projected volume
NEXT WEEK'S SHARP PLAY
Although Courtland Sutton plays in a bottom-tier passing attack with the Denver Broncos, the second-year wide receiver has been a rare bright spot in 2019. Sutton's flashes of excellence this season show exactly why the Broncos used an early second-round pick on him in last year's NFL Draft. So far this season, Sutton has commanded at least seven targets in every game, registering at least 13.7 DraftKings points in 5 out of 7 games. Earlier this week, the Broncos traded Emmanuel Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers, removing the team's second-leading receiver from the equation. In Sanders' absence, Sutton will likely absorb a portion of the weekly volume that would have otherwise gone to the recently-departed wide receiver. This weekend, the Broncos head to Indianapolis to face off with the Colts' porous secondary. The Broncos are six-point underdogs this weekend, which should lead to a pass-heavy offensive approach from Vic Fangio's team. In short, Courtland Sutton's $5,300 price is unadjusted for his new and larger role in the Broncos' passing attack. This weekend against one of the worst cornerback units in the NFL, the Broncos are expected to air it out early and often, maximizing Sutton's value in the offense. Look for Courtland Sutton, one of the best second-year receivers in the NFL, to make his way into the majority of sharp NFL DFS cash teams in week eight.
PREVIOUSLY PROJECTED SHARP PLAYS
Week 1: Dalvin Cook- 25.0 FanDuel points (3.4x value)/29 DraftKings points (4.8x value)
- 91.4 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 1: Tyler Lockett- 10.8 FanDuel points (1.6x value)/11.4 DraftKings points (1.9x value)
- 44.3 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 2: Austin Ekeler- 20.3 FanDuel points (2.7x value)/24.3 DraftKings points (4.0x value)
- 77.1 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 3: Nelson Agholor- 19.0 FanDuel points (4.0x value)/24.0 DraftKings points (6.7x value)
- 91.3 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 4: Evan Engram- 7.4 FanDuel points (1.1x value)/9.4 DraftKings points (1.6x value)
- 51.4 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 5: Auden Tate- 10.1 FanDuel points (1.9x value)/11.6 DraftKings points (3.3x value)
- 94.3 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 6: Matt Ryan- 30.94 FanDuel points (3.8x value)/33.94 DraftKings points (5.3x value)
- 35.7 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 6: Leonard Fournette- 14.8 FanDuel points (2.0x value)/17.8 DraftKings points (2.7x value)
- 65.7 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 7: Cooper Kupp- 8.0 FanDuel points (1.0x value)/11.0 DraftKings points (1.5x value)
- 49.3 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50