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.
THIS WEEK'S CASH LINE: 112.04
Score: 133.48, 15 out of 50, DID cash
Score: 83.34, 48 out of 50, did NOT cash
Miles Sanders made a repeat appearance in the bulk of the sharpest NFL DFS cash lineups in Week 12, as the Eagles' other viable running back, Jordan Howard, missed out on his second straight game due to a shoulder injury. Ultimately, Sanders was rostered by 54-percent of players in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 last weekend, but his production lagged behind expectations once again.
At just $5,000, Miles Sanders' projected role in Philadelphia's offense surpassed all salary-implied expectations in Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks. Jordan Howard, the Eagles' other main option out of the backfield, was inactive once again last weekend. Without Howard in Week 11, Miles Sanders played over 80-percent of Philadelphia's offensive snaps. Although it did not result in significant production in Week 11, sharps went back to the well in Week 12 against an even tougher Seattle Seahawks' run defense. Sanders' role in Philadelphia's passing game, where he has commanded over three targets per game, even in his previously-limited playing time, bolsters his projected production even without strong rushing numbers. Come game day, a rash of injuries left the Philadelphia Eagles without a single Week 1 starter healthy at the wide receiver position. These injuries left Carson Wentz equipped with Jordan Matthews, who was signed off of the streets to weeks ago, Greg Ward, Jr., who was signed off of the practice squad recently, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a rookie who has proven unready for NFL action, to throw to on the outside. Sanders' receiving role without many of the team's top pass-catchers was projected to increase, which compensated for the expected lack of rushing efficiency on the day. Ultimately, Sanders came inches away from a massive performance on a few easy missed dump-offs from Carson Wentz. He ended the day with 11.6 DraftKings points, which was nothing to sneeze at for just $5,000, but it certainly was not what sharps had hoped for when they initially plugged him into their lineups.
(Last week's analysis used to project Alvin Kamara as a sharp play)
Alvin Kamara and the New Orleans Saints enter this week's matchup with the Carolina Panthers as the heaviest favorites of Week 12. As 10-point favorites, the team's rushing volume should increase dramatically, which will almost certainly lead to increased rushing production from the team's number-one running back. The Carolina Panthers' defense grades similarly to the Cincinnati Bengals, who were analyzed above in Josh Jacobs' section of the article. While the Panthers have only defended the 17th-most rushing attempts in the NFL, they've allowed the 6th-most rushing yards, most rushing touchdowns, and 4th-most yards per carry on the season. Alvin Kamara's role in New Orleans' passing game is larger than any other running back in the NFL right now, as he has tallied 10 targets in each of his last two games since returning from injury. One of the games came in a shocking 17-point loss to the Atlanta Falcons, while the other came in a 17-point victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The consistent receiving work in spite of two dramatically different game scripts bodes extremely well for Kamara's projected consistency moving forward. Although he is pricey this weekend at $8,200, the sharpest NFL DFS players will likely build lineups around Alvin Kamara in this elite matchup.
Julio Jones was the top-end wide receiver of choice for most of the sharpest NFL DFS players in Week 12, as the Atlanta Falcons played host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones ultimately made his way into 80-percent of lineups in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 last week, giving a definitive answer to the debate about which high-priced wide receiver was the sharpest cash-game option of the week.
The debate raged on Twitter after Week 12 came to a close: "Which high-priced wide receiver was the sharper cash game selection: Michael Thomas or Julio Jones?" After the fact, Thomas was easy to declare the sharper option, after his 10-catch, 100-yard, and 1-score game as opposed to Julio's 5-catch, 68-yard, 0-score game. However, Julio Jones played just 56-percent of Atlanta's offensive snaps after an injury sidelined him temporarily in the 2nd half. Jones' 9 targets in approximately half of offensive snaps do not prove the same point widely argued on Twitter that he was the weaker selection between the 2. Jones also topped the charts as the number-one receiver in David Dodds' h-value rankings leading up to Week 12, which has proven to be an excellent signal of sharp wide receiver options. Atlanta's matchup in the friendly confines of the Mercedes Benz Stadium (a dome to shield the game from any adverse weather conditions) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was projected by the betting market to total over 50 points, the highest total on the slate. Tampa Bay's defense has allowed the second-most passing yardage and the third-most passing touchdowns in the NFL this season, which provided a great boost to the projections for Julio Jones and the entire Atlanta Falcons' offense. After missing significant playing time due to an unforecastable injury, Jones scored just 11.8 DraftKings points for the 80-percent of players in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 that paid up and plugged him into their cash lineups at $8,000.
Philadelphia's backup tight end, Dallas Goedert, ascended into the role of being the Eagles' number-two available pass-catcher in Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks following a bevy of injuries to the team's wide receiving corps. Goedert made for a strong salary-saving option at tight end in Week 12, as he made his way into 62-percent of lineups in the GIANT $1,060 50-50 at just $3,700.
Dallas Goedert's role in Philadelphia's passing attack this season has grown significantly after being used sparingly throughout his rookie season. Philadelphia frequently schemes Goedert into its offense through the use of quick slip screens, which enable him to rack up significant yardage after the catch thanks to his athleticism and prowess with the ball in his hands. In Week 12, the Philadelphia Eagles were without each of their original top three wide receivers: DeSean Jackson, Nelson Algholor, and Alshon Jeffery. With the Eagles' patchwork unit of available pass-catchers, featuring a previously-unemployed Jordan Matthews, Greg Ward, Jr., who was recently signed off of the practice squad, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, a rookie that has yet to earn significant playing time in 2019. Goedert's role in the Philadelphia Eagles' offense was expected to grow immensely this weekend, as he ranked second amongst all available pass-catchers for the team. At just $3,700, a matchup against Seattle's soft defense against tight ends, Dallas Goedert emerged as a top salary-saving option at the tight end position in Week 12.
Next Week's Sharp Play
Davante Adams has recorded double-digit targets in all three games since he returned from a toe injury that kept him out for over a month earlier in the season. This weekend, Adams tops the charts as David Dodds' number-one wide receiver in h-value, which is a strong signal for sharp wide receiver selection. His $7,000 price tag is perplexing considering his consistently-large role in the team's passing game. This weekend, Adams' volume pairs up with an elite matchup against the New York Giants' horrific secondary to make him one of the best pass-catching options on the DraftKings main slate of games. Expect Davante Adams to make his way into the bulk of sharp cash lineups in Week 13, as he will not be too difficult to fit at $7,000.
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
Week 8: Courtland Sutton- 8.7 FanDuel points (1.45x value)/10.2 DraftKings points (1.92x value)
- 24.0 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 9: Nick Chubb- 11.1 FanDuel points (1.4x value)/13.1 DraftKings points (1.8x value)
- 24.0 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 10: Michael Thomas- 21.7 FanDuel points (2.5x value)/31.2 DraftKings points (3.8x value)
- 88 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 11: Brian Hill- 4.3 FanDuel points (0.7x value)/4.8 DraftKings points (1.0x value)
- 74 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50
Week 12: Alvin Kamara- 14.7 FanDuel points (1.8x value)/19.2 DraftKings points (2.3x value)
- 90 percent-rostered in GIANT $1,060 50-50