The Secret Stars weekly article isn't suggesting the lineup you should use this week, rather its purpose is to identify players who represent extreme value at their current salaries for the week. Selecting these players will give you an opportunity to use such players as Melvin Gordon and Michael Thomas in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week Four:
QB DeShaun Watson $6,300 @ IND – For the second straight week, DeShaun Watson exceeded value on DK while leading the Texans in a comeback effort. Houston is in shambles right now and while that means HC Bill O'Brien could be on the way out, it spells good things for a high-powered passing attack. DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller are matchup nightmares for the Colts, even though they produce uninspiring box scores with Tom Savage under center last November. Indy has improved defensively, but ranks 28th in DVOA pass defense against No. 2 wide receivers, so pairing Watson with Fuller may pay off again in DFS contests.
QB Andy Dalton $5,400 @ ATL – This is a very cheap price tag for Andy Dalton considering his upside in a matchup at the Georgia Dome. Dalton's been a consistent performer this season thanks to an improved offensive line and he's clicking with a healthy Tyler Eifert while finding a reliable No. 2 target in Tyler Boyd. A.J. Green (groin) should be able to suit up this Sunday, but even if he sits, Boyd and John Ross are capable of stepping up against an injury-depleted Falcons secondary. Atlanta lost safety Keanu Neal (knee), LB Deion Jones (foot), and just lost safety Ricardo Allen (Achilles) for the season, which played a role in Drew Brees' latest dismantling of that unit. Matt Ryan is red hot on the other side of the ball, so we can expect another shootout in Atlanta.
RB Marshawn Lynch $4,800 vs. CLE – While Carlos Hyde is looking like a popular play following his two-touchdown performance last Thursday night, Marshawn Lynch could be even more productive in Oakland this Sunday. The bruising veteran has become more of a workhorse under new HC Jon Gruden, logging 42 offensive snaps (60%) in consecutive games. Lynch has rushed for a TD against three of the toughest run defenses (LAR, DEN, MIA) in the league and will now face a Browns team that's given up the seventh-most rushing yards (305) on the third-most attempts (83) due in part to their inefficiency on offense. Cleveland also ranks 31st in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs, giving Lynch a solid floor regardless of game flow.
RB Chris Carson $4,600 @ ARI – After HC Pete Carroll strangely benched his top RB in Week 2, he turned back to Chris Carson, feeding the back a whopping 34 touches in a win over Dallas. As bad as the Cowboys have been offensively, Arizona is even worse, so positive game flow should work in Carson's favor once again. The Cardinals have allowed the second-most DK PPG (115.8) and the most rushing TDs (5) to opposing RBs this season. Carson is averaging 4.1 YPC over seven NFL appearances and is a great option in any format with Seattle expected to maintain a run-heavy approach on the road.
WR Sterling Shepard $4,900 vs. NO – Featured in our weekly Sleepers column already, Sterling Shepard makes for a fantastic option in DraftKings this Sunday. Odell Beckham Jr. is also poised for a big game against a Saints team that's giving up the most DK PPG (198.9) to opposing WRs by far this season. But Shepard is obviously much cheaper and is seeing a solid 17.4 percent target share. With TE Evan Engram (knee) questionable, Shepard could become more involved in the game plan and his matchup in the slot is significantly improved because the Saints lost their top CB Patrick Robinson (a slot man) for the season to a broken ankle.
WR Mike Williams $4,500 vs. SF – It didn't take long for Mike Williams to carve out a role in the Chargers uptempo offense. The second-year man has played on 68.4 percent of offensive snaps the past two weeks with Travis Benjamin (foot) inactive and will remain a preferred option in the red zone even if Benjamin returns. At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Williams has bodied smaller cornerbacks to snare 3 TDs already and his matchup will dramatically improve if Richard Sherman (heel) is unable to go this week. Sherman's backup, Jimmie Ward, is 5-foot-11 and Niners SS Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) is hobbled as well.
TE Eric Ebron $3,600 vs. HOU – Because Andrew Luck is unable to effectively throw the ball down the field, his TEs are seeing increased work. With Jack Doyle (hip) out last week, Eric Ebron actually led the Colts with 11 targets and he squeezed out a decent box score with 5 catches for 33 yards against an elite Eagles defense. Now he'll face a disorganized Texans unit that's coughed up the ninth-most DK PPG (46.6) and allowed two TDs to opposing TEs this season. Ebron snared two scores with Doyle in the lineup the first two weeks of the season and should be featured in the red zone even if his fellow TE returns to action.
FLEX DeVante Parker $3,500 @ NE – Looking for some salary relief so you can afford some of the elite RB options this week? DeVante Parker comes dirt cheap and brings plenty of upside to the table in a plus matchup at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots secondary has been overmatched by boundary receivers this season, coughing up six passing TDs to the position and several highlight plays. When healthy, Parker is one of the best jump-ball receivers in the game and he appears to be over his finger injury considering he played on 75 percent of offensive snaps last week. He snared a 36-yard reception that set up a TD and would be a much more high profile play had he found the end zone on that catch.
D/ST CHI $2,600 vs. TB – The Bucs have yet to publically announce a starter for Week 4 and if Jameis Winston is given the nod, that would seriously upgrade the Bears defense. Winston has taken 95 sacks over 45 career starts and led the QB position with 15 fumbles last season. Khalil Mack is a nightmare for any QB coming off the edge and he could make life tough for Ryan Fitzpatrick as well should the veteran retain his starting job. With Mack in the fold, Chicago ranks third in DVOA pass defense and fourth in DVOA rush defense so far this year. The Bears led the NFL in sacks (14) and are a high-floor, high-ceiling play at home despite facing the Bucs dangerous offense.
Here's our lineup this week:
· QB Andy Dalton $5,400 @ ATL
· RB Melvin Gordon $8,300 vs. SF
· RB Ezekiel Elliott $7,700 vs. DET
· WR Odell Beckham Jr. $8,700 vs. NO
· WR Tyler Boyd $4,600 @ ATL
· WR DeVante Parker $3,500 @ NE
· TE Eric Ebron $3,600 vs. HOU
· FLEX Carlos Hyde $5,500 vs. OAK
· DST Bears $2,600 vs. TB
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