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 Ezekiel Elliott and A.J. Green in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week 8:
QB Andy Dalton $5,700 vs. IND – The Bengals offense was a disaster in the opening weeks of the season and has seemingly reverted to its dumpster fire status, as Dalton’s thrown four picks and is averaging just 234 passing YPG over his last two appearances. Yet this week Cincy hosts arguably the worst pass defense in the NFL, as Indy’s giving up the second-most passing YPG (300.7) and the most pass plays of 20-plus yards (40) by far this season. Even against Buffalo’s solid defense, Dalton at least threw for hefty yardage (328) at home in Week 5 and he should pile up the points in this plus spot.
RB Dion Lewis $4,600 vs. LAC – The struggling Patriots turned to a literal sparkplug to lead their backfield in Dion Lewis, and the “human joystick” rewarded that faith by leading the team with 76 rushing yards in Sunday’s win over Atlanta. Lewis has been solid in four consecutive outings and has seen much more work while totaling 25 touches over his last two starts. Next up is a Chargers team that ranks 28th in DVOA run defense and is giving up the second-most RuYPG (140.6) in the NFL at a rate of 4.9 YPC, so even though Mike Gillislee is the preferred short-yardage back and James White mixes in on some passing downs, Lewis is a strong play in this price range.
RB Marlon Mack $4,000 @ CIN – When the Colts are in catch-up mode, Mack is going to see the work, as he played 32-of-67 snaps (48%), which is 10 more snaps than starter Frank Gore played in last week’s beatdown at the hands of Jacksonville. Cincy is playing solid defense, but has coughed up the fifth-most receptions per game (5.75) to opposing RBs this season, and Robert Turbin’s unfortunate injury all but ensures that Mack will continue to see most of the passing game work out of the backfield for the Colts.
WR Mohamed Sanu $4,900 @ NYJ – He proved that he’s over a hamstring injury by hauling in 6-of-10 targets in a fog-ridden game at Foxboro last Sunday night and that’s all we need to see to invest in Sanu going forward. The Falcons need a secondary receiver to step up as teams’ sell out to stop Julio Jones and Sanu could see double-digit targets against if the Jets use Morris Claiborne and a safety to contain Julio. He’s produced double-digit DK points in every appearance aside from the game he left due to injury and faces a mediocre Jets defense that ranks 21st against the pass this year.
WR Ted Ginn Jr. $4,700 vs. CHI – While the Bears defense has been great for the most part this year, the addition of plus-sized corners Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper leaves them vulnerable to speedsters like Ginn Jr. The former Panthers wideout is gaining chemistry with Drew Brees by the day, as he’s piled up 11 catches for 207 yards and a TD over two games since the Saints bye week. Chicago’s giving up 27.3 PPG on the road versus just 15.8 PPG at home this year and facing the Saints in the Superdome is akin to playing at Coors Field the way it elevates offenses.
TE Jordan Reed $4,700 vs. DAL – He showed signs of life with two TDs during Washington’s comeback effort on Monday night and it’s possible that Reed is finally healthy heading into a plus Week 8 matchup. Dallas ranks 29th in DVOA defense against opposing TEs and Reed went off for 95 yards and 2 TDs on 10 receptions in a trip to Dallas last Thanksgiving. While he’s rarely healthy, Reed is a matchup nightmare when he can cut across the face of slower linebackers and Kirk Cousins loves to look for him in the red zone. With the Redskins WRs struggling mightily, Reed stands to see heavy volume in another NFC East clash.
FLEX Jared Cook $3,900 @ BUF – This is a rare week in which it might make sense to use multiple TEs in the same lineup. Cook went for 107 yards on 7 receptions in a perceived tough matchup at Kansas City last Thursday and Buffalo ranks 21st in DVOA defense against opposing TEs after giving up a multi-touchdown game to rookie O.J. Howard last week. With Derek Carr back under center and throwing incredibly accurate balls last week, Cook’s rest-of-season outlook is on the rise.
D/ST NE $2,400 vs. LAC – Last week the Chargers were under priced and this week it’s New England against the Chargers at the same price tag on DK. After starting the season in dreadful fashion, the Patriots defense stiffened in a Thursday night win at Tampa and then racked up 4 sacks and 3 takeaways at the Jets in Week 6. Using the Belichickian bend-but-don’t-break mentality, the Pats held an opponent under 300 passing yards (Falcons threw for 223) for the first time all season on Sunday night and they should be able contain a limited passer in Philip Rives at home.
Here's our lineup this week:
· QB Andy Dalton $5,700 vs. IND
· RB Ezekiel Elliott $9,200 @ WAS
· RB Dion Lewis $4,600 vs. LAC
· WR Kelvin Benjamin $6,400 @ TB
· WR A.J. Green $8,600 vs. IND
· WR Ted Ginn Jr. $4,700 vs. CHI
· TE Jordan Reed $4,700 vs. DAL
· FLEX Gio Bernard $3,700 vs. IND
· DST Patriots $2,400 vs. LAC
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