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 Todd Gurley and Tyreek Hill in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week 13:
QB Tom Brady $5,800 vs. MIN – Who would’ve thought we’d have to recommend Tom Brady at home against an opponent with shootout potential, yet here we are. The Patriots offense continued to look sluggish at the Jets on Sunday, but is trending up with Rob Gronkowski back and seemingly healthy. Minnesota just lost FS Andrew Sendejo (groin) for the season and top CB Xavier Rhodes pulled his hamstring Sunday night. Despite a solid overall ranking, Minnesota is 29th against RBs, 27th against TEs, and 25th against No. 2 receivers in DVOA pass defense. This sets up beautifully for a stack of Brady and either James White, Gronk, or Julian Edelman to hit big. The Vikings pass-heavy offense should ensure heavy volume for Brady down the stretch.
QB Marcus Mariota $5,200 vs. NYJ – Despite completing 22-of-23 pass attempts for 303 yards and 2 TD s, Marcus Mariota couldn’t lead his Titans over the streaking Texans. He faces a much softer defense at home this week in the Jets. The Jets man-coverage and blitz-heavy scheme leaves them vulnerable to rushing QBs and Mariota has carried 22 times for 98 yards and a TD over his last 4 starts. He’s been far better with a 105.2 passer rating and is averaging 30.7 rushing YPG at home.
RB Phillip Lindsay $5,400 @ CIN – It’s almost as if DraftKings is trying to bait people into playing more exposure by keeping Phillip Lindsay so affordable in the juiciest of matchups. Cincinnati ranks 28th in DVOA rush defense and yield a league-high 5.2 YPC this season. With LBs Nick Vigil and Preston Brown out due to knee injuries and the Bengals offense missing Andy Dalton (thumb) and likely A.J. Green (toe) Denver should experience positive game flow and ride its rushing attack to victory. Despite apparent management pressure to keep Royce Freeman involved, Lindsay has clearly separated as Denver’s lead back with his 5.8 YPC average. Should the Broncos fall behind, it’s worth noting the Bengals have yielded the seventh-most yards (590) and a league-high 6 receiving TDs to opposing backs.
RB T.J. Yeldon $4,400 vs. IND – With Leonard Fournette facing a one-game suspension, Carlos Hyde will be a popular play this week. Yet the Colts rank fifth in DVOA rush defense and are much more vulnerable when attacked through the air. Indy’s Cover 2-based scheme has yielded the second-most receptions (80) to opposing RBs this season. Hyde is averaging a modest 3.4 YPC and hasn’t yet caught a pass since joining the Jaguars. He could wind up as a bust without a TD, but even if you punt an RB position with Hyde, Yeldon is a solid value with more PPR upside.
WR D.J. Moore $5,600 @ TB – The Panthers rookie is absolutely electric with the ball in his hands and has quickly become the second-favorite target for Cam Newton after Christian McCaffrey. Carolina skill players need to be stacked in a dream matchup at Tampa this Sunday, as the Bucs rank dead last in DVOA pass defense and have given up the second-most receiving TDs (17) to opposing WRs this season. Moore has snared 15-of-17 targets for 246 yards over his last two appearances, flashing impressive YAC ability. With Devin Funchess (back) struggling and injured, he’s locked into heavy usage again this week.
WR Adam Humphries $4,200 vs. CAR – The Bucs should be able to trade points with a Panthers team that’s yielded multiple TD passes in 8 of their last 9 games. With DeSean Jackson (thumb) questionable, the receiver rotation becomes a bit less muddled. Mike Evans was held to one catch for 16 yards by Panthers physical outside CB James Bradberry and could be shut down once again. If so, Jameis Winston will look towards his favorite interior receiver, Adam Humphries, who owns a decided quickness advantage over Panthers slot CB Captain Munnerlyn. Humphries caught all 8 of his targets for 82 yards and 2 TDs when these teams met in Week 9.
TE Gerald Everett $2,900 @ DET – While they’re unlikely to get into another shootout that even resembles the showdown with the Chiefs in Week 11, the Rams are going to continue to put points on the board. Sean McVay is such a creative coach that he’ll find ways to replace the production lost with Cooper Kupp (knee) done for the season. In Week 11, Gerald Everett stepped up as that versatile interior option. He caught a short TD on a crossing route and burned the Chiefs for the game-winning from 40 yards out. Expectations can be tempered in a lower scoring game, but Everett is still a value to consider against a Lions team that ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs this year.
FLEX Bruce Ellington $3,500 vs. LAR – Since the Lions are almost certain to trail throughout a matchup with the elite Rams offense, possession receivers such as Theo Riddick and Bruce Ellington have a chance to produce great returns. Ellington has flown past T.J. Jones as the replacement for Golden Tate in the slot and he just managed 6 catches for 28 yards to meet value in a tough Thanksgiving matchup against the Bears. Granted, his aDOT (average depth of target) doesn’t do much to move the needle, but Ellington is a good bet for 5-8 receptions this week. He has a chance to exceed value against a Rams team that ranks 26th in DVOA pass defense against slot receivers.
D/ST KC $2,500 @ OAK – Even on the road (where they’ve routinely struggled this year) the Chiefs defense is worth a look in this fantastic matchup. Oakland showed some fight in a tough road game at Baltimore before allowing a fumble-six and three late sacks. Derek Carr hurt his ankle on one of those plays and limped around despite a clear lack of mobility. The Raiders have precious few weapons with Marshawn Lynch (groin) out for the year, while Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson remain questionable with knee injuries. Meanwhile, KC comes off their bye fresh and hungry with elite pass rusher Justin Houston waiting to force Carr into mistakes.
Here’s our lineup this week:
· QB Tom Brady $5,800 vs. MIN
· RB Todd Gurley $9,300 @ DET
· RB Phillip Lindsay $5,400 @ CIN
· WR Stefon Diggs $7,600 @ NE
· WR D.J. Moore $5,600 @ TB
· WR Adam Humphries $4,200 vs. CAR
· TE Gerald Everett $2,900 @ DET
· FLEX Kenny Golladay $6,700 vs. LAR
· DST Chiefs $2,500 @OAK
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