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 Adam Thielen in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week Seven:
QB Kirk Cousins $6,400 @ NYJ – With just 10 games on the main DraftKings slate this Sunday, there isn’t a ton of flexibility at quarterback. There isn’t much price fluctuation either, so Kirk Cousins is a great option regardless of format. The Vikings new QB is slinging it to two of the best receivers in the game (Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs) and Minnesota should maintain that approach with Dalvin Cook (hamstring) likely to see limited work if he’s active this week. The Jets will be without starting FS Marcus Maye (thumb) and could be without top CB Trumaine Johnson (quad) and slot CB Buster Skrine (head) once again. Thielen would almost shred backups at that position, making it easy for Cousins to have another 300-plus yard game.
QB Mitchell Trubisky $5,600 vs. NE – Proving that his Week 4 eruption was not a fluke, Mitchell Trubisky went for 316 yards and 3 TD on the road against a solid Dolphins defense last Sunday. Now the Bears host a Patriots team that ranks 21st in DVOA pass defense this season. When facing New England, it’s certain that the game plan will call for a pass-heavy approach to chase points or try to stay ahead of Tom Brady and his many weapons. Trubisky is the type of athletic quarterback that could give the Patriots slower defense trouble, along with speedy receiver Taylor Gabriel.
RB Tarik Cohen $5,100 vs. NE – Despite losing a fumble late in an overtime loss to the Dolphins, Tarik Cohen should be a big part of the game plan for Chicago this week. Again, the Patriots often force teams to chase points and have given up the fifth-most receiving yards (344) to opposing RBs this season. New England’s big LBs have no chance to contain Cohen, who absolutely burst off the screen while catching seven balls for 90 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. Unlike Jordan Howard, Cohen’s workload is secure regardless of game flow and he’s a much more valuable option in PPR formats.
RB Peyton Barber $3,800 vs. CLE – Peyton Barber finally showed signs of life after the Bucs Week 5 bye, turning 13 carries into 82 yards and adding 24 yards and a TD on four receptions. He played on 41 offensive snaps (62%) in a shootout loss at Atlanta, so it’s encouraging to note that he didn’t lose work entirely with his team playing from behind. Tampa is likely to get ahead this week against the low-scoring Browns, and game script is part of the reason Cleveland’s allowed the third-most rushing yards (733) in the NFL this season. The Browns rank 21st in DVOA pass defense against opposing RBs and have coughed up 66 points in two road games.
WR Josh Gordon $5,600 @ CHI – In every sense but his final line in the box score, Josh Gordon broke out last Sunday night. His playing time jumped considerably to the point he saw 81 percent of offensive snaps and he led the Patriots with nine targets. Gordon caught five balls for 42 yards, but would’ve had nearly 100 yards and a TD if he wasn’t yanked down in cheap fashion by Chiefs CB Steven Nelson. The Bears defense is solid all over, but more vulnerable to the pass than the run. Expect a game plan that involves less Sony Michel, more James White, and more pass attempts from Tom Brady, who is starting to mesh with his new weapon on the outside.
WR Marquise Goodwin $4,600 vs. LAR – While he’ll be a very popular play, Marquise Goodwin is a strong option in any format at this modest price tag. His price was set on DK before he erupted for 126 yards and 2 TDs on five targets in a shootout loss at Green Bay Monday night. Similar game script should unfold in San Francisco this Sunday, as the Niners host an elite Rams offense. With Aqib Talib (ankle) out and Marcus Peters (calf) hobbled, the Rams have suddenly been vulnerable on the outside and are now one of five teams to allow 10 TDs to opposing WRs this season. Goodwin has the speed to burn the Rams bigger DBs and should have plenty of opportunity with Dante Pettis (knee) and Trent Taylor (back) both doubtful this week.
TE David Njoku $4,200 @ TB – In Baker Mayfield’s three full starts, David Njoku has corralled 18 balls on 30 targets. The former Heisman Trophy winner clearly has a tendency to get the ball out of his hands quickly and likes to target his athletic TE when opposing defenses come after him. The Bucs may struggle to move the pocket this week if Gerald McCoy (calf) can’t play, and they’ve been pathetic on the back end regardless, coughing up the most passing YPG (355.6) this season. Tampa also allows the second-most DK PPG (105.6) and most receiving YPG (97.6) to opposing TEs by far.
FLEX Jermaine Kearse $4,100 vs. MIN – The Jets up-and-down passing offense should be a little more reliable at home this week and they’ll have a couple of WR s worth targeting if Quincy Enunwa (ankle) is ruled out. With Enunwa out, Kearse and Terrelle Pryor (5 catches, 57 yards, TD) stepped up against the Colts improving secondary. Minnesota’s defensive backs have bounced back after a rocky start, but the Vikings just lost rookie CB Mike Hughes (knee) for the season. If Enunwa is out, consider Pryor at just $3,800 on DK, but Kearse is the safer play as an outside receiver who should get plenty of targets while Xavier Rhodes blankets Robby Anderson.
D/ST HOU $2,800 @ JAX – Playing the Cowboys D/ST at home against Jacksonville paid off last week and the Texans are worth using on the road as well. Already missing starting LT Cam Robinson (ankle), the Jags placed Josh Wells (groin) on I.R. And signed Giants castoff Ereck Flowers to protect Blake Bortles blind side. Flowers stands no chance against Jadeveon Clowney and the pocket should collapse around Bortles with J.J. Watt on the other side. Combine that advantage with a weak running game thanks to Leonard Fournette’s continued absence, and you have a powerful pass rush capable of producing on the road in this divisional matchup.
Here’s our lineup this week:
· QB Tom Brady $6,100 @ CHI
· RB Todd Gurley $9,800 @ SF
· RB James White $6,900 @ CHI
· WR Josh Gordon $5,600 @ CHI
· WR Marquise Goodwin $4,600 vs. LAR
· WR Taylor Gabriel $4,700 vs. NE
· TE David Njoku $4,200 @ TB
· FLEX Tarik Cohen $5,100 vs. NE
· DST Texans $2,800 @ JAX
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