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 Aaron Rodgers and Le’Veon Bell in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week 5:
QB Brian Hoyer $4,700 @ IND – We’re going cheap for potential tournament QB plays this week and Hoyer makes sense against a Colts team that’s coughed up the fourth-most FPPG to opposing QBs thus far. Indy has yielded a whopping 26 pass plays of 20-plus yards on the young season and Hoyer has a few receivers speedy enough to take the top off the defense in Pierre Garcon, Aldrick Robinson and (if active) Marquise Goodwin. He struggled badly against elite defenses (CAR, SEA, ARI) but obviously blew up for 332 yards and 2 TDs in a shootout with the Rams, so we could see similar results under the dome at Lucas Oil Stadium.
QB Joe Flacco $4,700 @ OAK – Given the state of the Ravens offense, Flacco wil be a very contrarian option this Sunday. He’s yet to crack 16 FPs in a game this season but faces maybe the worst secondary in the league, as the Raiders rank 29th in DVOA pass defense while giving up the fourth-highest Passer Rating (108.4) to opposing QBs this season. He finally got Mike Wallace involved last Sunday and has another premier deep threat in Jeremy Maclin, while the Ravens inefficiency running the ball puts more on Flacco’s plate. Also, the absence of Derek Carr should give the Ravens more opportunities on offense.
RB Aaron Jones $5,100 @ DAL – There aren’t many question marks surrounding workloads in the Packers backfield with only two RBs potentially active this Sunday. The other is a fullback by trade in Aaron Ripkowski, while Jones showed some good chops as an insider runner with 49 yards and a TD on 13 carries last Thursday. The rookie is bound to gain more chemistry with Aaron Rodgers after 10 days between games and that bodes well for his prospects in PPR formats, while he’s facing a Cowboys unit that was gashed with Sean Lee (hamstring) out last week and is now ranked 21st in DVOA run defense this year.
RB Eddie Lacy $3,400 @ LAR – With Chris Carson likely done for the rest of the regular season, the Seahawks need a new RB for early-down and goal-line work. Lacy immediately took over with Seattle up late on Sunday night and looked reasonably spry while turning 11 carries into 52 yards. Thomas Rawls was a healthy scratch and is dealing with chronic ankle injuries and even though J.D. McKissic ($3,200) flashed upside, he could split time on passing downs with C.J. Prosise, who is expected to return this week. The Rams have been horrific against the run this year and are allowing the most DK PPG to opposing RBs, so consider Lacy as well as McKissic in tournament formats.
WR T.Y. Hilton $6,000 vs. SF – Seemingly irrelevant until Andrew Luck is healthy enough to return, Hilton’s suddenly become a viable play with Jacoby Brissett under center. He shredded the Browns secondary for 153 yards in Week 3 before getting cooled off by the Legion of Boom for 30 yards in Week 4, yet Hilton represents a matchup nightmare for the big-bodied 49ers corners. San Francisco ranks 30th in DVOA pass defense while giving up 11 pass plays of 20-plus yards and Hilton has made a living by crossing the face of undisciplined defenses for chunk yardage.
WR Tyler Lockett $4,500 @ LAR – Since the Rams have suddenly become the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, we can expect a shootout between L.A. and the streaking Seahawks offense. Lockett’s become an increasingly bigger part of the offense since coming back from a broken leg last year and he caught 4-of-5 targets for 67 yards while playing on 73.5% of offensive snaps in Week 4. His playing time jumped to 90% in Week 3 with Seattle trailing at Tennessee, so we should see more of Lockett down the stretch if the Rams continue to put points on the board in bunches.
TE Evan Engram $4,000 vs. LAC – He’s been a solid cash game play through 4 weeks and the Giants promising rookie might finally find the end zone this Sunday. The Chargers have virtually no fans right now and that might demoralize them further, while their underachieving defense is already ranked 31st in DVOA pass defense against opposing TEs this season. With Odell Beckham Jr. hobbled by multiple injuries, Eli Manning might be forced to look elsewhere on the road this Sunday and the Chargers defense is clearly most vulnerable in the middle of the field.
FLEX Matt Breida $3,800 @ IND – Injury-prone RB Carlos Hyde is already dealing with a few maladies that made him a game-time decision in Week 4 and threaten his workload in Week 5. Even with Hyde healthy, Breida’s been used as a change-of-pace back and receiving option the same way new HC Kyle Shanahan used to use Tevin Coleman as the OC in Atlanta last year. Breida had a TD called back due to pass interference, but ran a great route to beat the Cardinals coverage and should find success against a Colts team that plays funnel defense and remains vulnerable on the edges.
D/ST CIN $3,300 vs. BUF – The Bengals defense took a huge step forward with WLB Vontaze Burfict back in action in Week 4. Granted they were facing the weak Browns offense, but holding any NFL team to 215 total yards and 7 points is an impressive feat. Now they’ll return home to face a Bills team in a classic let-down spot after an upset win in Atlanta and they should be all over LeSean McCoy while daring Tyrod Taylor and a weak receiving corps to beat them.
Here’s our lineup this week:
- QB Philip Rivers $5,800 @ NYG
- RB Le’Veon Bell $9,500 vs. JAX
- RB Aaron Jones $5,100 @ DAL
- WR T.Y. Hilton $6,000 vs. SF
- WR Jordy Nelson $8,100 @ DAL
- WR Tyler Lockett $4,500 @ LAR
- TE Tyler Kroft $3,200 vs. BUF
- FLEX Frank Gore $4,400 vs. SF
- DST Bengals $3,300 vs. BUF
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