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 Tom Brady and Kareem Hunt in your lineups. Here are our Secret Stars for Week 3:
QB Kirk Cousins $6,100 vs. OAK – Even though he’s at home this week, where he’s crushed it over the past couple seasons, Cousins seems like a risky play. That being said, Sunday night’s game has the highest Over/Under (54) by far for Week 3 and there is definite shootout potential in Washington. Oakland ranked 25th in DVOA pass defense last year and is in the same spot through 2 games this season, coughing up big plays to the pathetic Jets offense last Sunday, so this is a good spot for Terrelle Pryor Sr. to potentially make an impact for Washington and for Cousins to put the team on his back with early-down back Rob Kelley (ribs) likely inactive.
RB James White $5,400 vs. HOU – White has become the de facto top option for Tom Brady with bromance partner Julian Edelman out for the year and nearly every other WR or TE on the roster nicked up. He should continue to produce against a Texans team that’s allowed 39.1 receiving YPG to opposing backs over the last 2 seasons. White caught all 8 of his targets for 85 yards in a route of the Saints and while he was hardly involved as a rusher, he proved his versatility by getting to the edge for big gains in the Super Bowl last Sunday. He’s clearly undervalued across the industry given the circumstances in New England.
RB Duke Johnson Jr. $4,200 @ IND – The Browns lost top WR Corey Coleman to a broken hand yet again and will be forced to scramble to find viable receivers ahead of a juicy matchup at the Colts this week. There was talk of moving Johnson into the slot, where he functions far better than he does as an interior rusher, so we may indeed see that approach now that Cleveland is shorthanded in the passing game. Even in a limited role, he corralled 3-of-6 targets for 59 yards to produce double-digit DK points in a tough matchup at Baltimore, so he’s clearly a solid play in PPR formats at this modest price tag.
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. $5,900 vs. OAK – Pryor’s Week 2 went about as poorly as it could’ve, which is why he’s an intriguing GPP option this week. The Rams shadowed the Redskins wideout with sturdy CB Trumaine Johnson, but not only do the Raiders not have a shutdown corner, they don’t even have a decent one. LCB David Amerson was routinely whipped last year while TJ Carrie is one of the worst slot corners in the league, so HC Jay Gruden would be wise to move Pryor all over the formation as he used to do with the Browns last year. Oakland gave up the most pass plays of 20+ yards (61) last season and is off to a rough start defending the deep ball this year, as they embarrassingly gave up a pair of long TDs to Jermaine Kearse and the Jets last Sunday.
WR Kenny Golladay $4,600 vs. ATL – After a breakout performance in Week 1, Golladay caught just one ball in an easy win over the Giants on Monday night. Yet the Lions only attempted four passes after halftime due to the pathetic nature of the Giants offense and while he didn’t make as much of an impact, Golladay still played on 54 percent of snaps in a blowout win and is clearly the third WR on a pass-happy unit that will be forced to throw to match the Falcons league-leading offense this Sunday. He has a marked size advantage on Falcons boundary CB Robert Alford, who is 5-10 to Gollladay’s 6-4, and he could abuse him like he did the diminutive Justin Bethel in Week 1.
TE Zach Ertz $5,000 vs. NYG – There aren’t necessarily GPP plays and cash game plays at the TE position right now because it’s just so thin. Ertz is a top option overall as a PPR machine with a lot of upside in this matchup. The Giants have allowed the sixth-most receptions per game (5.63) to TEs over the last two years and the sixth-most FPPG to the position so far this season. Ertz is adept at getting open in the middle of the field, where the G-Men were exposed by ancient target Jason Witten in Week 1, whereas Ertz is a young stud who has turned a team-high 18 targets into 190 receiving yards through two games in 2017.
FLEX Ted Ginn Jr. $4,100 @ CAR – Warning: Use Ginn Jr. in GPP formats only. The speedster is notably unreliable and he’s attached to a QB in Drew Brees, who has struggled at times when playing outdoors. Yet you can’t ignore his upside within the complex Saints offense and once he gets a handle on the playbook, he could blow up. Nobody would love this Sunday for a breakout game more than Ginn, as he faces his old team in Carolina, and it’s worth noting that the Panthers gave up 54 pass plays of 20+ yards last season, the ninth-highest mark in the league.
D/ST PHI $3,000 vs. NYG – Simply put, the Giants offense is absolutely awful right now. The return of Odell Beckham Jr. (in a limited capacity) on Monday night did little to prevent another beatdown at the hands of a mediocre Lions defense and the Eagles are definitely an above-average unit with elite coverage over the middle of the field and a superb pass rush. They’ve logged eight sacks and allowed just 216 passing YPG over two outings this season on the road, and will have the support of a raucous crown in the home-opener against a bitter rival this week.
Here’s our lineup this week:
- QB Tom Brady $7,700 vs. HOU
- RB James White $5,400 vs. HOU
- RB Devonta Freeman $6,700 @ DET
- WR Brandin Cooks $7,300 vs. HOU
- WR Davante Adams $5,600 vs. CIN
- WR Kenny Golladay $4,600 vs. ATL
- TE Zach Ertz $5,000 vs. NYG
- FLEX Jacquizz Rodgers $4,600 @ MIN
- DST Eagles $3,000 vs. NYG
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