Josh Jordan

Fantasy football under-the-radar plays — Week 14 (Playoffs)

Amari Cooper should torch the Eagles' injury-plagued secondary. Dallascowboys.com

It's the first game of the playoffs for most fantasy leagues, so I’m back to give out more sleeper plays. My standard for a good fantasy game is around 100 total yards and/or a TD, and this is for PPR scoring. A game with a lot of catches helps too, obviously. Of course, the bar is a little lower for TEs. 

I followed up an 8-4 week by going 5-7 (barf), and you can check out that article here. Hopefully, I can bounce back this week with playoff games on the line. With it being the playoffs I added a lot more players to my article. I hope it helps. My plays are below and these players are in no particular order.

QB

Baker Mayfield (CLE): The Panthers have given up 14 TD passes over their last 5 games, so you’ll want to get Mayfield in your lineup.

Marcus Mariota (TEN): He has a tasty matchup against the Jags on Thursday night, and the Titans need this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. Plus, he’s been good the last couple weeks.

Aaron Rodgers (GB): Don’t give up on him. It’s crazy that I am putting him in this article, but he hasn’t been his usual self all year. I expect him to have a big game in a shootout with the Falcons on Sunday.

Mitchell Trubisky (CHI): The Rams get crushed by QBs, and Trusbisky should return this week from his shoulder injury. The Rams are allowing over 32 FPTS/G over the last month.

RB

Dalvin Cook (MIN): Seattle has given up over 32 FPTS/G to RBs over their last 5 games, and Cook is really starting to come on. Look for him to make a big impact in the passing game with the Seahawks giving up the most catches (36) to running backs over their last 5.

Aaron Jones (GB): Jones hasn’t exactly been lighting it up from a rushing standpoint in his last 3 games. He rushed for 40, 72, and 36 yards in his last 3 performances, but his work in the passing game and his ability to score are very encouraging. Make sure you start him this week against the Falcons who are allowing over 30 FPTS/G to RBs in their last 5 games. And I think Rodgers is going to make a statement this week.

LeGarrette Blount (DET): If Kerryon Johnson is out again (which is likely), Blount could help win a playoff game for fantasy owners. The Cardinals have allowed 5 rushing TDs in their last 4 games, and are allowing over 30 FPTS/G to the position over the last month. Make sure Johnson is out before starting Blount.

Mark Ingram (NO): I think the Saints ground game gets back on track this week and the matchup is pretty sweet against the Bucs. They are giving up over 6 yards per carry in their last 4 games, so they can be had on the ground.

Tarik Cohen (CHI): You’re probably starting him every week, but just in case you’re on the fence, I put him in this article. The Rams have allowed 6 TDs to RBs in their last 4 games.

WR

Amari Cooper (DAL): He's been terrific and this week he gets the Eagles. START HIM.

Allen Robinson (CHI): The Rams are allowing over 42 FPTS/G to WRs in their last 4 games and he gets his QB back...hopefully.

Zay Jones (BUF): Are you feeling dangerous? If you’re thinking about starting Jones in the playoffs, you have to be feeling that way. Look, playing Jones comes with a lot of downside, obviously, he plays receiver for the Bills. If you’re stuck and need a receiver this week, you could do worse. He has 3 TDs in his last 3 games. He also scored zero points in one of those games, so keep that in mind. But his matchup is good and his QB has a cannon for an arm.

Josh Reynolds (LAR): The Bears are actually a good matchup for receivers over the last month allowing over 40 FPTS/G to the position. Cooks and Woods should garner the most attention which should provide opportunities for Reynolds.

Adam Humphries (TB): The Saints have allowed 75 catches to WRs in their last 5 games, so he certainly has a chance and he’s been money the last couple of weeks.

TY Hilton (IND): He's been really good against the Texans over his career, so start him if you need him. You're probably starting him anyway.

TE

Austin Hooper (ATL): The matchup is not great against the Packers, but Hooper has become a bigger part of the offense and Julio’s injury may increase his usage.

Cameron Brate (TB): Brate makes this article almost every week and that’s because they use him in the red zone so much. If you’re considering Brate this week, you’re fairly desperate. Start him and hope he catches a TD.

Trey Burton (CHI): The Rams give up over 18 FPTS/G to TEs over their last 4, so this is the week to use him.

Jimmy Graham (GB): He finally had a good game last week catching 8 balls, and I think Rodgers gets him involved again.

 

That’s all I have for this week. For more fantasy info, make sure you check out my show Moneyline on ESPN 97.5 every Sunday from 10-noon. Jerry Bo and I will get you ready for kickoff and answer any questions you may have. Also, follow us on Twitter.

Good luck in Week 14!

@jordanpfx

@JerryBoKnowz

@Moneyline975

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The Astros will look to bounce back after a tough week. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After a 6-3 record to start the season, the Houston Astros had a tumultuous week to say the least. They were swept by the Tigers, lost 2 of 3 games to the Seattle Mariners and placed five players on the COVID injured list.

The Tigers' new manager AJ Hinch returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros let him go after the cheating scandal in early 2020.

The Tigers swept the Astros and outscored them 20-8 over their three matchups.

Before the 3rd game of the series, the Astros found out they would be without five players on their active roster. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado and Robel Garcia were all placed on the COVID-19 injury reserved list.

"It's hard on the team but you have to carry on. The show must go on," manager Dusty Baker said. "And it went on today with some younger players we have here."

Garrett Stubbs, Taylor Jones and Abraham Toro were called up as well as Alex De Goti and Ronnie Dawson who made their major league debuts last week.

The Tigers were able to score runs early on Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers and Jake Odorizzi (who made his Astros debut) and none of these starters lasted more than five innings in the outings.

Yuli Gurriel was the one Astros bright spot against the Tigers as he had 7 hits and drove in 2 runs. He is still continuing to hit the ball consistently as he finished the series with a .429 batting average.

After a 1-5 home stand the Astros looked to bounce back on the road against the division leading Seattle Mariners (you read that correctly).

Friday night proved to be the Astros' best offensive performance since their home opener on April 8th against the A's.

They scored five runs on Yusei Kikuchi through 7 innings behind good hitting from Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick and De Goti who drove in two runs on his first major league hit.

The Astros had a 5-2 lead at this point, but Seattle was able to score 4 unanswered to win the game.

Bryan Abreu, Blake Taylor and Ryne Stanek were credited with those four runs.

Ryan Pressly tried to clean up the bottom of the 9th inning after Stanek put the first two batters on base. His effort was unsuccessfully as Ty France hit a game-ending single that scored J.P. Crawford from second to secure a Mariners victory.

Saturday was the best game of the week for the Astros as they finally broke their six-game losing streak.

After failing to pitch more than five innings on Monday against the Tigers, Zack Greinke threw eight shutout innings with 91 pitches.

He struck out six batters and gave up only 4 hits.

"That's what aces do," Astros manager Dusty Baker said. "Guys like (Greinke) ... they stop the bleeding and we're about bled out."

Greinke finished the game with 2,705 career strikeouts. He is now third amongst active players in strikeouts behind Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.

Ryan Pressly got some redemption too as he threw a perfect 9th inning giving him his first save of the year.

The Astros won this game 1-0 as Taylor Jones drove in the game's only run with an RBI single.

Sunday's game ended the Astros week with a whimper, as the Mariners bested Houston 7-2.

Jake Odorizzi got off to a good start, but he gave up three hits and was pulled after Mitch Haniger's fifth-inning triple made it a 3-2 lead over the Astros.

Odorizzi is now (0-2) with a 10.57 ERA after two starts with the Astros.

Houston's offensive woes continued Sunday, as Aledmys Díaz had their only hit, an RBI double in the second inning that fell in when outfielder José Marmolejos lost the ball in the sun.

"It's tough to take when you only got one hit and the one hit we got was lost in the sun," Baker said.

UP NEXT: The Astros (7-8) will finish their road trip with a two game series against the Rockies who have the worst record in the league (4-12) before starting an eight-game homestead.

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