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 decent 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. He’s more of a desperation play though.

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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TEXANS HAVE ZERO DEPTH AT CORNER

Here's what Davante Adams' big day against the Texans really proved

Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Seven weeks into the season, Bradley Roby has been the sole bright spot playing for a secondary that has been subpar at best. He entered Week 7 against the Green Bay Packers trailing only Eric Murray for the most tackles as a defensive back, while owning the Houston Texans' only interception of the season.

During his media availability on Thursday, Roby spoke about having the Texans' confidence to trust him as the primary defender shadowing the opposing team's best receiver.

And with Davante Adams coming to NRG Stadium with Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Roby had an opportunity to illustrate why Houston's coaching staff have so much faith in him.

Three plays into the game, Roby sustained a knee injury that sidelined him the rest of the afternoon. In his absence, the Texans felt his importance competing with a depleted secondary.

Adams would go on to have a career day against the Texans. He recorded a career-best 196 receiving yards on 13-of-18 targets and two touchdowns — as the Packers handed the Texans a 35-20 loss on Sunday.

Had the Fort Worth native avoided the injury, would it have resulted in a victory for the Texans? Perhaps not. It is always hard for a team to come away victorious after going scoreless during the first half, but Roby would have limited the destruction caused by Adams. Rogers completed four deep passes where he recorded 28 or more yards, with Adams being the recipient of three.

Not only did Houston have to deal with the effects of not having their best corner shadow one of the league's premier receivers, but the team was not prepared to battle without Roby, according to Michael Thomas following the loss.

"When you lose your starting corner like that, it's going to affect [the team]," Thomas said. "Anytime you have to make adjustments. If you're not prepared, and you don't have the right mindset, then you're probably not going to get the right results you want. Maybe we could have done it a little sooner, but you definitely miss a guy like Roby. You plan on having your number one guy go against their number one guy all the time."

Roby's premature exit left the Texans with a gaping void to slowdown Rodgers and the Packers without two of their projected starting corners. Gareon Conley — who revived his career during the second half of last season — has yet to play a single snap for Houston in 2020 as he continues to recover from offseason ankle surgery.

Their lackluster performance on Sunday showcased the lack of depth and talent the Texans have in the secondary. And with the trade deadline a week away, it may be in the Texans' best interest to invest in a young defensive back they can build around in the future — especially considering the timetable on Conley's return remains unknown.

Interim head coach Romeo Crennel said on Monday that the team is hoping Roby's injury is short-term and hopes to have their top corner make his return following the bye.

At 1-6 on the year, all the Texans have left to play for is pride as they close out the remaining nine games of the season, and the best way is to prevent another receiver from recording nearly 200 yards in a single game.

For this vulnerable secondary, it is a feat easier said than done. And with the talents of Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton, and A.J. Brown remaining on the schedule, it is only best for Roby to make his return to the field sooner rather than later.

"I take pride in it. It's an opportunity that not a lot of guys get throughout the league, and I'm thankful for that. Just to be able to go against the best and try my best for the team and see how I match up. I'm very thankful for that." — Roby.

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