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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Houston looked much more like themselves

Astros return to form in win over Angels at home

Cristian Javier was impressive Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Hoping to avoid spiraling further out of control, the Astros turned the page from their disappointing road trip and the recent stretch of games. They hoped to start this new homestand on a good note, welcoming in the Angels for four games of this eight-game stint at Minute Maid Park.

Houston would get the much-needed win, with their offense coming alive early in the game to put up big innings, which they rode to the victory thanks in part to a great start by Cristian Javier.

Final Score: Astros 8, Angels 2

Astros' Record: 8-10, fifth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Cristian Javier (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Alex Cobb (1-1)

Astros' offense starts clicking early

Houston would grab the early momentum, despite leaving the bases loaded in the first inning. They would get a leadoff double by Aledmys Diaz in the bottom of the second, followed by an RBI triple by Myles Straw to jump in front 1-0. They made it a three-run inning, with an RBI by Carlos Correa then a bases-loaded RBI-walk by Yuli Gurriel, though for consecutive innings would leave three runners stranded on base.

Correa drove in another in the bottom of the next inning, getting an RBI single to push the lead to four runs, then would come in on a two-run single by Alex Bregman, who made it 6-0. That set things up nicely for Cristian Javier, who was on the mound trying to take advantage of the opportunity for another start.

Javier has an electric start



Javier was electric over the first three innings, including getting eight of the first nine outs by strikeout while allowing only a walk and double during that span. He would have longer innings in the next two, but in both cases would keep the Angels off the board, finishing in line for the win. His final line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 98 P.

Houston gets the much-needed win

Meanwhile, Houston's offense kept scoring. They pushed the lead two runs further over the fourth and fifth, getting a run in each with another RBI each for Straw and Bregman. With Javier's night done, Bryan Abreu was first out of the Astros bullpen, and despite allowing a controversial two-run home run to Albert Pujols, of all people, that looked to be a foul ball, got through the inning.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the seventh but would get just one out while hitting a batter and allowing a single before Dusty Baker brought in Brooks Raley to face the heavy left-handed part of the Angels lineup. Raley would get through it, sending things to the seventh-inning stretch with the six-run lead intact.

Raley would get another out before Joe Smith would finish that inning in the top of the eighth. Ryan Pressly, who has been starved for work lately with no save opportunities, would close things out in the ninth as Houston would start this series off with a win.

Up Next: Game two of this four-game set will be another 7:10 PM start on Friday night. Andrew Heaney (1-1, 5.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Angels, while Zack Greinke (2-1, 2.81 ERA) will look to repeat the success of his last start; an eight-inning shutout performance for the Astros.

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