Welcome to this Week 14 edition of Mikey O Knows. The time has come. Fantasy playoffs are here! Congratulations on making the dance, and I wish you the best of luck. I know it’s going to be quite the hectic morning. Just don’t forget about some of these gems…
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Riley Cooper – WR – Philadelphia Eagles (vs. Detroit Lions)
With a bye-week sandwiched in between two games of where Cooper went under 50 yards receiving, a lot of people have lost the love for Cooper. I’m here to tell you not to worry! The Walter White chemistry of Nick Foles and his boy Cooper will be back this week against the Detroit Lions 26th ranked pass defense. Last week against Arizona, Head Coach Chip Kelly exploited the Cardinals weakness to cover the Tight End. No need to fret in this one – the Detroit corners have been getting burned all season so you can bet Kelly leans on his receivers in this one. WR2’s especially have experienced quite a lot of success against the Lions.
It all shapes up to be a great bounce back week for Coops. Since Foles returned from a concussion four games ago, Cooper leads the team in targets… do not keep this cat out of your fantasy playoffs!
Andre Holmes – WR – Oakland Raiders (@ New York Jets)
Andre Holmes is a man to know. I wrote about him just this past week and a player to own. He’s got great skill. At 6’4, 210 pounds, and a 4.51 forty time, Holmes has all the skills to be a beast. He showed it last week against the Dallas Cowboys going for 136 yards on 7 catches. Heck, if he does half of that it will be a decent week, and most likely he will. I don’t want to bore you if you read the article on already. You can read it here. You’re forgiven if you didn’t, no worries, we all live busy lives (but seriously, get on it now). What you need to know is this: the Jets secondary has lost its will. They cannot cover! More importantly WR2s like our boy Holmes have been absolutely dominating the Jets. The last five WR2s have burned the Jets secondary including a rookie making his first start and a four touchdown performance from Marvin Jones. This week it’s Andre Holmes turn! Put him in your lineups!
Steve Johnson – WR – Buffalo Bills (@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Stevie Johnson has had quite the disappointing season, and that might be puttying it kindly. After his game altering fumble last week against Atlanta, times have gotten pretty low for Johnson. Prior to that fumble though, he was quietly having a productive game and sometimes that’s all it takes to get one’s motivation back. Stevie is not happy and that’s good for fantasy owners. He gets a Buc’s pass defense which has been vulnerable to the pass. Darrelle Revis has had his share of great moments this season and others not so great. He’s definitely not what he used to be but Stevie has gotten the better of Revis anyway. In their teams’ last four meetings, Johnson has 17 catches for 227 yards and three touchdowns – pretty solid numbers. Factor in that Revis hasn’t covered the slot much this season; Johnson probably won’t see Revis the whole game, and could face some other weak secondary options.
Combine that with EJ Manuel who is now starting to get into a groove at quarterback. He’s completed 41 of his last 63 throws and Johnson is his number one target. This should all equal a solid bounce back performance and someone to help you into your playoffs. I prefer to start someone angry and hungry than someone who might be laid-back, and Johnson is definitely angry.
Montee Ball – RB – Denver Broncos (vs. Tennessee Titans)
I always love to have some type of player named Ball or Bell for the playoffs. You need that Christmas Spirit to give you that spiritual edge, and Montee Ball has garnered a starting spot. The Broncos have stated they plan to spell Knowshon Moreno more with Ball and that’s precisely what happened last week. Ball took the rock 13 times last week (career/season high) and didn’t disappoint for 117 yards (first time over 100).
He may not produce to the same degree again this week, but I think you can expect 12-15 touches down the stretch for Ball. This week he gets the Titans defense that has given up the sixth most fantasy points to opposing running backs and has allowed the second most rushing touchdowns. We all remember Ball’s two touchdown performance against the Chiefs just a short few weeks ago. I think we might see another TD celebration in this one.
Ladarius Green – TE – San Diego Chargers (vs. New York Giants)
San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy has changed his Chargers offense on the fly, switching it to a double tight-end set formation. Insert Ladarius Green as a great start now everyone. Green played in 91% of snaps last week and is now a mainstay in the Chargers passing game.
With Green it’s simple. He’s a 6’6, 236 pound beast with 4.4 speed and is averaging 22.1 yards per catch. He’s totaled 80 yards or a touchdown in three straight weeks and is going to reap the benefits down the stretch. Antonio Gates has definitely lost a step. He’s still a solid option but Green has way more upside and has all the talent to break one at any time – he’s a match-up nightmare. I definitely recommend him this week against a Giants defense that struggles with their linebacker coverage and allows the 8th most points to tight ends.
Shopping at the five and dime – Not Too Shabby Start of the Week!
Willis McGahee- RB- Cleveland Browns (@ New England Patriots)
Willis McGahee came back to fantasy relevance last week with 71 total yards and a touchdown, good for his best performance since week 5. Last week he played the Jacksonville Jaguars… so maybe let’s not get too carried away… BUT the New England Patriots run defense is actually worse than the Jags allowing the second most rushing yards in the league! So it doesn’t get much easier than this for McGahee, and something tells me the old man has something to prove and posts 60 yards and touchdown. Not too shabby to me!
The before it’s too late pick-up of the week
Dennis Pitta – TE- Baltimore Ravens
Dennis Pitta was activated from the IR and is expected to start this week against Minnesota. Now in no way am I starting him, but he a must pick-up especially if he doesn’t suffer any set-backs and looks fine. I was super high on Pitta coming into this season as Joe Flacco’s security blanket, and I thought this would have been a monster season. Obviously the injury happened and none of it came into fruition but he is still a guy can that can help you at tight end if you’re desperate. Also, he’s not a bad keeper option depending on your rules. Pitta is the #2 option and could even be #1 in Baltimore and is very solid tight end when healthy.
Any thoughts/opinions? Feel free to comment below!