The first week of the fantasy playoffs started off with the firing of Gary Kubiak and ends with Bears taking on the Cowboys tonight with a ton of playoff implications hanging in the balance. The Ravens and Vikings game left us breathless while all Adrian Peterson owners are still left holding their collective breath. Tom Brady engineered yet another comeback in the Patriots victory over the Browns but New England and fantasy owners experienced a big loss with bad news surrounding the fate of Rob Gronkowski. Records fell as LeSean McCoy found some shade in Philly, breaking the Eagles single game rushing mark while Matt Prater booted a 64-yard field goal breaking a four way tie at the previous mark of 63.
If you emerged from Week 14 victorious and are anxious to get your team ready for the semi-finals or you were on a bye awaiting to see who your next opponent would be, it’s time to get ready for this week’s Top 10 Names You Should Know.
Da’Rick Rogers, WR IND
He’s Da’Rick,—House! He’s mighty mighty, letting it all hang out. The well traveled rookie was undrafted, picked up by the Bills, dropped, then on and off the Colts’ practice squad for a few weeks before finally getting his first shot. Rogers has a well documented checkered off the field history but he has all of the ability in the world on the field. With Reggie Wayne lost for the season and Heyward-Bey just plain lost, Rogers was leaned on for nine targets and made the most of them with 6 catches, 107 yards and 2 TDs. The Colts were down early and had to air it out but they have to love what they saw and make a point to keep him involved.
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR MIN
The dynamic rookie from Tennessee has been making waves here and there all season, mostly on special teams. The Vikings failure to incorporate him into the offense has been perplexing to say the least, made even more evident by Patterson’s 5 catches for 141 yards and a TD against the Ravens. With the Vikings in the midst of a lost season and the possibility of Adrian Peterson being absent from the run game next week, the Vikings will need to air it out early and often. Patterson needs to continue to grow and remain a part of the offense moving forward. The future is bright for Patterson.
Dennis Pitta, TE BAL
Welcome back Dennis Pitta. The Ravens playoff hero returned from a major hip injury and scored one of the four game winning touchdowns in the Ravens/Vikings game this week. Pitta looked a bit rusty but Flacco was happy to see the big man in the middle of the field, finding him for 11 targets. Debuting in harsh weather conditions and working on a supposed snap count, Pitta finished with only 48 yards receiving in addition to his TD. Considering this was more or less a tune-up game, big things can be expected next week in Detroit. For teams that lost Gronkowski yesterday, Pitta should be your number one target.
Daniel Thomas, RB MIA
Daniel Thomas has been wholly unimpressive and a thorn in Lamar Miller owners’ sides for much of the season. After exiting Week 12 with an ankle injury, then missing the game last week, Thomas was a rightful afterthought when it came to the first week of the fantasy playoffs. Lamar Miller exited with a concussion giving Daniel Thomas a huge opportunity and he responded by having his best outing of the season notching his first 100-yard rushing game since his NFL debut. I wouldn’t go chasing Thomas’ big day unless Lamar Miller isn’t cleared this week and even then, I would keep expectations low
Jason Campbell, QB CLE
We’ve been here before. Jason Campbell was getting some fantasy buzz after back to back positive performances in Weeks 8 and 9 before he came crashing down to earth after the Browns bye, he then suffered a concussion the following week. A week after Norv Turner made Brandon Weeden one of the 10 Names You Should Know, Norv worked his magic yet again with Jason Campbell. Cambpell outplayed Tom Brady for 38 minutes and had one of the best games of his career going 29/44, 391 yards with 3 TDs and no turnovers. It was all for naught as the Browns lost and nobody will think about trusting Jason Campbell next week in the fantasy playoffs. At best, Campbell didn’t hinder Josh Gordon’s stud status and he was able to rediscover Jordan Cameron for us. So we have that going for us, which is nice.