FANTASY PLAYOFFS

Week 14 fantasy football rankings: Win or go home

For most leagues, the fantasy playoffs have arrived. Composite photo by Jack Brame

These are my very early ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play this week, I typically won't rank him. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5 FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

QB

Aaron Rodgers should have a big game this week against Washington. Photo by Getty Images

1 Lamar Jackson

2 Deshaun Watson

3 Aaron Rodgers

4 Russell Wilson

5 Patrick Mahomes

6 Carson Wentz

7 Kirk Cousins

8 Baker Mayfield

9 Dak Prescott

10 Drew Brees

11 Tom Brady

12 Jameis Winston

13 Ryan Tannehill

14 Matt Ryan

15 Jared Goff

RB

Derrick Henry should continue to dominate in the month of December. Photo via: TennesseeTitans.com

1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Derrick Henry

3 Ezekiel Elliott

4 Leonard Fournette

5 Alvin Kamara

6 Melvin Gordon

7 Josh Jacobs

8 Saquon Barkley

9 Nick Chubb

10 Mark Ingram

11 Le'Veon Bell

12 Joe Mixon

13 Dalvin Cook

14 Aaron Jones

15 Devonta Freeman

16 James White

17 Todd Gurley

18 Chris Carson

19 Austin Ekeler

20 Miles Sanders

21 Devin Singletary

22 Kareem Hunt

23 David Montgomery

24 Phillip Lindsay

25 Carlos Hyde

26 Rashaad Penny

27 Marlon Mack

28 Kenyan Drake

29 Derrius Guice

30 Sony Michel

WR

Michael Thomas has been unbelievable this year. Photo by New Orleans Saints/Facebook

1 Michael Thomas

2 Davante Adams

3 DeAndre Hopkins

4 D.J. Moore

5 Julian Edelman

6 Tyreek Hill

7 Chris Godwin

8 Mike Evans

9 Devante Parker

10 Julio Jones

11 Robert Woods

12 Jarvis Landry

13 Stefon Diggs

14 Keenan Allen

15 Allen Robinson

16 Courtland Sutton

17 Cooper Kupp

18 Amari Cooper

19 Odell Beckham Jr

20 Alshon Jeffery

21 Tyler Boyd

22 Calvin Ridley

23 Kenny Golladay

24 Will Fuller

25 Michael Gallup

26 Robby Anderson

27 Jamison Crowder

28 Tyler Lockett

29 D.J. Chark

30 Marvin Jones

31 John Brown

32 D.K. Metcalf

33 Anthony Miller

34 Dede Westbrook

35 James Washington

36 Sterling Shepard

TE

Hunter Henry's matchup is tough this week, but he still makes the Top 5. Photo via:Chargers/Facebook

1 George Kittle

2 Travis Kelce

3 Zach Ertz

4 Darren Waller

5 Hunter Henry

6 Jared Cook

7 Jack Doyle

8 Mark Andrews

9 Evan Engram

10 Kyle Rudolph

11 Ryan Griffin

12 Austin Hooper

DEF

1 Vikings

2 Packers

3 Steelers

4 Ravens

5 Texans

6 Eagles

7 Bears

8 Titans

9 Browns

10 Chargers

11 Cowboys

12 Patriots

Kicker

1 Wil Lutz

2 Greg Zuerlein

3 Jake Elliott

4 Justin Tucker

5 Robbie Gould

6 Ka'imi Fairbairn

7 Matt Gay

8 Harrison Butker

9 Younghoe Koo

10 Jason Myers

11 Austin Seibert

12 Michael Badgley


Good luck this week and when in doubt, start your studs.

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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