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 needs a win to advance

ALWC Game 2 Preview: Astros vs. Twins

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

It took all nine innings, but the Astros rallied late and took Game 1 by a score of 4-1 and are in the driver's seat in this best-of-three series. They'll return to Target Field, home of the Twins, on Wednesday afternoon to try and get the win and advance to the ALDS. Here's what you need to know about Game 2:

Game Facts

When: Wednesday, 12:08 PM Central

Where: Target Field - Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: ESPN 2

Streaming: ESPN App

Pitching Matchup: Jose Urquidy+ vs. José Berríos.

Series: HOU leads 1-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central) Location Pitching Matchup
Game 1 Astros 4, Twins 1 Target Field, Minneapolis Greinke vs. Maeda
Game 2 Wed 9/30, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis Urquidy+ vs. Berríos
Game 3* Thu 10/1, 12:08 PM Target Field, Minneapolis McCullers Jr.+ vs. Pineda+

* If necessary.
+ Projected starters.

Game Storylines

Houston's offense has to get going earlier

The Twins' error in the ninth inning in Game 1 was a gift for the Astros that they were able to take advantage of and score the winning runs. It's unlikely to be handed another chance like that in the postseason, so in Game 2, it's paramount that Houston creates their own opportunities at the plate.

The good news is, every batter in the lineup was able to reach base in the first game, either by hit or walk. However, they would go 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position while leaving nine on base during the game. Because they can't expect to have two pitchers to combine for a one-run game on Wednesday, they will have to carry over the momentum from the end of Game 1 into Game 2 to build a lead their bullpen can carry.

Trust your arms to navigate through

Whether it's Jose Urquidy, who is the likely candidate, or anyone else who ends up starting Wednesday's game, the Astros have to be prepared to have a longer stretch of innings filled by their bullpen. Despite his struggles to end the regular season, Greinke did well only to allow one run to the Twins over his four innings in Game 1.

You should expect a similar outcome in Game 2, where hopefully your starter can hold the Twins at bay for as long as they can before needing to make the change to relievers. It will be interesting to see how Dusty Baker plays that situation, mostly dependent on the score at the time, as he could have someone like Cristian Javier come in for multiple innings. The only thing the Astros shouldn't do is fire too many of their bullets and put their chances in a potential Game 3 at risk.

Be sure to check SportsMap after the final out for an in-depth recap of the game, and follow me on Twitter for updates and reactions throughout each playoff game: @ChrisCampise

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