Who to start and sit in your fantasy playoffs

Week 15 Fantasy Football Rankings

Watson comes in at No. 9 this week. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images


  1. Patrick Mahomes vs. LAC
  2. Philip Rivers @ KC
  3. Ben Roethlisberger vs. NE
  4. Jared Goff vs. PHI
  5. Drew Brees @ CAR
  6. Andrew Luck vs. DAL
  7. Tom Brady @ PIT
  8. Russell Wilson @ SF
  9. Deshaun Watson @ NYJ
  10. Josh Allen vs. DET
  11. Cam Newton vs. NO
  12. Dak Prescott @ IND
  13. Lamar Jackson vs. TB
  14. Matt Ryan vs. ARI
  15. Kirk Cousins vs. MIA

RB (Standard)

  1. Todd Gurley vs. PHI
  2. Ezekiel Elliott @ IND
  3. Saquon Barkley vs. TEN
  4. Christian McCaffrey vs. NO
  5. Phillip Lindsay vs. CLE
  6. Joe Mixon vs. OAK
  7. Alvin Kamara @ CAR
  8. Nick Chubb vs. DEN
  9. Leonard Fournette vs. WAS
  10. Tarik Cohen vs. GB
  11. Chris Carson @ SF
  12. Dalvin Cook vs. MIA
  13. Lamar Miller @ NYJ
  14. David Johnson @ ATL
  15. Sony Michel @ PIT
  16. Mark Ingram @ CAR
  17. James White @ PIT
  18. Aaron Jones @ CHI
  19. Justin Jackson @ KC
  20. Jaylen Samuels vs. NE
  21. Damien Williams vs. LAC
  22. Derrick Henry @ NYG
  23. Marlon Mack vs. DAL
  24. Gus Edwards vs. TB
  25. Jeff Wilson vs. SEA
  26. Doug Martin @ CIN
  27. Josh Adams @ LAR
  28. Adrian Peterson @ JAX
  29. Dion Lewis @ NYG
  30. Tevin Coleman vs. ARI

WR (Standard)

  1. Antonio Brown vs. NE
  2. Michael Thomas @ CAR
  3. Keenan Allen @ KC
  4. DeAndre Hopkins @ NYJ
  5. JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. NE
  6. Adam Thielen vs. MIA
  7. Julio Jones vs. ARI
  8. Davante Adams @ CHI
  9. Amari Cooper @ IND
  10. Odell Beckham Jr. vs. TEN
  11. TY Hilton vs. DAL
  12. Tyreek Hill vs. LAC
  13. Robert Woods vs. PHI
  14. Stefon Diggs vs. MIA
  15. Julian Edelman @ PIT
  16. Brandin Cooks vs. PHI
  17. Jarvis Landry @ DEN
  18. Mike Evans @ BAL
  19. Tyler Lockett @ SF
  20. DJ Moore vs. NO
  21. Corey Davis @ NYG
  22. Josh Gordon @ PIT
  23. Tyler Boyd vs. OAK
  24. Curtis Samuel vs. NO
  25. Allen Robinson vs. GB
  26. Alshon Jeffery @ LAR
  27. Kenny Golladay @ BUF
  28. Larry Fitzgerald @ ATL
  29. Calvin Ridley vs. ARI
  30. Josh Reynolds vs. PHI
  31. Golden Tate @ LAR
  32. Courtland Sutton vs. CLE
  33. Adam Humphries @ BAL
  34. Mike Williams @ KC
  35. Dante Pettis vs. SEA
  36. Demaryius Thomas @ NYJ
  37. Dede Westbrook vs. WAS
  38. Chris Godwin @ BAL
  39. Anthony Miller vs. GB
  40. Doug Baldwin @ SF

TE (Standard)

  1. Travis Kelce vs. LAC
  2. Zach Ertz @ LAR
  3. Eric Ebron vs. DAL
  4. George Kittle vs. SEA
  5. Jaylen Samuels vs. NE
  6. Rob Gronkowski @ PIT
  7. Jared Cook @ CIN
  8. Cameron Brate @ BAL
  9. David Njoku @ DEN
  10. Austin Hooper vs. ARI
  11. Ian Thomas vs. NO
  12. Vance McDonald vs. NE
  13. Kyle Rudolph vs. MIA
  14. Evan Engram vs. TEN
  15. Trey Burton vs. GB


  1. Jaguars vs. WAS
  2. Texans @ NYJ
  3. Bears vs. GB
  4. Ravens vs. TB
  5. Seahawks @ SF
  6. Rams vs. PHI
  7. Vikings vs. MIA
  8. Bills vs. DET
  9. Titans @ NYG
  10. Falcons vs. ARI
  11. Redskins @ JAX
  12. Broncos vs. CLE
  13. Lions @ BUF
  14. Saints @ CAR
  15. Packers @ CHI

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Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March. Photo via: NRG Park/Facebook

Football players, coaches and general managers have come and gone, but only one person has been running the business side of the Texans, well, even before they were the Texans. Jamey Rootes has been President of the Houston Texans since 1999, when an NFL team in Houston was still just a gleam in owner Bob McNair's eyes. That's before the team adopted the name "Texans" in 2000, before there was NRG Stadium, which opened as Reliant Stadium in 2000, and before they became serial champs of the AFC South, six titles between 2011-2019.

The precise date was Oct. 6, 1999 when NFL owners voted 29-0 to award the NFL's 32nd and newest franchise to Houston. Not only that, Houston was awarded the 2004 Super Bowl. Rootes, 34 years old with no NFL experience, had his work cut out for him. Before taking the job in Houston, Rootes was team president, general manager and CEO of selling peanuts and popcorn for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Major League Soccer, with all due respect, is not nearly a national obsession like the National Football League.

"I wasn't intimidated," Rootes said. "There's a quote that I love, 'Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.' I've always been a purpose-driven person. As for the step up to the NFL, I went from knowing nothing at the start of my time in Columbus to five years later thinking, OK, I've got this sports thing down. Actually, I had a very significant reduction in my responsibilities in Houston. When I was in Columbus, I ran the stadium, I ran the team's business, I was the general manager so I did the talent side of it, too. When I came to Houston, all I had to do was the business, so that was great."

Rootes has captured his remarkable journey from the soccer team at Clemson to grad school at Indiana University to the business world at IBM and Proctor & Gamble to the Clemson Crew, to ultimately being named President of the Houston Texans in his new book, The Winning Game Plan: A Proven Leadership Playbook for Continuous Business Success, available next week.

I've known Rootes from his day one with the Texans, but I still had to ask: everybody knows what the general manager does, and what the head coach does. What exactly does the President of an NFL team worth $3.3 billion do?

"I like to use the parallel of a pharmaceutical company to describe my job. There are two sides to that company. First you put scientists in one building and you leave them alone. They create products, which is what our football team is. The football side has a coach and general manager and all the people who prepare the team to play on Sunday. But getting that product to market is done by the business side, traditional business disciplines. Those are the things that fall to me. Basically, everything between the white lines is run by the football side. Everything outside of those lines, I do," Rootes said.

Between 1999 and 2002, when the Texans played their first game (let the record show the Texans defeated the Dallas Cowboy, 19-10), the team was essentially a massive start-up project. First orders of business for Rootes involved building a new stadium, developing relationships with suppliers, contractors and government officials, preparing for a Super Bowl and, most important, developing a relationship with fans.

Rootes began writing The Winning Game Plan last March, but it's really an accumulation of lessons learned and behind-the-scenes stories about building the Texans from scratch into one of the most admired and valuable franchises in all of sports.

"I've always been a meticulous note-taker. I've kept every presentation I've ever done. I took all of my notes and concepts and put those down on paper," Rootes said. "To be a good leader, you need a wild imagination. You can show me a blank piece of paper, but I don't see it as blank. To me, it's a finished product that hasn't been created yet," Rootes said.

Rootes lays out his leadership strategy in seven chapters: Are You a Manager or a Leader, Get the Right People on Your Team, Build a Winning Culture, Create Raving Fans, a Winning Playbook for Adversity and Success, Your Leadership Playbook and Play to Win.

He learned lesson No. 1 the hard way. A friend once counseled Rootes, "your staff doesn't like the way you're all up in their business, you need to back off." Rootes took that advice to heart.

"It was an epiphany. I wasn't a leader. That's when I truly began thinking about leadership. I say this all the time, I don't do anything. All I do is create an environment where exceptional people can be their very best self. I know what's going on. I'm fully informed. I leave every game day exhausted. I get there early. I do the things I need to do. I kiss babies. I shake hands. I present checks. I entertain clients. I'm dialed in. It absolutely wears me out because I love this organization so much. I am so proud of what we've been able to do for this great city of Houston."

I asked Rootes, as someone who lives for Game Day and a packed NRG Stadium, are you devastated by 2020, the year of COVID-19 and small crowds limited by Centers for Disease Control guidelines?

"I don't look at it that way. I think there's a song by 10,000 Maniacs that said, these are the days that you'll remember. I told my staff, I know you're all going through hell right now, but later on in life, you'll talk about this year. Things that are important are memorable, for the positive and those things that leave a scar. You learn from adversity and you're a better person for enduring it. Victor Frankl said 'We can discover meaning in life in three different ways, by creating a work or doing a deed, experiencing something or encountering someone, and by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.' Suffering is part of life. He should know, he survived a Nazi concentration camp," Rootes said.

H-E-B President Scott McClelland wrote the forward to The Winning Game Plan. Rootes dedicates the book to late Texans owner Bob McNair. Rootes' book is a fun read. All I kept thinking was, where was this book when I needed it? And before you buy too much into Rootes as a leader, consider that Rootes admits that he had to ask for wife Melissa's permission before he could accept the Texans job.

Personal note: I believe that a big part of leadership is the ability to keep a promise. Several years ago, I was riding my bicycle with my dog Lilly on a leash. It was the only way I could keep up with her. Well, one time Lilly saw a squirrel and pulled me off my bicycle. I tumbled a few times and rolled next to the curb. When I looked up, there was Jamey Rootes. I told him, "There's no need for you to tell anybody about this." He never said a word.

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