FANTASY PLAYOFFS

Week 15 fantasy football rankings: In it to win it

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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

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1 Lamar Jackson

2 Drew Brees

3 Patrick Mahomes

4 Deshaun Watson

5 Ryan Tannehill

6 Jimmy Garoppolo

7 Russell Wilson

8 Jared Goff

9 Dak Prescott

10 Aaron Rodgers

11 Jameis Winston

12 Derek Carr

13 Kyler Murray

14 Kirk Cousins

15 Matt Ryan

RB

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1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Chris Carson

3 Ezekiel Elliott

4 Dalvin Cook

5 Derrick Henry

6 Leonard Fournette

7 Saquon Barkley

8 Alvin Kamara

9 Austin Ekeler

10 DeAndre Washington *This will change if Jacobs plays.

11 Nick Chubb

12 Melvin Gordon

13 Aaron Jones

14 Todd Gurley

15 Mark Ingram

16 James White

17 Phillip Lindsay

18 Miles Sanders

19 Joe Mixon

20 Raheem Mostert

21 Devin Singletary

22 Kareem Hunt

23 David Montgomery

24 Le'Veon Bell

25 Devonta Freeman

26 Marlon Mack

27 Kenyan Drake

28 Patrick Laird

29 Adrian Peterson

30 Duke Johnson

WR

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1 Michael Thomas

2 DeAndre Hopkins

3 Julian Edelman

4 Julio Jones

5 Tyreek Hill

6 Robert Woods

7 Chris Godwin

8 D.J. Moore

9 Davante Adams

10 Keenan Allen

11 Allen Robinson

12 Kenny Golladay

13 Stefon Diggs

14 Cooper Kupp

15 Jarvis Landry

16 Amari Cooper

17 Courtland Sutton

18 Michael Gallup

19 Emmanuel Sanders

20 A.J. Brown

21 Dede Westbrook

22 Odell Beckham

23 Deebo Samuel

24 Darius Slayton

25 Christian Kirk

26 D.K. Metcalf

27 Tyler Lockett

28 Mike Williams

29 John Brown

30 Zach Pascal

31 Tyler Boyd

32 Sterling Shepard

33 Terry McLaurin

34 Marquise Brown

35 Cole Beasley

36 Curtis Samuel

TE

1 Travis Kelce

2 Zach Ertz

3 George Kittle

4 Darren Waller

5 Hunter Henry

6 Austin Hooper

7 OJ Howard

8 Tyler Higbee

9 Ian Thomas

10 Jack Doyle

11 Mike Gesicki

12 Jacob Hollister

DEF

1 Ravens

2 Patriots

3 Steelers

4 49ers

5 Bills

6 Chiefs

7 Packers

8 Seahawks

9 Saints

10 Vikings

11 Chargers

12 Bears

Kicker

1 Justin Tucker

2 Wil Lutz

3 Greg Zuerlein

4 Harrison Butker

5 Robbie Gould

6 Mason Crosby

7 Matt Gay

8 Jake Elliott

9 Jason Myers

10 Ka'imi Fairbairn

11 Younghoe Koo

12 Michael Badgley


That will do it. Good luck this week and when in doubt, start your studs.

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Game One Is Pivotal For Both Teams

ALWC Game 1 Preview: Astros vs. Twins

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It might not have been pretty, and may not have met pre-season expectations, especially with all the injuries and headwinds along the way. Yet, the Astros' regular-season was enough to get them into the playoffs, and as we are likely to find out with this aptly-named Wild Card Round, all it takes is a ticket to the dance.

A losing record at the end of the first 60 is now a thing of the past. Everyone starts 0-0, needing to take two of three against their opponent to move forward into the Divisional Series. Here's a quick breakdown and some facts about Houston's first game against the Minnesota Twins:

Game Facts

When: Tuesday, 1:00 PM Central

Where: Target Field - Minneapolis, Minnesota

TV: ABC

Streaming: ESPN App

Pitching Matchup: Zack Greinke vs. Kenta Maeda

Series: Tied 0-0.

Series Schedule

Date & Time (Central) Location Pitching Matchup
Game 1 Tue 9/29, 1:00 PM Target Field, Minneapolis Greinke vs. Maeda
Game 2 Wed 9/30, 12:00 PM Target Field, Minneapolis TBD vs. Berrios+
Game 3* Thu 10/1, TBD Target Field, Minneapolis TBD vs. Pineda+

* If necessary.
+ Projected starters.

Game Storylines

Did Houston pack their postseason bats?

Over the last three years, the Astros have started the playoffs with wins in their first game, and it may be in part due to one key component: scoring first via home runs. In 2017, it was an Alex Bregman solo homer off of Chris Sale in the first inning to start the scoring against the Red Sox. In 2018, it was Bregman again, this time a solo shot in the fourth off of Corey Kluber of the Indians. In 2019, it was Jose Altuve with a two-run bomb against Tyler Glasnow as they'd go on to take game one against the Rays.

Can they make it four straight years? If so, they'll have to do it against another formidable pitcher in Kenta Maeda, who allowed just nine home runs in his eleven regular-season starts, only two of which were at Target Field. Also, those three games mentioned earlier were at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros had the support of their home crowd, along with the comfort of their own stadium. This year, they'll start on the road, and in the now-normal audience of cardboard cutouts. Having said that, if they can get their signature score-starting home run in the top of the first by one of their key bats, that could very well set the momentum in their favor to upset the Twins.

Which Greinke will we see?

On September 3rd, Zack Greinke went six innings while allowing three runs to the Rangers, still coming away with a win to improve him to 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA. That was his eighth start of the season, two of which he went six or more innings without allowing a single run, including an eight-inning gem at home against the Rockies.

In his final four starts after that, Greinke went 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA over that span, allowing four, five, three, and three earned runs, respectively, and unable to go more than six innings in any of them. That finished his year at 3-3 with a 4.03 ERA, not exactly riding a high into the postseason. So, can he hit the reset button and deal as he did in the early parts of the season? Or, will the Twins, who own the sixth-most homers as a team in 2020, find a wrinkle against him early that they can exploit? The answer to that, along with what run support his offense provides him, will be one of the game's deciding factors.

I don't need to tell anyone the obvious here; in a best-of-three series, taking the first game will be pivotal for both sides. Winning the first game and only needing one more is a tremendously more advantageous position to be in, instead of needing to win two straight to advance. It sets up for an entertaining series and set of matchups across the league. Get your popcorn ready.

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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