FANTASY PLAYOFFS

Week 15 fantasy football rankings: In it to win it

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

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QB

Photo by:Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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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Have the Astros turned a corner? Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

After finishing up with the Guardians the Astros have a rather important series for early May with the Seattle Mariners heading to town for the weekend. While it’s still too early to be an absolute must-win series for the Astros, losing the series to drop seven or eight games off the division lead would make successfully defending their American League West title that much more unlikely.

Since their own stumble out of the gate to a 6-10 record the Mariners have been racking up series wins, including one this week over the Atlanta Braves. The M’s offense is largely Mmm Mmm Bad, but their pitching is sensational. In 18 games after the 6-10 start, the Mariners gave up five runs in a game once. In the other 17 games they only gave up four runs once. Over the 18 games their starting pitchers gave up 18 earned runs total with a 1.44 earned run average. That’s absurd. Coming into the season Seattle’s starting rotation was clearly better on paper than those of the Astros and Texas Rangers, and it has crystal clearly played out as such into the second month of the schedule.

While it’s natural to focus on and fret over one’s own team's woes when they are plentiful as they have been for the Astros, a reminder that not all grass is greener elsewhere. Alex Bregman has been awful so far. So has young Mariners’ superstar Julio Rodriguez. A meager four extra base hits over his first 30 games were all Julio produced down at the ballyard. That the Mariners are well ahead of the Astros with J-Rod significantly underperforming is good news for Seattle.

Caratini comes through!

So it turns out the Astros are allowed to have a Puerto Rican-born catcher who can hit a little bit. Victor Caratini’s pedigree is not that of a quality offensive player, but he has swung the bat well thus far in his limited playing time and provided the most exciting moment of the Astros’ season with his two-out two-run 10th inning game winning home run Tuesday night. I grant that one could certainly say “Hey! Ronel Blanco finishing off his no-hitter has been the most exciting moment.” I opt for the suddenness of Caratini’s blow turning near defeat into instant victory for a team that has been lousy overall to this point. Frittering away a game the Astros had led 8-3 would have been another blow. Instead, to the Victor belong the spoils.

Pudge Rodriguez is the greatest native Puerto Rican catcher, but he was no longer a good hitter when with the Astros for the majority of the 2009 season. Then there’s Martin Maldonado.

Maldonado’s hitting stats with the Astros look Mike Piazza-ian compared to what Jose Abreu was doing this season. Finally, mercifully for all, Abreu is off the roster as he accepts a stint at rookie-level ball in Florida to see if he can perform baseball-CPR on his swing and career. Until or unless he proves otherwise, Abreu is washed up and at some point the Astros will have to accept it and swallow whatever is left on his contract that runs through next season. For now Abreu makes over $120,000 per game to not be on the roster. At his level of performance, that’s a better deal than paying him that money to be on the roster.

Abreu’s seven hits in 71 at bats for an .099 batting average with a .269 OPS is a humiliating stat line. In 2018 George Springer went to sleep the night of June 13 batting .293 after going hitless in his last four at bats in a 13-5 Astros’ win over Oakland. At the time no one could have ever envisioned that Springer had started a deep, deep funk which would have him endure a nightmarish six for 78 stretch at the plate (.077 batting average). Springer then hit .293 the rest of the season.

Abreu’s exile opened the door for Joey Loperfido to begin his Major League career. Very cool for Loperfido to smack a two-run single in his first game. He also struck out twice. Loperfido will amass whiffs by the bushel, he had 37 strikeouts in 101 at bats at AAA Sugar Land. Still, if he can hit .225 with some walks mixed in (he drew 16 with the Space Cowboys) and deliver some of his obvious power (13 homers in 25 games for the ex-Skeeters) that’s an upgrade over Abreu/Jon Singleton, as well as over Jake Meyers and the awful showing Chas McCormick has posted so far. Frankly, it seems unwise that the Astros only had Loperfido play seven games at first base in the minors this year. If McCormick doesn’t pick it up soon and with Meyers displaying limited offensive upside, the next guy worth a call-up is outfielder Pedro Leon. In January 2021 the Astros gave Leon four million dollars to sign out of Cuba and called him a “rapid mover to the Major Leagues.” Well…

Over his first three minor league seasons Leon flashed tools but definitely underwhelmed. He has been substantially better so far this year. He turns 26 May 28. Just maybe the Astros offense could be the cause of fewer Ls with Loperfido at first and Leon in center field.

Catch our weekly Stone Cold ‘Stros podcast. Brandon Strange, Josh Jordan, and I discuss varied Astros topics. The first post for the week generally goes up Monday afternoon (second part released Tuesday) via YouTube: stone cold stros - YouTube with the complete audio available via Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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