FANTASY PLAYOFFS

Week 15 fantasy football rankings: In it to win it

Week 15 fantasy football rankings: In it to win it
Photo by New Orleans Saints/Facebook

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

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

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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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How significant Astros spring training revelation highlights even more reasons for optimism

The Houston Astros had a very successful season in 2023 which led them back to the ALCS for the seventh-straight season, but despite another deep playoff run, their pitching did regress from the prior year.

While many would point to their historic bullpen in 2022 and say they had nowhere to go but down, that doesn't paint the full picture. It was the starting rotation that really fell off in 2023. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and Jose Urquidy all saw a spike in their ERAs from the previous season.

According to a recent report from The Athletic's Chandler Rome, we might have an explanation for Jose Urquidy's down year.

The Astros and Urquidy believe he was tipping his pitches. Which would explain why the slugging percentage against his fastball jumped from .482 in 2022 to .632 in 2023.

When hitters know a pitcher is tipping, they often start hunting fastballs. Also, his strikeout percentage went down last year and his walks went way up. He had 2 more walks per nine innings in 2023 than he had in 2021.

Part of that could be him aiming for corners and refusing to give in to hitters because his fastball wasn't performing up to expectations.

His WHIP in 2023 really jumped off the page as well. He finished with a WHIP over 1.4. While his career WHIP is 1.143. That's a huge difference.

Back to the big picture

Until last season, Urquidy never finished with an ERA over 3.95. He recorded a 5.29 ERA last year. So when we factor in his shoulder injury that cost him three months of the season, and the fact he was tipping pitches, we believe he's in store for a bounce-back season.

And the Astros are going to need him, especially with Justin Verlander and JP France possibly not being available for the start of the season.

What will the rotation look like early on?

The Astros haven't ruled Verlander out yet, so he could be ready to go. But if not, and we base this off what we saw last season. The rotation will likely include Valdez, Javier, Brown, Urquidy, Ronel Blanco, and Brandon Bielak.

Don't miss the video above for the full discussion!

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange, and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel.

We'll continue to drop videos throughout the week!


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