Fantasy Focus

Week 15 fantasy football rankings: Jamaal or nothing

Jamaal Williams has a nice matchup against a Panthers D that has given up almost 23 points per game to the RB position over the last month. Green Bay Packers/Facebook

Below are my early 1/2 PPR fantasy rankings for Week 15. Most leagues are using points per reception these days, so take that into consideration when looking at the ranks. Six points are awarded for every receiving and rushing TD, and four points for every passing TD. If you are playing in a non-PPR league, pass-catching running backs lose a bit of value and so do possession receivers. Make sure you check the status of players that have been limited or out of practice. The rankings will be updated on Saturday and Sunday morning. Shout-out to Tyler Frisby for the headline idea this week.

QB

1 T. Brady NE

2 B. Roethlisberger PIT

3 R. Wilson SEA

4 P. Rivers LAC

5 A. Rodgers GB  

6 D. Brees NO

7 D. Prescott DAL  

8 C. Newton CAR  

9 M. Stafford DET  

10 M. Ryan ATL

11 C. Keenum MIN 

12 B. Bortles

13 J. Garoppolo SF  

14 K. Cousins WAS

15 J. Winston TB

RB

1 L. Bell PIT  

2 T. Gurley LAR  

3 D. Freeman ATL

4 A. Kamara NO

5 A. Collins BAL

6 J. Howard CHI

7 L. McCoy BUF 

8 M. Ingram NO

9 M. Gordon LAC

10 J. Williams GB

11 L. Fournette JAC *Inactive

12 K. Drake MIA

13 C. Hyde SF

14 K. Hunt KC

15 M. Lynch OAK

16 A. Morris DAL

17 L. Murray MIN

18 R. Burkhead NE

19 J. Ajayi PHI

20 D. Lewis NE

21 J. Stewart CAR  

22 G. Bernard CIN  

23 M. Davis SEA  
  
24 C. McCaffrey CAR

25 S. Perine WAS

26 L. Miller HOU  
  
27 D. Henry TEN

28 T. Riddick DET  

29 K. Williams ARI

30 J. McKinnon MIN  

31 I. Crowell CLE

32 P. Barber TB  

33 D. Johnson CLE

34 L. Blount PHI

35 D. Martin TB

WR

1 J. Jones ATL

2 M. Thomas NO

3 K. Allen LAC 

4 A. Brown PIT  

5 D. Adams GB

6 A. Thielen MIN  

7 B. Cooks NE 

8 D. Baldwin SEA 
 
9 T. Hill KC 

10 J. Gordon CLE

11 D. Hopkins HOU *Active

12 D. Bryant DAL  

13 M. Evans TB 

14 D. Funchess CAR 

15 A. Green CIN 

16 J. Nelson GB

17 L. Fitzgerald ARI

18 M. Crabtree OAK

19 A. Jeffery PHI 
 
20 M. Lee JAC 

21 J. Landry MIA 

22 M. Jones DET 

23 G. Tate DET
 
24 C. Hogan NE *Questionable, good chance he's inactive 

25 S. Diggs MIN 

26 M. Goodwin SF  
 
27 D. Westbrook JAC 

28 C. Kupp LAR 
  
29 J. Smith-Schuster PIT

30 S. Watkins LAR 
 
31 M. Sanu ATL

32 J. Crowder WAS 

33 S. Shepard NYG 

34 M. Wallace BAL  

35 P. Richardson SEA 

36 D. Jackson TB

37 R. Woods LAR  

38 R. Matthews TEN

39 C. Coleman CLE

40 T. Ginn NO *Inactive

TE

1 R. Gronkowski NE

2 T. Kelce KC

3 J. Graham SEA

4 H. Henry LAC

5 D. Walker TEN

6 E. Engram NYG

7 Z. Ertz PHI

8 J. Witten DAL

9 O. Howard TB

10 J. James PIT

11 V. Davis WAS

12 E. Ebron DET

13 J. Cook OAK

14 C. Clay BUF

15 K. Rudolph MIN *Active

DEF

1 Jaguars 

2 Ravens  

3 Saints

4 Vikings

5 Eagles  

6 Chargers  

7 Falcons  

8 Seahawks 

9 Lions  

10 Redskins  

11 Cardinals 

12 Rams

13 Dolphins 

14 Cowboys

15 Chiefs

Kicker

1 J. Tucker BAL 

2 S. Gostkowski NE 

3 C. Boswell PIT 

4 G. Zuerlein LAR 

5 W. Lutz NO

6 M. Bryant ATL

7 T. Coons LAC 

8 H. Butker KC 

9 J. Elliott PHI 

10 J. Lambo JAC  
 
11 M. Prater DET 

12 K. Forbath MIN 

13 D. Bailey DAL
 
14 R. Gould SF  

15 G. Gano WAS

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Houston now trails in the fall classic

Astros fall in World Series Game 1 as Braves come out swinging

Framber Valdez had a forgettable start in World Series Game 1 as the Braves tagged him with five runs. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a dominant end to win the ALCS and American League pennant, the Houston Astros welcomed in the National League champion Atlanta Braves for World Series Game 1 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday. With Houston favored to win not just this game but the entire series, the Braves shook up those expectations by finding early success at the plate to build a lead they would hold to take a 1-0 series lead.

Final Score: Braves 6, Astros 2

World Series (Best of Seven): Atlanta leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: A.J. Minter

Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez

Valdez unable to replicate ALCS Game 5 success as Braves mount early lead

For the optimist, not having home-field advantage in an MLB postseason series affords you a benefit: you can score first and take captive momentum first in the series. The Braves did that against Framber Valdez, as Jorge Soler became the first player in league history to hit a homer in the first plate appearance of a World Series, putting Atlanta out to an immediate 1-0 lead. They would get another in the first frame, getting a one-out infield single by Ozzie Albies, who would steal second to get in position for an RBI double by Austin Riley.

Houston had the chance to respond in their first inning against former teammate Charlie Morton, getting a single and two walks to load the bases with no outs. They'd strand all three runners, though, as Morton made it through unscathed but having used 26 pitches. Atlanta kept putting stress on Valdez, extending their lead to three runs with back-to-back singles to start the second before later getting an RBI groundout.

Valdez gave up two more in the top of the third, once again allowing a leadoff single, this one setting up a two-run homer to make it a 5-0 Braves lead and forcing Houston's starter out of the game early. Yimi Garcia entered and was able to retire the three batters he faced to end the frame.

Braves lose Morton to injury as both bullpens begin long night

After stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first to keep the Astros off the board, Morton followed it up with a 1-2-3 second. He started the bottom of the third by retiring his fifth batter in a row, getting a strikeout of Jose Altuve. He would immediately call trainers to get him out of the game, though, as he would later be diagnosed with a fractured fibula, presumably from a ball that ricocheted off his leg in the prior inning, ending his season in a disappointing turn of events for the Braves.

That set up a long night for both bullpens, and next up for Houston was Jake Odorizzi. He started with a scoreless fourth, working around a two-out error to keep it a five-run game. The Astros began a rally in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on the corners with one out on a Kyle Tucker double and Yuli Gurriel single. Chas McCormick brought in the first run of the board for Houston, but that's all they would get as Atlanta's lead remained four runs.

Astros drop Game 1

Odorizzi kept going on the mound, tossing a 1-2-3 fifth, then getting one out before a one-out single in the top of the sixth would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Phil Maton, who finished the inning. Maton returned in the top of the seventh, getting a strikeout before a double and a walk would result in the call to bring in Ryne Stanek.

A double play against his first batter allowed Stanek to finish the seventh, and then he returned in the eighth. He faced three batters that frame, getting one out before a walk and a single would put runners on the corners as Houston moved on to Brooks Raley. A sac fly by Freddie Freeman off of Raley made it a five-run lead again, but a leadoff triple by Yordan Alvarez in the bottom of the inning would set up Carlos Correa for an RBI, a groundout to make it 6-2.

Atlanta's bullpen continued to do well, though, limiting the damage to that one run in the eighth, then returning to hold on to the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves the upset win to start the series. The loss extends their home losing streak in the World Series to five games (having lost all four at home in the 2019 World Series against the Nationals) and puts them down 0-1 and in need of a win in Game 2 to try and reset the series into a best-of-five.

Up Next: World Series Game 2 will be another 7:09 PM Central scheduled start time on Wednesday from Minute Maid Park. The expected pitching matchup is Max Fried, who is 1-1 with a 3.78 ERA in three postseason starts, for the Braves, and Jose Urquidy, who went just 1.2 innings while allowing six runs (five earned) in his start in the ALCS.

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