CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK

Week 16 fantasy football rankings: Final shot

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

These are my early PPR ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play early in the week, I typically won't rank him. Finally, remember there are 3 games on Saturday, so don't forget to set your lineup!

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

Tannehill is in the Top 10 again this week. Photo by Getty Images.

1 Lamar Jackson

2 Deshaun Watson

3 Russell Wilson

4 Patrick Mahomes

5 Drew Brees

6 Jameis Winston

7 Matt Ryan ATL

8 Ryan Tannehill

9 Aaron Rodgers

10 Dak Prescott

11 Ryan Fitzpatrick

12 Carson Wentz

RB

Zeke Elliot keeps rolling. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Ezekiel Elliott

3 Chris Carson

4 Saquon Barkley

5 Joe Mixon

6 Leonard Fournette

7 Derrick Henry

8 Austin Ekeler

9 Alvin Kamara

10 Mark Ingram

11 Miles Sanders

12 Melvin Gordon

13 Devonta Freeman

14 Todd Gurley

15 Aaron Jones

16 Kenyan Drake

17 Marlon Mack

18 Nick Chubb

19 Raheem Mostert

20 James Conner

21 Phillip Lindsay

22 DeAndre Washington

23 James White

24 Devin Singletary

25 Mike Boone

26 Le'Veon Bell

27 Adrian Peterson

28 Tarik Cohen

29 Kareem Hunt

30 Ronald Jones

WR

Hopkins should help catch you a championship. Composite photo by Jack Brame

1 Michael Thomas

2 DeAndre Hopkins

3 Julio Jones

4 Davante Adams

5 Tyreek Hill

6 Robert Woods

7 Keenan Allen

8 Allen Robinson

9 Devante Parker

10 D.J. Moore

11 Courtland Sutton

12 Amari Cooper

13 Stefon Diggs

14 Tyler Lockett

15 Breshad Perriman

16 A.J. Brown

17 Tyler Boyd

18 Julian Edelman

19 Kenny Golladay

20 Jarvis Landry

21 Mike Williams

22 Will Fuller

23 Terry McLaurin

24 Cooper Kupp

25 D.K. Metcalf

26 Darius Slayton

27 Anthony Miller

28 Michael Gallup

29 Adam Thielen

30 John Brown

31 Odell Beckham Jr

32 Danny Amendola

33 Jamison Crowder

34 James Washington

35 Sterling Shepard

36 Emmanuel Sanders

TE

Catching up with Kelce. Photo via:Chiefs/Facebook

1 George Kittle

2 Travis Kelce

3 Zach Ertz

4 Tyler Higbee

5 Darren Waller

6 Hunter Henry

7 Austin Hooper

8 Mark Andrews

9 OJ Howard

10 Jacob Hollister

11 Jared Cook

12 Dallas Goedert

DEF

1 Steelers

2 Ravens

3 Patriots

4 Broncos

5 49ers

6 Bills

7 Seahawks

8 Chiefs

9 Chargers

10 Colts

11 Cowboys

12 Saints

KICKER

1 Justin Tucker

2 Wil Lutz

3 Harrison Butker

4 Robbie Gould

5 Younghoe Koo

6 Jason Myers

7 Michael Badgley

8 Ka'imi Fairbairn

9 Jake Elliott

10 Chase McLaughlin

11 Josh Lambo

12 Dan Bailey


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

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Mattress Mack and the Astros host Pearland Little League at Wednesday night's game. Photo by LittleLeague.org

Sure, it’s impressive that the Astros have made four World Series appearances in recent years, but they’re not alone. There’s another baseball team around here that’s also headed to its fourth World Series since 2010.

Pearland defeated Oklahoma, 9-4, on Tuesday to win the Southwest Regional and qualify for the Little League World Series starting Aug. 17 in South Williamsport, PA.

Most fans and media say the Little League World Series is held in Williamsport, but it’s South Williamsport, just a 5-minute stroll across a bridge over the Susquehanna River in north central Pennsylvania.

Pearland is on a torrid 13-game winning streak that swept through district, sectional, state and regional tournaments to earn the Little League World Series bid.

Here’s how difficult the road to the Little League World Series is. There are 15 teams in MLB’s American League. If the Astros finish with one of the two best records, they’ll have to win two playoff series to play in the World Series.

Little League is a little bigger than MLB. Little League is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with 2.5 million kids playing for 180,000 teams in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Pearland, representing East Texas, had to defeat All-Star teams from West Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas and Colorado to win the Southwest Regional. The Little League World Series will host 20 teams - 10 from the U.S. and 10 from international regions.

If you have children that play Little League, or you’re just a fan, attending the Little League World Series should be high on your baseball bucket list.

I covered the Little League World Series in 2010 when Pearland made its first appearance and made it all the way to the U.S. championship game. It may have been my most fun assignment ever.

The Little League World Series is played by 11 and 12-year-olds in Little League’s major division. When ESPN and ABC air these games, they’ll present the players as innocent little kids, like Beaver and Wally or Tom and Huck. They’ll show the kids playing Simon Says with the Little League mascot called Dugout. They’ll ask the kids who’s their favorite big leaguer.

I was a Little League coach. I followed Little League All-Stars across Texas all the way to South Williamsport. These kids are absolute baseball maniacs with $400 gloves, $500 bats and Oakley sunglasses. I thought the Astros might call and ask where they got their super neat equipment.

Especially in Texas, these kids are built tough with long ball power and play year-round travel baseball with high-priced private coaches. This isn’t a choose-up game in the park where kids play in their school clothes, one kid brings a baseball and the players share bats. I looked at some of the Little Leaguers and wondered if they drove to the stadium.

I half-expected, when ABC asked who their baseball idol was, they’d answer “me!”

Here’s how seriously good these kids can play the game. Justin Verlander throws a 97-mph fastball. That’s pretty fast. It’s not rare anymore for a Little League pitcher to reach 70-mph on a fastball. The Little League mound is 46 feet from home plate. A 70-mph pitch in Little League gets to home plate in the same time as a 91-mph pitch from 60 feet 6 inches in MLB.

In 2015, a pitcher named Alex Edmonson fired an 83-mph heater at the Little League World Series. The reaction time a Little League batter had against Alex’s pitch was equal to a Major Leaguer trying to hit a 108-mph fastball. Good luck with that. Alex pitched a no-hitter and struck out 15 batters in six innings at the Little League World Series. Now 20, Alex is a relief pitcher for Clemson.

The Little League World Series is a trip. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Philadelphia and drive to South Williamsport. I sat next to CC Sebathia’s mother on the plane.

Admission to all Little League World Series games is free and snack bar prices are reasonable. A hot dog is $3. Alcohol and smoking are prohibited.

The first Little League World Series was held in 1947. Only 58 players have played in the Little League World Series and later played in MLB. The most famous are Cody Bellinger and Jason Varitek. Only two players from the Houston area made the leap: Brady Rodgers and Randal Grichuk both played on the 2003 team from Richmond, about 30 miles from Houston in Fort Bend County.

While you’re in South Williamsport, you should visit the Little League museum and Hall of Excellence. Among the inductees: Presidents Joe Biden and George W. Bush, Astros manager Dusty Baker, Kevin Costner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dick Vitale, Rob Manfred and someone who’d later play stadiums in a different way, Bruce Springsteen.

Speaking of Springsteen, I shattered a record at the 2010 Little League World Series. The record was Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. I was talking to a Little League executive while teams were warming up on the field. Born in the U.S.A. came over the stadium loudspeakers.

I told the executive, I’m a big fan but maybe this isn’t the best song you should be playing. The executive asked why not? Well, you might want to listen to the words. Born in the U.S.A. is a depressing song about a U.S. soldier who is sent to Vietnam and can’t find a job when he gets back home. It’s not exactly Yankee Doodle Dandy. You have teams from Asia here (Japan won the tournament that year). The executive said, please tell me you’re kidding. Here’s one verse:

Got in a little hometown jam

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the (what is considered a slur for Asians).

Later I got an email from the president of Little League International.

“Quite honestly, I've never listened closely to the words of Born in the USA. I see clearly how it is offensive to our Little League friends from Asian nations. I have directed our folks who coordinate the stadium music to discontinue playing it in the future.”

Play Centerfield by John Fogerty instead. The message of that song is, “put me in coach.” Little League couldn’t say it any better.

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