EXPECT TEXANS-CHIEFS TO BE A FANTASY EXPLOSION

Week 6 fantasy football rankings

Week 6 fantasy football rankings
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

These are my very early ranks and I will update them later in the week. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. 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 97.5FM. 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

Patriots/Facebook

1 Patrick Mahomes
2 Deshaun Watson
3 Russell Wilson
4 Lamar Jackson
5 Matt Ryan
6 Tom Brady
7 Kyler Murray
8 Dak Prescott
9 Aaron Rodgers
10 Jameis Winston
11 Carson Wentz
12 Gardner Minshew
13 Jared Goff
14 Philip Rivers
15 Kirk Cousins
16 Kyle Allen
17 Jimmy Garoppolo
18 Matthew Stafford
19 Sam Darnold
20 Baker Mayfield

RB

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

1 Christian McCaffrey
2 Alvin Kamara
3 Ezekiel Elliott
4 Dalvin Cook
5 Mark Ingram
6 Aaron Jones
7 Le'Veon Bell
8 Chris Carson
9 David Johnson
10 Leonard Fournette
11 Austin Ekeler
12 Nick Chubb
13 Derrick Henry
14 Kerryon Johnson
15 James Conner
16 Phillip Lindsay
17 Sony Michel
18 Melvin Gordon
19 James White
20 Joe Mixon
21 Devonta Freeman
22 Damien Williams
23 Malcolm Brown

24 Chris Thompson

25 Tevin Coleman

26 Adrian Peterson

27 Matt Breida
28 Carlos Hyde
29 Kenyan Drake
30 LeSean McCoy
31 Jordan Howard
32 Ronald Jones
33 Royce Freeman
34 Jonathan Hilliman
35 Miles Sanders
36 Duke Johnson

WR

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

1 Julio Jones
2 Chris Godwin
3 Cooper Kupp
4 DeAndre Hopkins
5 Amari Cooper
6 Michael Thomas
7 Keenan Allen
8 Adam Thielen
9Tyler Lockett
10 Julian Edelman

*Tyreek Hill Looks like he will play, He's a top 10 play
11 Larry Fitzgerald
12 Odell Beckham
13 Tyler Boyd
14 Josh Gordon
15 Mike Evans
16 Kenny Galladay
17 D.J. Chark
18 Will Fuller
19 D.J. Moore
20 Emmanuel Sanders
21 JuJu Smith-Schuster
22 Michael Gallup
23 Calvin Ridley
24 Courtland Sutton
25 Marquise Brown
26 Terry McLaurin
27 Stefon Diggs
28 Jarvis Landry
29 Alshon Jeffery
30 Curtis Samuel
31 Marvin Jones
32 Dede Westbrook
33 Marquez Valdes-Scantling
34 Mike Williams
35 Mecole Hardman
36 Mohamed Sanu
37 Demarcus Robinson
38 Auden Tate
39 Robbie Anderson
40 Geronimo Allison

TE

Photo via:Chiefs/Facebook

1 Travis Kelce
2 George Kittle
3 Austin Hooper
4 Zach Ertz
5 Will Dissly
6 Greg Olsen
7 Mark Andrews
8 Jimmy Graham
9 Gerald Everett
10 Delanie Walker
11 Jason Witten
12 Jared Cook
13 Noah Fant
14 Vance McDonald
15 O.J. Howard

Defense

1 Patriots
2 Chargers
3 Cowboys
4 Ravens
5 Vikings
6 Titans
7 Seahawks
8 Packers
9 Panthers
10 Broncos
11 Steelers
12 Redskins
13 Jaguars
14 49ers
15 Eagles

Kicker

1 Justin Tucker
2 Greg Zuerlein
3 Will Lutz
4 Harrison Butker
5 Robbie Gould
6 Ka'imi Fairbairn
7 Mason Crosby
8 Joey Slye
9 Zane Gonzalez
10 Brett Maher
11 Matt Bryant
12 Jake Elliott
13 Mike Nugent
14 Matt Prater
15 Jason Myers

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ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Astros on the hunt. Composite Getty Image.

With the Astros' surge from 10 games out of first place to within two games of Seattle, catching and going past the Mariners has naturally become the top objective. It's no given to happen but it's right there. In the final series ahead of the All-Star break, while the Mariners are in the midst of four games with the lowly Angels, the last two World Series champions renew (un)pleasantries at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros enter the weekend five games ahead of the Rangers. They lead the season series with the reigning champs four wins to three. While the Astros can't quite finish off the Arlingtonians by sweeping them in this three game set, shoving them eight games back (even further back of Seattle and the current Wild Card teams) and clinching the tiebreaker would seem close to a death blow. Taking two out of three would be fine for the Astros. If the Rangers win the series, they are clearly still in the American League West and Wild Card races coming out of the All-Star break.

Last year the Rangers had the best offense in the AL. So far in 2024 they rank a mediocre eighth in runs per game. Nathaniel Lowe is the lone Ranger (get it?!?) regular playing as well as he did last season. Corey Seager has been fine but not at the MVP runner-up level of last year. Marcus Semien is notably down, as is 2023 ALCS Astros-obliterater Adolis Garcia. Stud 2023 rookie Josh Jung has been out with a broken wrist since ex-Astro Phil Maton hit him with a pitch in the fourth game of this season, though fill-in third baseman Josh Smith has been the Rangers' best player. 21-year-old late season phenom Evan Carter largely stunk the first two months this season and has been out since late May with a back injury. Repeating is hard, never harder than it is now. Hence no Major League Baseball has done it since the Yankees won three straight World Series 1998-2000.

Chasing down the Division at a crazy clip

From the abyss of their 7-19 start, the Astros sweep over the Marlins clinched a winning record at the break with them at 49-44. Heading into the Texas matchup the Astros have won at a .627 clip since they were 7-19. A full season of .627 ball wins 101 games. If the Astros win at a .627 rate the rest of the way they'll finish with 92 wins, almost certainly enough to secure a postseason slot and likely enough to win the West. Expecting .627 the rest of the way is ambitious.

With it fairly clear that Lance McCullers is highly unlikely to contribute anything after his latest recovery setback, and Luis Garcia a major question mark, what Justin Verlander has left in 2024 grows more important. With the way the Astros often dissemble or poorly forecast when discussing injuries, for all we know Verlander could be cooked. Inside three weeks to the trade deadline, General Manager Dana Brown can't be thinking a back end of the rotation comprised of Spencer Arrighetti and Jake Bloss should be good enough. The Astros have 66 games to play after the All-Star break, including separate stretches with games on 18 and 16 consecutive days.

All-Star MIAs

Viewership for Tuesday's All-Star game at Globe Life Field in Arlington will be pretty, pretty, pretty low in Houston. One, All-Star Game ratings are pitiful every year compared to where they used to be. Two, the Astros could be down to zero representatives at Tuesday's showcase. Kyle Tucker was rightfully named a reserve but had no shot at playing as he continues the loooong recovery from a bone bruise (or worse) suffered June 3. Being named an All-Star for a ninth time was enough for Jose Altuve. He opts out of spending unnecessary time in Texas Rangers territory citing a sore wrist. This despite Altuve playing four games in a row since sitting out the day after he was plunked and highly likely to play in all three games versus the Rangers this weekend. Yordan Alvarez exiting Wednesday's rout of the Marlins with hip discomfort and then missing Thursday's game seem clear reasons for him to skip, though he has indicated thus far he intends to take part. Yordan is the most essential lineup component to the Astros' hopes of making an eighth straight playoff appearance.

Ronel Blanco should have made the American League squad on performance, but pretty obviously his 10 game illegal substance use suspension was held against him. As it works out, Blanco will pitch Sunday in the last game before the break which would render him unavailable for the All-Star Game anyway. Blanco is eligible to pitch, but given the career high-shattering innings workload Blanco is headed for, no way the Astros want him on the mound Tuesday. Just last year the Astros kept Framber Valdez from pitching in the game.

While waiting, and waiting, and waiting on Tucker's return, the Astros have also been waiting on Chas McCormick to get back to something even faintly resembling the hitter he was last year. McCormick routinely looks lost at the plate. He has four hits (all singles) in his last 32 at bats with his season OPS pitiful at .572. During the break the Astros should seriously weigh sending McCormick to AAA Sugar Land and giving Pedro Leon a try in a job share with Joey Loperfido.

*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 The SportsMap HOU YouTube channel or listen to episodes in their entirety at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

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