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McCaffrey, seven running backs lead Top 200 fantasy football rankings

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Aug. 28 (UPI) — Dynamic running back Christian McCaffrey is my top fantasy football option ahead of the 2020 NFL season.

McCaffrey earned the No. 1 spot in the my Top 200 pre-draft rankings thanks to a monster season in 2019. Fellow running backs Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley, Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara also are among my Top 5 options to pick in your fantasy football draft.

Green Bay Packers playmaker Davante Adams is my No. 8 option and is my top-ranked wide receiver. George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers is my top tight end and sits at No. 22 in my rankings.

Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes is my top quarterback and lands at No. 29 in my season-long rankings.

You probably should select a running back if you have an early pick in your draft. I would consider selecting a wide receiver if you have any pick after No. 6.

Mahomes and Lamar Jackson likely will be the first quarterbacks selected in your draft, but it’s probably best to wait until the later rounds of your draft to select a quarterback so that you can build a better overall lineup with depth at other positions.

Check out my individual positional rankings for a better idea of who I like best at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end.

The following Top 200 list will be updated based on injuries and depth chart changes through training camp before the first game of the 2020 NFL season on Sept. 10. My rankings are based on talent, strength of schedule, workload and injury history, among other factors.

Top 200 players

1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13

2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

3. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants, Bye Week 11

4. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

5. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

6. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders, Bye Week 6

7. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

8. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

9. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

10. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9

11. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 7

12. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

13. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

14. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 6

15. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 10

16. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

17. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

18. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

19. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

20. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

21. David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

22. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

23. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 11

24. Amari Cooper, WR. Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

25. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

26. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

27. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

28. Mark Ingram, RB, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

29. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

30. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

31. Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 11

32. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

33. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

34. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

35. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

36. Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons Bye Week 10

37. Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

38. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

39. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 6

40. Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets, Bye Week 11

41. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

42. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13

43. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

44. James White, RB, New England Patriots, Bye Week 6

45. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

46. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9

47. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 6

48. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 6

49. Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 8

50. Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 11

51. Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

52. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

53. Kerryon Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

54. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

55. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 10

56. Tarik Cohen, RB, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 11

57. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

58. Marlon Mack, RB, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

59. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 8

60. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

61. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

62. Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

63. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 8

64. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 7

65. Marquise Brown, WR, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

66. Ronald Jones, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

67. Leonard Fournette, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

68. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team, Bye Week 8

69. David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 11

70. Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 11

71. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

72. Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 8

73. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots, Bye Week 6

74. D.J. Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 7

75. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots, Bye Week 6

76. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

77. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

78. Matt Breida, RB, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 11

79. Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

80. Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

81. Tyler Boyd, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9

82. Evan Engram, TE, New York Giants, Bye Week 11

83. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Football Team, Bye Week 8

84. Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

85. Malcolm Brown, RB, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

86. Alexander Mattison, RB, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

87. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

88. D’Andre Swift, RB, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

89. Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

90. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

91. Boston Scott, RB, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

92. Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

93. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

94. Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

95. Chris Thompson, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 7

96. Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 7

97. Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

98. Jamaal Williams, RB, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

99. Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants, Bye Week 11

100. Kyler Murray, QB, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

102. Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

103. Diontae Johnson, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

104. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 11

105. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

106. John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 11

107. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

108. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders, Bye Week 6

109. Duke Johnson, RB, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

110. Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants, Bye Week 11

111. Jamison Crowder, WR, New York Jets, Bye Week 11

112. Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 11

113. Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

114. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

115. Ryquell Armstead, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 7

116. Golden Tate, WR, New York Giants, Bye Week 11

117. Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

118. Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 11

119. Preston Williams, WR, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 11

120. DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

121. Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

122. Curtis Samuel, WR, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13

123. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 8

124. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders, Bye Week 6

125. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

126. N’Keal Harry, WR, New England Patriots, Bye Week 6

127. Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13

128. Hunter Henry, TE, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 10

129. Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

130. Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

131. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

132. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns, Bye Week 9

133. Allen Lazard, WR, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

134. Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

135. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 7

136. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

137. Tyler Higbee, TE, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

138. Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

139. Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

140. Bryce Love, Washington Football Team, Bye Week 8

141. Noah Fant, TE, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 8

142. Cam Newton, QB, New England Patriots, Bye Week 6

143. Mike Gesicki, TE, Miami Dolphins, Bye Week 11

144. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

145. Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 10

146. San Francisco 49er, DST, Bye Week 11

147. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

148. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

149. Baltimore Ravens, DST, Bye Week 8

150. Buffalo Bills, DST, Bye Week 11

151. Indianapolis Colts, DST, Bye Week 7

152. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

153. Chicago Bears, DST, Bye Week 11

154. Pittsburgh Steelers, DST, Bye Week 8

155. Kansas City Chiefs, DST, Bye Week 10

156. Los Angeles Chargers, DST, Bye Week 10

157. Minnesota Vikings, DST, Bye Week 7

158. New Orleans Saints, DST, Bye Week 6

159. Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

160. Chris Herndon, TE, New York Jets, Bye Week 11

161. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 7

162. Hunter Renfrow, WR, Las Vegas Raiders, Bye Week 6

163. New England Patriots, DST, Bye Week 6

164. Dallas Cowboys, DST, Bye Week 10

165. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

166. Kenny Stills, WR, Houston Texans, Bye Week 8

167. James Washington, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

168. Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans, Bye Week 7

169. Denzel Mims, WR, New York Jets, Bye Week 11

170. Blake Jarwin, TE, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

171. Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets, Bye Week 11

172. Zack Moss, RB, Buffalo Bills, Bye Week 11

173. John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9

174 Dede Westbrook, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars, Bye Week 7

175. Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

176. Darrel Williams, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

177. Darrell Henderson, RB, Los Angeles Rams, Bye Week 9

178. Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

179. Giovani Bernard, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9

180. Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

181. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

182. Irv Smith Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 7

183. Joshua Kelley, RB, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 10

184. Wil Lutz, K, New Orleans Saints, Bye Week 6

185. Harrison Butker, K, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 10

186. Greg Zuerlein, K, Dallas Cowboys, Bye Week 10

187. Matt Prater, K, Detroit Lions, Bye Week 5

188. Justin Tucker, K, Baltimore Ravens, Bye Week 8

189. Jake Elliott, K, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9

190. Ryan Succop, K, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

191. Robbie Gould, K, San Francisco 49ers, Bye Week 11

192. Chris Boswell, K, Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye Week 8

193. Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona Cardinals, Bye Week 8

194. Younghoe Koo, K, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

195. Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 10

196. Jace Sternberger, TE, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 5

197. Ian Thomas, TE, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13

198. Jimmy Graham, TE, Chicago Bears, Bye Week 11

199. O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bye Week 13

200. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina Panthers, Bye Week 13



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Fantasy football: Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook lead Week 12 running back rankings

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Nov. 25 (UPI) — Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Mike Davis and Ezekiel Elliott top my Week 12 fantasy football running back rankings for 2020.

Derrick Henry, Chris Carson, Aaron Jones, Josh Jacobs and Kareem Hunt round out my Top 10 options for Week 12. Antonio Gibson, Jonathan Taylor and Giovani Bernard also are among my favorite starts this week at the running back position.

Monitor the status for each of your players’ games this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact the NFL schedule and player availability. No teams have Week 12 byes, so you should have more options when it comes to finding good defensive matchups for your running backs.

Check out my weekly waiver wire article for candidates to add to your roster before your Week 12 matchup.

Here are some of my favorite players in this week’s rankings:

TOP SHELF

Nick Chubb has returned to fantasy football lineups as an elite running back option after his injury absence. The Cleveland Browns playmaker has posted at least 100 rushing yards in four of his last five appearances. He has back-to-back games with at least 100 rushing yards since he return to the Browns lineup.

Chubb is my top option for Week 12 as he heads into a matchup against a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Dalvin Cook has been the MVP of fantasy football so far this season. Cook leads all non-quarterbacks in fantasy points. He is my No. 2 running back for Week 12 due to a great matchup.

The Minnesota Vikings face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Panthers have allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and seventh-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Never take Cook out of your lineup.

SNEAKY PLAYS

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson can be used as an RB1 this week if you are in a league with at least 12 teams. Gibson is my No. 11 option.

Washington battles the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. The Cowboys have allowed the second-most rushing yards and are tied for allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to running backs. Gibson should post at least 100 yards from scrimmage in this matchup.

Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley is my No. 14 option. Gurley can be plugged into your RB1 or RB2 slot this week as he faces a Las Vegas Raiders defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

I expect Gurley to run for at least 80 yards and score a touchdown in this Week 12 matchup.

LONGSHOTS

Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts is my No. 19 running back for Week 12. Taylor has been very inconsistent so far in 2020, but had 114 yards from scrimmage on 26 touches last week.

I expect the Colts to keep feeding the rookie. He should have another productive performance on Sunday when he faces a Tennessee Titans defense that has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Start Taylor at the RB2 or flex spot.

Giovani Bernard lands at No. 21 in my rankings and can be plugged into your RB2 or flex spot for Week 12. Bernard struggled to get going in Week 11, but should bounce back this week when he faces a New York Giants defense that is tied for allowing the ninth-most fantasy points per game to running backs.

The Giants have also struggled to defend pass-catching running backs and have allowed the second-most receiving yards to the position. I expect Bernard to gain at least 100 yards from scrimmage in Week 12.

Week 12 fantasy football running back rankings

1. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns at JAX

2. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. CAR

3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at DEN

4. Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers at MIN

5. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys vs. WAS

6. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at IND

7. Chris Carson, Seattle Seahawks at PHI

8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. CHI

9. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders at ATL

10. Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns at JAX

11. Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team at DAL

12. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles vs. SEA

13. James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. CLE

14. Todd Gurley, Atlanta Falcons vs. LV

15. James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL

16. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs at TB

17. Raheem Mostert, San Francisco 49ers at LAR

18. Salvon Ahmed, Miami Dolphins at NYJ

19. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts vs. TEN

20. Kenyan Drake, Arizona Cardinals at NE

21. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals vs. NYG

22. Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens at PIT

23. Damien Harris, New England Patriots vs. ARI

24. Duke Johnson, Houston Texans at DET

25. Wayne Gallman, New York Giants at CIN

26. Kalen Ballage, Los Angeles Chargers at BUF

27. Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos vs. NO

28. Ronald Jones, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. KC

29. Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills vs. LAC

30. Adrian Peterson, Detroit Lions vs. HOU

This week in the National Football League

Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry (C) breaks away from Baltimore Ravens’ Patrick Queen (L) on a 29-yard touchdown run to win the game 30-24 during overtime in Baltimore on Sunday. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo



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Argentine soccer icon Diego Maradona dies at 60

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Nov. 25 (UPI) — Soccer legend Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to the 1986 World Cup title, died Wednesday at age 60.

The Argentine Football Association announced Maradona’s death. He recently was hospitalized, had brain surgery and was released Nov. 11.

Sources told Sky Sports and Argentina’s Clarin and La Prensa that Maradona died of a heart attack while in the district of Tigre in Buenos Aires.

“[Argentine Football Association] expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona,” the Argentine Football Association said in a statement. “You’ll always be in our hearts.”

Maradona was born in Buenos Aires. He began his senior career in 1976 with Argentinos Juniors. He went on to play for Boca Juniors, Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell’s Old Boys. He also made 91 appearances for the Argentina national team.

“Maradona was, is and will forever be a hero of football,” the Argentine Football Association said. “[He] knew how to bring the colors of the Argentine flag to every corner of the planet.

“Diego forever marked an era with his indescribable and unsurpassed talent. The soccer planet will remember you forever.”

Maradona won the Golden Ball in 1986 after leading Argentina over West Germany in the World Cup Final. He went on to manage Argentina from 2008 through 2010. He also coached at Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah, Dorados de Sinaloa and Gimnasia de la Plata.

“What sad news,” Brazilian soccer legend Pele tweeted Wednesday. “I lost a great friend and the world lost a legend.

“There is still much to be said, but for now, may God give strength to family members. One day, I hope we can play ball together in the sky.”

Maradona’s had surgery earlier this month to remove a blood clot from his brain. He also was hospitalized in 2004 due to heart and respiratory issues related to drug and alcohol abuse.

Notable deaths of 2020

Saeb Erekat

Longtime Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat speaks to the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem on April 26, 2015. Erekat died of COVID-19 in a Jerusalem hospital on November 10 at the age of 65. File Photo by Debbie Hill/UPI | License Photo



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Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive again for COVID-19

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Nov. 25 (UPI) — Alabama’s Nick Saban will not coach the Crimson Tide against rival Auburn in Saturday’s Iron Bowl because he tested positive for COVID-19, the school said Wednesday.

“He has very mild symptoms, so this test will not be categorized as a potential false positive,” the university said in a statement Wednesday. “He will follow all appropriate guidelines and isolate at home.”

Saban, 69, also tested positive for COVID-19 in October, but that was clarified as a false positive.

The Crimson Tide — who rank No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings — host the Tigers at 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Saban will need to isolate for at least 10 days, per Southeastern Conference protocol.

The Crimson Tide are scheduled to battle Arkansas in their season finale Dec. 4. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian likely will assume head coaching duties in Saban’s absence.



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