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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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U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open

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Sept. 17 (UPI) — Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka, who won the 2020 U.S. Open last week, announced Thursday night that she will skip this month’s French Open.

Osaka — ranked third in the world — said she decided to withdraw from the upcoming major because of a lingering left hamstring injury and a lack of preparation time on the clay surface.

“Unfortunately I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” Osaka wrote on social media. “My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have enough time to prepare for the clay — these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time. I wish the organizers and players all the best.”

The French Open is set to begin Sept. 27 in Paris after being rescheduled from its traditional spring dates due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Osaka, 22, has never advanced past the third round of the French tournament.

Osaka, who had her hamstring taped throughout the U.S. Open, earned her third major title in New York after a three-set comeback win over Victoria Azarenka.



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Chicago White Sox beat Minnesota Twins to clinch AL playoff spot

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Sept. 17 (UPI) — The Chicago White Sox are back in the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade after earning a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

With the victory, the White Sox clinched their first postseason berth since 2008. It is only the franchise’s second trip to the playoffs since the club won the World Series in 2005.

The White Sox are the first American League team to clinch a spot in the 2020 postseason. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first NL club to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

“Everybody in there is extremely happy,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work over the years. Hopefully, it’s just a first step, and we continue to move forward.”

White Sox slugger Jose Abreu fueled the win with his 17th home run of the season. The homer — which tied the game at one run apiece in the fourth inning — gave Abreu 50 RBIs in the team’s first 50 games this year, making him the first MLB player to reach 50 RBIs in 2020 and the first to do it in 50 contests since the Detroit TigersMiguel Cabrera in 2013.

Abreu tied the game again in the seventh inning when he legged out an infield single to score Jarrod Dyson from third. That sequence set up the winner — a line drive double to left field by Eloy Jimenez to plate pinch runner Yolmer Sanchez.

“For me, that was a really special moment,” Jimenez said. “It’s really fun, you know. At the beginning of the year, I would have been disappointed if we didn’t make the playoffs. Now, we’ve made it, and we have to continue to play hard and win our division.”

“We’re not done,” Renteria said. “This is just one phase of it. Hopefully, we’re continuing to be better.”

This week in Major League Baseball

New York Yankees Luke Voit (L) celebrates with Aaron Hicks after hitting a solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in New York City on Thursday. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays 10-7. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo



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Miami Heat rally past Boston Celtics for 2-0 series lead

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Sept. 17 (UPI) — The Miami Heat mounted another comeback to beat the Boston Celtics 106-101 and take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals Thursday night.

The Heat were down by as much as 17 points in the second quarter and trailed the Celtics by 13 at halftime before exploding for 37 points in the third frame. Miami had been 0-21 in postseason games when trailing by at least that many at the half.

The Heat are now 1-21 in such games and sit two wins away from their first NBA finals since 2014.

“We like to make it hard on ourselves,” Heat star Jimmy Butler said. “We like being down double digits and being the comeback kids.”

Goran Dragic led the Heat with 25 points and five assists. Bam Adebayo, who had a clutch block in the closing seconds of Game 1, recorded 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Heat sharpshooter Duncan Robinson scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting from 3-point range to end his offensive woes. In the Heat’s last two playoff games, he was 2 of 9 from deep and scored a combined eight points.

Butler finished with 14 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Jae Crowder scored 12 points, and Tyler Herro added 11 off the bench.

Kemba Walker had a team-best 23 points for the Celtics, who also got 21 apiece from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Brown failed to make a corner 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 15 seconds left, and Butler sealed it with two free throws with 7.4 seconds left.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is set for Saturday.



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