Nolan Arenado COL 3B
Rockies' Nolan Arenado: Launches seventh homer1h ago
Nolan Arenado went 1-for-5 with a solo home run during Thursday's loss to Washington.
Sporting a .314/.368/.663 slash line with 15 runs, seven home runs, 16 RBI and a .431 wOBA, Arenado has been as advertised to start 2017. He boasts a coveted high-floor, high-ceiling combo and is in the heart of his prime.
Trevor Story COL SS
Rockies' Trevor Story: Goes 0-for-3 against Nats1h ago
Story, Trevor went 0-for-3 with a run during Thursday's loss to Washington.
Now sporting a .175/.267/.375 slash line through 90 plate appearances to start the season, Story stands out as one of the biggest early-season bust candidates going. Young players often endure plenty of peaks and valleys early in their careers, through, and Story's monstrous showing last season probably affords him a little longer leash than most. On the flip side, this might also prove to be a buy-low point. He does have the benefit of calling Coors Field home, after all.
Luis Valbuena LAA 3B
Angels' Luis Valbuena: Eyeing Tuesday return1h ago
Luis Valbuena (hamstring) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday, Maria Guardado of MLB.com reports.
The Los Angeles Angels are close to having their infield back to full strength with Valbuena's return looming. The team hopes to have him back Tuesday for the start of their series in Seattle. Valbuena will add a left-handed bat to the lineup with the versatility to play either corner infield spot, but he'll likely serve as the Angels' primary first baseman against right-handed pitchers.
Wilmer Difo WAS 2B
Nationals' Wilmer Difo: Goes 2-for-5 against Rockies1h ago
Wilmer Difo went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run during Thursday's win over Colorado.
While this was a solid outing for the 25-year-old infielder, Difo has underwhelmed through 50 plate appearances this season with a .227/.320/.273 slash line. Now that the Washington infield is healthy, Difo won't see enough playing time to be a serviceable fantasy asset in most settings.
John Axford OAK RP
Athletics' John Axford: Throwing from 90 feet2h ago
John Axford (shoulder) has stretched out to throwing 90 feet in recent sessions, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The veteran reliever resumed throwing earlier in the week and Slusser is reporting that he could join the team on its upcoming road trip to continue his rehab. Once Axford is able to start throwing off a mound, the A's will be able to formulate a timeline for when he can set out on a rehab assignment.
Adam Lind WAS 1B
Nationals' Adam Lind: Takes advantage of start at Coors Field2h ago
Adam Lind went 2-for-6 with a double, two RBI and a run during Thursday's win over Colorado.
Lind has been limited to just 29 plate appearances this season, but he's been solid when given an opportunity with a .308/.379/.538 slash line. With the Washington Nationals scoring runs in bunches, Lind is an excellent candidate for daily contests when in the starting lineup. However, he'll need more consistent playing time to become a serviceable option in the majority of seasonal leagues.
Jamal Murray DEN SG
Nuggets' Jamal Murray: Undergoes successful surgery Thursday3h ago
Jamal Murray (sports hernia) underwent successful surgery Thursday.
After playing through most of the 2016-17 season with a sports hernia, Murray underwent successful surgery to correct the issue. He should have a full offseason ahead of him to rest and recover in order to get back into form for his sophomore season. Murray averaged 9.9 points and 2.1 assists across 21.5 minutes per game this season and could be a candidate to take over the Denver Nuggets ' starting point guard role next year with Emmanuel Mudiay showing little improvement.
Troy Williams HOU SF
Rockets' Troy Williams: Assigned to D-League5h ago
Troy Williams was assigned Thursday to the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
The Vipers are currently fighting for a D-League championship, with Thursday marking the final game of the series. Williams will head down looking to help secure the trophy, but should be recalled shortly after to rejoin the Houston Rockets for their own playoff run. That said, Williams didn't play a minute in the final four games of the Rockets' first-round matchup with the Thunder and is nothing more than emergency depth off the bench.
Isaiah Taylor HOU PG
Rockets' Isaiah Taylor: Returns to Rockets5h ago
Isaiah Taylor was recalled from the D-League on Thursday.
It's somewhat of an odd decision considering the Rio Grande Valley Vipers play for the D-League championship on Thursday night, but the Houston Rockets apparently want to have Taylor present for a practice or team function. Don't expect the former Texas standout to be a factor for Houston throughout the postseason.
Khris Middleton MIL SG
Bucks' Khris Middleton: Moves past illness, will start Game 65h ago
Khris Middleton (illness) will start and play Game 6 without restriction, Eric Koreen of The Athletic reports.
Middleton has been battling an illness since Monday morning, but his status for Game 6 was never believed to be in serious jeopardy. The 25-year-old has struggled in each of the last two games of the series -- both Milwaukee Bucks losses -- shooting a combined 7-of-21 from the floor, while misfiring on all five of his three-point attempts. Middleton, who shot better than 43 percent from three during the regular season, will look to bounce back in Game 6 with the Bucks facing elimination.
Rajon Rondo CHI PG
Bulls' Rajon Rondo: Ruled out for Game 65h ago
Rajon Rondo (thumb) is officially listed as out for Friday's Game 6 against the Celtics, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports.
Coach Fred Hoiberg indicated earlier Thursday that Rondo was a long shot to play in Friday's contest, so this falls in line with his original belief. That said, Rondo is known for playing through pain, so it's still worth it to monitor his status following Friday's morning shootaround just in case he's a late addition to the active roster. Isaiah Canaan has been announced as the team's starting point guard for the second straight contest after posting 13 points, two rebounds and one steal across 36 minutes during Game 5.
Jimmy Butler CHI SF
Bulls' Jimmy Butler: Will play in Game 6 despite knee soreness6h ago
Jimmy Butler will play in Friday's Game 6 despite experiencing soreness in his knee, Nick Friedell of ESPN reports.
Butler banged knees with a Celtics' player in the second half of Wednesday's game. Although the Chicago Bulls are downplaying the knee issue, it is worth noting that Butler attempted only two fourth-quarter shots after the injury in Game 5 and failed to score in the quarter. He could also be seen favoring the knee at times and using an electronic stimulation machine on it during postgame interviews. Nevertheless, Butler will play in Game 6, and he will need to play well with Rajon Rondo (thumb) likely out and Chicago's season on the line.
Nikita Zadorov COL D
Avalanche's Nikita Zadorov: Taken off injured reserve2h ago
Nikita Zadorov (ankle) is no longer listed on injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site.
While this move could just be a formality, it's worth noting that Zadorov will become a restricted free agent this offseason and, per Adrian Dater of BSN Denver, is toying with the idea of signing with a KHL team in his native Russia. All that aside, the severity of the 22-year-old's injury is still something of a mystery so even if he does return to the NHL, there's no guarantee he'll be healthy by the time training camp opens in the fall.
Chad Ruhwedel PIT D
Penguins' Chad Ruhwedel: Won't play Thursday3h ago
Chad Ruhwedel (arm) is not in the lineup for Thursday night's series-opening game in Washington.
Ruhwedel misses his eighth consecutive game dating back to the penultimate game of the regular season. Considering his status as a game-time decision Thursday, the 26-year-old appears to be on track to return within the next game or two, though it remains to be seen where he'll line up.
Tom Pyatt OTT C
Senators' Tom Pyatt: Won't suit up for Game 14h ago
Tom Pyatt (upper body) isn't on the ice for pregame warmups, indicating he won't be in the lineup for Thursday's Game 1 against the Rangers, Dean Brown of TSN 1200 reports.
Pyatt will miss a third consecutive game Thursday due to injuries to both his upper and lower body, but he was considered a game-time decision heading into Game 1, indicating he may be ready to return for Saturday's Game 2. The veteran forward isn't known for his offensive contributions, having only tallied 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 82 games this season, but the Ottawa Senators will miss his contributions as a key component of their penalty-killing unit. Tommy Wingels will continue to draw into the lineup while Pyatt remains sidelined.
Marc-Andre Fleury PIT G
Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury: Ready to face Capitals in Game 14h ago
Marc-Andre Fleury will guard the goal for Thursday night's Game 1 in Washington.
With Matt Murray (lower body) still ailing, Fleury will continue to be the undisputed starter for the Pittsburgh Penguins ' playoff run. The 32-year-old played admirably in the first-round series against Columbus, posting a .933 save percentage and 2.52 GAA en route to a 4-1 record. The Flower hasn't faired well at the Verizon Center this season, allowing nine goals total over the course of two regular season starts, so he'll look to turn it around Thursday.
Blackhawks' Nathan Noel: Signs entry-level deal with Blackhawks4h ago
Noel agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Chicago selected Noel in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft after he had put together three solid seasons with QMJHL Saint John. This past season with the Sea Dogs, Noel tied his career-high for goals (24) and finished with 50 points while playing in just 52 games. While his offensive prowess is clear, it's also worth noting that he plays tough too, as his 82 penalty minutes and plus-19 rating during the 2016-17 campaign will attest. The 19-year-old will fight for a roster spot in the fall on a Blackhawks team that is trying to reload on its young talent.
Henrik Lundqvist NYR G
Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist: Slated to start Game 1 in Ottawa5h ago
Henrik Lundqvist will start Thursday's second-round opening game in Ottawa by virtue of the New York Rangers using the same lineup from their last game, Steve Zipay of Newsday reports.
No surprises here, as Lundqvist spectacularly closed out the first-round series against Montreal, posting a .955 save percentage and 1.23 GAA on his way to victories in the final three games. King Henrik started just one game at Canadian Tire Centre during the regular season, allowing three goals on 33 shots en route to a loss on April 8, so he'll likely be looking to ride his current form rather than dwell on the past poor performance.
Eagles' Derek Barnett: Selected 14th by Eagles21m ago
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Barnett in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 14th overall.
Barnett is extremely accomplished as a college defender, but at under 260 pounds with poor athletic metrics, his skill set will need to carry him in the NFL. With 33 sacks in his three seasons at Tennessee, such optimism is reasonable. He'll compete for snaps behind Brandon Graham, Chris Long, and Vinny Curry.
Cardinals' Haason Reddick: Picked 13th by Arizona27m ago
The Cardinals selected Reddick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 13th overall.
Reddick (6-foot-1, 237 pounds) is a highly athletic linebacker who served as the top defender on a tough Temple defense. He's an elite athlete at the position with a 4.52-second 40, 36.5-inch vertical, and 133-inch broad jump, and his disruptive skill set gives him the ability to contribute as an edge defender in addition to his likely main position of inside linebacker. He might get brought along slowly in a talented Arizona defense, but Reddick could earn a starting role right away if the Cardinals don't turn back to the recently reinstated Daryl Washington.
Texans' Deshaun Watson: Taken by Houston in trade up34m ago
The Houston Texans selected Watson in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 12th overall.
They traded up from the 25th pick to make the selection, giving up their 2018 first-round pick in the process. Bill O'Brien is generally known as a coach who prefers, tall, heavy quarterbacks with strong arms, but Watson decisively cuts against that mold. He also cuts against the mold of the likes of Brock Osweiler and Tom Savage in the sense that he can actually throw a football at the NFL level. Watson might initially struggle as he adjusts to the speed of NFL defenses, but his unparalleled success at Clemson (97 total touchdowns in his last 30 games) and consecutive National Championship appearances imply that he's capable of adapting. It doesn't hurt that he'll have a very good group of pass catchers waiting for him in Houston. If Tom Savage is the only competition the Texans can muster, it's hard to imagine Watson anywhere but the starting lineup in Week 1. As a talented runner with plenty of surrounding help, Watson could make a surprisingly big fantasy impact as a rookie with a little luck.
Saints' Marshon Lattimore: Falls to Saints at 1145m ago
The New Orleans Saints selected Lattimore in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 11th overall.
The Saints got lucky here, snagging the draft's top cornerback prospect at anywhere from eight to six spots later than he was almost universally expected to go. Their pass defense could certainly use some help, and now they get the best they could have asked for. As a corner, however, Lattimore is unlikely to make an IDP impact
Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes: Taken 10th in KC trade up1h ago
The Kansas City Chiefs selected Mahomes in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, 10th overall.
They traded up all the way from 27th pick, trading an extra first and third-round pick to make the deal. Alex Smith might begin the year as starter, but if the playoffs should look out of reach at any point or if he should miss any time with injury, that might be the end of him as a Chiefs starter. Mahomes (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) has the best throwing velocity in the class, and is extremely accomplished after playing at Texas Tech. He threw for 11,252 yards (8.3 YPA), 93 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions in 32 career games, and also has excellent athleticism for a quarterback (22 career rushing touchdowns). His dual-threat skills and a plausible starting role in an Andy Reid offense no later than 2018 make Mahomes an enticing dynasty asset, and one to keep an eye on if he should see the field in 2017.
Bengals' John Ross: Joins the Bengals1h ago
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Ross in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, ninth overall.
With two meniscus tears, an ACL tear, and a shoulder injury necessitating surgery, Ross has an extensive list of medical concerns for a player drafted this high, but his potential makes the temptation irresistible. In terms of modern, accurate recording of the 40-yard dash, John Ross is the fastest player to run it, setting a Combine record with a 4.22-second run. Ross may not be big at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, but it's a fair amount heavier than most players of comparable speed -- DeSean Jackson and J.J. Nelson ran their blazing times at under 170 pounds, for instance -- so even when adjusting for size he's almost impossibly fast. After scoring 17 touchdowns in 2016, Ross could make a Day 1 impact if he earns enough of the targets that previously went toward Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd.