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Andrew Benintendi BOS LF
Red Sox's Andrew Benintendi: Breaks through with first homer3h ago
Benintendi went 2-for-5 with a solo home run and three RBI in Boston's 8-2 win over the Angels on Thursday.
After going his first 15 games of the season without a home run, Benintendi broke through with his first long ball of the year with a sixth-inning blast off Nick Tropeano. Despite the lack of power, Benintendi has been getting on base at a solid clip (.384 on-base percentage) and he now sports an .834 OPS. Fantasy owners will hope the breakthrough homer means he's primed to get his power stroke going after he left the yard 20 times in his first full big-league campaign last year.
Mookie Betts BOS RF
Red Sox's Mookie Betts: Continues torrid stretch at plate3h ago
Betts went 2-for-5 with a solo home run, a double and two runs to help the Red Sox to an 8-2 victory over the Angels on Thursday.
Betts is absolutely on fire at the moment with seven hits and four home runs in his last 13 at-bats to bring his slash line for the season up to an absurd .391/.481/.797 in 64 at-bats. His numbers will drop off that incredible pace eventually, but Betts looks primed for the type of elite, All-Star caliber season that would allow him to function as an anchor for fantasy lineups.
Nick Tropeano LAA SP
Angels' Nick Tropeano: Knocked around by Red Sox3h ago
Tropeano (1-1) got the loss against the Red Sox on Thursday, giving up five earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings, striking out three and walking two.
Tropeano impressed with 6.2 shutout innings against the Royals after getting called up from Triple-A before his first start of the season but he couldn't follow up with a similar effort against the Red Sox. Boston's lineup is tough on a lot of pitchers, so it's possible this outing was a symptom of the tough matchup. His start against the Astros next Wednesday doesn't exactly afford him a break in that department, however, so consider a Tropeano a high-risk streaming option for that contest.
Eduardo Rodriguez BOS SP
Red Sox's Eduardo Rodriguez: Gets win against Angels3h ago
Rodriguez moved to 2-0 with Thursday's 8-2 win over the Angels, giving up two earned runs on three hits over six innings, striking out five and walking three.
Rodriguez only lasted 3.2 innings in his first start of the season but he's bounced back with quality starts in each of last two outings to bring his ERA down to 3.45 ERA and his WHIP to 1.28. He's shown that he has the ability to rack up strikeouts in the past, so if he can stay healthy and continue to post serviceable ratios he could establish himself as an under-the-radar solid fantasy option. He'll look to build on the pair of solid showings in his next start against the Blue Jays next Wednesday.
Jameson Taillon PIT SP
Pirates' Jameson Taillon: Touched up for five runs4h ago
Taillon (2-1) allowed five earned runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three across 1.2 innings to take the loss Thursday against the Phillies.
The Phillies jumped on Taillon in the second inning as Rhys Hoskins started the trouble with a solo home run. Later in the inning, Cesar Hernandez hitting a single with the bases loaded to drive in three more runs. While Thursday's start was not his finest effort, Taillon had been off to a strong start this season. For now, there's little reason to believe this is more than one bad performance.
Odubel Herrera PHI CF
Phillies' Odubel Herrera: Drives in two4h ago
Herrera went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored Thursday against the Pirates.
Herrera continued to swing a hot bat Thursday, extending his hitting streak to four-games. Now in the lineup regularly, he has also recorded at least one hit in eight of his past 10 games and thrived in his spot in the lineup sandwiched between Carlos Santana and Rhys Hoskins. Though it's early, he's gotten on base at a .380 clip, which has been backed up by him chasing fewer pitches outside the strike zone. If that were to continue, he should solidify his role in a prime spot in the Phillies' lineup.
Julio Jones ATL WR
Falcons' Julio Jones: Not participating in start of voluntary workouts9h ago
Jones is not partaking in the first week of Atlanta's voluntary offseason program while he attends the grand opening of his car dealership in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports.
Jones missed the entirety of the team's 2017 offseason program due to foot surgery, so head coach Dan Quinn's announcement in March indicating that Jones would participate in this year's workouts was news well-received by every tier of the Falcons' organization. Quinn reported that there is no cause for concern regarding Jones being absent in the early going. "It's not mandatory," Quinn said this week from the team facility, "but we knew (he wasn't) going to be here." Jones' prompt return to workouts is expected, as he aims to continue building rapport with Matt Ryan and the rest of the receiving corps.
Nick Williams MIA DT
Bears' Nick Williams: Signs with Bears10h ago
Williams signed a contract with the Bears on Thursday.
Williams last played in 2016, recording eight tackles while playing in 10 games combined with the Dolphins and Chiefs. If he makes the Bears' roster in 2018 it will likely be as a depth lineman and special teams player.
Marlon Brown DEN WR
Bears' Marlon Brown: Signs with Chicago10h ago
Brown signed a contract with the Bears on Thursday, Patrick Finley of The Chicago Sun Times reports.
Brown didn't play in 2017 after being waived by Denver before the start of the regular season. He last saw regular season action while with the Ravens in 2015, recording 112 yards on 14 catches in 10 games. He'll be looking to get a spot near the bottom of the Bears' receiver depth chart in 2018.
Jessamen Dunker NYG T
Jessamen Dunker: Waived by Giants11h ago
Dunker (foot) was waived by the Giants on Thursday, Michael Eisen of the Giants' official site reports.
Dunker spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve due to a foot injury. It's unclear what the specifics of his injury were or if it will impact him going forward. He'll look to get healthy and catch on with another team in 2018.
Dwight Freeney DET DE
Dwight Freeney: Retiring a Colt11h ago
Freeney is officially retiring from the NFL and will do so as a Colt, Andrew Walker of the Colts' official site reports.
Freeney played with the Colts from 2002 to 2012, recording 107.5 sacks in his 11 years with the team. In all, Freeney recorded 332 tackles, including 125.5 sacks in his 16 year NFL career. He spent the last five seasons bouncing between the Chargers, Cardinals, Falcons, Seahawks, and finally the Lions.
Shaun Livingston GS PG
Warriors' Shaun Livingston: Ankle injury believed to be minor4h ago
Coach Steve Kerr said that Livingston (ankle) should 'be ok' after suffering the injury in Game 3 against the Spurs, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
The Warriors had a couple of scares Thursday with Livingston and Kevin Durant both suffering ankle injuries. While Kerr implied that Livingston's was slightly worse than Durant's, it does not appear that Livingston is expected to miss much time. The Warriors have two full days off for Livingston to get treatment before making a final call on his status for Game 4.
Shaun Livingston GS PG
Warriors' Shaun Livingston: Heads to locker room with ankle injury5h ago
Livingston headed to the locker room late in Thursday's playoff contest against the Spurs with a left ankle injury, Monte Poole of NBC Sports reports.
Livingston had himself a great game Thursday, scoring 16 points (4-9 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 8-8 FT) to go along with three rebounds and one assist. The injury itself looked not much more than a tweak, and with a full two days separating now and the Warriors next game, Livingston will have some time to recuperate. If the injury ends up limiting or excluding the point guard from action, expect Quinn Cook to pick up additional minutes.
Kevin Durant GS SF
Warriors' Kevin Durant: Rolls ankle late, does not return to Game 35h ago
Durant went back to the locker room after appearing to roll his ankle Thursday against the Spurs, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic Bay Area reports.
After initially going to the bench, Durant headed back to the locker room for further evaluation but did not appear to be limping. That Durant did not return to Thursday's game after turning his ankle may be more precautionary than anything considering that the Warriors held a commanding lead over the Spurs. Durant will have two full days to get treatment before Game 4.
James Johnson MIA PF
Heat's James Johnson: Contributes 12 points in Game 37h ago
Johnson scored 12 points (4-9 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT) while adding seven rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal across 32 minutes in Thursday's 128-108 loss to the 76ers.
Johnson's 12-point total in Game 3 was his lowest of the series so far, but his efficiency was bound to decrease after shooting 75 percent through the first two games. His production across the board makes up for his lower efficiency, but Johnson will be needed offensively if the Heat want to climb back into the series in Game 4.
Kelly Olynyk MIA PF
Heat's Kelly Olynyk: Plays 36 minutes in Game 37h ago
Olynyk contributed nine points (2-6 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal across 36 minutes in Thursday's 128-108 loss to the 76ers.
Olynyk saw plenty of run in Game 3 due to Hasaan Whiteside's early foul trouble, but didn't capitalize on it, failing to reach double-digit points for the first time this series. He has seen 30-plus minutes in each game of this series, but may be called upon more defensively in the paint now that Joel Embiid has returned from injury.
Justise Winslow MIA SF
Heat's Justise Winslow: Double-Doubles in Game 37h ago
Winslow collected 19 points (4-11 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal across 27 minutes in Thursday's 128-108 loss to the 76ers.
After failing to post double-digit scoring totals in the first two games, Winslow contributed 19 points off the bench in Game 3, mostly in part to his 66 percent shooting from three. Winslow has shown his ability to play both solid offense and defense when on the court, and with the Heat down 2-1, they may turn to Winslow as one of the possible solutions to their struggles.
Boone Jenner CLB LW
Blue Jackets' Boone Jenner: Scores first goal of series Thursday2h ago
Jenner scored a goal in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Capitals in Game 4.
His first goal of the series came just over six minutes into the third period, giving the Jackets a brief flash of hope after they fell behind 3-0 on Thursday. Jenner found the scoresheet just twice in his final nine regular-season games, so it's little surprise that he's been able to muster only two points so far in the postseason. The 24-year-old is skating on the second power-play unit for Columbus, but his fantasy ceiling is still limited for the duration of the team's playoff run.
Sergei Bobrovsky CLB G
Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky: Makes 29 saves in Game 4 loss2h ago
Bobrovsky stopped 29 of 32 shots in Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Capitals in Game 4.
He's now allowed at least three goals in each game this series, posting a 2.73 GAA and .921 save percentage as the Jackets let a 2-0 series lead slip through their fingers on home ice. Bobrovsky will need to be sharper if the team is going to steal another win in Washington on Saturday.
Tom Wilson WAS RW
Capitals' Tom Wilson: Two-point effort in Game 4 win2h ago
Wilson scored a goal and an assist in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 4.
He fired a team-leading seven shots on net and dished three hits with a plus-3 rating while also picking up a minor penalty for the fourth straight game. Wilson's two goals and three points through four games are solid, but it's his physical play that's helped the Caps even the series after falling behind 0-2. Expect him to continue asserting himself Saturday back in the Washington for Game 5.
Alex Ovechkin WAS LW
Capitals' Alex Ovechkin: Two points in Thursday's win2h ago
Ovechkin scored a goal and added a power-play assist in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 4.
That's now three straight multi-point efforts for Ovechkin, who has three goals and six points through four games so far. With the Caps suddenly in the driver's seat again as the series shifts back to Washington for Game 5 on Saturday, expect the 32-year-old to stay hot.
Evgeny Kuznetsov WAS C
Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov: Three-point performance in Game 4 win2h ago
Kuznetsov scored a goal and two assists in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 4.
The Caps' top line did most of the damage in this one, with Kuznetsov, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson combining for three goals and seven points. The 25-year-old was held off the scoresheet in each of the two prior contests, but he still has three goals and five points in the series heading into Game 5 on Saturday back in Washington.
Braden Holtby WAS G
Capitals' Braden Holtby: Turns aside 23 shots in Game 4 win2h ago
Holtby made 23 saves in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets in Game 4.
After watching from the bench through most of the first two games in the series, Holtby's re-insertion into the lineup has lit a fire under the Caps, and he's led them to two straight wins to even things up against Columbus. He'll carry a .940 save percentage into Game 5 back in Washington on Saturday.