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Eli Rogers PIT WR
Steelers' Eli Rogers: Undergoes knee surgery19h ago
Rogers (knee) underwent surgery to repair his torn ACL on Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Rogers, who suffered the devastating right knee injury during the Steelers' divisional playoff loss to the Jaguars, will be a restricted free agent this offseason as he deals with a lengthy road to recovery. Pittsburgh could be without its slot receiver for the beginning of the 2018 regular season if it elects to re-sign Rogers, given the nine-to-12 month timetable that usually accompanies a torn ACL.
Brandon Tate BUF WR
Bills' Brandon Tate: Kickoff returns lacking20h ago
Tate finished the 2017 campaign with a 19.6-yard average on 28 kickoff returns and a 9.7-yard average on 20 punt returns. He also caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown while occasionally chipping in on offense.
The punt return average put Tate sixth in the NFL, but the kickoff return work was lacking and his worst per-return average in his lengthy NFL career. The latter ranked him last among the 12 NFL players with enough attempts to qualify on the league's special teams leaderboard. Tate, who's been in the league since 2009, is now an unrestricted free agent and there's talk the Bills will let him go and look for something a little more youthful with more upside in the return game. The receiver-needy Bills could also use someone that fills the spot as a return specialist while also offering a better potential than Tate for offensive duty.
E.J. Gaines BUF CB
Bills' E.J. Gaines: Happy result from Watkins trade2d ago
Gaines, acquired by the Bills in the Sammy Watkins trade ahead of the 2017 season, played 11 games and logged 59 tackles, nine passes defensed, three forced fumbles and an interception.
His performance on the field was even better than the box score -- in the 11 games Gaines was fit to play, the Bills were one of the league's tougher teams to pass against. The ex-Ram and rookie Tre'Davious White formed a tandem that far exceeded anyone's initial expectations, with the only buzzkill being that Gaines seemed to be battling one injury or another most of the season. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the league year, and with several other more pressing needs, there's talk the team may not retain him. However, it would be a big score if the Bills could re-sign Gaines and keep what became an excellent starting secondary completely intact.
LaAdrian Waddle NE T
Patriots' LaAdrian Waddle: Questionable for AFC championship2d ago
Waddle (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC championship game against the Jaguars.
Waddle was a non-participant at practice Thursday but was able to return in a limited fashion Friday. The 26-year-old sustained the injury in last Sunday's win over the Titans, and Cameron Fleming would step in at right tackle should he be unable to face the Jaguars.
Alan Branch NE DT
Patriots' Alan Branch: Questionable for AFC championship2d ago
Branch (knee) is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC championship game against the Jaguars.
Branch was a limited participant in practice this week after being forced to sit out last week's divisional-round victory over the Titans. The 33-year-old was limited last week as well, so his availability is likely to be a game-time decision.
Leonard Fournette JAC RB
Jaguars' Leonard Fournette: Ready to face New England on Sunday2d ago
Fournette (ankle) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's AFC championship game against the Patriots after logging limited practices all week.
The Jaguars paced the NFL with an average of 141.4 rushing yards per game during the regular season, and we'd expect them to try to establish the ground game from the get-go Sunday. That should result in plenty of work for Fournette, barring any injury setbacks, with T.J. Yeldon on hand to work in a complementary/change-of-pace role. Despite missing some time during last week's AFC divisional-round win over the Steelers, Fournette still logged 25 carries for 109 yards and three TDs and added two catches for 10 yards in the contest.
Ryan Tepera TOR RP
Blue Jays' Ryan Tepera: Working on third pitch15h ago
Tepera is working on developing a split changeup, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
While Tepera is expected to serve as one of the Blue Jays' top setup men in 2018, the reliever noted that he'd ultimately love to join the team's rotation at some point down the line, which prompted him to add a third offering to his repertoire this offseason. The 30-year-old hasn't started since 2013, when he posted a 4.70 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 20 starts (99.2 innings) with Double-A New Hampshire. He finished the 2017 campaign with a 3.59 ERA and 81:31 K:BB across 77.2 innings of relief.
Tyler Thornburg BOS SP
Red Sox's Tyler Thornburg: Hopeful for Opening Day17h ago
Thornburg, who underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in June, believes he can have a normal spring training and be ready by Opening Day, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
Thornburg has reportedly been progressing well through his throwing program, which he picked up Oct. 2, and has his sights set on the start of the 2018 campaign. That said, even if the southpaw is ready by Opening Day, he noted he may not be available to pitch on consecutive days right away, according to Tim Britton of The Providence Journal. Given the issues other pitchers have had following the same procedure, Thornburg's effectiveness remains to be seen, though the 29-year-old could prove to be a vital part of Boston's bullpen during the upcoming season if he's able to regain his pre-surgery form (2.15 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 90:25 K:BB in 67 innings with the Brewers in 2016).
Trevor May MIN RP
Twins' Trevor May: Throwing from 120 feet20h ago
May (elbow) has been throwing from 120 feet and hopes to throw off a mound by the end of January, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
May missed all of 2017 after suffering a torn UCL in spring training, resulting in Tommy John surgery. He resumed throwing last August and has been gradually increasing his intensity and throwing distance. He's not expected to be ready for the start of the season and could return in May.
Hanley Ramirez BOS DH
Red Sox's Hanley Ramirez: Cleared to resume throwing21h ago
Ramirez (shoulder) has already begun throwing following surgery in mid-October, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports.
Ramirez continues to work his way back from a minor procedure that repaired his left shoulder after playing through shoulder issues throughout the 2017 season. The 34-year-old should be at full health heading into spring training, barring any setbacks.
Yandy Diaz CLE 3B
Indians' Yandy Diaz: Will not require surgery2d ago
Diaz will not need surgery for a sports hernia suffered during winter ball, Zack Meisel of The Athletic Cleveland reports.
It's not clear where Diaz stands in his recovery from the injury he suffered in November, but it seems things are progressing as planned because he has not gone under the knife. The report also notes that the Indians plan to keep playing Diaz mainly at third base in 2018, as opposed to using him in more of a utility role.
Dominic Leone STL RP
Cardinals' Dominic Leone: Traded to Cardinals2d ago
Leone was traded to the Cardinals on Friday along with Conner Greene in exchange for Randal Grichuk.
The 26-year-old righty posted a 2.56 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 70.1 innings of relief in his breakout 2017 campaign. St. Louis has yet to acquire a legitimate closer this offseason, so Luke Gregerson and Tyler Lyons are the current favorites to get saves in 2018. Barring any further moves (the Cardinals have been a rumored landing spot for Alex Colome), Leone could enter that ninth-inning mix at some point in 2018 if Gregerson or Lyons struggles.
Ben Simmons PHI PG
76ers' Ben Simmons: Teases triple-double in Saturday's win6h ago
Simmons scored 16 points (8-13 FG) while adding nine assists, eight rebounds and a steal in 31 minutes during Saturday's 116-94 win over the Bucks.
The rookie seemed to hit a wall around Christmas -- he hasn't recorded even a double-double in his last 12 games, averaging 14.9 points, 5.5 assists, 5.4 boards, 1.4 steals and 1.1 blocks over that stretch -- but Saturday's performance offers some hope that Simmons might be finding his early-season form again. The 21-year-old's floor remains very high due to his multi-category contributions, but it's his ceiling that makes him such a valuable fantasy asset even in re-draft formats.
Dwight Howard CHA C
Hornets' Dwight Howard: Double-doubles in Saturday's defeat6h ago
Howard accounted for 14 points (6-8 FG, 2-5 FT), 15 rebounds, one assist, three blocks and one steal across 35 minutes in Saturday's 106-105 loss to the Heat.
The veteran big man enjoyed another successful night down low, although he was whistled for what turned out to be a pivotal foul against Kelly Olynyk with less than a second remaining. The Heat forward subsequently managed to drain a go-ahead free throw that ultimately proved to be the game winner. Howard has now racked up seven consecutive double-doubles and has seven double-digit scoring efforts in eight January games overall. Consequently, he remains a top-15 center option across all formats, and continues to be one of the most pivotal pieces in the Hornets' attack.
Joel Embiid PHI C
76ers' Joel Embiid: Pours in game-high 29 in Saturday's win6h ago
Embiid scored 29 points (11-19 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 5-6 FT) while adding nine rebounds, two blocks, and assist and a steal in 32 minutes during Saturday's 116-94 win over the Bucks.
He's now scored at least 20 points in eight of his last nine games, averaging 24.9 points, 11.1 boards, 3.3 assists and 1.9 blocks over that stretch. With the Sixers climbing in the standings in the Eastern Conference and putting themselves in playoff contention, Embiid is less of a risk to sit or have his minutes restricted, and it's shown in his recent dominant production.
Kemba Walker CHA PG
Hornets' Kemba Walker: Perseveres through shooting struggles Saturday6h ago
Walker mustered 22 points (10-25 FG, 1-8 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven assists, three rebounds and three steals across 37 minutes in Saturday's 106-105 loss to the Heat.
Walker struggled some with his shot, especially from long distance. However, the 27-year-old guard continued attacking the basket, with his 25 shot attempts serving as his second most over the last 15 games. The All-Star has been particularly proficient as a facilitator of late as well, dishing out between six and 10 assists in six of eight January contests. Given his pivotal role in the Hornets' offense and ability to contribute across the stat sheet, he continues be an elite fantasy asset at his position.
Eric Bledsoe MIL PG
Bucks' Eric Bledsoe: Five steals in Saturday's loss6h ago
Bledsoe scored 14 points (5-18 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 3-5 FT) while adding five steals, three assists and a block in 38 minutes during Saturday's 116-94 loss to the 76ers.
It's the fifth time in the last eight games Bledsoe has recorded at least three swipes, and he extended his streak of games with at least one steal to 14. His scoring has become inconsistent -- he's topped 20 points just three times in that eight-game stretch, averaging 15.8 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 boards, 3.0 steals and 1.4 three-pointers -- but his defensive contributions make him a must-start even in shallower roto formats.
Nicolas Batum CHA SF
Hornets' Nicolas Batum: Racks up buckets in Saturday's loss6h ago
Batum registered 26 points (8-12 FG, 1-2 3Pt, 9-10 FT), six assists, three rebounds and three steals across 33 minutes in Saturday's 106-105 loss to the Heat.
The veteran two-guard's scoring total didn't only pace the Hornets on the night, but it also served as a season high. Batum has now shot 66.7 percent in two contests during January, eclipsing the 20-point mark in both. Batum typically takes a back seat on offense to backcourt mate Kemba Walker, but as he demonstrated Saturday, he can certainly light up the scoreboard when he gets the hot hand. Factoring in Saturday's line, Batum has now posted five straight double-digit scoring efforts while also dishing out at least five assists in three of those games.
Jacob Markstrom VAN G
Canucks' Jacob Markstrom: Makes 30 saves in loss to Oilers4h ago
Markstrom stopped 30 of 34 shots in Saturday's loss to the Oilers.
Markstrom got victimized by a surging Edmonton squad, who got a three-point performance from Finnish stud Jesse Puljujarvi. Markstrom had been playing well prior to Saturday, but the Canucks' starting netminder has failed to really put together an extended impressive stretch of play. His up-and-down tendencies have led to a mediocre 12-15-5 record with a lackluster .908 save percentage. The Canucks continue to fall and it's hard to trust Markstrom in anything but the deepest of leagues.
Cam Talbot EDM G
Oilers' Cam Talbot: Makes 25 saves to defeat Canucks4h ago
Talbot stopped 25 of 27 shots in Saturday's win over the Canucks.
Talbot has strung together two impressive victories to get himself to 17-16-2 on the season. The Oilers need a really strong second half if they hope to get themselves into the playoff picture, meaning Talbot will need to be much better than he's been this season. The 30-year-old owns a lackluster .902 save percentage, but it's his play in these last two games that is reminding fantasy goers why he was so valuable last year. If he can keep it up and the Oilers provide offensive support, Talbot will become a must-start once again.
Milan Lucic EDM LW
Oilers' Milan Lucic: Bags two assists against Canucks4h ago
Lucic had two assists in Saturday's win over Vancouver.
Lucic hasn't scored in almost a month, but he's got three assists in his last three games and has been a steady source of PIM. The power forward has hit the 30-point barrier and continues to dish out plenty of hits. Lucic has landed around 20 goals and 50 points in four straight seasons and that trend is well on it's way to continuing this time around. The 29-year-old is worth owning in many leagues for his combination of offense and PIM.
Leon Draisaitl EDM C
Oilers' Leon Draisaitl: Multi-point effort against Vancouver5h ago
Draisaitl scored his 12th goal of the season and had an assist in Saturday's win over the Canucks.
The Oilers have now won three consecutive games and Draisaitl is riding his own four-game point streak. The 22-year-old is up to 38 points (12 goals) in 43 games and is sporting a tidy plus-11 rating. He's been producing consistently all season and will need to take it up even another notch if Edmonton hopes to make a playoff push in the second half. Take full advantage.
Patrick Maroon EDM LW
Oilers' Patrick Maroon: Nets two more goals Saturday5h ago
Maroon extended his goal-scoring streak to three games Saturday, striking twice in a win over Vancouver.
The Oilers have now won three straight games and Maroon has scored in each of them. While Maroon may not be an elite offensive producer, this recent stretch shows why he's worth owning in many settings. Maroon is a solid top-line goal-scorer and supplies plenty of PIM, making him a fantasy weapon. The 29-year-old is hot right now and can be rolled out with confidence while he skates alongside superstar Connor McDavid.
Jesse Puljujarvi EDM RW
Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi: First three-point game in NHL5h ago
Puljujarvi had the first three-point game of his NHL career Saturday against Vancouver, netting his ninth goal of the season and adding two assists in a commanding victory.
Puljujarvi looked dominant in the victory, firing six shots on goal in 13:29 of ice time. He had been held off the scoresheet in eight straight games, but made headlines for a good reason recently after he was spotted playing outdoor hockey with young fans in Edmonton during the Oilers' bye week. The 19-year-old is now up to nine goals and 11 points in 30 games on the season. It's easy to forget he's just a teenager, so if he starts to gain more confidence following Saturday's performance, the Finnish sniper could be worth snatching up.