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17 hours agoPittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is now the top receiver on his team but still has to prove to some that he belongs among the league's elite. After finishing top six in the NFL last year in both receptions (111) and receiving yards (1,426), the third-year pass catcher is in a position to repeat his breakout season. Without Antonio Brown in town, Smith-Schuster will be Ben Roethlisberger's first look. In half-PPR mocks, he's been going in the early-to-middle of the second round. The talent and opportunity are certainly there for the 22-year-old to be considered a top eight receiver in fantasy drafts.--Steve Janik - RotoBallerSource: Chris Adamski - TribLive.com
17 hours agoBoston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi made his first and only rehab appearance on Thursday, pitching a scoreless inning for Boston's Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate, throwing 11 of his 19 pitches for strikes while walking one and striking out three. Eovaldi is expected to return to the Red Sox during their weekend series with the Orioles. But not to the starting rotation, as manager Alex Cora announced earlier in the month that the team's plan was to use Eovaldi as their primary closer upon his return to action. This should come as a welcome relief, as Boston's bullpen has combined for only 20 saves this year, as well as 18 blown saves that are tied for third-most in the majors. Still available in almost 40% of leagues, Eovaldi is returning as the closer for one of baseball's best teams and is a must-add in all formats.--Nicklaus Gaut - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
18 hours agoCleveland Indians outfielder Jordan Luplow had a strong offensive game on Thursday, going 2-for-3 with a home run. He drove in two runs and drove in two as well. Luplow's home run came with a runner on base in the first inning. Luplow's been a bit up-and-down this season, but he's posted a .263/.335/.513 slash line so far.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  vs. KC    (Mike Montgomery - LHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $3,500
18 hours agoCleveland Indians infielder Jose Ramirez drove in three runs on Thursday, going 1-for-4 with a run scored. Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning off of Matthew Boyd. He's been the Jose Ramirez his fantasy owners expected when they drafted him lately, but a very slow start has his slash line still at .232/.314/.377. He has a ways to go before his season numbers look decent, but he's worth owning and starting in all formats at this point.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  vs. KC    (Mike Montgomery - LHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $6,400
18 hours agoCleveland Indians closer Brad Hand earned his 26th save on Thursday, tossing 1 1/3 innings while allowing one hit and striking out four. Hand came into the eighth inning and got the last out then made quick work of the Tigers in the ninth inning as well. Hand struggled a bit in the All-Star Game and looked a little off in his next few appearances, but he struck out four of the five batters he faced in this one. He'll take a 2.21 ERA into his next appearance.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
18 hours agoCleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer pitched well on Thursday, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 10 while throwing 120 pitches and allowing two home runs. The effort was enough for Bauer to improve to 9-7 and bring his ERA to 3.67. Bauer should continue to strike batters out in large numbers throughout the second half.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
18 hours agoSt. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong did well on Thursday, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. DeJong hit his 14th homer and added a single. He's been alternating between hot streaks and cold streaks, averaging out to a .251/.333/.432 slash line so far. He needs to be started whenever he's hot, and this could be the start of a new hot streak.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ CIN    (Tyler Mahle - RHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $6,000
18 hours agoSt. Louis Cardinals third baseman Tommy Edman hit a grand slam on Thursday, going 1-for-5 with a run scored and four RBI. Edman's slam came in the sixth inning off of Robert Stephenson. Edman has come out of nowhere to post a .254/.284/.493 batting line, which was much more impressive before a recent cold stretch.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ CIN    (Tyler Mahle - RHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $3,000
18 hours agoSt. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Andrew Miller picked up his second save of the season on Thursday, pitching a scoreless ninth inning while allowing a hit and striking out a batter. Carlos Martinez had worked a lot in the past few games so Miller took the ninth inning and delivered a 7-4 victory for the Cardinals. Miller hasn't been the same pitcher he was in the past, but he could still return some value in deeper holds leagues.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
18 hours agoBoston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, a walk, and a solo home run on Thursday against the Blue Jays. He's now scored a run in 13 straight games, marking the first Red Sox player to do so in a single season since Ted Williams did it in 1946. After a pedestrian June, Betts is hitting .416 with a 1.155 OPS in July. That includes six doubles, a triple, home run, seven runs batted in, and 10 walks. It's good to see constant production again from the reigning American League MVP, even if he isn't putting that many balls in the bleachers. As the most important part of the season arrives, expect more of the same from Betts.--Steve Janik - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ BAL    (John Means - LHP)   |  7:05 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $7,500
18 hours agoSt. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson could only muster five innings on Thursday, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out three, allowed a home run, and earned his ninth win of the season. Hudson will head into his next start with a 9-4 record and a 3.57 ERA. He's been a solid but unspectacular starter in his first season as a starter.--David A Marcillo - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
18 hours agoBoston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale didn't allow run over six innings, while striking out 12 and walking two in a 5-0 win over Toronto on Thursday. Sale was his filthy old self, generating 20 swinging strikes in 101 pitches, which led to his first double digit strikeout start since June 26. The southpaw finally got some run support to earn his first victory in over a month, improving his record to 4-9. He'll look for a repeat performance next Tuesday when he faces off with the Rays on the road. Tampa Bay has a better offense than Toronto but Sale is matchup proof every single time he gets the ball.--Steve Janik - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
19 hours agoChicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada went 3-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs scored in a 5-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Moncada is having a breakout year at the plate, slashing .303/.361/.529 while chipping in 17 home runs, 50 RBI, and 52 runs scored over 333 at-bats in 2019. He's also 6-for-9 in stolen base attempts, which is a nice little bonus. Moncada holds a .220 ISO, .379 wOBA, and 93.6 MPH average exit velocity, but his .381 BABIP is unsustainable and indicates that he isn't likely to continue hitting above a .300 batting average. Continue to hold on to and start Moncada as he remains a nice source of power and is eligible at both second and third base.--Kyle Ringstad - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ TB    (Brendan McKay - LHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $6,100
19 hours agoNew York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones remains unsigned with one week remaining before training camp opens. He is one of five first-round picks yet to agree to terms with his organization. Jones is still scheduled to arrive to training camp on Monday when all rookies and select veterans report. He is expected to sign a four-year, $25.5 million contract, with a $16.6 million guarantee, when he arrives, or even shortly before. That is the financial slot for the No. 6 overall pick in the draft. Last season RB Saquon Barkley signed a day before he arrived at camp, so there isn't cause for alarm with Big Blue.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: New York Post - Paul Schwartz
20 hours agoNew York Giants running back Saquon Barkley rolled up 261 carries, 1,307 rushing yards while adding 91 receptions last season. Beat writer John Schmeelk expects the number of receptions for Barkley to drop by as many as 15-20. Early in the season Barkley had many non-consequential dump-off receptions, posting 58 grabs in the first half and 33 in the second half. Barkley likely will have more impactful plays that gain more yardage, even if his catch total declines. Running backs coach Craig Johnson expects the improvement in Year 2 for Barkley to be in his attention to detail, including pass protection, more precise route running, technique and perfect execution of the playbook. Barkley remains a sure-fire Round 1 selection in all fantasy formats, and is a consideration for No. 1 overall pick in PPR formats.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Giants.com - John Schmeelk
20 hours agoMiami Marlins starting pitcher Caleb Smith threw five innings, gave up two earned runs on five hits, and struck out seven while walking two on Thursday afternoon. Smith was actually in line for the win, but the Miami bullpen blew the lead en route to a 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. Smith holds a 5-4 record, 3.47 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and a 101/28 K/BB ratio over 83 innings this season. He also has an impressive 30.5% strikeout-rate and a 15% swinging strike-rate, though he's walking too many batters (3.0 BB/9) and giving up too many homers (1.7 HR/9). Smith remains a useful mixed-league starter in all fantasy formats, though his potential for wins is limited by the Marlins being terrible and their stance on limiting his workload.--Kyle Ringstad - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
20 hours agoNew York Giants placekicker Aldrick Rosas booted 32 field goals in 2018, the fifth-most in franchise history. He connected for a 97.0 field-goal percentage, setting a franchise record. His only missed field-goal attempt was a 52-yard try with 28 seconds remaining in the first half in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles. He also hit a 57-yarder against the Chicago Bears, setting a new franchise record. Rosas has emerged as a fantasy option after a rough first season for Big Blue. And the team should struggle at times on offense, settling for more field-goal attempts than point-after tries, which is always good for fantasy.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Giants.com - Dan Salomone
20 hours agoHouston Texans tight end Jordan Akins expects to be used in various spots on the field in 2019. While the battle for playing time at the tight end position will be tough between Akins, Jordan Thomas, and rookie Kahale Warring, Akins being able to be used in the backfield and in the slot can help him carve out a role. Still, with wide receiver Keke Coutee expected to see most of the slot minutes, Akins' versatility isn't enough to make him a trustworthy fantasy player in 2019 unless injuries hit in Houston.--Justin Carter - RotoBallerSource: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson
20 hours agoNew York Giants undrafted rookie tight end C.J. Conrad turned heads during organized team activities, making a lot of plays and rarely dropping passes, according to beat writer Dan Salomone. He has plenty of size at 6-foot-4 and 248 pounds and he could emerge as an option in the red zone, and Conrad could be used in two tight end sets with fellow TE Evan Engram as more of a hybrid wideout-tight end, running fly patterns and working out of the slot. At this point he doesn't warrant fantasy consideration, but he is a name to watch as he head into camp.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Giants.com - Dan Salomone
20 hours agoNew York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers was the main kick and punt returner man for the Cleveland Browns, and beat writer Lance Medow expects him to reprise that role with the Giants in 2019. However, since he is the team's starting safety, too, his usage will likely be managed at times. "It's a lot of different scenarios, and it's good to have options," special teams coach Thomas McGaughey said last month. Peppers is considered the front runner for the job, however, and others like wide receivers Corey Coleman, Bennie Fowler, Golden Tate, Cody Latimer and Brittan Golden have also see time in the return game in the past. Rookie Darius Slayton could also factor in.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoBallerSource: Giants.com - Lance Medow
21 hours agoNew York Mets catcher Wilson Ramos is absent from the starting lineup for Thursday night's tilt against the San Francisco Giants. This move is presumably due to starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard's preference to have Tomas Nido behind the plate defensively. Ramos hasn't had a great 2019 season, though he remains a back-end starting catcher in most fantasy formats due to the mediocre state of the position. He's slashing .267/.344/.398 with nine homers, 43 RBI, and 35 runs scored over 266 at-bats. Ramos also holds a low ISO (.132), wOBA (.327), barrels/PA (3.4%), and hard-hit rate (32.9%) so far this year. Ramos owners will have to continue starting him and hope he returns to his 2018 form - but it would be wise to stay on the lookout for a potential upgrade.--Kyle Ringstad - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ SF    (Tyler Beede - RHP)   |  10:15 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $5,400
21 hours agoKansas City Royals infielder Cheslor Cuthbert ripped his sixth home run of the season into the left-center seats on Thursday afternoon, getting the scoring started for the Royals. Cuthbert's blast continued his trend of hitting more balls out of the park even though he's hitting more grounders than ever. Cuthbert's previous career-high of 12 home runs in a season may be in jeopardy if he keeps this up, but it took him more than 500 plate appearances to reach that number in 2016. He's only at 152 plate appearances so far this season. He'll either need to keep hitting them out at a brisk 15% HR/FB rate or he'll need to start lifting the ball more often. Either way, Cuthbert should only draw mild interest in deep leagues.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ CLE    (Shane Bieber - RHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $3,100
21 hours agoKansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller cruised to his sixth win of the season on Thursday when he went 6 1/3 innings and allowed two earned runs. Though two unearned ones scored after a Cheslor Cuthbert error in the first inning, Keller settled down and only allowed seven more hits over his next 5 1/3 innings. Keller also struck out seven, giving him 14 strikeouts in his last 14 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, Keller's history doesn't lend itself to believing in the new and improved strikeout rate, but a couple nice starts are good to see. Expected to face off against the Braves next, Keller's likely in for a bit rougher time.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
21 hours agoIn an article this week discussing the Buffalo Bills as potential playoff contenders, NFL.com writer Adam Rank expressed his optimism for the team, and in particular, for Robert Foster. Rank deemed Foster "the best receiver on this roster," while also favorably discussing fellow wideouts John Brown and Cole Beasley. The 6'2" Foster certainly showed flashes of potential as a legitimate #1 outside receiver during his rookie campaign last year, but he still has a lot to prove, and now he has more competition for targets from the aforementioned Brown and Beasley. Nonetheless, Foster is a very intriguing sleeper option heading into 2019 and should be on everyone's radar throughout training camp and preseason.--Andrew Ericksen - RotoBallerSource: NFL.com
21 hours agoWhile the New York Yankees have slowly gotten healthy, Giovanny Urshela continues to be a major contributor. Starting at third base in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader, he recorded three hits, including a game-tying two-run home run and an RBI double in the fifth. While the 27-year-old hasn't been producing at the pace he was doing so earlier in the season, he remains a potent bat, now hitting .308 with nine home runs and 45 RBI. The three-hit game was also his fifth of the season. Urshela figures to remain a consistent player on this club into the latter months of the season and into the postseason.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBallerSource: NJ.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  vs. COL    (Kyle Freeland - LHP)   |  7:05 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $3,800
21 hours agoKansas City Royals rookie Bubba Starling has finally made the leap to the majors, and he snagged his first stolen base on Thursday to help the team sweep the White Sox. The injury-prone prospect who was long considered one of the best in the KC farm system but perennially underperformed put together a strong first half and got the call after the All-Star game. He's since hit safely in five straight games and seems to be getting comfortable quickly. Starling should get quite a bit of play as the season wears on since he's been the team's hope of the future for so long, but whether he'll really be able to stick at the major league level remains to be seen. For now, he's worth a flyer in keeper leagues just in case he's ready.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ CLE    (Shane Bieber - RHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $4,200
21 hours agoWhen New York Yankees starter Domingo German went down in early June with a left hip flexor strain, he was leading the AL in wins. Now, having missed almost a full month, the 26-year-old is once again leading the league in victories. German posted a quality start Thursday afternoon as the Yankees took the first game of a doubleheader. He overcame a pair of solo home runs to start the game and settled in, allowing just the two runs on four hits in six innings of work. The Dominican native struck out five and walked a pair in his 90-pitch performance. German's record improved to 12-2 with his ERA now standing at 3.38.--Ricky Delgado - RotoBallerSource: NY Yankees Twitter
21 hours agoKansas City Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton knocked a pair of singles on Thursday to plate a pair of runs and help the team sweep the White Sox. Hamilton is a natural fit to be a trade chip to go elsewhere, since he's only on a one-year deal and is arguably the fastest man in the game, but his last month isn't going to inspire a lot of confidence in other squads. Prior to Thursday's game, Hamilton last stole a base on June 23, and since then, he'd gone 5-for-35 with 13 strikeouts, zero walks, and one caught stealing. Hopefully, his two hits and swipe on Thursday will be the start of a hot streak. If he can even play mediocre baseball for the next 10 days, he should be in another uniform by August.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
Next Matchup:   7/19  |  @ CLE    (Shane Bieber - RHP)   |  7:10 PM ET
Matchup Rating:   PREMIUM   $4,200
21 hours agoBuffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane had encouraging words to say about LeSean McCoy to beat reporters. "We’re focused on this year," Beane said. "That’s what we have him under contract for, and I definitely think he’s got enough left in the tank to help us in 2019.” McCoy is 31 years old and entering a contract season. His 3.2 yards per carry last year was a career-worst mark, but the Bills have added some offensive line help as well as more reliable backups in Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon. Don't reach for McCoy on draft day, but there's some sneaky value in McCoy if he falls in your draft. As of now, he stands to receive a good amount of carries in what should be an improved Buffalo offense.--Andrew Ericksen - RotoBallerSource: NYup.com
22 hours agoKansas City Royals closer Ian Kennedy was at it again on Thursday as he nailed down his fifth save since the All-Star break. Kennedy was touched up for his first allowed run of the second-half of the season, but a three-pitch punch out of AJ Reed ended the Chicago comeback. Kennedy is the perfect type of attraction for a trade before the deadline except he has an albatross of a contract. Kennedy is making $12 million per year for this year and next, so he'll probably only be moved this season if KC's willing to eat some more of his contract. Not impossible, but unlikely.--Billy Stonick - RotoBallerSource: MLB.com
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