FANTASY PLAYER UPDATES & NEWS

Pierre Thomas returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday for the first time since injuring his chest during the team's Week 17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Thomas' status for Saturday's matchup against the Seahawks in Seattle is still uncertain, but his return to practice is a good sign that he could play. ANALYST: Michael Pichan

David DeJesus went 2-for-4 with two RBI against the Red Sox on Monday.

DeJesus is now slashing .259/.328/.345 with one home run and 10 RBI through 58 at-bats and will continue to see regular playing time with Desmond Jennings on the disabled list. However, until he he can produce on a consistent level DeJesus is nothing more than a desperation pick at this point.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Clay Buchholz allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out seven batters through 6 1/3 innings against the Rays on Monday.

Buchholz continues to have himself a tough season as he is now sitting on a 6.03 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a 40:10 K:BB rate through his first six starts. Although he has displayed the skills needed to be a successful fantasy asset his inconsistencies make it very difficult to make him a trusted player every time he takes the mound. He will look to get himself back on track when he takes on the Blue Jays on Sunday.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Jake Odorizzi allowed just one run on seven hits and no walks while striking out six batters over seven innings against the Red Sox on Monday.

Odorizzi continues to impress in 2015 as he is now sitting 3-2 with a 2.21 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and a 32:8 K:BB rate through sis starts (40 2/3 innings). Despite his recent success, it is hard to imagine Odorizzi will be able to hold onto this type of production for long considering he currently owns a .190 BAA which is not sustainable long term. He will look to keep the ball rolling when he takes on the Rangers on Saturday. Analysis: Matthew Beck

Joey Butler went 1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored against the Red Sox on Monday.

In just his second game with the Rays Butler logged his first home run as he continues to be used as the team's designated hitter. However, his track record is far too small to jump to conclusions so there is no reason to add him in formats outside of deep AL-only leagues while he appears to be seeing everyday at-bats.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Giants Manager Bruce Bochy indicated the third baseman Casey McGehee could be in line for some games off in the near future.

To say McGehee has struggled so far this season would be to make a massive understatement. He's hitting just a buck eighty-eight with just four extra-base hits in 74 PA. The Giants are reportedly looking for an upgrade, but Joaquin Arias will likely see some extra reps to get Casey some "rest." Analysis: Spencer Silva

Doc Rivers made it clear after Monday's game that Chris Paul will play on Wednesday if he's cleared.

Paul injured his hamstring during Game 5 of the Clippers' opening series with the Spurs. He was a game-time decision Monday, and it's expected to be the same story on Wednesday night. If he's cleared, however, you can expect to see him on the court. It's tough to imagine the Clippers making a deep run without him. Analysis: Spencer Silva

Dwight Howard scored 22 points (9-13 FGA, 4-9 FTA) to go with ten rebounds and five blocks in Houston's 117-101 defeat to Los Angeles.

Howard put up his fourth double-double out of his last five games, but is still a guy who is going get fouled in a Hack-a-Dwight scenario. He went 4-for-9 from the stripe, going 11-for-32 over his last three games, a terrible ratio. Houston will look to bounce back in Game Two on Wednesday night. Analysis: Rob Trayah

James Harden netted 20 points (6-13 FGA, 5-6 FTA) while hitting 3-of-6 from three-point land to go with 12 assists, five rebounds, and four steals as Houston lost 117-101 to Los Angeles.

The point-guard put up a playoff-low in Game One and added insult to injury turning the ball over nine times. Without Chris Paul opposing him, Harden didn't deliver enough to get Houston to win. If CP3 sits out Game Two, Harden must turn into the MVP caliber player he was all season to get Houston a must-win. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Jamal Crawford scored 21 points (8-18 FGA, 2-2 FTA) going 3-of-8 from deep, to go with five rebounds and four assists in LA's 117-101 win over Houston.

Crawford got extended time off the bench with Chris Paul out of the line-up and provided a spark to help lead the Clippers to the Game One win. It was his best game in the playoffs, providing stats in all categories. If Paul sits for Game Two, Crawford will be in line for the same amount of minutes before heading back to LA. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 26 points (9-19 FGA, 8-10 FTA), 14 rebounds, and 13 assists as LA beat the Rockets 117-101 in Game One.

Without Chris Paul, Griffin took over the game, leading the Clippers. His second straight triple-double comes as the Clippers took back home court advantage from Houston. LA now has the ability to rest Chris Paul knowing that the Clips have a split on the road and the added time off will help his hamstring. Analysis: Rob Trayah

Jason Heyward went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI against the Cubs on Monday.

Heyward has really struggled to begin the season. He looked good on Opening Day, but he has done little since. He has three stolen bases on the year, but keep in mind that two came in one game a couple days ago. Heyward should be started in most lineups, but he needs to get it going soon, so owners can cash in on their investment. Analysis: Colby Conway

Mark Reynolds went 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk, four RBI and two runs scored against the Cubs on Monday.

Reynolds, the definition of boom-or-bust, doesn’t have regular at-bats, therefore making it tough to roster him. He is hardly owned in the overwhelming majority of ESPN leagues and rightly so. If he were to get regular playing time, he would be a major drain on your batting average. Analysis: Colby Conway

Carlos Martinez allowed seven earned runs on nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings against the Cubs on Monday.

Martinez really struggled today, getting shelled for seven earned runs on nine hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He finally came back down to Earth after rattling off four quality starts. Martinez is still a valuable fantasy option and consider this just a blip on the young righty’s radar. He will make his next start of the season on Saturday against the strikeout prone Pittsburgh Pirates. Analysis: Colby Conway

Addison Russell went 2-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored against the Cardinals on Monday.

Russell’s first big league stint has started off rather slow, but he does have a seven game hit-streak working right now. While his average is still just .233, it has risen thanks to this modest hit streak. There is plenty of potential in that frame of his and he is going to take some lumps. He will likely be started in deeper leagues, but he should be owned in the majority of leagues nonetheless. Analysis: Colby Conway

Miguel Montero went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, three RBI and one run scored against the Cardinals on Monday.

Montero has a solid six game hit-streak going, raising his season average to .283. He has 11 hits during his six game hit-streak and he remains one of the better fantasy options behind the plate. He is part of a weird platoon behind the plate in Chicago; Montero starts against right handers, Wellington Castillo starts against lefties and then Ross always catches when Jon Lester pitches. If you own Montero, you have to be cautious of whether or not it’s a game that he will play in. Analysis: Colby Conway

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