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Steve Blake says he expects to play Friday. He could barely move yesterday due to the thigh bruise, but has been working on loosening up all day.

I would be skeptical of starting Blake tonight in any format even though he is going to give it a go and is coming off his second career triple-double. There is plenty of value in the Lakers vs 76ers game this evening as you go about constructing your DFS lineup. For some specific options to target check out today's Daily Dribble article found in our NBA section of our homepage.ANALYST: Michael Pichan

J.P. Crawford has been promoted to Double-A Reading.

Crawford has shown the necessary year-to-year growth teams want to see in a kid looking to advance out of High-A ball. While his ISO is not even half of what it was last season, Crawford is slashing .392/.494/.446 through 90 plate appearances and has posted an impressive 15.6-percent walk rate (up from 10.3-percent last year) while cutting his strikeout rate down from 13.7 to 10-percent. The Phillies have no need to fast-track the 20-year old shortstop right now, but the path to the majors looks pretty good for him. Analysis: Howard Bender

Kevin Frandsen was released by the Diamondbacks on Friday.

The 33-year old Frandsen was languishing in minors and the Diamondbacks just weren't interested in bringing him up at any point. He was hitting .309 through 26 games for Triple-A Reno, but in a hitter-friendly league like the PCL, you need more than just two of your 25 hits to go for extra bases. He'll look to pick up with another club for the season, but he could be ready for the retirement home if he doesn't want to carry his own bags anymore. Analysis: Howard Bender

The Atlanta Falcons have signed veteran offensive guard Chris Chester to a contract. Terms were not disclosed.

The 32-year old had visited with the Eagles and Falcons, but ultimately chose to go with the Falcons, likely because his former team, the Redskins, had employed now-Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Chester is very reliable, starting all 64 games at guard in four seasons with Washington, and could fight for a starting job with the Falcons this offseason. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Alfredo Simon can stay on the bereavement list for up to seven days. He's tentatively scheduled to start Tuesday in Detroit, but his status is unclear, and the team's rotation remains "up in the air," Manager Brad Ausmus said.

Simon's father unfortunately passed away earlier this week, and missed his start on Wednesday. Manager Brad Ausmus hasn't talked to Simon since he was placed on the bereavement list, but it is likely that he'll be back for next Tuesday's game. If he does not return for that start, Buck Farmer is a candidate to have another spot start. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Jose Fernandez (elbow) is slated to throw 45 pitches in his first extended spring training start Monday.

Fernandez is slightly behind schedule in his return from Tommy John surgery, but he is still expected to be back around the All-Star break. If Fernandez's 45-pitch start goes well, he should throw at least one more extended spring training start before embarking on a minor league rehab assignment. The Marlins desperately need his help in the rotation, but rushing their ace in a return from Tommy John is something even Jeffrey Loria wouldn't do. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Addison Russell went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, one RBI and two runs scored during Friday’s loss to the Royals.

As he struggles to limit the number of times he whiffs at the plate, Russell continue to be a productive option in the middle infield and seems to have turned it up a little over these last three games. The streak isn’t a big one, but he’s 6-for-12 over these last three games and has three doubles and the home run. This kid has star written all over him, so continue to roll with him moving forward. If you’re at the bottom of the standings in your keeper league, he should probably be a target. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jorge Soler went 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored during the Cubs’ 8-4 loss to the Royals on Friday.

Soler seems to finally be clicking here with hits in six of his last seven and seven of his last nine. He’s only hit one home run in that span, but the five doubles seems to be a nice indicator that bigger and better is on its way. The adjustments have been tough and the strikeout rate still borders on the frightening, but his upside for more is still too tempting to give up on. Stay the course with him for now and look for better power days to come. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jake Arrieta gave up four runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts over seven innings against the Royals on Friday.

Arrieta looked to be regaining that early-season form with three-straight quality starts, but the Royals managed to get the better of him by way of the long ball. Arrieta, who had given up just three home runs through his first nine starts, gave up three homers in this one and failed to contain a pesky Royals club who plated runs in three of the first four innings. He was pretty efficient though, needing just 93 pitches (65 strikes) to get through the seven frames and remains a fantastic option in all formats. He’ll get the Marlins’ struggling offense next week. Analysis: Howard Bender

Alex Gordon went 1-for-4 with a solo home run during the Royals’ 8-4 win over the Cubs on Friday.

Gordon is just steadily plugging along. The days of him being a .300 hitter seem to be a distant memory but thanks to some solid plate discipline, he’s still managed to post a .364 on-base percentage. Coupled with six home runs and 24 RBI, Gordon is just a nice stable No. 3 or 4 outfielder to own. Nothing phenomenal, but he’s not going to hurt you in any way. Analysis: Howard Bender

Salvador Perez went 1-for-4 with a solo home run against the Cubs on Friday.

After three games without a hit and eight without a home run, Perez got back on track with his fourth inning shot off Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. Apparently he’s still violently allergic to walks so his OBP is never going to be far off from his regular batting average, but with six home runs and 25 RBI, he’s still one of the most productive catchers in the game. Analysis: Howard Bender

Lorenzo Cain went 3-for-4 with a double, one RBI, two runs scored, a walk and a stolen base during Friday’s win over the Cubs.

Cain continues to maintain a strong average as this game pulls him back up to .304 on the season and the stolen base was his ninth of the year. He’s not showing much in the way of power right now, but the fact that he’s still healthy (knock on wood) and has 20 RBI and 34 runs scored, there are very few people complaining.  Analysis: Howard Bender

Alcides Escobar went 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored during the Royals’ 8-4 win over the Cubs on Friday.

It was Escobar’s second-straight multi-hit game and he’s now hit safely in four of his last five. After a slow start due to injury, Escobar has settled in nicely as a solid top-of-the-order table-setter. The stolen base total is pretty meager and could use a boost, but he’s batting .285 with a pair of home runs, 17 RBI and 21 runs scored, so he’s still contributing well enough to be left active in your starting lineup. Analysis: Howard Bender

Edinson Volquez allowed three runs on six hits and a walk with nine strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs on Friday.

And the two game quality start streak comes to an end as Volquez just can’t hang on and finish out the sixth inning. The nine strikeouts are a season-high, but after a Jorge Soler two-run shot and 109 pitches (72 strikes), Volquez was finally given the hook. He’ll look to get back on top next week when he squares off against Trevor Bauer and the Indians. Analysis: Howard Bender

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he is hoping to have Avisail Garcia (knee) back in the lineup Saturday.

Garcia has played very sparingly over the past 10 days due to a knee injury, but he is available to pinch hit in Friday and could start on Saturday. Analysis: Ben Diamond

Jake Lamb (foot) is not expected to return for two more weeks.

Lamb had a bit of a setback in his recovery from a foot injury, slowing his timetable. The Diamondbacks don't really have a spot for Lamb once he returns, though, so they probably will give him some extra time to recover. He's not worth owning in standard leagues due to playing time questions. Analysis: Ben Diamond

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