FANTASY PLAYER UPDATES & NEWS

Fred Davis of the Redskins suspended indefinitely without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Davis released a statement saying he unknowingly took a banned substance and will apply for reinstatement in the fall.

Just one day after we were touting Davis as a potential fantasy option in 2014, he goes and gets popped yet again. Given that he's already been busted he will likely be suspended for six games or more - potentially up to a year - that will destroy any hope he had of getting paid.ANALYST: Ray Flowers

Lorenzo Cain went 1-for-4 with a solo home run during the Roayls’ 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Saturday.

Cain has now hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and is sporting a beautiful .333/.402/.500 slash line this season. But while he’s doing a great job of setting the table and making things hapopen on the bases, the overall run production has been a little lean. We don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but this was his first home run in 15 games and his first RBI in his last 13. The average and the stolen bases are nice, but we know he can hit for a little more power than this. Analysis: Howard Bender

Edinson Volquez gave up two runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts over six innings against the Tigers on Saturday.

The universe continues to remain off-balance here as Volquez now has four quality starts in his five outings this season and is sporting an impressive 2.10 ERA with a 27:8 K:BB over 34 1/3 innings. Many have said that Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage is the new guru when it comes to reclamation projects such as Volquez, but it’s still difficult to imagine that a guy like him is going to be able to sustain such strong production. He’ll take on the Indians for his next start, a team he’s never faced, but that is slashing just .242/.297/.387 against right-handers this year. Analysis: Howard Bender

David Price allowed just one run in a complete-game win over the Royals on Saturday. He allowed five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Price continues to right the ship after getting obliterated by the Yankees two starts ago and was absolutely dominant in this start. Even better was how well the Royals had been hitting lefties lately so Price owners should certainly be excited about the effort. He needed just 106 pitches (75 strikes) to complete the full nine innings and induced 11 ground ball outs. If you were panicking two starts ago, you can obviously rest easy now and you can look forward to him taking on these same Royals next week. Analysis: Howard Bender

Caleb Joseph went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk during the Orioles’ 4-0 win over the Rays on Saturday.

For those of you waiting on Matt Wieters, we hope you wisely used Joseph as your back-up plan. The numbers aren’t exactly mind-blowing, but he’s batting .327 with two home runs and seven RBI through 17 games this season and has been a monster for OBP leagues with a .439 mark. He’ll be holding down the job for at least another month as Wieters’ return has been delayed once again. Analysis: Howard Bender

Brad Brach picked up the save after pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings with one strikeout against the Rays on Saturday.

Brach came in during the eighth with men on base and after cleaning that up, was allowed to pitch the ninth with the Orioles up 4-0 and get credit for the save. Don’t look into it too much though as Zach Britton is still the closer. This was just a rare moment. He’s a great reliever to own if your league scores holds or you’re just looking to stream in a few middle relievers to help with your ratios. He started the season off a little rough, but he’s allowed just one run in his last eight innings (six appearances) and is sporting a rock-solid 11.12 K/9 over a total of 11 1/3 innings this season. Analysis: Howard Bender

Miguel Gonzalez improved to 3-1 after tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Rays on Saturday. He allowed just four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

Gonzalez rebounded nicely from a pair of mediocre starts and shut down a struggling Rays team in quality fashion. He was completely dominant and just continued to pound the strike zone all night, just daring the Rays to hit him. He was finally removed in the eighth inning after 105 pitches (70 strikes) and the game well in-hand. He’ll face the Yankees next week, a team he held to just one run over seven innings earlier this season and owns a 3.45 ERA against over his last 11 starts. Analysis: Howard Bender

Chris Archer coughed up four runs on six hits and four walks with five strikeouts over six innings against the Orioles on Saturday.

The Orioles have been roughing up right-handers all season, so it was a tough one for Archer who’s been absolutely dynamic all season. He was bound to put up a mediocre outing anyway and considering this start pushed his ERA to 1.64, fantasy owners have little to complain about. Just chalk it up to a rough outing and look for him to rebound next week when the Rays host the Rangers who are slashing just .196/.280/.284 against right-handed pitching. Analysis: Howard Bender

Martin Prado went 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, four RBI, a run scored and a walk during the Marlins’ 7-0 win over the Phillies on Saturday.

You’re never going to get eye-popping stats out of Prado, but he will hit for a decent average and every once in a while, produce a night like this. He’s now hit safely in nine of his last 10 games and he’s got four doubles, one home run, 12 RBI and six runs scored in that span. He might be losing that extensive position eligibility as he’s locked in at third base, so enjoy the flexibility while you still can. Analysis: Howard Bender

Dee Gordon went 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two walks and two stolen bases against the Phillies on Saturday.

Gordon reached base all five times he stepped to the plate Saturday and along with boosting his insane (and sorry, unsustainable) .423 average, he pushed his stolen base total to 11, good for second in the majors. While many will remain excited about Gordon’s successful follow-up this season, you might want to keep an eye on his current swing rates. So long as he’s sporting a .477 BABIP, his numbers are going to look and stay strong, but that number is going to come down and when it does, the fact that he’s swinging at more pitches both in and out of the zone this season could catch up to him and drive that average back down. We’d also feel a little more comfortable if he could raise that walk rate to even remotely closer to league average, but for now, we’ll just be happy with what he’s giving. Analysis: Howard Bender

Dan Haren improved to 3-1 after throwing six shutout innings against the Phillies on Saturday. He allowed just four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

It was a great match-up for Haren as the Phillies struggle at the plate against right-handers and for the first time this season, he did not give up a home run. He pitched incredibly efficiently here and his command was completely on-point. He threw 103 pitches (72 strikes) to cruise through the six frames and while his strikeout rate wasn’t the greatest, the zero walks were big for him. He’ll look to keep the momentum rolling with a start against the Giants next week. Analysis: Howard Bender

Cole Hamels was tagged for six runs on 10 hits and three walks with six strikeouts over six innings against the Marlins on Saturday.

It wasn’t a good match-up from the start as the Marlins are hitting lefties especially hard this year. They jumped all over Hamels right from the start and scored at least one run in three of the first four innings. The southpaw pitched to a good amount of contact and the Marlins took him deep into counts as well, forcing him into 105 pitches (68 strikes) by the end of the sixth inning. Hamels has now made six starts this season and been beaten up three times. He’s throwing a lot of pitches once again and with the likelihood that the Phillies are going to trade him, they’re just going to keep letting him throw without concern. He’ll face the Mets next week, a team he owns a 3.69 ERA against over his last 14 starts. Analysis: Howard Bender

Corey Kluber gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday.

It’s not so easy living up to the hype of being an AL Cy Young award winner and Kluber is struggling mightily with it right now. He’s now allowed a total of 14 earned runs over his last 17 1/3 innings (three starts) and his 14:5 K:BB in that span is equally disappointing. There is nothing outlandish in his numbers to indicate a reason for the disappointing performance, so credit the hitters for taking him down over these last few starts. Kluber did struggle early on last year as well so perhaps it’s just cyclical for him. We’ll learn a little more maybe after his next outing which comes against the Royals who thumped him for four runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings just two starts ago. Analysis: Howard Bender

Russell Martin went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, one RBI and two runs scored during the Blue Jays’ 11-4 win over the Indians on Saturday.

While Martin has actually hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games, this was just his second multi-hit performance of the season and first in his last 13 games. Granted, none of the big offensive threats for the Jays are hitting for a high average, but some of them are stringing together multi-hit games while Martin just sort of chugs along. It’s very possible he heats up to the point where he’s hitting for a better average, but in all likelihood, he’s going to continue hitting for decent power, but leave the average behind. Analysis: Howard Bender

Edwin Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored against the Indians on Saturday.

It looks like the slumbering bat of Encarnacion is finally starting to awaken. He’s now hit safely in his last five games, including three multi-hit performances, and has two doubles, five RBI and four runs scored. He hasn’t hit a home run in 11 games, but if he is truly starting to heat up, his power will start to take off. With the batting average also picking up, it would seem safe to leave him active day in and day out. The last thing you want to do is bench him and miss the big explosion. Analysis: Howard Bender

Jose Bautista went 2-for-5 with a double, four RBI and a run scored during Saturday’s 11-4 win over the Indians.

Nothing better than Joey Bats showing that the shoulder is not an issue and that he can still rake with the best of them. He’s now hit safely in four of his last five games with four doubles, one home run, seven RBI and five runs scored and he finally pulled that average up over .200 for the first time since April 10. Any concerns you may have had can and should be put to rest. Continue to start him each and every day. Analysis: Howard Bender

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