Fantasy Player Updates & News

Hakeem Nicks is the Panthers' top target to replace Steve Smith and they hope to bring him in for a visit.

There were rumors prior to last season's trade deadline involving Nicks and the Panthers, so this news should not come as much of a surprise. Nicks played his college football at the University of North Carolina so joining the Panthers would be a return home for him. However, a move to the Panthers would not increase his fantasy value for the 2014 season, considering the Panthers are a run-first team.ANALYST: Matthew Beck

Mike Morin is heading to the 15-day DL with an oblique strain.

Morin felt a tweak in his oblique while throwing a first-pitch fastball with one on and none out in the bottom of the seventh, then felt even more pain when he followed up with a slider. The Angels are putting him on the DL immediately and will likely call up another reliever from Triple-A. Analysis: Howard Bender

Hector Rondon might not be available until Sunday – and there could be points where manager Joe Maddon wants to reduce his workload – but otherwise the Cubs are sticking with their closer.

Rondon has blown two of his last three saves opportunities and has allowed runs in three of his last seven. It seems like just a bump in the road here and both Maddon and catcher Miguel Montero believe he will be fine moving forward. He may not be used Saturday if a save situation arises, but he still has a strong hold on the job. Analysis: Howard Bender

Justin Upton was ejected from Saturday's game after arguing a third-strike call.

Tough time to get thrown out as the Padres were down 2-0 in the eighth inning against the Dodgers. Upton was 0-for-3 with one strikeout. Analysis: Howard Bender

John Lackey pitched five innings in the loss, allowing three earned runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts against the Royals on Saturday.

Lackey didn’t have his best stuff this afternoon but never let the game get out of reach for his teammates. The loss dropped his overall record to 2-3 and his ERA now sits at 3.18. Today’s outing – while not a bad start – followed the trend that Lackey has much more success while pitching at home. He has a tough test his next time out, this Friday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Alex Gordon went 1-for-1 with a two-run home run and a walk in a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday.

For Gordon, the blast was his fifth of the season and raised his RBI total to 23. His contact rate is down a bit this season, and as a result, strikeouts are up. He does help to counter the strikeouts with a solid walk rate, though, and the .372 OBP that reflects that.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Edinson Volquez threw six innings, earning the win against the Cardinals as he allowed two earned runs on four hits, with one strikeout and three walks.

Volquez was the only pitcher to take the bump for the Royals in a rain-shortened six-inning game. The win improves his record to 4-3 in 2015 and strong secondary numbers, namely his 3.43 FIP, backs his 2.77 ERA. His strikeout numbers are right in the ballpark of his career average, and the ERA should stay low so long as he can keep inducing ground balls, as he’s backed by an excellent defense. His next start is Friday against the Cubs in Wrigley.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Joba Chamberlain has been anointed the Tigers' eighth-inning man.

Brad Ausmus announced Saturday that Chamberlain would be the Tigers' eighth-inning man going forward. Chamberlain has a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings of work this season and should be added off the waiver wire for anyone in the hunt for holds.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Brian Matusz was ejected from Saturday's game for having a foreign substance on his arm.

It will be interesting to see what kind of suspension - if any - that Matusz faces. Brewers' reliever Will Smith recent received an eight game suspension for a similar penalty.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Update: Kyle Blanks underwent surgery Saturday to remove a pilonidal cyst from his lower back.

The surgery will keep Blanks out of baseball activities for at least a few days. The DL stint is the seventh of his dating back to 2007.  Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

Jose Abreu was 0-for-4 on Saturday ending his seventeen game hitting streak.

During his seventeen hitting streak, Jose Abreu hit .318 and was only four short of his career high set last year in his rookie campaign. But he is now hitting .283 on the season and has fallen short on the power numbers so far this year. Abreu is hitting more ground balls (49.1%) this year yet his home run to fly ball ratio has fallen nine percentage points from 26.9 in 2014 to 17.1 this season. Since the whole offense has struggled, it is exacerbated when their best hitter is not hitting on all cylinders either. Abreu is solid, but maybe not worthy of the first round status he achieved after one season in the majors.  Analysis: Greg Jewett

Rays will recall RHP Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Durham.

It's unclear what role Guilmet will have in the Ray's bullpen, but he doesn't have any fantasy value for the time being. He owned a 5.40 ERA in 3 1/3 innings of work with AAA Durham this season. Analysis: Kevin Luchansky

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