Fantasy Player Updates & News  2016 MLB Draft Guide Is Here!

Reds announce Brandon Phillips is day-to-day with a heel injury.

A bit surprising the veteran second baseman has not been placed on the disabled list seeing as he was in a walking boot after Sunday's game, a game where he left in the fifth inning, with what the team is calling a bruised heel.ANALYST: Michael Pichan

Update: David Hernandez will enter spring training as the favorite for closing duties.

After trading away Ken Giles, the Phillies left themselves without much in the way of closer options. Hernandez has experience as a ninth-inning fill in from his days in Arizona and both Edward Mujica and Ernesto Frieri will join the team in spring training this year. There are likely a handful of less-experienced option who may emerge this spring, but Hernandez seems to be the current leader of the pack. Expect the team to let a competition brew with a final decision to be made closer to the start of the regular season. Analysis: Howard Bender

Ian Desmond is now considered a ‘long shot’ to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays, as the Rays do not want to give up their No. 13 overall pick in order to land him.

It seems like the entire baseball world has given up on Desmond as he continues to float around free agency without a home. The qualifying offer the Nationals made obviously complicates things as compensation is now required, but after a year in which he hit just .233 with 19 home runs, a third straight declining season, it looks as if few teams are going to make the move. There's still time for him and it would be shameful to not see him land somewhere with a starting job, but for those drafting now, his situation is not particularly appealing. Analysis: Howard Bender

A.J. Preller believes Fernando Rodney will be a full go for Spring Training despite his recent hamstring issue.

Rodney was pulled from a game last Thursday after experiencing leg tightness. The original report was that the exit was purely precautionary and that seems to be true after what we heard from Preller on Wednesday. Fernando Rodney will be 39 years old at the start of the 2016 season.  Analysis: Drew Phelps

Norris Cole scored 15 points (5-13 FGA, 4-4 FTA) with six assists and five rebounds over 27 minutes in Thursday’s loss against the Thunder.

Cole has severely benefited from injuries to the Pelicans back-court and for the most part has taken advantage of his situation. The 27-year old recorded his fourth straight double-digit scoring output on Thursday. He also, surprisingly, led the team in rebounding. Probably the only time that he will ever do that, as long as he’s on a team with Anthony Davis. He accomplished both of those feats while tracking Russell Westbrook for most of the night. Cole is a steady DFS play while Tyreke Evans is out. Jrue Holiday is the better option, but Cole will cost a lot less and will still likely outperform his value. Analysis: James Grande

Jrue Holiday came off of the bench and scored 23 points (11-20 FGA) with six assists, four rebounds and five steals over 32 minutes in Thursday’s loss against the Thunder.

Holiday continues to play excellent basketball off of the Pelicans bench and heads into the all-star break in a heated battle with the Nuggets’ Will Barton for the NBA’s best sixth-man. Holiday has taken it upon himself in recent weeks, especially with all of the back-court injuries the Pelicans have suffered through. He’s averaged 20.4 points, 7.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.6 steals per game over his last five contests. Anyone with half a brain will realize Holiday is a must start in DFS right now. He’s doing everything and then some for this team. If Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon remain out after the all-star break, continue to start Holiday every chance you get. Analysis: James Grande

Anthony Davis scored 23 points (8-14 FGA, 7-12 FTA) with three rebounds, two assists and two steals over 31 minutes in Thursday’s loss against the Thunder.

Not often do you see Anthony Davis play 31 minutes and only come away with three rebounds. Matter of fact, in games in which he’s played at least 20 minutes in this season, he’s only had two such outings. He was great offensively, though. Davis was one of the only bright spots for the Pelicans on a night the defense couldn’t stop Fantasy Alarm’s best five ballers. Davis hasn’t quite taken that next step we thought he would after his incredible 2015 season. It’s not to say he hasn’t been great, because he has, but he was pinned by many to take the league’s reigns sooner rather than later. He remains an elite fantasy play, even though his team flat out stinks. Analysis: James Grande

Enes Kanter scored 11 points (3-6 FGA, 5-8 FTA) with 12 rebounds, one assist and one block over 27 minutes in Thursday’s win against the Pelicans.

It truly is shocking how often Kanter comes away with double-doubles when he simply gets playing time. Yes, he’s very, very bad on defense, but he’s an excellent offensive player who crashes the boards as well as anyone in the league…when he actually gets the chance. He has two double-doubles in three games and now has 13 total on the year. Look, it’s simple. You don’t give the guy $70 MIL to play just 20 minutes per game. He’s the Thunder’s best low-post threat and can stretch the floor and consistently knock down 18-to-20 foot jump shots. Kanter’s lack of time on the court, burns him in fantasy. It’s so hard to trust him when you never know how much playing time he’s going to get from one game to the next. Analysis: James Grande

Serge Ibaka scored 18 points (7-15 FGA, 3-3 FTA) with seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three blocks over 30 minutes in Thursday’s win against the Pelicans.

Always overshadowed by Durant and Westbrook, Ibaka had a very good game against the Pelicans heading into the all-star break. He had been limping into the break, posting three straight scoring efforts of less than 10 points. The Thunder have always done a good job getting Serge involved in games early, but the end of the game is normally Durant and Westbrook time, so his point totals don’t really change much after half-time. He isn’t the most reliable fantasy player this year either as his scoring and rebounding are the lowest they’ve been since the 2012-’13 season. His name, more than anything, is keeping him relevant in fantasy. It’s only a matter of time before Enes Kanter surpasses him as the Thunder’s best front-court fantasy option. That is if Kanter can ever get some burn! Analysis: James Grande

Kevin Durant scored 23 points (10-17 FGA) with six assists, three rebounds and one steal over 30 minutes in Thursday’s win against the Pelicans.

The credentialed Super-Bowl photographer that plays basketball on occasion had a solid game Thursday. It was a very emotional day for the Thunder with the passing of assistant coach Monte Williams’ wife, and Durant was very vocal and visibly sad before the game. He, along with the entire Thunder team, played a virtually flawless game in honor of Williams. Durant who did score 23, is normally a few ticks north of that. He didn’t get to the free-throw line for the first time all year and that could have something to do with it. Durant is headed into the all-star break playing at an MVP caliber level. He’s averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in February. His shooting splits over that span are awesome, per usual, at 51-percent from the floor, 43-percent from three and 94-percent at the foul line. It’s getting to be the home stretch in a lot of fantasy leagues, and Durant will take you to the promise land. Just hop on his back. Analysis: James Grande

Russell Westbrook scored 23 points (8-14 FGA, 5-6 FTA) with 10 assists and nine rebounds over 28 minutes in Thursday’s win against the Pelicans.

One rebound away from another triple-double….yawn. It’s becoming comical how often Westbrook has a box score like he did on Thursday. He’s averaging 7.6 rebounds per game on the season and we shouldn’t put it past him that he comes out for the second half of the season a man on the mission -- attempting to be the modern day Oscar Robertson and average a triple-double for the entire season. His last 10 games stretch is what we we’ve virtually come to expect. He’s averaging 23.6 points, 11.3 assists and 9.6 rebounds over that span. Video game numbers. Numbers that nobody else in the league puts up. Westbrook is arguably the most valuable fantasy player in the game. He stuffs every category and at the same time is scoring 20-plus points per contest. Analysis: James Grande

Jabari Parker scored 17 points (7-of-11 FGA, 3-of-6 FTA) and grabbed nine rebounds, and recorded four assists on Thursday night against the Wizards.

Parker was very effective on Thursday night, scoring 17 points on the strength of efficient shooting and nine rebounds against the Wizards. His season averages so far this year do not indicate that he will maintain this type of production, but considering his gobs of potential, expect this performance to be one that Parker builds off of headed into All-Star weekend.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

Khris Middleton scored 27 points (9-of-17 FGA, 1-of-3 3PA, 8-of-9 FTA), grabbed six rebounds, recorded nine assists, and five steals on Thursday night against the Wizards.

Middleton led all scorers on Thursday night with 27, while he also proved to be the best player on the floor in terms of statistical diversity, as he recorded six rebounds, five steals, and nine assists against the Wizards. While headed into the season, Middleton was expected to do most of his damage from the three-point line, he has instead developed into a consistent, reliable scorer in a more traditional fashion. This doesn’t take away from his legitimacy as a fantasy starter, however fantasy owners should curb their enthusiasm when considering Middleton as a top-notch 3-and-D project.  Analysis: Dom Murtha

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