FANTASY PLAYER UPDATES & NEWS

Allen Craig is not in the Cardinals' starting lineup on Saturday.

No surprise here as Craig takes a seat in favor of Oscar Taveras in right field. The Cardinals will continue to flip-flop between Taveras and Craig until one of them catches fire and outplays the other. Right now, though, both are playing a fairly weak game.ANALYST: Howard Bender

Dolphins released WR Brian Hartline.

As reliable as Hartline was a couple of years ago, his time with the Dolphins appeared to be over last season when he caught just 39 passes for 474 yards and two touchdowns over 16 games. Releasing him with save the Dolphins $3.15 million against the cap this year. He should be able to find work elsewhere, though he needs to bring a bigger game to the table at times. Analysis: Howard Bender

Falcons released WR Harry Douglas.

The Falcons believe that signing Eric Weems is more of a priority and cutting Douglas saves the team $3.5 million against the cap this season. Douglas has been a reliable No. 3 for the Falcons over the years and has even posted a 1,000-plus yard season while filling the gaps caused by injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White. He should easily find work elsewhere. Analysis: Howard Bender

Ernesto Frieri said one of the reasons he signed with Tampa Bay was for the opportunity to work with pitching coach Jim Hickey.

Frieri has seen the difference working with Hickey has made in the careers of Fernando Rodney, Kyle Farnsworth and Joaquin Benoit and he too would like a chance to return to the 37-save guy he once was when he was with the Angels. Already, Hickey has helped Frieri make adjustsment to his foot placement on the rubber and Frieri is eager to have more done. Considering the uncertainty of Jake McGee's elbow and the inexperience of Brad Boxberger, should the Rays need to call upon Frieri to help in a save sitaution, he wants to be ready for the team. Monitor this situation throughout the spring as he could become a dark horse candidate for the job. Analysis: Howard Bender

Bradley Beal’s (leg) status against the Philadelphia 76ers will be decided after the shootaround Friday.

Beal continues to miss time with a stress reaction, a problem he's dealt with in the past. He'll be examined after the shootaround and then probably again after pre-game warm-ups. Consider him questionable for Friday for the time being. Analysis: Howard Bender

Huston Street and the Angels haven't talked about an extension in Spring Training. Street wanted a week or so to settle in first, then they'll start.

That makes perfect sense. Both Street and the Angels want this to happen so they'll amicably sit down to discuss things over the next few weeks. After coming over from the Padres last year, Street notched 17 saves and posted a 1.71 ERA with a 1.18 WHIP and 23:7 K:BB over 26.1 innings. He offers Mike Scioscia a little peace of mind in the ninth. Analysis: Howard Bender

Adam Wainwright expects to pitch in a game in two weeks.

Wainwright is currently dealing with an abdominal strain so he's not going to throw for a few days and the Cardinals will monitor him closely to ensure that he's pain-free before trying to come back. Given the timing here, this shouldn't affect his Opening Day status. Analysis: Howard Bender

The Bulls have faith Derrick Rose will return this season.

While that's all well and good, the track record speaks for itself. If your league allows a DL spot, then fine, he can be stashed away, but considering all we're really working on here is "faith," you might just be better off letting him go. Lesson learned on health track record, no? Analysis: Howard Bender

Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will likely be suspended for at least 25 games.

You would have thought the Angels would have had themselves more protected with a relapse clause considering Hamilton's past and the fact that he had a relapse while with the Rangers as well. He's not due back until the end of May, so a 25-game suspension then puts him out for at least another month. He's not being drafted until very late right now and this could/should actually push his ADP down even further. Given the struggles with injuries and again now with substance abuse, he's not even worth the draft-and-stash. Analysis: Howard Bender

Eric Bledsoe scored 28 points 11-16 FGA, 4-8 FTA) going 2-for-3 from three-point range with 13 rebounds, nine assists, one steal and four blocks in Thursday's overtime win against the Thunder.

Bledsoe fell just one assist shy of logging a triple-double on Thursday night as he continues to have himself the best season of his young career. He is now averaging 18.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.2 three-pointers over his last five games, which makes him one of the best point guards to own while contributing in every category on a nightly basis.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Alex Len scored 12 points (6-11 FGA) with 11 rebounds, one assist and three blocks in Thursday's 117-113 win over the Thunder.

Len has really picked up the pace of late as he is now averaging 9.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor over his last five games. As long as he continues to receive quality minutes, he is a fantasy asset in all formats down the stretch.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Markieff Morris scored 29 points (12-26 FGA, 3-5 FTA) going 2-for-6 from three-point range with 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in Thursday's 117-113 win over the Thunder.

After scoring in singe-digits each of his last three games, Morris got back on track Thursday night in a big way, posting his first double-double in the month of February. Although his production can be sporadic at times, Morris remains a good start in all but the shallowest of league formats while averaging 14.7 points and 6.1 rebounds over his last 10 games.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Serge Ibaka scored 13 points (5-13 FGA, 2-2 FTA) going 1-for-2 from three-point range with nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocks in Thursday's 117-113 loss to the Suns.

Ibaka has turned it up in the absence of Kevin Durant, as he is now averaging 18.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor over his last five games. Although his scoring output will likely dwindle once Durant returns to the lineup, he is still a must-start in all formats if he is unable to keep up his current pace.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Enes Kanter scored 18 points (6-11 FGA, 6-6 FTA) with six rebounds, one assist and one block in Thursday's 117-113 loss to the Suns.

Kanter has picked up right where he left off after being traded to the Thunder, as he is now averaging 15.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists through his first four games with his new team. At 6'11", Kanter should be posting double-digit rebounds on a nightly basis, but fantasy owners will have to settle to average production in that category as he continues to have himself the best season of his young career.  Analysis: Matthew Beck

Russell Westbrook said he is good to go Friday at Portland despite rolling his ankle late in the Thunder's overtime loss to the Suns Thursday.

Westbrook had 39 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists and three steals for his third triple-double in February. He struggled from the field, going 12-of-38 and 1-of-10 from beyond the arc, and appeared to favor his ankle briefly at the end of the game. There is no reason to doubt him when he says he will be fine, but this situation is worth keeping an eye on. Analysis: Steve Pimental

Steven Jackson does not intend to retire following his release from the Atlanta Falcons.

Jackson is 31 years old and averaged 3.7 yards per carry last season, so he may have a difficult time finding a time interested in his services. The Falcons offensive line was pretty dreadful in both of Jackson's seasons there, so it is possible he could be a productive player on a better team. Jackson would be interesting if he lands in a timeshare behind a strong offensive line, but he probably will not be worth drafting in most leagues. Analysis: Steve Pimental
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