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Howard Bender
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Christian  Dvorak Headshot

Dvorak scored the opening goal during Monday's win over Anaheim.

With six goals and nine points through his past nine games, the rookie is catching fire and returning excellent offensive numbers. Dvorak scored 52 goals and 121 points with the London Knights last season, so there is significant offensive upside, and a solid finish to the season isn't out of the question. Dvorak is a potential add in deeper seasonal leagues and currently checks out a low-priced option in daily contests.
8:51 am (EST)
Jose Abreu Headshot

Abreu says he learned from the experience of 2016 when struggled to hit early in the season, Scott Merkin of the White Sox's official site reports. "I never in my life experienced some kind of struggles like I did last year," Abreu said. "But that put me in a better position as a player, as a person too. I'm in a better position now for this season because I learned from the experience."

Abreu opened the 2016 season hitting .242 with a .686 OPS and six homers in his first 52 games, before coming around in June. Perhaps the poor start was partially attributable to his conditioning to start the season. The 30-year-old Cuban said he put a lot of effort into his body during the offseason with eye toward better coming out the gate in April.
8:48 am (EST)
Mike Smith Headshot

Smith (head) saved 27 of 28 shots before exiting early in the third period of Monday's win over Arizona. A concussion spotter informed the Arizona training staff that Smith had to exit the game after a collision, Jerry Brown of NHL.com reports.

It's advised to take a wait-and-see approach with Smith and not make any hasty roster decisions until the severity of the injury is known. It's rare for a concussion spotter to actually call for a player to exit the game, but it could prove to have been a false alarm, too. It's worth noting his solid play of late, as Smith has a .929 save percentage, 2.59 GAA and five wins over his past seven starts.
8:46 am (EST)
Nick Ritchie Headshot

Ritchie collected a second-period assist and registered four shots on goal during Monday's loss to Arizona.

Ritchie has skated primarily with Ryan Getzlaf the past two games, and the 21-year-old winger has picked up an assist in each outing. The offensive contributions have been too few and far between to consider Ritchie a reliable fantasy asset in most settings, but there is upside if he can stick on Getzlaf's flank. It isn't out of the question to take a speculative flier on Ritchie in deep leagues, and he's also a potential low-priced option in daily contests.
8:36 am (EST)
Ryan Getzlaf Headshot

Getzlaf scored two goals and registered five shots on net during Monday's loss to Arizona.

After falling behind 3-0 in the first period, Getzlaf did his best to lead the comeback charge, but Anaheim and its captain fell short. Since missing four games with a lower-body injury in early January, Getzlaf has a respectable six goals, 15 points and 37 shots through 18 games. While he's no longer a top-tier scorer, the 31-year-old pivot is still a strong fantasy asset. He should continue to flirt with a point-per-game pace leading into the playoffs, too.
8:30 am (EST)
Jonathan Bernier Headshot

Bernier saved just three of six shots before being pulled in the first period of Monday's loss to Arizona.

With just a single win, .888 save percentage and 3.37 GAA through his past five appearances, Bernier has been an underwhelming fantasy contributor recently. Additionally, with John Gibson shining (.941 save percentage and 1.76 GAA since the beginning of January), Bernier could see even fewer starts going forward. It's best to avoid Bernier outside of soft matchups until he shows better form.
8:25 am (EST)
Reilly Smith Headshot

Smith assisted on the game-winning goal against St. Louis on Monday.

Smith had a solid three-year stretch with 58 goals and 141 points leading into 2016-17, including a 25-goal, 25-assist campaign last season. He's been an offensive afterthought this year, though, as the 25-year-old winger has just 10 goals and 25 points through 56 games. Still, it wouldn't be overly surprising if Smith finished the season strong. Florida is now fully healthy and has won five consecutive games, and Smith is locked into a top-six role with power-play looks on the No. 2 unit.
8:20 am (EST)
Luke Gregerson Headshot

Gregerson threw his first live batting practice session of spring training, Brian McTaggart of the team's official site reports.

Gregerson was pleased with the movement on the ball and his location, particularly this early in training camp. Per usual, Gregerson remains a valuable bullpen arm who can spot in as a closer should Ken Giles falter or become injured, but also is comfortable in the high-leverage spots prior to the ninth inning.
8:20 am (EST)
Mark Pysyk Headshot

Pysyk assisted on the game-winning goal against St. Louis on Monday.

While the 25-year-old defenseman has posted respectable offensive numbers of late (one goal and four points through his past eight games), he's still nothing more than a desperation fantasy option in most settings. Pysyk is averaging just 18:49 of ice time per game and doesn't receive consistent power-play time.He's also registered just 56 shots through 57 games this season.
8:14 am (EST)
A.J. Reed Headshot

Reed will need to hit his way onto the Astros' Opening Day roster, according to manager A.J. HInch, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Reed's prospect status took a big hit last season when he batted just .164 with three home runs, three doubles and a .532 OPS in 122 at-bats for the Astros. The bat is the skill that got him to the majors, so if he ain't hitting. Reed isn't "relevant on our team," in the words of Hinch. The big-bodied first baseman gained some weight over the course of last season and, in addition to finding his hitting stroke, will need to maintain mobility to stay on the field. At 23, it's a bit early in the career to be a one-dimensional, DH-only player -- not in today's MLB where roster flexibility is paramount. We expect him to start the season at Triple-A Fresno.
8:11 am (EST)
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