Fantasy forwards: Second line elevating Capitals

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Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals have been elite-level fantasy staples throughout the past decade. Suddenly, they have company in wholesale nhl jerseys their own town.

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Ovechkin is second in the NHL in goals (27) and leads the League in shots on goal (222), while Backstrom is one of six players with a point per game or better this season (others: Patrick Kane Jerseys, Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Erik Karlsson, Johnny Gaudreau Jerseys). No one should be surprised to see Ovechkin and Backstrom where they are in the fantasy rankings, but rarely have the Capitals had a second line as powerful as their current trio of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams and Andre Burakovsky.

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Kuznetsov, one of my preseason breakout picks, has 44 points (T-7th) and a plus-23 (2nd) in 45 games, and is tied for fifth in the NHL in multipoint games (13). After an early-season stint with Ovechkin in Backstrom’s injury absence, he’s been playing with Williams the rest of the way — making the former Los Angeles Kings wing one of the biggest fantasy steals of the season (Yahoo average draft position: 169.2). Williams has 31 points in 45 games with 115 SOG and a plus-14. He had a hat trick Sunday, his seventh multipoint game and second three-point game of the season.

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Games like that have become a regular occurrence from this potent second line, catapulting the Capitals to the top of the NHL standings. Any time Ovechkin has an off night or is shut down (very rare), opponents are still susceptible to allowing a goal or two from the Kuznetsov-Williams line, giving Washington an added dimension and making them more dangerous than past seasons.

Kuznetsov and Williams are hot commodities in fantasy and only attainable by throwing high-end assets at your trade partner, but you can still find Burakovsky (LW, two percent owned) in the vast majority of Yahoo leagues. Marcus Johansson played with Kuznetsov and Williams prior to his suspension earlier this month, but he’s now on the third line and first power-play unit, while Burakovsky has seized his second-line opportunity. Burakovsky, 20, has two-assist outings in three of his past four games and should be scooped up in deep formats before his ownership skyrockets.


Joe Thornton, C, San Jose Sharks

Since Dec. 15, the only player League-wide with more points than Thornton (19 in 15 games) is Kane (23 in 17 games). Sharks coach Peter DeBoer kept the once-slumping veteran alongside Joe Pavelski on the top line, and “Jumbo Joe” has turned his season around, taking Tomas Hertl (C/LW, 24 percent owned) along for the ride.

Tomas Hertl Center – SJS GOALS: 8 | ASST: 14 | PTS: 22 SOG: 111 | +/-: 2 Hertl, who thrived with Thornton and Brent Burns during his eye-opening rookie season (2013-14) prior to injury, has four goals, three assists, a plus-8 and 22 SOG in his past six games and is one of the hottest fantasy waiver wire options on the market. San Jose is rolling three strong lines with Logan Couture back in the mix, and Thornton is shooting the puck more of late with five goals on 31 SOG (16.1 percent) during his hot stretch.

Thornton has shot 14.0 percent in his career (1,329 games) and Pavelski has shot 16.6 percent since 2013-14 (best in NHL among players with minimum 190 games in span), so fantasy owners should know that this stretch is not just a flash in the pan.


Kyle Turris, C, Ottawa Senators

Kyle Turris Center – OTT GOALS: 13 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 30 SOG: 114 | +/-: -11 Turris started the season with 26 points in his first 32 games, but only has points in three of his next 14 games (no goals, four assists) with a minus-12 in that stretch. Bobby Ryan has been moved off his line to play with Mika Zibanejad, and Turris just lost Mike Hoffman to injury Monday. His other frequent linemate, Mark Stone, has also struggled with four goals and one assist in his past 15 games, and is negatively impacted by Hoffman’s injury.


While Turris and Stone are still worth being patient with in deep leagues, you have to begin looking at the forward options out there in shallow leagues. Turris should eventually turn it around considering he plays more than 20 minutes per game and averages 3:18 on the power play, but this is not a good sign for an already inconsistent Senators offense.


Kevin Fiala, LW, Nashville Predators

Kevin Fiala Left Wing – NSH GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1 SOG: 8 | +/-: 0 Fiala, two percent owned, is 19 years old and has been effective through his first two games of the season. The 2014 first-round pick landed on a line with Ryan Johansen, who has seven points in five games since joining the Predators, and James Neal, giving the rookie tremendous upside as long as he’s in this spot. Nashville’s second line is comprised of Filip Forsberg, Mike Ribeiro and Calle Jarnkrok. Fiala has one goal and eight SOG in two games and should be added to everyone’s watch list to see if he can sustain that shot volume and stick with Johansen.


— Recently traded forwards David Perron and Carl Hagelin have latched onto top-six spots with their new teams, as expected. Perron played his first game for the Anaheim Ducks mostly alongside Ryan Kesler Jerseys and Jakob Silfverberg Jerseys, while Hagelin has spent most of his ice time through two games with the Pittsburgh Penguins alongside Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel. Perron (16 percent) had one goal on three SOG in his Anaheim debut, while Hagelin has one assist and seven SOG in two games since joining Pittsburgh.

— Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (upper body) is expected to be out until after the All-Star break, while Boston Bruins center David Krejci Jerseys (upper body) and New Jersey Devils wing Mike Cammalleri (hand) practiced Monday. Cammalleri will return to the lineup Tuesday. Here is my fantasy spin on the implications of these injury updates.


Texas A&M, Seahawks reach new agreement for '12th Man' trademark

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Texas A&M and the Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Jerseys have reached a new agreement on the usage of TAMU’s trademarked “12th Man” phrase.

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The two sides have a five-year deal that has a few new provisions, the school announced Thursday. Seattle will no longer be able to use “12th Man” on the “Ring of Honor” at CenturyLink Field or reference it on Seahawks Jerseys social media accounts. A&M and Seattle initially reached an agreement in 2006 when A&M took legal action against the NFL franchise for unauthorized use of the phrase. A&M first issued a federal trademark in 1990.

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[Check out Dr. Saturday on Tumblr for entertaining things you won’t see on the blog]

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Like A&M, Seattle uses the phrase to describe its fan base as the symbolic 12th man on the field. But for A&M, the phrase dates back nearly 100 years.

From A&M’s press release:


The “12th Man” use by Texas A&M dates back almost a century and directly relates to the legendary actions of the late E. King Gill, a Texas A&M student who came out of the stands at an Aggie football game on Jan 2, 1922 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas—ready to enter the game if needed because of injuries to the team’s regular players. Gill was the original 12th Man.

“We appreciate the Seahawks Jerseys’ management working with us on a mutual agreement for the licensed use of the mark,” A&M president Michael Young said in a statement. “The 12th Man is a cherished tradition. Keeping it alive is important because it reflects the willingness and readiness of Aggies to fearlessly step in whenever and wherever needed.”

Added A&M chancellor John Sharp: “We are obviously pleased to have in place the new agreement with the Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Jerseys that serves to control and minimize any use of Texas A&M University’s trademark ‘12th Man’ by any entity other than Texas A&M or its authorized licensees.”

[Visit Dr. Saturday on Facebook for stories you might have missed and chat with the writers]

Seattle will continue to pay an annual royalty fee to the university as it shifts its focus to the use of “12” or “12s.” According to ESPN, the Seahawks Jerseys have trademarks for “Spirit of 12,” “12,” “The 12s” and “We Are 12s.”

We are proud to continue the legacy and history of the 12th MAN in Seattle.

— Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Jerseys (@Seahawks Jerseys) August 11, 2016

In November, A&M filed suit against another NFL team — the Indianapolis Colts Jerseys Jerseys — for using the phrase. The Colts Jerseys used “12th Man” in team promotions asking season ticket holders to “join the 12th Man” via email. Per ESPN, the Colts Jerseys agreed to stop using it and the suit was settled “with no money changing hands.”

For more Texas A&M news, visit

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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Rooney: ‘I doubt’ Burfict-free game was extra punishment

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Vontaze Burfict Jerseys is enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh.

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The Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys’ linebacker was suspended three games for an illegal hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown Jerseys — knocking the wideout out of Pittsburgh’s playoff loss the following week. Burfict also made the tackle on Le’Veon Bell Jerseys that ended the running back’s season. Many Steelers players at the time believed Burfict knew Bell was hurt when he celebrated the tackle. Then there was the more recent social media spat with Steelers backup running back DeAngelo Williams Jerseys.
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Battista: Rams, Beyonce add schedule wrinkles

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The blood is bad between Burfict and the Steelers, to say the least.

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When the NFL released the 2016 schedule on Thursday, we learned that Burfict will miss the first matchup against the Steelers — Week 2 in Pittsburgh — due to his suspension.


While some in Cincinnati might view it as extra punishment for the Bengals to be without their stud linebacker versus a division rival, Steelers president Art Rooney II doesn’t believe the league had an anti-Bengals leaning when creating a matchup Burfict would miss.

“I doubt that,” Rooney when asked if it was extra punishment for Burfict’s behavior, via the team’s official website. “I’m sure the league wanted a game that would be an interesting game for us to open our season at home, and that certainly fits the bill in terms of renewing the rivalry with the Bengals early in the season.”

There are certainly enough storylines to make the Bengals-Steelers matchup intriguing, san Burfict. We could argue the matchup would have been more “interesting” if they plopped it squarely in Week 4, in Burfict’s return. However, given how the end of the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh playoff game unraveled, the NFL would be justified in trying to keep the after-play antics at a minimum. Not having Burfict on the field will help in that endeavor.

Whether it was a conscious decision or not to play the Bengals-Steelers first matchup in the Burfict-less window, there will still be enough bad blood on the field for a highly entertaining division game. Barring injury — or another suspension — Burfict should be on the field when Cincinnati hosts Pittsburgh in Week 15. Then that part of the rivalry can be renewed.

James Harden writes letter to fans, takes shot at Warriors

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In a letter released to Houston Rockets Jerseys fans Monday on Twitter, guard James Harden, who just signed a $118.1 million contract, took what could be perceived as a dig at the Golden State Warriors Jerseys.

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An open letter to Red Nation from @JHarden13:

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— Houston Rockets Jerseys (@HoustonRockets) July 11, 2016

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Toward the end of the letter Harden wrote, “We are not a ‘super-team’ but just a group of guys that want to work hard to be the very best and our work begins immediately.”


During a news conference Saturday announcing Harden’s new deal and introducing newly signed free agents Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, the Rockets seemed a little amused by what the Warriors have done this offseason.

In regards to the Warriors, Harden said during the news conference there’s only “one basketball,” and owner Leslie Alexander said, “They have to defend us too.”

Harden said the Rockets are being overlooked, which he thinks is a good thing.

Of course, the NBA’s biggest offseason move involved the Warriors signing Kevin Durant to a two-year contract. The Rockets wanted to speak with Durant about his free-agent plans but didn’t get a meeting, despite his good relationship with Harden.

Instead, the Rockets focused their energies on upgrading their roster, acquiring a power forward in Anderson and another scorer from the guard position in Gordon.

MLB roundup: Yankees, Indians could make good trade partners

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As of this morning, Baseball Prospectus pLa Jerseysces the New York Yankees Jerseys Jerseys’ chances for winning the division at 2.1 percent and their odds of reaching the wild-card game at 5.1 percent. So unless their situation changes dramatically between now and Aug. 1, logic screams that they should be Sellers Jerseys, to take adVan Jerseystage of the extraordinary market value attached to AnDrew Jerseys Miller Jerseys Jerseys, Aroldis Chapman Jerseys Jerseys and others right now — value that will either dissipate or disappear one second after the Aug. 1 traDe Jerseys De Jerseysadline.

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Lest the Yankees Jerseys be like a character from the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” they should be prepared to move quickly, to traDe Jerseys assets and set up the team for 2017, and according to rival executives, that’s why they are trading proposals with other teams.

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‘Soul on Ice’ film tells story of black players in hockey

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The history of black players in hockey, and the importance it can play in teaching aspiring players, is so important to Kwame Mason that he risked his own financial security to tell the story.

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When the idea of telling a narrative about the black experience in hockey took hold in Mason’s mind, the erstwhile radio DJ in Edmonton took the ultimate plunge.

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“I sold my condo, which is not advice I would give a first-time filmmaker, took all my money out and started working on the project,” said Mason, 42.

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The result is “Soul on Ice: Past, Present & Future,” which explores the experiences of black players at all levels of hockey. The film, which received the People’s Choice Award for feature film at the Edmonton International Film Festival, delves into the black experience throughout the history of hockey and how those experiences have encouraged more participation in the game.

“It’s a passion for me,” said Mason, who taught himself many of the filming techniques to make what is his first feature film.” It’s coming up on four years in February; I haven’t had a paycheck in four years.”

Despite the financial hardship, Mason said he never imagined not finishing this project.

“I had to sacrifice a lot for the history of the game and to tell the story of that history in a way that I wanted, and it is all worth it,” he said Monday, two days before the film’s American debut in Washington, D.C.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Washington Capitals Jerseys owner Ted Leonsis and several other guests, including Willie O’Ree, who was the first black player in the NHL, former Edmonton Oilers Jerseys goalie Grant Fuhr, and NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes will be among those in attendance Wednesday for the screening.

Weekes grew up in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough and lived the journey that Mason explores in his film. He immersed himself in the sport of hockey, despite the lack of high-profile black role models in the game. He played major junior hockey in Canada and reached the NHL, playing for seven different NHL teams. He won 105 games and had 19 shutouts before turning to a role as a TV analyst.

Weekes has seen the film and loves the story it tells.

“This is a little snapshot into our experience into this great game, and it is something that I am exceptionally proud of and humbled by,” Weekes said. “I think it’s a great story and speaks to the growth of our game.”

Anson Carter, who also will be at the Wednesday screening, is another product of the youth hockey initiatives in and around Scarborough. He played college hockey at Michigan State and then had 202 goals in 674 NHL games for eight teams during an 11-season career.

Carter is an analyst for NBC, the League’s national TV partner in the United States. He also is an executive producer of “Soul on Ice.”

“It’s great because I see [‘Soul on Ice’] more as an educational tool than anything else,” Carter said. “I know when I was coming through, I wasn’t really aware of the black players in the history of hockey. My mind was blown when I first learned about Willie O’Ree. I didn’t know about him. I knew about Val James, Tony McKegney and that was it. I knew Grant Fuhr too, but I also knew he played goal and he had his mask on the whole time. When I decided to sit down and do this with Kwame, I said, ‘Let’s do a project that can be an educational piece.’ My original goal was to create something that I could take to every single city.”

The “Soul on Ice” narrative touches on O’Ree, who played with the Boston Bruins Jerseys for parts of two seasons, scoring four goals in 45 games despite being legally blind in one eye. It discusses the life of Herb Carnegie, a black player who played in a mining league in Quebec wholesale jerseys before playing in the Quebec Senior Hockey League, where he was teammates with Montreal Canadiens Jerseys icon Jean Beliveau. It focuses on Michael Marson, another Scarborough product, who was a second-round pick of the Washington Capitals Jerseys in 1974. It also focuses on black players in the NHL right now and those in the development pipeline.

‘I’m hoping this film is a great opportunity to spread the message of hockey’s history and get that message about the impact of these players in that history,” Mason said.

Carter said that goal was achieved.

“Everyone that has seen it is like, ‘Wow, we didn’t really know that this existed,'” Carter said. “It’s about the depth of the piece. It wasn’t about being a black hockey player is hard. That wasn’t the kind of piece I wanted to put together. Everyone knows that story. Everyone knows that if you’re going to be a minority playing any sport, it’s not going to be easy. It’s more of a celebration of it, the evolution of it, the story that nobody knew.”

Panthers’ Cam Newton mum in post-game interview

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – As Panthers quarterback Cam Newton Jerseys approached the interview podium following the Panthers’ 24-10 loss to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50, he was being watched by a pair of friends fully aware of how disheartened he was.

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The league’s most valuable player settled into his uncomfortable interview chair, arms at his side with the hood of his sweatshirt swooped over his head. At the same time, offensive coordinator Mike Shula and quarterbacks coach Ken Dorsey were trying to get his attention a few yards to Newton’s left.

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Shula, standing on another podium, appeared to be signaling to his quarterback one last time this season. He looked to be motioning to Newton, asking him to remove his hood. Shula, eyes directly at the quarterback, made the motion a few times before trying to listen in.

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Newton did not abide. Newton was also probably not looking. This was painful and he wanted it to end quickly.

“We lost,” Newton said when asked if he could put the disappointment into words.

“Nope,” he said, when asked if there was anything in particular about the game he could remember.

“They just played better than us,” he added. “I don’t know what you want me to say, I’m sorry. They made more plays than us, and that’s what it came down to. We had opportunities. It wasn’t nothing special that they did. We dropped balls, we turned the ball over, gave up sacks, threw errant passes. That’s it, they scored more points than us.”

The whole thing lasted around two and a half minutes. Newton walked by his coaches on the way back to his locker stall.

This will go down as an all-out indictment of the Panthers quarterback, but before taking aim, consider why his coaches were there in the first place. Was Newton being immature and petulant, or, after a season where he redefined what it meant to be a mobile quarterback, was he just that upset?

Was he thumbing his nose at the same people who criticized his dancing, celebratory attitude and frankness when it comes to race in sports? Or was he simply trying to process what he’d seen – an anomaly during a season where the Panthers almost went undefeated in the regular season.


Having a coordinator and position coach watch a player at his post-game press conference is a fairly unusual occurrence, especially in the chaotic, wide-open warehouse setting of a Super Bowl interview session.

All season long, we’ve heard about how close the quarterback room was. We’ve heard how revolutionary Shula was, and how Dorsey was a rising star in the business. And maybe that’s why they knew Newton would be at rock bottom. They knew him that well.

“As hard as it will be, you have to remember the good things we’ve done,” Shula said.

He added: “I think that, like I said, there are differences that are so little at the end of each and every game, each and every play. Field position, momentum, things like that. But you have to find a way to be on the plus side of that.”

At his own podium session, Shula talked slowly. He closed his eyes for extended periods of time and he tried his best to remember the good times, perhaps foreshadowing Newton’s press conference to come. He has been through this before and he grew up in a football family. He knew that in order to avoid a character assassination that there’s a painful delicacy to these things, no matter how unfair the rapid-fire questioning of a magnanimous loss is.

Newton, who passed for 3,837 total yards, ran and passed for 45 total touchdowns and threw just 10 interceptions this season, showed us a different way to do things this season. And being upset about one bad night – Newton went 18-41 for 265 yards and an interception in the face of a historically relentless Broncos pass rush shouldn’t change things.

Shula and Dorsey certainly didn’t wholesale jerseys china want it to.

Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks for May 7

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Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

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The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Saturday.

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Adrian Gonzalez: With notable career splits that include an .899 OPS against right-handers and a .772 mark vs. lefties, the first baseman could display his power when he bats at his hitter-friendly Rogers Centre against righty R.A. Dickey (career 1.1 HR/9 rate).

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Joc Pederson: The second-year outfielder has posted notable lifetime splits, with a .789 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .675 mark vs. lefties. Set to vacate his pitcher-friendly home park and face the righty Dickey (5.73 ERA, 1.61 WHIP in 2016) at offense-inducing Rogers Centre, Pederson could rip a round-tripper or drive in multiple runs. Pederson’s solo shot LAD@TB: Pederson hammers a solo big fly to centerJoc Pederson sends a line drive to center field for a solo home run, increasing the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1

Justin Turner: The third baseman has long fared best vs. right-handers, against whom he has produced a lifetime .790 OPS (.715 vs. lefties). Batting .250 with zero homers this season, Turner could be a cost-effective option at the hot corner in DraftKings contests when he tangles with the right-handed Dickey (career 4.34 FIP) at hitter-friendly Rogers Centre.

Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko is in possession of lopsided lifetime splits, with a .772 OPS against left-handers that exceeds his .663 mark vs. righties. The second baseman could have a productive game when he faces Pirates southpaw Jeff Locke, who has logged a 4.73 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP in 2016.

Stephen Piscotty: Since making his big league debut on July 21, 2015, the outfielder has posted a 1.010 OPS against left-handers in comparison to an .804 mark vs. righties. Piscotty could drive in multiple runs when he faces the left-handed Locke (career 4.19 ERA, 1.40 WHIP). Piscotty’s two-run double PHI@STL: Piscotty drives in two on a double to leftStephen Piscotty ropes a ground-rule double down the left-field line and into the stands, scoring two runs to increase the Cardinals’ lead

Corey Dickerson Jerseys: Hitting .192 this season, the outfielder could have a reduced price tag in DraftKings contests when he brings his impressive lifetime .929 OPS against right-handers (.631 vs. lefties) into a matchup with Angels fly-ball-prone righty Jered Weaver (4.76 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 1.4 HR/9 rate since the outset of 2015).

Stephen Vogt: In his career, Vogt has produced a .765 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .639 mark vs. lefties. The catcher will be poised to provide production at a premium position when he vacates his pitcher-friendly home park and faces righty Mike Wright Jerseys (career 5.74 ERA, 1.46 WHIP) at hitter-friendly Camden Yards in Game 1 of Saturday’s twin bill. Baltimore’s park has proven to be especially power-enhancing for left-handed batters such as Vogt.

Nomar Mazara: Since making his big league debut on April 10, the left-handed-hitting outfielder has logged an impressive .365/.426/.558 slash line against right-handers. Mazara could display his power when he bats against Tigers right-hander Mike Pelfrey (career 4.54 ERA, 1.49 WHIP).

Rougned Odor: With balanced career splits, the left-handed-hitting second baseman could be in position to provide production at a premium position when he tangles with the righty Pelfrey (career 4.23 FIP). In his career, Pelfrey has allowed left-handed batters such as Odor to post a .795 OPS (.750 OPS allowed to righty hitters). He could also swipe his fifth base of the season against Jarrod Saltalamacchia Jerseys, who has allowed more steals than all but three catchers in 2016.

Mitch Moreland: As a big leaguer, the first baseman has posted a .798 OPS against right-handers that exceeds his .643 mark vs. lefties. Moreland will be in prime position to excel when he faces the right-handed Pelfrey, who has posted a 5.68 ERA and a 2.05 WHIP in 2016.

Miguel Cabrera: With a lofty lifetime .322/.389/.561 slash line against right-handers, the first baseman has proven to be among the best in baseball during those matchups. Cabrera could put a ball into the outfield seats when he faces Rangers fly-ball-prone righty A.J. Griffin (career 1.4 HR/9 rate). The slugger could also excel late in the game against a Rangers relief corps that ranks 27th in the Majors with a 4.78 ERA. Miggy’s solo home run DET@MIN: Miggy belts a solo homer to right-centerMiguel Cabrera blasts a solo home run to right-center field, extending the Tigers’ lead to 4-1 in the top of the 5th inning

David Ortiz Jerseys: Much of Ortiz’s notable career success can be traced to his impressive lifetime .293/.397/.579 slash line against right-handers. The slugger could reach base often or drive in multiple runs when he faces righty Nathan Eovaldi (career 4.16 ERA, 1.40 WHIP) and a Yankees squad that ranks 26th in baseball with a .666 defensive efficiency ratio at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. Also of note: New York’s home park is especially power enhancing for left-handed batters such as Ortiz.

Jake Odorizzi: The fly-ball-prone right-hander could be in perfect position to spin a gem when he brings his in-season 3.12 ERA and 1.18 WHIP into a matchup at pitcher-friendly Angel Stadium against a Los Angeles lineup that ranks 26th in the Majors with a .665 OPS against righties. Odorizzi may also benefit from working in front of a Rays squad that ranks third in baseball with a .720 defensive efficiency ratio.

Tom Koehler: With a 7.25 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP this season, the right-hander will likely have a reduced cost in DraftKings contests when he faces the Phillies at his pitcher-friendly home park. Philadelphia ranks 25th in the Majors with a .668 OPS against righties.


Bartolo Colon: Having logged a 2.56 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP this season, the right-hander could be a productive second starter in DraftKings contests when he works at pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a Padres lineup that ranks 29th in the Majors with a .636 OPS against righties. Colon earns win No. 220 ATL@NYM: Colon tosses eight strong, earns 220th winBartolo Colon earns his 220th victory, passing Pedro Martinez for the second-most wins ever among Dominican-born pitchers

Chris Sale Jerseys: Sitting at 6-0 with a 1.66 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP, the left-hander has been arguably the most effective starter in the Junior Circuit this season. Sale could produce a difference-making total in DraftKings contests when he brings his lifetime 10.2 K/9 rate into a matchup with a Twins lineup that ranks 24th in baseball with a .667 OPS against southpaws.

Dallas Keuchel: Since the outset of last season, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner has logged a 1.65 ERA at home in comparison to a 4.17 mark on the road. With a 5.11 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP this season, Keuchel could be a cost-effective ace in DraftKings contests when he works at home against the Mariners.

All statistics are accurate through the completion of Thursday’s games.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Blackhawks’ Kane leads Hart Trophy race at midpoint

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Right wing Patrick Kane Jerseys has scored or assisted on 48.5 percent of the Chicago Blackhawks’ 130 goals this season. Other players have meant a lot to their teams this season, but no one has come close to what Kane has meant to the Blackhawks.

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Kane, with his NHL-best 63 points, is leading the race for the Hart Trophy as the League’s most valuable player.

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By comparison, Kane was tied for the League lead with 64 points when he broke his clavicle last season. That was through 61 games, or three quarters of the season. This season, Kane is on pace for 45 goals and 112 points. He’s never had more than 30 and 88 in a season.

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He was the NHL’s First Star for the month of November and its Third Star for December.

“It’s not if he’s going to score, it’s when and how,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews Jerseys said.

Kane’s production has had a profound effect on the rest of the Chicago lineup, taking pressure off other big-time players, notably fellow top-six right wing Marian Hossa Jerseys.


Hossa has seven goals and 21 points in 41 games. His average of 0.51 points per game is well below his NHL career mark of 0.89. He is on pace for 39 points, which would be a career low in a season in which he played more than 60 games.

It hasn’t mattered because of Kane, who has been dominant in almost every game this season and playing with a shoot-first mentality. cheap nhl jerseys He is on pace for 292 shots on goal; his career high is 261.

With the jump in total shots has come an improved shooting percentage. Kane is shooting at a 15.2 percent rate; he was 11.9 percent for his NHL career entering this season.

“We’re seeing that consistent production pretty much every single night, which is a big part of staying on top of the scoring lead the way [Kane] has,” Toews said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but he’s playing well and he’s playing with tons of confidence every night.”

Kane had at least one point in 39 of 46 games, including a stretch of 26 in a row from Oct. 17 to Dec. 13, when he set the record for most consecutive games with a point by an American-born player. He had at least two points in 17 games, with three or more in six games.

He has played on a line with center Artem Anisimov Jerseys and rookie left wing Artemi Panarin all season. Panarin was named’s leader for the Calder Trophy earlier this week.

“It’s a rare occasion when that line is not producing,” Toews said.

Most importantly, Kane’s production has led to wins.

The Blackhawks are 27-8-4 when Kane scores a point, 13-1-3 when he scores at least two, and 15-5-3 when he scores a goal. They are 2-5-0 with seven goals in the seven games he hasn’t had a point.

Chicago is on a nine-game winning streak, in part because of Kane’s 13 points in those games, and its 62 points are even with the Dallas Stars atop the Central Division.


Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals: Holtby has been the most dominant goalie in the League and hasn’t lost in regulation in 23 consecutive starts. He is 20-0-2 with one no-decision, two shutouts, a 1.85 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage during the 22-game point streak. He is the second goalie in the past 20 seasons to earn at least one point for his team in 22 or more consecutive decisions, joining Jose Theodore (2009-10, Capitals, 20-0-3). Holtby’s 28 wins lead the League. He is also first in save percentage (.933) and goals-against average (1.90) among goalies with 20 or more appearances. The Capitals lead the NHL with 69 points in 43 games.

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators: Ottawa is on the bubble of the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Imagine where the Senators would be without Karlsson, who is playing a League-high 28:39 per game and is fourth in the League in scoring. His 45 points lead the Senators and NHL defensemen, and his 36 asssists are second in the NHL behind Kane. He has nine more points and plays almost eight minutes more per game than anybody else on the Senators.

ALSO IN THE MIX: Jamie Benn Jerseys, Dallas Stars; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon part of Redskins’ plans

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INDIANAPOLIS — Robert Griffin III Jerseys aside, the buzz word for the 2016 Redskins is continuity.

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They will have largely the same coaching staff and, assuming they place the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins Jerseys or lock him up on a long-term deal, they will have the same starting quarterback.
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According to coach Jay Gruden, they will also have the same wide receivers, one through three.

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“Yeah, they’re on our roster, so I’m excited about it,” Gruden said. “Get DeSean in there full time, healthy. There’s no substitute for speed, and DeSean gives us that. And obviously Pierre is one of the toughest receivers in the game and they complement each other very well. Throw Jordan Reed Jerseys in the middle and that’s a pretty good arsenal of weapons.”


Jackson is an obvious candidate for salary-cap space relief. Nearing 30, his contract can be easily shed without the fear of prohibitive dead money. His contract goes through the 2016 season and pays him a base salary of $3.75 million. He counts $9.25 million against the cap.

Garcon is in a similar situation and doesn’t have the balky numbers to back up the deal like Jackson does.

With both contracts set to expire, the smart play might be what Gruden is hinting at. The Redskins’ offense cheap nfl jerseys reached its peak last year after Jackson returned from a nagging hamstring injury. He went on a torrid stretch that included 21 catches for 429 yards and four touchdowns over a four-week period late in the season. His over-the-top speed helped open up the offense and create mismatches for Reed.

Receivers are at a premium this offseason in free agency and the Redskins are not in the place to be overspending on the likes of Rishard Matthews Jerseys or Jermaine Kearse Jerseys — not yet anyway.