Dodgers Matt Kemp Begins DL Stint

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was placed to the 15-Day DL with a mild hamstring strain.

Since the Dodgers went out of they way to call the strain mild, Kemp may only miss a few weeks.

Kemp owns a pedestrian batting average of .255, with only two home runs and 17 RBI’s.

Continue to monitor Kemp’s hamstring issue, but at this point, losing him on your fantasy roster would not be the end of the world.

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Bills Ready to Take the Reins Off C.J. Spiller

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller enjoyed a breakout season last year rushing for more than 1,200 yards and scored six touchdowns despite dealing with minor injuries throughout the season.

Bills fans and many fantasy football pundits felt that Spiller wasn’t used nearly enough by head coach Chan Gailey. But first-year head coach Doug Marrone made it clear that he doesn’t plan on always pulling Spiller at the goal line or on third down.

“My philosophy’s always been if someone starts off and they’re running well, keep feeding them the ball,” Marrone said.

Spiller ran well in several games last year and he can catch the ball too. He rang up 459 receiving yards and two touchdowns while averaging more than 10 yards per catch.

He has the ability to be one of the league’s most explosive runners and receiving threats out of the backfield. The dual-threat running back was No. 2 in the NFL with twelve 20+ yard runs while averaging an impressive six yards per carry.

Bills Ready to Take the Reins Off C.J. Spiller

Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller enjoyed a breakout season last year rushing for more than 1,200 yards and scored six touchdowns despite dealing with minor injuries throughout the season.

Bills fans and many fantasy football pundits felt that Spiller wasn’t used nearly enough by head coach Chan Gailey. But first-year head coach Doug Marrone made it clear that he doesn’t plan on always pulling Spiller at the goal line or on third down.

“My philosophy’s always been if someone starts off and they’re running well, keep feeding them the ball,” Marrone said.

Spiller ran well in several games last year and he can catch the ball too. He rang up 459 receiving yards and two touchdowns while averaging more than 10 yards per catch.

He has the ability to be one of the league’s most explosive runners and receiving threats out of the backfield. The dual-threat running back was No. 2 in the NFL with twelve 20+ yard runs while averaging an impressive six yards per carry.

Nick Franklin Makes Immediate Impact in Seattle

Mariners middle infield prospect Nick Franklin hit the first 2 home runs of his big league career Thursday against the San Diego Padres. Franklin was ranked the number 47 prospect in baseball by MLB.com coming into the 2013 season. He was called up on Monday to replace the struggling Dustin Ackley at second base.

In 39 games this year in Triple-A Tacoma, Franklin had a .324 batting average with 4 home runs, 28 runs, 20 RBI and 7 stolen bases. Franklin also held a .912 OPS on the season with 30 walks and 9 doubles.

These stats were more than enough for the Mariners to pull the trigger and bring the 22-year-old up to the majors. Yet some are pessimistic that he can produce numbers anywhere close to these in the majors because of what some call the “PCL effect.”

The Mariners Triple-A organization, the Tacoma Rainiers, play in the Pacific Coast League. The PCL is filled with ballparks that heavily favor hitters, so it’s generally believed that PCL batters have inflated numbers.

Dustin Ackley, who was sent down in Franklin’s favor, is a prime example of what coaches are afraid with the “PCL effect.” During the 2011 season, Ackley was batting .303 with 9 home runs in 66 games in the PCL before being called up to the majors. During his past two MLB seasons combined, Ackley has a batting average of .221 and has only hit 13 home runs.

Nick Franklin will obviously look to prove this stereotype wrong and hit well at the major league level. He blasted 2 home runs yesterday at Petco Park in San Diego, which gives you faith that he can at least hit for power on the road.

Safeco Park in Seattle is not an easy park to hit a home run ranking 27th in the MLB in home runs. It will be interesting to see what he can do when the team returns to Seattle for a 10 game home stand next Monday.

While Franklin is not a brute power guy, his plate discipline and considerable speed is what makes him truly intriguing. His patience at the plate is very impressive for a young player after managing 30 walks in only 39 games in the minors.

If he can walk, keep a decent batting average and keep the strikeout numbers down, Franklin can be very successful.

He has the potential to be a 20-20 kind of guy that will score plenty of runs. He’s eligible at shortstop right now, but should gain eligibility at second base as well as he fills in at both positions. These are both scarce positions, and Franklin is only owned in 11.1% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Keep an eye on how he hits in the next couple weeks, as he can certainly be an asset to your team this season. He can be a great pickup now, but an even better draft pick next year if he plays well enough to keep his job with the Mariners.

Nick Franklin Makes Immediate Impact in Seattle

Mariners middle infield prospect Nick Franklin hit the first 2 home runs of his big league career Thursday against the San Diego Padres. Franklin was ranked the number 47 prospect in baseball by MLB.com coming into the 2013 season. He was called up on Monday to replace the struggling Dustin Ackley at second base.

In 39 games this year in Triple-A Tacoma, Franklin had a .324 batting average with 4 home runs, 28 runs, 20 RBI and 7 stolen bases. Franklin also held a .912 OPS on the season with 30 walks and 9 doubles.

These stats were more than enough for the Mariners to pull the trigger and bring the 22-year-old up to the majors. Yet some are pessimistic that he can produce numbers anywhere close to these in the majors because of what some call the “PCL effect.”

The Mariners Triple-A organization, the Tacoma Rainiers, play in the Pacific Coast League. The PCL is filled with ballparks that heavily favor hitters, so it’s generally believed that PCL batters have inflated numbers.

Dustin Ackley, who was sent down in Franklin’s favor, is a prime example of what coaches are afraid with the “PCL effect.” During the 2011 season, Ackley was batting .303 with 9 home runs in 66 games in the PCL before being called up to the majors. During his past two MLB seasons combined, Ackley has a batting average of .221 and has only hit 13 home runs.

Nick Franklin will obviously look to prove this stereotype wrong and hit well at the major league level. He blasted 2 home runs yesterday at Petco Park in San Diego, which gives you faith that he can at least hit for power on the road.

Safeco Park in Seattle is not an easy park to hit a home run ranking 27th in the MLB in home runs. It will be interesting to see what he can do when the team returns to Seattle for a 10 game home stand next Monday.

While Franklin is not a brute power guy, his plate discipline and considerable speed is what makes him truly intriguing. His patience at the plate is very impressive for a young player after managing 30 walks in only 39 games in the minors.

If he can walk, keep a decent batting average and keep the strikeout numbers down, Franklin can be very successful.

He has the potential to be a 20-20 kind of guy that will score plenty of runs. He’s eligible at shortstop right now, but should gain eligibility at second base as well as he fills in at both positions. These are both scarce positions, and Franklin is only owned in 11.1% of fantasy baseball leagues.

Keep an eye on how he hits in the next couple weeks, as he can certainly be an asset to your team this season. He can be a great pickup now, but an even better draft pick next year if he plays well enough to keep his job with the Mariners.

Joel Dreessen to Miss Broncos Minicamp

Denver Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen will miss the team’s minicamp due to antrhoscopic knee surgery. This is considered as a minor setback for the 30-year-old who should be ready to go by Week 1.

Dreessen caught 41 passes last season for 356 yards and five touchdowns.

Look for his yards to increase next year as he should be more in sync with Peyton Manning’s style of play. That said, don’t expect Dreessen to catch more than five touchdowns, as he will be splitting time with fellow tight end Jacob Tamme.

Dreessen and Tamme are just a few of the targets Manning will have at his disposal next season including Eric Decker, Demarius Thomas and the blockbuster addition of Wes Welker from New England.

Denver will be a force offensively this season and Dreessen should be a healthy part of it.

Curtis Granderson Stuck on the DL

New York Yankees All-Star outfielder Curtis Granderson underwent surgery Wednesday to insert a pin into his broken left pinkie knuckle after taking a pitch off the hand during Friday’s matchup against the Rays.

Granderson has been riddled with injury this season. Wednesday marks the second time he has suffered a broken bone after being hit by a pitch in 2013. He missed the first six weeks of the season after breaking his forearm during Spring Training.

The 32-year-old is expected to miss around four weeks following his most recent injury.

“It’s basically four weeks of inactivity, then you go from there,” Yanks manager Joe Girardi said. “You can’t expect him to go four weeks of inactivity and be in a game the next day.”

Fantasy owners should continue to keep Granderson stashed in all leagues unless waiting until around early July for him to be completely healed is out of the question. He is considered a must start option in deeper leagues when healthy.

Raiders Quarterback Matt Flynn Not Sweating Tyler Wilson

Raiders Quarterback Matt Flynn has experienced his share of disappointment, but it looks like his job is safe for now. Coach Dennis Allen named Flynn the starting quarterback long before the season actually gets underway. Even if rookie Tyler Wilson is perceived as a stronger quarterback than Flynn, it’s very unlikely that he will start over Flynn this upcoming season.

The QB competition isn’t over in Oakland, but this isn’t an open competition like many NFL teams are holding. Something catastrophic would have to happen for Flynn not start for the Raiders considering what they did to get him.

The Raiders traded away Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and obtained Flynn from the Seattle Seahawks for two draft picks. The Raiders sent a clear message that Flynn would be the quarterback to lead their team this year.

Wilson had been rumored to start over Flynn, but he still has a long way to go before he can take the starting position. His rookie camp went well, but training camp and preseason are where it’s necessary to shine.

Flynn might not be the next Peyton Manning, but he should be able to match the Raiders expectations. Oakland  cleaned house during the offseason and have plenty of holes that need to be filled and Flynn solves the QB position for the short term.  

Dodgers Inch Closer to Calling up Top Prospect Yasiel Puig

It appears that the Dodgers are on the verge of calling up the team’s top prospect, outfielder Yasiel Puig. Slumping Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp is likely headed to the DL  with a hamstring issue, after missing a good portion of last season due to knee and shoulder issues.

This gives Puig an immediate opportunity to get called up to the majors to fill Kemp’s spot in the outfield.

Regardless of Kemp’s injury, the Dodgers outfield is underachieving and not even coming close to producing the numbers that they need to. Kemp is batting .251 with only 2 homeruns and 17 RBI this season. To make matters worse, right fielder Andre Ethier is batting .253 on the season with only 4 homeruns and 15 RBI.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly benched both outfielders during the past couple weeks on multiple occasions, while also pushing them down in the Dodgers lineup.

Carl Crawford has also been getting standard days off as precaution with his past injuries, so there has been plenty of playing time for backup outfielders in Los Angeles. Even if Kemp were healthy, Mattingly would be able to find plenty of playing time for Puig.

Puig has been killing the ball in Double-A Cattanooga. In 38 games so far this season, Puig is batting .309 with 8 home runs, 11 stolen bases, and 36 RBI. Like Kemp, Puig has speed and considerable power. Puig is producing these numbers in Double-A, but it remains to be seen if he can replicate that success in the majors.

If Kemp is injured, the only thing standing in Puig’s path to the majors is fellow outfield prospect Joc Pederson. Pederson is also hitting well this season with a .311 batting average, 8 home runs, and 15 stolen bases in 51 games in Double-A Chattanooga.

Though his numbers seem better, Puig has done very close to what Pederson has done in 13 less games. In fact, Puig has posted a .976 OPS, while Pederson has only posted a .908 OPS. Puig should get the upper hand, as the Dodgers number 1 prospect.

For the sake of the team, the Dodgers need to take a chance with Puig. A DL-stint for Matt Kemp would disappoint his owners even more than his poor play already has. Yet pulling up Puig, would open a new door for fantasy owners that are in need of hitting.

Can Fantasy Owners Count on Greg Jennings?

Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings sat out OTAs with an ankle injury earlier this week. Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier claimed the injury was “nothing serious” but he remained absent in order to avoid aggravating the injury.

The 29-year-old Michigan native was only healthy enough to play 8 games last season and this ankle injury might be a sign of bad things to come.

Durability has been an issue for the former Green Bay Packer, which raises questions about Minnesota’s decision to acquire him during the offseason. The  five-year contract can be worth up to $47.5 million (with $500,000 being awarded for every season Jennings gets a Pro Bowl nomination), including $18 million in guaranteed money. This new contract makes Greg Jennings tied for 10th on the list of top paid wide receivers.

Though he originally sought a salary of $11 million, this deal for roughly $9 million a year seemed to be enough to sway Jennings over to Minnesota.

The seven-year veteran had his least productive season last year posting career lows in games played, receptions and receiving yards.

The ankle injury may not be too significant in how long it will affect him, but Jennings cannot be counted on to maintain good health throughout the season. Fantasy owners should avoid Jennings and find a more reliable option.