Rotoworld: Headlines

 

NFL

Report: Julio Jones expected to play Sunday
Julio Jones | ATL
(December 19, 2014 11:07 PM EST)
ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure expects Julio Jones (hip) to play in Sunday's game at New Orleans.
Jones remains a game-time call after not practicing at all the last two weeks. But the Falcons are in a must-win spot and obviously need their most talented offensive weapon. Here's the full report from McClure: "From all the information I've gathered, Jones definitely will play against the Saints. And it's not as if the Falcons will have him on the field just as a decoy. They need Jones in this desperation game, so I suspect he will get plenty of opportunities." We'll have more information by Sunday morning at the absolute latest.
Source:
ESPN.com
DeAndre Hopkins can't practice, questionable
DeAndre Hopkins | HOU
(December 19, 2014 4:12 PM EST)
DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) missed his third straight day of practice Friday and is listed as questionable for Week 16.
Coach Bill O'Brien continues to call Hopkins a game-time decision, but it's not looking good for him to play against the Ravens. It's probably just as well with Case Keenum at quarterback and Andre Johnson (concussion, probable) returning to siphon targets. Hopkins would've been a high-risk WR3 play.

MLB

Nexen will accept highest bid on Jung-Ho Kang
Jung-Ho Kang | INT
(December 19, 2014 11:11 PM EST)
According to Jeeho Yoo of Yonhap News, the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization will accept the $5 million bid for shortstop Jung-Ho Kang.
It's still unclear who the winning team is, though that information should be announced on Saturday. That team will then have an exclusive window to negotiate a contract with Kang. The 27-year-old slashed .356/.459/.739 with 40 homers and 117 RBI over 117 games in the KBO in 2014.
Source:
Jeeho Yoo on Twitter
Padres acquire Will Middlebrooks from Boston
Will Middlebrooks | SD
(December 19, 2014 10:55 PM EST)
Padres acquired INF Will Middlebrooks from the Red Sox for C Ryan Hanigan.
The 26-year-old slugger has lost a bit of the luster off his top prospect status in recent years, but still possesses plenty of power and should be locked in as the Padres starter at the hot corner. The move from Fenway to Petco certainly diminishes his potential fantasy value though.

NBA

Westbrook goes for 31 and 10, 13-of-13 FTs
Russell Westbrook | OKC
(December 20, 2014 2:31 AM EST)
Russell Westbrook scored 31 points on 9-of-22 shooting (13-of-13 FTs) with five rebounds, 10 assists and one steal in Friday's win over the Lakers.
Westbrook is producing at a top-5 level in 8-cat leagues since his return and a top-8 level in 9-cat formats. With or without Kevin Durant on the court, he could easily continue this pace and he's currently in the MVP conversation.
Jackson busts out of slump with 25 points
Reggie Jackson | OKC
(December 20, 2014 2:28 AM EST)
Reggie Jackson busted out of his slump on Friday against the Lakers, scoring 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting (3-of-5 3PTs, 4-of-4 FTs) with three rebounds, five assists and one block in 36 minutes off the bench.
Yes, Kevin Durant was out and yes this came against the Lakers, but it's probably just good for Jackson to see the ball go through the hoop. It sure seems like the Thunder are going out of their way to let Jackson know what the pecking order is in OKC now that the guys are back, but tonight's output is a reminder of both his short-term value and long-term value in the event one of the Thunder's big guns gets hurt again.

NHL

Ryan Johansen slumping in last 10 games
Ryan Johansen | CLM
(December 20, 2014 7:37 AM EST)
Ryan Johansen has a goal and three assists in his last 10 games.
When you throw in a minus-eight rating, it's hard to believe that the Blue Jackets are 7-2-1 in that span. Johansen has nine goals and 28 points in 31 games with a minus-12 rating but his lack of training camp time due to contract negotiations, may finally be hitting him.
Corey Perry may skate on the weekend
Corey Perry | ANA
(December 20, 2014 6:47 AM EST)
Corey Perry (knee) is hoping to start skating on the weekend according to coach Bruce Boudreau.
Don't expect to see Perry back before Christmas and just how long after Christmas is still up in the air but he is getting close. The stud winger has had a tough go of it lately with the knee injury on December 5 and picking up the mumps earlier. Nevertheless, Perry has 14 goals and 22 points in 23 games and remains a top-five fantasy player when healthy.
Source:
Orange County Register

PGA

Grace wire-to-wire at Dunhill Championship
Branden Grace | PGA
(December 15, 2014 3:14 PM EST)
Branden Grace coasted to a seven-stroke, wire-to-wire victory at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club in his native South Africa.
The 25-year-old opened with a bogey-free, 10-under-par 62, and then added respective rounds of 66, 72 and 68 to post 20-under 268. Fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen was the lone runner-up. "It’s special to win it wire-to-wire, more so because it’s in front of a local crowd," Grace said on Sunday. For the week, he totaled 27 birdies against seven bogeys. "It was a pretty flawless round today and the perfect way to finish off an incredible tournament - a great week in the office." He's arguably best known for winning five times around the world. Four of those titles occurred on the European Tour. His win on Sunday is his first anywhere since and fifth career on the circuit.
Source:
EuropeanTour.com
Lipsky tops Asian Tour OOM; nets 2 exemptions
David Lipsky | PGA
(December 14, 2014 11:42 PM EST)
David Lipsky clinched victory in the Order of Merit on the Asian Tour with one tournament yet to be contested.
He won't need to sweat out the results of next week's Dubai Open, which has a purse of just $500,000, $90K of which going to the winner. With $713,901 in the bank through the Thailand Golf Championship, Lipsky is $111,068 clear of Anirban Lahiri in second place. The 25-year-old American won the Omega European Masters in early September. His haul from that landmark title contributes 70.6 percent of his season's earnings. "This win means a lot to me and I’m feeling a lot of pride," he said. "This is something which I aspired to do. Winning a co-sanction event and doing all this in one year is something which was unexpected because I did it so fast but now I know that if I play well, I can compete against the best." He'll test his talent with debuts at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and The Open Championship in 2015, both perks for winning the Order of Merit.
Source:
AsianTour.com

NASCAR

Coughlin tops speed charts in morning session
Cody Coughlin | A55
(December 19, 2014 1:04 PM EST)
Cody Coughlin, in the No. 55 Venturini Motorsports Toyota, led the speed charts in ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Friday morning testing at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
Coughlin circled the 2.5-mile "World Center of Racing" in 48.210 seconds, an average speed of 186.683 mph. Sean Corr, in the No. 48 Hylton Motorsports Ford, was second on the charts ahead of Tom Hessert (Cunningham Motorsports), Leilani Munter (Venturini Motorsports), and Bobby Gerhart (Bobby Gerhart Racing) to complete the top-five. Thirty drivers posted time and speed in the morning session.
Source:
ARCA Racing
Menards sponsors NXS #33 with Brandon Jones
Brandon Jones | 733
(December 18, 2014 3:34 PM EST)
Menards will continue its partnership with Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, positioning the third-largest home improvement store in the United States as a primary sponsor for select races on RCR's No. 33 Chevrolet entry with drivers Paul Menard and Brandon Jones in 2015.
Menards has played a pivotal role in RCR's NXS campaign since 2012. Menard will drive the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet Camaro for select events in 2015, while maintaining a full-time schedule in the No. 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry for RCR. The Eau Claire, Wis.-native is a two-time XFINITY Series race winner with five pole awards, 31 top-five and 81 top-10 finishes. As previously announced, Jones, a 17-year-old driver hailing from Atlanta, Ga., joins the RCR stable for a number of NXS events.-Richard Childress Racing