Fantasy baseball corner players rankings

Fantasy baseball corner players rankings

By Michael Salfino
CSNChicago.com contributor

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
2. David Wright, Mets
NOTE: Might be NL's best player.
3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
4. Albert Pujols, Angels
NOTE: Not back to old levels, but a star again.
5. Mark Trumbo, Angels
6. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
NOTE: The second-half push is here.
7. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
NOTE: Breakout started late in 2011.
8. Paul Konerko, White Sox
9. Prince Fielder, Tigers
10. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
11. Joey Votto, Reds
NOTE: Should be back in a month.
12. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
NOTE: Enigma, could use change of scenery.
13. Billy Butler, Royals
14. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
15. David Ortiz, Red Sox
16. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
17. Pablo Sandoval, Giants
NOTE: How much power will park allow?
18. Allen Craig, Cardinals
19. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
NOTE: How healthy is the shoulder?
20. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
21. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
22. David Freese, Cardinals
23. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
24. Nick Swisher, Yankees
25. Evan Longoria, Rays
26. Mike Moustakas, Royals
NOTE: Might get to stardom before Hosmer.
27. Adam Dunn, White Sox
NOTE: Low average is more acceptable these days.
28. Freddie Freeman, Braves
29. Martin Prado, Braves
30. Eric Hosmer, Royals
31. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
NOTE: Cortisone shot perked up the shoulder.
32. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
33. Michael Morse, Nationals
34. Ike Davis, Mets
35. Trevor Plouffe, Twins
NOTE: Always had pop in his profile.
36. Ryan Howard, Phillies
NOTE: Don't expect a miracle here.
37. Corey Hart, Brewers
38. Logan Morrison, Marlins
39. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
40. Justin Morneau, Twins
NOTE: Hasn't hit a lick on the road, or against lefties.
41. Garrett Jones, Pirates
42. Kevin Youkilis, White Sox
NOTE: Bat has perked up in Windy City.
43. Chase Headley, Padres
44. Tyler Colvin, Rockies
45. Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
46. Howie Kendrick, Angels
47. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
48. Carlos Lee, Marlins
NOTE: Still makes good contact, but pop is gone.
49. Casey McGehee, Pirates
50. Adam LaRoche, Nationals
51. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
NOTE: He's been handy since the recall.
52. Michael Young, Rangers
53. Mike Aviles, Red Sox
54. Kendrys Morales, Angels
55. Jim Thome, Orioles
NOTE: Still a good bet for final two months.
56. Todd Frazier, Reds
57. Chris Davis, Orioles
58. Chipper Jones, Braves
59. Yonder Alonso, Padres
NOTE: Gap power, not many over the fence.
60. Lucas Duda, Mets
61. Kyle Seager, Mariners
62. Bryan LaHair, Cubs
NOTE: Contact problems are exposing him.
63. Chris Carter, Athletics
64. Daniel Murphy, Mets
65. Carlos Pena, Rays
66. Casey Kotchman, Indians
67. Jed Lowrie, Astros
NOTE: Weak lineup really misses his stick.
68. Brandon Belt, Giants
69. Brandon Moss, Athletics
70. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
71. Jordan Pacheco, Rockies
NOTE: Nice average but not much power.
72. Luke Scott, Rays
73. Jeff Keppinger, Rays
NOTE: A typical Ray, versatile and sneaky.
74. Justin Smoak, Mariners
75. Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks
76. Wilson Betemit, Orioles
77. Jerry Hairston, Dodgers
NOTE: Don't laugh, the Dodgers need him.
78. Tyler Moore, Nationals
79. Scott Rolen, Reds
80. Chris Johnson, Astros
81. Ty Wigginton, Phillies
NOTE: Needed less with big names back.
82. Brandon Inge, Athletics
83. Juan Rivera, Dodgers
84. Sean Rodriguez, Rays
85. Placido Polanco, Phillies
86. James Loney, Dodgers
87. John Mayberry, Phillies
88. Alberto Callaspo, Angels
89. Todd Helton, Rockies
NOTE: Might be the end of the line.
90. Jose Lopez, Indians

Bears QB Jay Cutler: 'You can't' replace Matt Forte

Bears QB Jay Cutler: 'You can't' replace Matt Forte

Jay Cutler spent his first seven seasons in Chicago with Matt Forte lined up behind him, but his eighth one will be a little bit different.

The 33-year-old quarterback reported to training camp in Bourbonnais on Wednesday knowing Forte isn't on his side anymore and knows it will take a collective effort to help ease the loss of a two-time Pro Bowler.

"You can't," Cutler responded when asked how you replace Forte. "Just his knowledge and him being here for so long and experience on the field, experience playing with me. Most times I didn't have to tell him something, I just look at him and he knew exactly what I was thinking, so you can't replace him.

[SHOP: Gear up for the 2016 season, Bears fans!]

"We've got a good group of young backs that we're going to develop and we're going to put as much time as we can into those guys, and they'll get there. It's a good group, it's a talented group, so we're still excited about what we have."

With the departure of Forte, Cutler knows he's become one of the most experienced players on the team, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

"I was looking at the roster weeks ago and I feel like there's been a major shift in experience, especially on the offensive side," Cutler said. "I'm at 11 (seasons in the NFL) and then you look down, there's a couple 9s, a couple 8s and then mostly it's five and under, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

"I think a new town, new guys in the building is new energy, new attitude, so I've embraced it, I've enjoyed it. I think the coaching staff has done a great job of getting all these young guys up to speed. It's a good group right now."

Check out the video of Cutler's interview from training camp above.

Notre Dame unit preview: Searching for the next go-to WR

Notre Dame unit preview: Searching for the next go-to WR

With the start of Notre Dame preseason camp approaching fast, we’re looking at what to expect from each unit that’ll take the field in primetime Sept. 4 against Texas at Darrell K. Royal Stadium. 

Depth Chart

W (Boundary)

1. Torii Hunter Jr. (Redshirt junior)
2A. Miles Boykin (Redshirt freshman)
2B. Alize Jones (Sophomore)
3. Chase Claypool (Freshman)

Z (Slot)

1A. C.J. Sanders (Sophomore)
1B. Corey Holmes (Redshirt sophomore)
2. Torii Hunter Jr. (Redshirt junior)

X (Field)

1. Equanimeous St. Brown (Sophomore)
2A. Torii Hunter Jr. (Redshirt junior)
2B. Kevin Stepherson (Freshman)
3. Javon McKinley (Freshman)

Hunter has the ability to play all three receiver positions, which is why he’s listed as the “backup” at the Z and X. He’ll probably take most of his reps, though, at the W, where Corey Robinson was in line to play before he retired due to suffering multiple concussions. 

Despite only catching 28 passes for 363 yards last year, Hunter is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver, which is more a nod to the production lost from Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle. But Hunter took command of Notre Dame’s wide receivers during spring practice — despite barely getting any sleep due to his football, baseball and academic workload — and emerged as an offensive leader in March and April. 

Outside of Hunter, there’s plenty of young, untapped potential in this group. Coach Brian Kelly has raved about St. Brown from the day he set foot on campus, and Notre Dame believes his combination of blazing speed and good size (6-foot-4, 205) will make his a dynamic receiving threat as soon as this fall. Sanders flashed his playmaking ability by returning a kick and a punt for a touchdown last year, though surgery on his hip flexor knocked him out of spring practice and could slow him during preseason camp. 

Holmes and Stepherson both impressed at times during spring practice, too, and are set up to carve out roles in the Irish offense. And Jones is the wild card here — he worked a bit at the W during spring practice and his athletic 6-foot-4, 240 pound frame could create some matchup nightmares if he slides over from tight end. 

Biggest question: Who becomes DeShone Kizer/Malik Zaire’s go-to target?

Fuller became a get-out-of-jail free card almost immediately for Kizer last year, with that 39-yard game-winning heave at Virginia sparking a rock-solid season for the new Irish quarterback. Brown, too, used his savvy skills to make some big catches, like his touchdown at Fenway Park against Boston College. 

But with both of those guys gone, Kizer or Zaire will need to figure out who that reliable pass-catcher is. The good news is Notre Dame has had one every year of the Kelly era, from Michael Floyd to Tyler Eifert to T.J. Jones to Fuller. 

Hunter is the most experienced one of the bunch, though St. Brown or Jones could very well emerge as that guy, too. But given Notre Dame’s track record, wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock deserves the benefit of the doubt here. 

Youthful impact

McKinley and Claypool both were four-star members of Notre Dame’s 2016 recruiting class. There are some questions about whether or not Claypool, who was listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds on signing day, could someday move to tight end, but for now, he’ll get a shot as a receiver, probably on the boundary. 

Stepherson, a three-star recruit, was roundly praised by coaches and teammates for how quickly he picked up the Irish route concepts and offense during spring practice, and his ability to catch the ball at a full sprint over the middle makes him a candidate to contribute as a freshman. 

Notre Dame hasn’t shied away form playing freshmen receivers in the past, and without much experience in this group, there could be opportunities for all three first-year players to get on the field this fall. 

They said it

“There’s a lot to be gained from playing baseball, but you have to be a special individual, especially at this level. I think the gains are competitiveness, discipline and the maturity that he shows and his ability to handle it.” — Brian Kelly on Torii Hunter Jr., who was drafted and signed by the Los Angeles Angels this summer

Comcast unveils new technology for Rio Olympics

Comcast unveils new technology for Rio Olympics

Comcast is rolling out new technology that will give Olympics fans a unique viewing experience. 

The X1 platform will give users access to more than 6,000 hours of live, on demand and streaming Rio Olympics events. Fans can follow athletes, nations and teams with ease throughout the Rio Games, and also record or view on demand. 

The ability to customize the Olympics experience will give audiences an unlimited scope and make it easy to watch what they want, when they want.