Fantasy Pitcher Rankings

Fantasy Pitcher Rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

The following pitchers are ranked assuming a 5x5 format (wins, saves, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts).

1. Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
NOTE: The contract doesn't look that silly now.
2. Craig Kimbrel, Braves
3. John Axford, Brewers
NOTE: Nasty stuff, and right mindset for role.
4. Aroldis Chapman, Reds
5. Fernando Rodney, Rays
NOTE: At this point, don't question it.
6. Joel Hanrahan, Pirates
7. Jim Johnson, Orioles
8. Kenley Jansen, Dodgers
9. Joe Nathan, Rangers
10. Jason Motte, Cardinals
NOTE: Could use more movement on fastball, but nonetheless reliable.
11. Santiago Casilla, Giants
12. Chris Perez, Indians
NOTE: Opening day mess was a false alarm.
13. Brett Myers, Astros
14. Rafael Soriano, Yankees
15. Rafael Betancourt, Rockies
16. Tyler Clippard, Nationals
NOTE: Has the skills to handle any role.
17. Jose Valverde, Tigers
18. Jonathan Broxton, Royals
19. Alfredo Aceves, Red Sox
NOTE: He's been sharp since mid-April meltdown.
20. Addison Reed, White Sox
21. Ernesto Frieri, Angels
NOTE: Major heat, gorgeous strikeout rate.
22. Scott Downs, Angels
23. Casey Janssen, Blue Jays
NOTE: Might stick in ninth even after Santos returns.
24. Heath Bell, Marlins
25. Frank Francisco, Mets
NOTE: Turned it on in the nick of time.
26. Huston Street, Padres
27. J.J. Putz, Diamondbacks
28. Matt Capps, Twins
29. Brian Fuentes, Athletics
30. Dale Thayer, Padres
31. Brandon League, Mariners
NOTE: Temporarily removed from the ninth.
32. Steve Cishek, Marlins
NOTE: Has roto value, no matter his role.
33. Darren O'Day, Orioles
NOTE: Deepest bullpen in the AL.
34. Pedro Strop, Orioles
35. James Russell, Cubs
36. Tom Wilhelmsen, Mariners
37. Sergio Santos, Blue Jays
38. Javy Guerra, Dodgers
39. David Robertson, Yankees
NOTE: While he rehabs, Soriano runs with gig.
40. Sergio Romo, Giants
41. Drew Storen, Nationals
NOTE: Don't expect second-half miracle comeback.
42. Alexi Ogando, Rangers
43. Vinnie Pestano, Indians
44. David Hernandez, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Mandatory hedge for Putz owners.
45. Robbie Ross, Rangers
46. Carlos Marmol, Cubs
47. Mike Adams, Rangers
NOTE: Hasn't been sharp in recent outings.
48. Jason Grilli, Pirates
49. Craig Stammen, Nationals
50. Tim Collins, RoyalsNOTE: Love the zesty strikeout rate
51. Jesse Crain, White Sox
52. Scott Atchison, Red Sox
53. Nate Jones, White Sox
54. Sean Marshall, Reds
55. Grant Balfour, Athletics
56. Jonny Venters, Braves
NOTE: Never chase last year's set-up hero.
57. Ryan Cook, Athletics
NOTE: Might get a look if Fuentes struggles or moves on.
58. Sean Burnett, Nationals
59. Josh Lindblom, Dodgers
NOTE: The third man here.
60. Logan Ondrusek, Reds
61. Jose Arredondo, Reds
62. Cory Wade, Yankees
63. Jake McGee, Rays
NOTE: Big arm, getting more leverage spots.
64. Brandon Lyon, Astros
65. Jordan Walden, Angels
66. Matt Thornton, White Sox
NOTE: Useful, but they never liked him closing.
67. Antonio Bastardo, Phillies
68. Wilton Lopez, Astros
69. Koji Uehara, Rangers
70. Tim Byrdak, Mets
71. Jon Rauch, Mets
72. Mitchell Boggs, Cardinals
73. Joaquin Benoit, Tigers
NOTE: The second in command after Valverde.
74. Clay Hensley, Giants
75. Kyle Farnsworth, Rays
NOTE: Unlikely to unseat Rodney.
76. Randy Choate, Marlins
77. Shawn Camp, Cubs
78. Andrew Miller, Red Sox
79. Brad Ziegler, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Ziggy plays guitar.
80. David Phelps, Yankees
81. Octavio Dotel, Tigers
82. Charlie Furbush, Mariners
83. Henry Rodriguez, Nationals
NOTE: His window has closed for good.

Horace Grant on current state of Bulls: 'No need to panic'

Horace Grant on current state of Bulls: 'No need to panic'

After the Bulls got off to a 3-0 start, it looked like this would be a team that might be able to give LeBron James and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers a run for their money in the Eastern Conference.

The Bulls proceeded to lose their next three, tempering those optimistic expectations. What those first six games proved is that they're an inconsistent bunch, and it's been a microcosm of their season past the halfway mark.

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Entering Thursday, the Bulls were slotted in as the No. 8 seed in the East with a 21-22 record through 43 games.

Former Bulls forward/center Horace Grant, who was named a special advisor to president and chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf last year, joined SportsTalk Live on Thursday to talk about the team's current state, and why Bulls fans shouldn't panic just yet.

Check out his comments in the video above.

See what else he had to say during his SportsTalk Live appearance and on In The Loop below:

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

Jimmy Butler acknowledges 'huge accomplishment' but stays nonchalant about All-Star starter nod

ATLANTA — Jimmy Butler insisted being a starter in the All-Star Game means next to nothing, but it seems to go against his never-ending battle for credibility and validation as a legit superstar.

Moments after it was revealed he would be an All-Star starter for the first time and make his third overall trip to All-Star weekend, he sang the same nonchalant tune.

"It hasn't changed at all," Butler said on a conference call Thursday evening. "Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment and honor to be named a starter. But it's All-Star weekend. There are going to be a lot of good players there. I guess it's just another name thrown in with some decent players."

The NBA's format for selecting the All-Star starters changed this season, with fans no longer being the sole group that gets to vote for starters. If it was still a fans-only vote, Philadelphia's Joel Embiid would've started in Butler's place.

But with the new formula that allows the media and the players to take part in the vote, the fan vote accounts for just 50 percent of the formula. So Butler joined Cleveland's LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee's Giannis Antekounmpo and Toronto's DeMar DeRozan in the starting five for the Eastern Conference.

Butler's is averaging 24.8 points with 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists, career-highs across the board, and had he not been selected as a starter, the Bulls' 20-21 record would not have prevented coaches from selecting him as a reserve as they had the last two seasons.

[SHOP BULLS: Get a Jimmy Butler jersey right here]

He won't be joined in the starting lineup by Dwyane Wade, who finished second in backcourt voting behind Irving, but cast his vote for his teammate anyway and hopes Wade will be selected as a reserve.

"Of course. He's been a huge part of what we're doing here, and I think he has played extremely well the first part of the season," Butler said. "He got my vote. I will tell you that."

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will start for the West, along with Houston's James Harden, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New Orleans' Anthony Davis, a Chicago native.

The fun-filled and busy weekend in New Orleans begins Feb. 17, from the league events to the parties to the festivities and then finally the All-Star Game on Sunday night.

Butler likely views it as more of an accomplishment for his team of trainers and confidants then himself.

"It's fun, man. You get to know the other really good players in the league, and you get to know a little bit about them," Butler said. "And the experience that you get to be a part of, whether it be the Jordan party or taking your guys with you everywhere. That's the most fun part for me, my trainers, my brothers, everybody that's behind the scenes helping me gets to experience it too."