Blackhawks

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.

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Five takeaways from Blackhawks' overtime loss to Lightning: Missed opportunities and one too many penalties

Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night:
 
1. One too many penalties.

The Blackhawks flirted with danger in the first period when they handed the Lightning three straight continuous power plays, a four-minute double minor high-sticking penalty from John Hayden and a Jonathan Toews hooking call that resulted in a 5-on-3 opportunity for Tampa Bay for 43 seconds. 

The penalty kill unit that ranked fourth in the league entering the matchup, however, killed off all three of those penalties against the NHL's top-ranked power play, and did so in commanding fashion.

The Blackhawks went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill in regulation, but couldn't stop the sixth one — a questionable slashing call on Nick Schmaltz —  in overtime when Brayden Point buried the winner on a 4-on-3 opportunity.

It was also interesting that Jon Cooper elected to go with four forwards (Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov, Point and Steven Stamkos) and zero defensemen during that man advantage, putting all of his offensive weapons out on the ice. It's something more teams should do in that situation.

2. Patrick Kane gets going.

After scoring just one goal in his previous 10 games, Kane found the back of the net twice in the opening frame against Tampa Bay and stayed hot against a team he historically plays well against. And he nearly netted a hat trick in overtime but couldn't cash in on a breakaway opportunity.

Kane has 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 14 career regular-season games against the Lightning, and extended his point streak to five games. He has three goals and four assists over that stretch.

We wrote about how important it is for the Blackhawks' superstars to get going again with the offensive contributions mainly coming from role players as of late, and Kane getting into a groove is a perfect step in that direction.

3. How about that goaltending battle?

Corey Crawford and Andrei Vasilevskiy showed us exactly why they belong in the Vezina Trophy discussion, and as of this moment, it's hard not to include both of them as finalists. They put on a goaltending clinic, seemingly topping the other as the game went on.

The two teams combined for 71 scoring chances, and Crawford and Vasilevskiy came up big when their teams need them the most.

Crawford finished with 35 saves on 38 shots (.921 save percentage) in the loss while Vasilevskiy stopped 29 of 31 (.935 save percentage), and improved to 15-2-1 on the season. 

4. Missed opportunities.

You couldn't have asked for a better start for the Blackhawks. They scored the first goal 3:49 into the game and the second on the power play at 15:54, killed off three penalties, including a 5-on-3, had 24 shot attempts (13 on goal) compared to the Lightning's 16 attempts (11 on goal) and led in even-strength scoring chances 9-6.

It was a different story the rest of the way.

The Blackhawks took their foot off the gas pedal a bit and let the Lightning back in the game by getting away from what they do best, and that's control the puck. Obviously, you expected the league's best offense to push back and it's certainly not an easy task to keep them off the scoresheet all together. 

But the Blackhawks had their chances to stay in front or retake the lead and just couldn't bury them. Tampa Bay had 50 shot attempts from the second period on while the Blackhawks had only 32, and finished with 44 scoring chances compared to Chicago's 27.

5. Richard Panik in the doghouse?

Joel Quenneville didn't go to his line blender in this one, but he did shorten some leashes. Panik, most notably, had a season-low 12:28 of ice time in the loss and had 15 shifts, which was second-fewest only to Ryan Hartman (13) on the team.

Panik had a prime chance to break a 2-2 tie in the third period but was denied by Vasilevskiy, who made a remarkable left-pad save. Instead, Panik extended his goal drought to 12 games and didn't get a shift in overtime.

He's certainly better and will get his scoring chances when playing on the top line with Toews and Brandon Saad, but the missed opportunities are magnified in tight losses. It doesn't look like a move down in the lineup is coming given the success of Alex DeBrincat, who gives the Blackhawks an offensive weapon on the third line, but perhaps it should be considered.

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

Bring your own stuffing: Jazz swat Bulls on Thanksgiving Eve

On the second (turkey) leg of a back-to-back, the Bulls didn't bring much energy in a 110-80 loss to the Utah Jazz. 

Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of the uninspiring effort, though, we decided to just serve you up a Thanksgiving meal of highlights. Here are the top blocks from Wednesday's game: 

5. Derrick Favors is no Rudy Gobert -- that we know -- but imitation is the highest form of flattery. 

4. Are Bobby Portis chase down blocks the new LeBron James chase down blocks? Let's not get carried away... yet. We'll chalk it up to just a real nice hustle play by Bobby. 

3 and 2. Speaking of hustle plays... Jonas Jerebko isn't exactly known as a dominant defender. He sure made it hard for the Bulls on what should of been an easy fast-break bucket in the third quarter, though. First, he silenced Kris Dunn's reverse. Then, he met Lauri Markkanen at the rim and sent the rookie packing. The Baby Bulls 2.0 can blame it on fatigue, but they just handed Jerebko a highlight tape for years to come.   

1. In fairness, Jerian Grant had to get up a shot as the quarter was coming to a close. It is as vicious as it looks, though.