Articles by Michael Corvo

A listing of all the articles written by Michael Corvo for the RotoWire Blog.

Sunday NBA Preseason Notes

Nikola Vucevic was held out of Sunday’s game with elbow soreness, which he’s been dealing with for the last few days. For now, it doesn’t look like a concern, and he has a good shot to play Tuesday at San Antonio. It doesn’t affect his fantasy value at the moment, and he’s still one of the top options at center.

Steve Nash and Chris Kaman are both dealing with a similar illness, most likely resulting from the team’s nine-day trip to China. Kaman missed Sunday’s practice, while Nash left early. They should both be fine for the season opener, and are still both potential late-round selections.

Harrison Barnes (foot), who has not seen any action since Oct. 8, will not play Wednesday after not practicing on Sunday. Barnes is expected to be Golden State’s sixth man, which slots him as a late-round pick. The foot issue isn’t supposed to be serious, but it could translate to a rusty first few weeks.

Kevin Martin (Achilles) looked good in his return to the court on Sunday, racking up 21 points (7-16 FG, 5-8 3Pt, 2-4 FT) and five boards in 29 minutes. He looks to be fully recovered from his injury, rendering him a solid pick in the middle to late rounds, especially while Chase Budinger (knee) remains out.

Kobe Bryant (Achilles) is still a major question mark for opening night, and the Lakers are preparing for life without him when the season kicks off. Bryant still hasn’t practiced, and is yet to do anything beyond sprinting and set shooting. Mike D’Antoni admitted to having ?no idea? when The Mamba will return to practice, and acknowledged that there are plenty of steps he needs to take before he’ll be ready to play. In his absence, Nick Young will continue to hoist up shots, and should easily average double-figures until Bryant is back.

Raymond Felton (strained hamstring) will not play on Monday in Toronto. The move is mostly precautionary by the Knicks, as hamstrings are always threats to flare up and become more serious. In other Knicks news, Andrea Bargnani (back stiffness) was held out of action Sunday, although Mike Woodson said he’s fine. Iman Shumpert (elbow) was a limited participant in practice and is questionable for Monday. His competition for the starting shooting guard spot, J.R. Smith (knee), has been cleared for contact and will participate in his first scrimmage on Tuesday.

Sunday NBA Preseason Wrap

Trey Burke (broken finger) could be out for 3-6 weeks, his father said on Sunday. Burke fractured his right index finger in the second quarter of Saturday’s game vs. the Clippers, and will see a hand specialist on Monday for more information. With Burke likely missing the first month of his career, point guard duties will fall to career backup John Lucas III, but don’t be surprised if the Alec Burks spends some time running point. Utah has also reportedly inquired about Chicago’s Marquis Teague.

Nicolas Batum (concussion) sat out again from practice on Sunday, and still hasn’t been cleared. He hopes to return to practice fully on Thursday, and the team isn’t worried about his status for opening night. It shouldn’t affect his draft stock for fantasy owners, which still sits somewhere in the second round.

Wilson Chandler (hamstring) participated in practice on Sunday, but is out for Monday’s preseason game. Chandler just took part in non-contact drills, but it’s good news for Denver considering it’s his most action on the court since October 2. All signs are that Chandler will be ready to start the season, and is still a solid mid-round pick with Danilo Gallinari (knee) set to be sidelined for a while longer.

Nate Robinson (glute) practiced fully on Sunday after a limited run the day before. His injury has been classified as a right glute strain, but it’s not a concern for Denver. He’s fully expected to return soon, and remains a possible late-round pick.

Kawhi Leonard sat out Sunday’s preseason game against the Suns, although it was purely to give him a rest. He has top-10 shooting guard potential this season, and is a leading candidate to be a breakout fantasy star.

Andrei Kirilenko (back) is out for Monday’s game against Philadelphia. There doesn’t seem to be a serious injury here, and rather looks like more of a precautionary measure than anything. He is, at best, a late-round option in fantasy leagues.

Sunday Preseason Wrap

Injury News

Wesley Johnson: Johnson left the game in the first half with a strained left foot, will have MRI Monday. In 8 minutes, Johnson had two points (1-5 FG) and three rebounds.

Wilson Chandler: Chandler (strained left hamstring) didn’t play Sunday, but he intends to practice this week. It’s unclear when he’ll suit up again, but the injury is not serious.

Kobe Bryant: Kobe is still unlikely to play this preseason, and is reportedly still in Germany for a knee procedure. Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, a good friend of Bryant, said he thinks its unlikely Kobe will play in the season opener, for what it’s worth.

Nuggets 97 Lakers 88

Pau Gasol and Steve Nash both made their preseason debuts after sitting out the opener in Ontario on Saturday night. Gasol, after a summer of knee tendinitis, had 13 points (4-13 FG) and four rebounds in 23 minutes. Nash, coming off his own hamstring issues, in 22 minutes, went scoreless but added six assists and five rebounds.

Jordan Farmar (calf cramps) and Chris Kaman sat out the game after starting on Saturday. The Lakers are attempting to keep their veterans as fresh as possible during the preseason.

Nick Young, unsurprisingly, took the most shots for L.A., going 4-of-16 from the field with nine points. He looks like the starting shooting guard while Kobe is out, and could slide over to the three whenever Bryant returns.

Off the bench for the Lakers, Xavier Henry looked good, posting 15 points (4-7 FG, 7-9 FT) in 24 minutes. Marcus Landry put up 13 points (4-11 FG, 3-9 3Pt, 2-2 FT) in 18 minutes, and Steve Blake dished out seven assists.

Ty Lawson had a strong debut, with 15 points (7-10 FG), 10 rebounds, and six assists in his 27 minutes. He’s clearly going to be the Nuggets biggest playmaker this season, and the favorite to be their leading scorer.

Kenneth Faried struggled, with just five points (1-8 FG) and four boards in 19 minutes.

JaVale McGee, who should be the starting center, posted 12 points and seven rebounds, and hit all six of his free throws, a promising sign.

Newly acquired Randy Foye had six points and five turnovers. He got the start, but Evan Fournier played more minutes off the bench, and had nine points on 4-of-10 shooting. Jordan Hamilton was the best shooting guard for Denver, providing 15 points (7-12 FG, 1-4 3Pt) in his 16 minutes. It’ll be interesting to monitor which way Shaw leans for the season opener. He’s also hinted at possibly moving Chandler to the two when Danilo Gallinari (knee) returns.

Two of the Nuggets new additions also added some spark off the bench, with J.J. Hickson going for 10 points (5-10 FG) and six rebounds, while Nate Robinson scored nine points (2-5 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-3 FT) in his 17 minutes.

76ers 106 Bilbao Basket 104

Evan Turner started his preseason off strong with 25 points (7-15 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 10-12 FT) and five rebounds in 31 minutes. Turner will be Philly’s top offensive option this season, at least until he gets traded, which is a very legitimate possibility.

Thaddeus Young, Philly’s other top option, posted 14 points (6-11 FG), six rebounds, and five steals in his debut. Young’s fantasy value is higher than ever before, because of the increased minutes and opportunities.

First-round pick Michael Carter-Williams, who struggled mightily during summer league, had a decent debut, going just 1-of-5 from the field, but dishing out five assists with no turnovers, and grabbing three steals. He has a long way to go, but he already looks improved from the summer. Tony Wroten, meanwhile, continued his excellent camp with 16 points in 24 minutes. He looks like he can provide a spark off the bench for Philly.

Saturday NFL Notes

Saturday was the final day for teams to cut their rosters down to the 53-man limit. Here?s a rundown of some of the more notable players who are now unemployed, as well as some other news from around the league.

The 49ers trimmed down some fat on offense, cutting veteran backup Seneca Wallace, and newly acquired WRs Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins, who were brought in to provide depth after the trade of A.J. Jenkins and injury to Michael Crabtree.

The Jets finally moved troubled RB Mike Goodson to the reserve/suspended list after he was docked four games by the NFL. Goodson has been a mildly effective backup in Carolina and Oakland, and the Jets brought him in hoping for a similar contribution. Unfortunately, off-the-field issues have rendered that unlikely. The Jets also cut some receivers, notably Ben Obamanu and Mohamed Massaquoi.

Vince Young was let go by the Packers Saturday, failing to win the backup QB job after a couple weeks with the team. Green Bay also released RB Alex Green, its 2011 third-round pick, who started four games last season.

The Chargers released WR Robert Meachem, who, in his only season with the team, had the least productive season of his career, tallying just 207 yards and 2 TDs on 14 catches.

Steelers TE Heath Miller (knee) was taken off the PUP list, indicating he will likely play within the first six weeks of the season. The team also released RB Jonathan Dwyer, which could mean we shouldn’t worry too much about Le’Veon Bell’s foot injury.

And finally, of course, Tebow Time is over in New England. Alas.

Saturday NFL Notes

The Tennessee Titans offense took some hits on Saturday, as both RB Shonn Greene and WR Nate Washington left the game early with sprained ankles. It’s unclear how this will affect their status for Week 1, so owners considering starting Washington or handcuffing with Greene should monitor the situation leading up to the opener.

It was also a shaky day for the offense in Buffalo. Kevin Kolb left the game on the third offensive series with concussion-like symptoms. Kolb had become the de factor starter for the Bills after rookie QB E.J. Manuel underwent minor knee surgery, and remains a question mark for the start of the season. Kolb has had concussion issues in the past, so Buffalo will most likely need to pick up another signal caller.

The Bills weren’t the only AFC East team to have a more confusing QB situation after Saturday. The competition in New York took another twist when Mark Sanchez left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. After Geno Smith started and threw three interceptions, Sanchez came on, only to lose a fumble and get knocked out of the game. No matter who the QB is on Week 1, he should be nowhere near a fantasy starting lineup.

The Jets, however, did get some good news Friday night, as WR Santonio Holmes was removed from the physically unable to perform list after a month off the active roster. Holmes passed the team physical, and was cleared to practice. He sat out of the contest vs. the Giants on Saturday night, but looks like he might be ready to go for the opener.

Our third QB controversy of the day brings us to Oakland, where all of a sudden there is one. After expected starter Matt Flynn’s poor performance Friday night, head coach Dennis Allen indicated that there might be a change made. Terrelle Pryor was impressive, leading Oakland to 20 points, and could find himself as the starter on Week 1.

Saturday NFL Notes

The QB competition in Buffalo took a twist on Saturday, as the team announced that rookie E.J. Manuel (knee) will undergo minor surgery and miss the remainder of the preseason. The team said his status would be reevaluated at that time, leaving his status for Week 1 up in the air. Manuel had been the favorite to win the starting job, but clearly this opens the door for Kevin Kolb to take the job, and he will get the start the next preseason game. Manuel had looked strong so far, but missing that much practice as a rookie could make it tough for Doug Marrone to throw him out there for the season opener.

In other quarterback competition news, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly is still yet to name a starter for the team’s third preseason game next Saturday, but said that decision will be announced on Monday. After Nick Foles got the start on Friday, Michael Vick took the majority of first-team reps in Saturday’s practice. The third preseason game tends to be the most serious dress rehearsal, so Kelly’s decision could provide insight on who will get the nod on September 9.

Mike Smith said Roddy White (sprained ankle) will not play in the third preseason game, likely ending his preseason altogether. The injury does not appear to be worrisome, though, as Smith acknowledged that the wideout would likely play if it were in the regular season. He should be ready for Week 1.

Speaking of Falcons pass-catchers, TE Tony Gonzalez is expected to return to the team on Sunday and play in the next preseason game vs. Tennessee. Gonzalez had left training camp after two days, and will take the field in order to get some more practice with Matt Ryan.

After leaving Saturday’s practice in an ambulance, Chargers WR Eddie Royal has been diagnosed with a bruised lung, and is being further tested for a concussion. The team is yet to announce a timetable for his return, but it could allow for more opportunities for receivers Vincent Brown, Keenan Allen, and Seyi Ajirotutu.

Saturday NFL Notes

One of the most fascinating players to watch in 2013 will undoubtedly be Josh Freeman, who is in the definition of a contract year. He is still yet to be extended beyond this season, and his performance will dictate whether he becomes much wealthier this offseason, or temporarily unemployed. Clearly, this makes him a risky fantasy option, as he could have a big year fighting for his job, or potentially lose the starting gig. The latter seems to be a possibility now, after the team drafted Mike Glennon in the third round, and coach Greg Schiano was hesistant to ensure that Freeman would be the starter after the first preseason game. He made it clear that Freeman would need to really lose the job, but implied that Glennon taking over at some point is a possibility if things go south. Intriguing storyline to watch this season down in Tampa.

The 49ers got a little deeper in the backfield with the return of Kendall Hunter from his torn Achilles. Hunter had 371 yards last season as the backup to Frank Gore, which will be a vital role for San Francisco as Gore is now 30. Hunter will compete with LaMichael James for the role for now, although the impending return of Marcus Lattimore (knee) could add another layer to the competition.

Andrew Hawkins (ankle), who caught 51 passes and four TDs last season for the Bengals, is likely to be placed on injured reserve with designation for return, Marvin Lewis said, which will keep him sidelined until at least Week 8. Hawkins was productive, but this could mean more opportunities for popular sleeper Mohamed Sanu, sophomore Marvin Jones, and the strong TE duo of Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Andy Dalton will still have plenty of non-A.J. Green options to work with.

It looks like Browns RB Trent Richardson (shin) will play in the second preseason game, said Rob Chudzinski. The injury isn?t serious, and won?t affect his status for Week 1.

In New England, two players emerged from the preseason opener as potential factors in the offense. Former Tampa Bay RB LaGarrette Blount tallied 101 yards on 11 carries, and has reportedly jumped ahead of Brandon Bolden on the depth chart into the number two back role. WR Kenbrell Thompkins, an undrafted rookie, continues to impress and see his role increase, and has a chance to actually win the number two WR slot.

Finally, the Giants will sit Hakeem Nicks (groin) for the preseason opener tonight, although he is back practicing on a limited basis. This will mean an opportunity for Rueben Randle, who has impressed so far this offseason and has a chance to be a sleeper playmaker in 2013.