Nine Unassisted: Fight! Bad toes! More Cedric! Unsigned picks!

Stubbornly, against the wishes of commenters, we just keep mixing football and baseball here in 9U. It's becoming less like a daily blog post and more like a dangerous social experiment. Today, let's try to assist those of you who apparently do not have time to read an entire post containing nine news items (yet somehow do have time to manage fantasy teams). Instead of bullets, we'll use pictures of balls! If the image doesn't correspond to your sport of choice, please move on.

Hard-throwing LHP Daniel Schlereth(notes), future closer candidate, was recalled by the Diamondbacks. He apparently shares a goatee with his father. Schlereth has four saves, 39 Ks and a 1.01 ERA in 26 innings at Double-A this season, though walks were a problem early in the year. He's worth a dynasty roster spot, depending on your needs and patience. [AZ Snakepit]

Terrell Owens is dealing with a sprained toe. We know this because he recently tweeted, "Damn my toe is aching! :-/" Hopefully the injury won't become a long-term issue. But if we learned anything from the '08 season, it's that we cannot underestimate the potential impact of an aching toe. T.O. is considered day-to-day. [Buffalo News]

Another toe situation that requires attention: Felix Jones missed a practice with "soreness in his surgically repaired toe." This is a small worry. If Jones can find 150 or so touches this season – and that seems like a reasonable estimate – you'll start him. [Blogging the Boys]

C'mon, aren't those li'l balls delightful? They're also scratch-n-sniff enabled. Please give 'em a try. We're obviously committed to enhancing the user experience here at Roto Arcade.

In the first 15 innings of the Red Sox-Tigers series, five batters were hit, another was decisively brushed back, and everyone fought … badly. Neither Kevin Youkilis(notes) nor Rick Porcello(notes) earned real credibility. The helmet toss (pictured) was weak; Porcello's retreat was even weaker, although the takedown was well executed. But he needs to follow the toss with a solid finishing move. Step-over toehold? Flying moonsault? This is not really my area of expertise.

All things considered: Poor fight. We expect so much more from the Red Sox. If you're looking for video, check the brackets. [Daily Fastcast]

After encountering Michael Silver's tender Internet embrace of Cedric Benson, RotoWire's Chris Liss – normally sane, shrewd – has concluded that C-Ben could be a top-ten fantasy back in '09. "I'm not saying he will be," adds Chris, because he's a coward. Let's wager. (Liss is also having one of the finest experts-league baseball seasons of all-time, just for the record. Dude knows things). [RotoSynthesis]

Stephen Strasburg will get most of the attention from fantasy owners and contract hawks, but it's worth noting that first-round RHP Mike Leake and the Reds remain "far apart" in negotiations. Leake is a prospect of interest because his college numbers were flat-out Strasburgian: 16-1, 1.71 ERA, 162 Ks, 24 BB, 142.0 IP. Leake pitched for Arizona State, so there should be no doubt about the quality of opponents he faced. []

Derek Carty takes a look at relief pitchers who could inherit closing roles next season. If you're in a dynasty league and/or an auction format, you must know this stuff. Closer prices are insane; if you can get saves cheaply, you'll have a terrific advantage. [The Hardball Times]

John Hansen suspects that this could be the year of the fantasy football buzz kill. That is to say, many of his preferred sleepers and breakout talents find themselves in potentially tricky situations, behind bad lines or competing for touches. John himself always gets a full workload. He's a lock for 330 carries, 10 scores. Gets a bump in PPR, too. [Fantasy Guru]

I'll preface this by saying that of all the variables we need to consider in fantasy, contract status is never high on my list. Especially in the NFL, where a player's job is really on the line every week. But I also understand why many of you are interested in knowing all the contract-year names. Roto Experts provides a rundown in their draft kit (requires free painless registration). [Roto Experts]


Photo via US Presswire

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