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Samaje Perine CIN RB
Bengals' Samaje Perine: Scores in possible Cincy finale1h ago
Perine rushed five times for 22 yards and a touchdown while catching three of four targets for four yards in Sunday's 23-20 AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs.
Joe Burrow led the Bengals with 30 rushing yards on four attempts, but Perine was more effective than Joe Mixon, who mustered only 19 yards on eight carries. Perine tied the score at 20-20 with a two-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. That touchdown could prove to be his last with the Bengals, as Perine will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Jerick McKinnon KC RB
Chiefs' Jerick McKinnon: Minor role in AFC title win2h ago
McKinnon rushed four times for one yard and brought in two of four targets for 17 yards during the Chiefs' 23-20 win over the Bengals in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. He also recovered a fumble.
The veteran running back didn't see much of an uptick in pass-catching opportunity even as the Chiefs lost receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Kadarius Toney (ankle) and Mecole Hardman (pelvis) as the evening unfolded. McKinnon also filled his frequently modest role on the ground, although his recovery of a Travis Kelce fumble at the Bengals' 22-yard line late in the first quarter preserved a drive that subsequently culminated in a 24-yard Harrison Butker field goal. If backfield mate Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, IR) is activated for the Super Bowl LVII matchup versus the Eagles in two weeks' time, McKinnon could see his touches reduce further in that contest.
Isiah Pacheco KC RB
Chiefs' Isiah Pacheco: Contributes as pass catcher in win2h ago
Pacheco rushed 10 times for 26 yards and secured five of six targets for 59 yards during the Chiefs' 23-20 win over the Bengals in Sunday's AFC Championship Game. He also returned two kickoffs for 45 yards.
Pacheco, who did an excellent job breaking tackles and getting to the second level throughout his rookie season, somewhat surprisingly found running room at a premium throughout Sunday's game, although he did have a 10-yard first-quarter touchdown run nullified due to offensive holding. However, with the Chiefs' wideout depth chart suffering some serious in-game attrition thanks to injuries to JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Mecole Hardman (pelvis) and Kadarius Toney (ankle), Pacheco recorded his highest reception, receiving yardage and target totals as a pro yet. The Rutgers product showed off some of the same penchant for getting past first contact as a pass catcher, and depending on the health of the aforementioned wideouts and backfield mate Clyde Edwards-Helaire (ankle, IR), Pacheco could be in for another busy day in the Super Bowl LVII matchup against the Eagles on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Joe Mixon CIN RB
Bengals' Joe Mixon: Struggles in season-ending loss2h ago
Mixon rushed eight times for 19 yards and caught all three of his targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 23-20 AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs.
With Cincinnati's offensive line needing all the blocking help it could get against Kansas City's pass rush, Mixon ceded significant playing time to superior blocker Samaje Perine, who had 26 yards from scrimmage on eight touches, including a two-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter. It was a disappointing ending to an up-and-down season for Mixon, who had five total touchdowns in Week 9 against the Panthers but only five TDs in 16 other appearances between the regular season and playoffs. Mixon has two years remaining on his deal with the Bengals, while Perine is set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Ja'Marr Chase CIN WR
Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase: Six catches not enough in loss2h ago
Chase caught six of eight targets for 75 yards in Sunday's 23-20 AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs.
Chase finished three targets and eight receiving yards shy of Tee Higgins' team-leading totals, and the former also was held out of the end zone for the first time this postseason while Higgins scored his first touchdown of the playoffs. The fifth overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft again was brilliant in his second NFL campaign, needing only 12 games to rack up 1,046 yards and nine TDs in the regular season before adding 220 yards and two more scores in three playoff games.
Tee Higgins CIN WR
Bengals' Tee Higgins: Scores TD in AFCCG loss2h ago
Higgins caught six of 11 targets for 83 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 23-20 AFC Championship Game loss to the Chiefs.
Higgins played second fiddle to Ja'Marr Chase in Cincinnati's previous two playoff games, but the former led the team in both targets and receiving yards in this hotly contested AFC title matchup. His biggest play was a 27-yard touchdown, which tied the score at 13 apiece in the third quarter. Higgins recorded his second consecutive 1,000-yard regular season before adding 148 yards and one touchdown across three postseason contests. The 24-year-old wide receiver has established himself as a key piece of Cincinnati's passing attack, which is projected to return the core of Chase, Higgins and quarterback Joe Burrow in 2023.
Roberto Perez PIT C
Giants' Roberto Perez: Joining San Francisco8h ago
Perez agreed to a contract with the Giants on Sunday, Chris Cotillo of The Springfield Republican reports.
Perez played in just 21 games for Pittsburgh last season before he ruptured his right hamstring and underwent season-ending surgery. The 34-year-old could open 2023 by splitting playing time with Joey Bart, who had a .660 OPS in his first full season as a starter behind the plate last year.
Josh Harrison CHW 2B
Phillies' Josh Harrison: Heading to Philadelphia9h ago
Harrison agreed to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Phillies on Sunday, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports.
The veteran infielder spent the 2022 campaign with the White Sox, and the team declined his $5.5 million club option after he posted a .256/.317/.370 slash line with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 119 games. Harrison should have a chance to earn the starting job at second base, though he's more likely to fill the weak side of a platoon with Bryson Stott while also working as a utility man.
Miguel Vargas LAD 1B
Dodgers' Miguel Vargas: Could start at second base10h ago
Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman said Sunday that Vargas could open 2023 as the club's primary second baseman, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports.
The 23-year-old had a .455 OPS across 18 games in his first taste of big-league action in 2022, but he could be an Opening Day starter for Los Angeles this year following the offseason departures of Trea Turner and Justin Turner. Vargas is the organization's top prospect, and it appears he'll enter spring training with a leg up for playing time over veteran Miguel Rojas, who would fill an infield utility role after being acquired from the Marlins.
Gleyber Torres NYY 2B
Yankees' Gleyber Torres: Avoids arbitration11h ago
Torres agreed to a one-year, $9.95 million contract with the Yankees on Saturday to avoid arbitration, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
It's the penultimate year of arbitration eligibility for Torres, and he'll receive a nice raise after he made $6.25 million in 2022. The 26-year-old rebounded at the plate last season with a .257/.310/.451 slash line and 24 home runs after he struggled to a .697 OPS in 2021.
Grayson Rodriguez BAL RP
Orioles' Grayson Rodriguez: Good bet for Opening Day rotation12h ago
Orioles GM Mike Elias said Sunday he expects Rodriguez to make the team's Opening Day starting rotation, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports.
The 23-year-old was poised to make his big-league debut last summer before a Grade 2 lat strain resulted in a three-month absence, though he returned from the injured list to make six appearances in September. Rodriguez made 14 starts for Triple-A Norfolk in 2022 and had a 2.20 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 97:21 K:BB across 69.2 innings, and he should crack Baltimore's Opening Day rotation with a decent showing during spring training. The young right-hander's reduced workload last year likely means he'll face some workload limitations in 2023.
Nick Ahmed ARI SS
Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed: OK for spring training1d ago
Ahmed (shoulder) is expected to be ready for the start of spring training, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Ahmed told Piecoro he's been swinging "full go" for about a month, and that he's making progress in his throwing program. The shortstop missed the second half of the 2022 season after undergoing season-ending surgery in June to fix a labrum tear and two bone spurs in his right shoulder. Assuming good health, he'll likely open the 2023 season as the Diamondbacks' starting shortstop, but his lack of offensive upside severely limits his potential fantasy output.
Aaron Nesmith IND SF
Pacers' Aaron Nesmith: Top scorer among starters in loss3h ago
Nesmith amassed 16 points (4-8 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 7-7 FT), five rebounds and one steal in 32 minutes during Sunday's 112-100 loss to the Grizzlies.
Nesmith led all Pacers starters in scoring and rebounds in Sunday's loss, finishing as one of five Indiana players to score 10 or more points. Nesmith has tallied at least 15 points and five rebounds on five occasions this season.
Bennedict Mathurin IND SF
Pacers' Bennedict Mathurin: Leads offense in near 30-point game3h ago
Mathurin registered 27 points (9-20 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 7-8 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and one steal over 31 minutes during Sunday's 112-100 loss to the Grizzlies.
Mathurin was a spark off the bench while leading the team in scoring and rebounds in a near-double-double performance. Mathurin has scored at least 20 points with five or more rebounds in two straight games, having scored 20 or more points in five consecutive outings.
David Roddy MEM SF
Grizzlies' David Roddy: Leads bench with double-digit game3h ago
Roddy amassed 11 points (4-7 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT) and three rebounds in 16 minutes during Sunday's 112-100 win over the Pacers.
Roddy led all Grizzlies bench players in scoring Sunday, finishing as one of five Memphis players to score 10 or more points. Roddy has surpassed the double-digit scoring mark 11 times this season, including twice in his last five games.
Xavier Tillman MEM PF
Grizzlies' Xavier Tillman: Season high in rebounds off bench3h ago
Tillman provided nine points (4-7 FG, 1-2 FT), 11 rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes during Sunday's 112-100 victory over the Pacers.
Tillman posted a team-high rebounding total while finishing one point short of a double-double outing Sunday. Tillman set a season-high mark in rebounds, having hauled in five or more boards in four straight games.
Ja Morant MEM PG
Grizzlies' Ja Morant: Dominates in triple-double outing3h ago
Morant closed Sunday's 112-100 win over Indiana with 27 points (9-21 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 8-9 FT), 10 rebounds, 15 assists, one block and two steals over 42 minutes.
Morant did it all in Sunday's victory, posting a team-high assist mark while leading all Grizzlies starters in rebounds en route to a triple-double outing. Morant has tallied a triple-double five times this season, including in two straight games.
Jaren Jackson Jr. MEM PF
Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson: Balanced outing on both ends in win3h ago
Jackson provided 28 points (12-19 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 1-2 FT), eight rebounds, one assist, five blocks and one steal in 38 minutes during Sunday's 112-100 victory over Indiana.
Jackson led the team in scoring and blocks while finishing two rebounds shy of a double-double in Sunday's win. Jackson has tallied at least 20 points and five rebounds in eight games this season.
Nicklas Backstrom WAS C
Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom: Nets first of season1h ago
Backstrom scored a goal on two shots in Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Maple Leafs.
Backstrom opened the scoring Sunday on the power play, firing a wrist shot through traffic that got past Ilya Samsonov. It's the first goal of the season for Backstrom in his eighth game since returning from offseason hip surgery. The 35-year-old center now has six points on the year after recording 31 points (six goals, 25 assists) in 47 games last season.
Michael Bunting TOR LW
Maple Leafs' Michael Bunting: Tallies goal and assist in win2h ago
Bunting recorded a goal and an assist in Sunday's 5-1 victory over the Capitals.
Bunting got Toronto on the board with a power-play goal early in the second period. He'd add an assist later in the frame on a Morgan Rielly tally. The two-point effort snapped a four-game scoreless skid for Bunting. The 27-year-old winger is up to 15 goals and 20 assists through 51 games this season.
Darcy Kuemper WAS G
Capitals' Darcy Kuemper: Pulled in loss2h ago
Kuemper allowed four goals on 20 shots in a 5-1 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
Kuemper allowed four goals in the second before he was replaced by Charlie Lindgren. The 32-year-old Kuemper has now lost three of his last four outings, allowing 13 goals on 101 shots in that span. He falls to 15-14-4 with a .915 save percentage on the season. Kuemper's next chance to start will come Tuesday in Columbus, as he looks to go into the All-Star break on a high note.
Ilya Samsonov TOR G
Maple Leafs' Ilya Samsonov: Stops 23 in victory2h ago
Samsonov allowed one goal on 24 shots in Sunday's 5-1 win over the Capitals.
Samsonov allowed a power-play goal to Nicklas Backstrom in the first period but blanked his former team over the final two frames en route to the 5-1 victory. Samsonov has started Toronto's last seven games, going 5-1-1 with a .925 save percentage in that span. The 25-year-old netminder is now 17-5-2 with a .917 save percentage and 2.31 GAA average this season.
Jonatan Berggren DET RW
Red Wings' Jonatan Berggren: Sent to AHL2h ago
Berggren was reassigned to AHL Grand Rapids on Sunday, per CapFriendly.
The Red Wings don't play again until Feb. 7, so this is likely just a paper move. Berggren has eight goals and 18 points through 35 games in his rookie campaign.