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'It takes all of us' — Odell Beckham Jr. speaks with Pam Oliver after scoring the Rams' game-winning touchdown

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2022 Fantasy football draft prep: Rankings, NFL rookies, strategy, top 150 players by dialed-in experts

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In the span of a month, Rashaad Penny went from one of the Fantasy football busts to a savior last year with the Seahawks. After gaining a total of 78 rushing yards through Week 13, he averaged 134.2 over his final five games and led his position in Fantasy points over that stretch. Now, owners are conflicted as to which Penny will show up this year and where to take him in their 2022 Fantasy football rankings. With Chris Carson (neck) retired, Seattle drafted Kenneth Walker III in the second round and traded away Russell Wilson. Whether you’re hunting for a Fantasy football top 150 you can trust or position-specific rankings that can help you identify potential 2022 Fantasy football sleepers, breakouts and busts, be sure to see what the team at SportsLine has to say.

Prepared by SportsLine Fantasy experts Jacob Gibbs and R.J. White, this is a must-have guide for any Fantasy player preparing for snake, auction or best ball drafts. Gibbs is a data-driven prodigy who called Patrick Mahomes‘ monster 2018 season. He uses a data-driven approach that has helped him consistently provide accurate rankings at every position. He has proven to be one of the nation’s most accurate Fantasy rankers in recent years, posting the eighth-most accurate results over the past three seasons, according to Fantasy Pros.

White is SportsLine’s No. 1 NFL expert since 2017 who got his start in the Fantasy industry, with his work appearing at AOL Fanhouse, Fantasy Café and other sites prior to joining CBS Sports. This duo brings decades of Fantasy experience and can give you a huge edge in your league.

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The 2022 guide not only ranks the top 150 players in standard and PPR leagues, it reveals must-see sleepers, breakouts and busts, breaks down the top rookie QBs, RBs and WRs, tells you which coaching moves will translate to massive Fantasy success and gives you updated mock drafts that can guide your selections. The Fantasy Football Draft Bible also offers detailed strategy tips for whichever league you play in: snake draft, auction or best ball. Head to SportsLine now to see the 2022 Fantasy football draft bible.

Top 2022 Fantasy football picks

The Fantasy football draft bible includes 2022 Fantasy football breakouts you’ll need to know before you go on the clock including:

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons: A fifth-round pick, Allgeier had a highly productive career at BYU, where he ranked third in rushing yards (2,731) and second in rushing TDs (36) among all NCAA players over the last two seasons. He joins a Falcons team that ranked 31st in rushing yards last year but found surprising individual success utilizing Cordarelle Patterson in the backfield. However, Patterson is expected to spend more time at receiver than running back in 2022, which paves the way for Allgeier to be an early-down grinder for a retooled Falcons offense.

Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans: After being a part of a committee at Florida, Pierce was a fourth-round selection and will be in another committee with the Texans. He never had more than 15 carries in a game throughout his college career, but his production was nearly unparalleled in terms of raw stats and advanced metrics. Pierce ranked 24th in carries among SEC RBs, but was third in both rushing TDs (13) and total TDs (16). His ability to shed would-be tacklers should also carve him a sizable role in a Texans offense that ranked last in the league in rushing yards in 2021. Get the full Fantasy football draft guide over at SportsLine.

How to find proven 2022 Fantasy football rankings

SportsLine’s Fantasy football 2022 draft guide has also identified a massive bust you need to steer completely clear of. This player is going off the board in the fourth or fifth round in many leagues, but could completely sink your playoff hopes. You can only see who it is here.

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So what is the value of every single player for your 2022 Fantasy football rankings? And which huge bust can sink your season? Visit SportsLine now to see the complete 2022 Fantasy football draft bible, all from a team of proven Fantasy analysts who can give you a huge edge in your league



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2022 MLB Field of Dreams Game: TV channel, time, live stream, four things to know for Cubs-Reds in Iowa

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On Thursday, the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds will meet in Dyersville, Iowa, for the second edition of Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams Game. The game is a living tribute to the iconic 1989 film “Field of Dreams” that starred Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, and the late Ray Liotta that was in part an exploration of baseball nostalgia. 

While opinions vary on how effective the movie is, there’s no disputing that it’s one of the most discussed and recognizable baseball films ever made (it was also an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture). The film hinges on the decision made by Costner’s farmer character to carve a baseball diamond of his corn field — at great personal risk and expense — all because a mysterious whispering voice told him to: 

That field will be visited by the ghosts of long-ago baseball players and by a lost presence in Costner’s character’s life. But enough spoilers. 

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The dimensions of the movie field itself — now a prominent tourist destination in Iowa — aren’t such that a major-league game can be played on it, but a nearby field constructed for last year’s inaugural FoD Game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox certainly captured the essence of things. People, there was lots of corn. Construction, however, will apparently prevent MLB from hosting a game in Iowa next year.

Now let’s set the scene for the second edition of the Field of Dreams Game by running down the essential things to know. 

How to watch the Field of Dreams Game

Where: Dyersville, Iowa | When: 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 11
TV channel: Fox | Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: Cubs -105; Reds -115; O/U: 9 (via Caesars Sportsbook)

Featured Game | Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs

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Now for a few things to know about the 2022 edition. 

1. The Reds and Cubs will be wearing throwback uniforms

Given that the movie Field of Dreams draws heavily from the Deadball Era of more than a century ago, the two competing squads will be outfitted appropriately. It says here they’ll look pretty darn good. First up, the Cubs: 

And: 

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This is a bit of a mashup that works very well. The jersey and pants are from the Cubs’ pennant-winning campaign of 1929, and the hat is from the 1914 season. 

Now for the Reds: 

That ensemble was featured prominently during the 1914-20 period, and you may consider the Reds’ batting helmet to be the early favorite for “best thing going” when it comes to the uniforms of the 2022 FoD game. 

MLB has leaned into having mic’d-up conversations with players in the dugout and even on the field while the game is ongoing, and not surprisingly that’s going to be the case on Thursday night. The lucky/afflicted players for this game will be Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. They’ll be rocking the two-way mic at some point during the game. Given Votto’s engaging presence and sense of humor, he could be an ideal fit for this sort of thing. 

3. The ballpark will be the star

Much like last year, the specially constructed FoD ballpark will be the story of the night. As noted above, the field from the movie isn’t suitable for MLB competition, but the one that’s being used captures the same essence thanks to grace notes like the manual scoreboard and the 159 acres of surrounding 10-foot corn stalks. Adding to the ambience is the fine mesh seven-foot high green chain link fence that makes it look like, yes, they’re playing right in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. 

Also, each team will have a throwback logo carved into the corn just beyond the right-field wall. Regard: 

4. It’ll be hard to top last year’s edition

The first FoD game, unlike this year’s model, involved contenders and eventual playoff teams. As well, White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson provided one of the most memorable closing acts of the season against the Yankees:

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As well, MLB notes that last year’s game “delivered nearly six million viewers and marked the most-watched single regular season baseball game on any network since 1998.”

Given that the Reds and Cubs are both near the bottom of the National League Central standings and at most are competing for draft position in 2023, the stakes are obviously much lower. That said, the venue and the visuals are the real stars of the FoD game, and those will be in peak form once again. 



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Equipped with revamped slider, Mitch White brings versatility to Blue Jays

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MINNEAPOLIS — The moment Mitch White knew he needed to do something about his slider was right about here:


That was last May, when White — making only his sixth big-league appearance after winding a half-decade path up the Los Angeles Dodgers system — was trying to earn a save in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field.

White’s not a closer and has zero reservations about that fact. But it was extras (remember, doubleheaders were seven-inning games last season) and the bullpen was in a real bad way. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was out of options. So, with a two-run lead and a baserunner starting the inning at second, out to the mound White went.

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It was going well until it wasn’t. White got a quick out on a groundball before winning a long battle with Tony Wolters, earning a strikeout with an inside curveball. But after falling behind Javy Baez, 1-0, White tried to dot his slider on the outside edge but missed, leaving it up and over for the Cubs second baseman, whose eyes lit up. Tie game.

“He got me pretty good,” White remembers. “And after that I was like, ‘my slider sucks. I need to figure this out.’”

At the time, White was throwing what’s called a bullet slider. Think of the one Michael Fulmer’s flummoxed hitters with this season. Tight, vertical, and firm, the pitch is thrown anywhere from the high-80’s to low-90’s, sacrificing movement for velocity. As a pitcher, you’re thinking not so much about manipulating the pitch, but moreso about throwing the hell out of it. As hard as you can. It worked for White over a lot of years at a lot of levels. But the hitters at the highest one are pretty good.

So, White went back to the lab with Dodgers assistant pitching coach Connor McGuiness to revisit a grip change they’d discussed in spring training. The inspiration came from Blake Treinen, the all-star Dodgers reliever who, in 2021, halted an odd, two-year slide in his results when he started throwing his slider with a spike grip like one would a curveball. The adjustment juiced the pitch’s horizontal movement, helped Treinen rediscover his elite form, and was so effective that the Dodgers started implementing it developmentally throughout their system.

White was one of the guys they thought it could work for. But it wasn’t until Baez’s bomb that he finally took the plunge and started throwing it. Suddenly, White’s slider was sweeping five inches further across the zone. He was getting more swings with it and missing more barrels. He finished 2021 with a 35.7 per cent whiff rate on the pitch, allowing a strong .204 wOBA against it (and a .170 xwOBA that suggests White deserved even better).

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That’s just one of the things that the Toronto Blue Jays have liked about White for some time, and one of the reasons why they sought to acquire him at last week’s trade deadline when the Dodgers, motivated to move White in his final option year ahead of an impending roster crunch next spring, made him available.

Another would be the 94-mph fastball with above-average spin that plays up off the rest of his repertoire and has gotten him outs consistently since his MLB debut. And then there’s the curveball, changeup, and two-seamer, rounding out a deep, still-developing repertoire that gives Toronto’s pitching department plenty to work with.

“We’re excited to have him. We’ve had discussions about him in the past — he’s someone that’s been on our radar for a while,” says Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker. “He has a very comfortable, easy delivery. The ball jumps out of his hand. I like the way he spins the ball a couple different ways. He spins it very well. And he’s still developing. The changeup’s effective, but it’s something I think we can continue to develop here. I think that’s a pitch that could be better for him in the future.

“He’s someone that we’ll continue to get to know. But just from seeing him on video, talking with him, watching him throw a side — he seems to have a good feel for what he’s doing. And that’s nice. To be successful at this level, you’ve got to know who you are and what makes you good.”

Part of that is White’s comfort in a variety of roles, something the Dodgers used to their advantage over the last two seasons. Los Angeles utilized him for one-inning relief, had him pitch bulk outings behind openers, and used him as a rotation fill-in for two-and-a-half months this season. And you can expect White to do something similar in Toronto, both pitching out of the club’s bullpen and covering a spot in its rotation when needed, assuming the role Ross Stripling held with the club out of spring training.

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And, look, you’re going to hear White compared to Stripling a lot. It’s almost too easy. A couple right-handed, control-and-command, kitchen-sink-throwing swingmen acquired at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Dodgers. A pair of guys who could easily hold down back-end starting jobs on plenty of teams but, because the Dodgers are the Dodgers, often found themselves on the outside of a stacked rotation looking in. White assumed Stripling’s role in Toronto’s rotation, for crying out loud, when the incumbent ended up on the injured list this week. And he might just inherit it long-term if Stripling departs in free agency this winter.

But as far as comparisons go, Stripling’s not an undesirable one. We’ve all seen how valuable his versatility’s been to the Blue Jays this season and last. It’s not so easy oscillating between starting and relief throughout a major-league season, repeatedly reverting routines and amplifying demands on body and mind. It’s like asking a track athlete to compete in the 100m sprint one week and the 1,500m run the next, while excelling at both.

For his part, White has three different conditioning and arm care routines — one for when he’s pitching out of the bullpen, one for when he’s starting, and another for when he’s transitioning between the two. And he takes different approaches to attacking hitters depending on his role, as well.

“It’s about managing that arm health and taking care of everything — making sure you’re physically ready to go. And then beyond that, there’s the mental challenge of flipping a lineup over a couple times, understanding that you can’t always go with your plan A. You’ve got to mix it up,” White says. “And just through the experience of throwing more, you get comfortable feeling those things out. Feeling hitters a little more. Versus in the pen, where it’s like, ‘All right, I’m going to come at them with my best stuff. I don’t really need to get too cute. Just attack.’”

That’s why White’s continual work on his repertoire has been so key. He has to be two pitchers at once. And while he’s found what works as a reliever, leaning on a fastball that plays up in shorter stints and that sweeping slider, he’s still a work in progress at a starter. And the Blue Jays feel there’s more upside he can tap into as he continues making adjustments.

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While White’s fastball and slider are an effective combination against right-handers, he offers lefties a completely different look, utilizing curveballs and changeups to help neutralize the platoon advantage. The Blue Jays see some opportunities for White to improve those two pitches, his changeup in particular. And they believe his slider can be deployed against left-handed hitting, as well, provided he’s able to locate it in advantageous areas of the strike zone.

White’s obviously open to ideas. He’s already decided to experiment with some glove-side two-seamers — a new pitch White began implementing earlier this season — in his next bullpen after watching Alek Manoah and Jose Berrios using it to great effect against right-handed hitters. Stripling added a sinker himself this year and has used it effectively as a soft-contact generating weapon against right-handers. Don’t be surprised to see White start doing the same.

Advancing White’s approach will be an ongoing process, of course. The Blue Jays haven’t thrown too much at him yet, encouraging the 27-year-old to continue doing what he was doing to produce the 3.47 ERA he held over 10 starts with the Dodgers this season. But White’s open-minded and unafraid of trying new things, like with the slider he overhauled thanks to Treinen’s spike grip. And with the benefit of a full camp in Dunedin, Fla. next spring, a little tweak here, a little adjustment there, the evolution of Mitch While will continue.

“It’s interesting — a lot of pitchers are very different in the way that they approach the game. And you can learn something from everyone,” White says. “I learned a lot from Clayton [Kershaw.] He’s old school. He doesn’t love all the numbers and the Edgertronic and the Rapsodo and the technical side. So, I’d talk to him about approach and reading hitters and what his game plan is.

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“Then there’s a Tyler Anderson or a Tony Gonsolin — they’re more involved in pitch design, figuring out how to make my slider move a little bit more in this direction, that kind of stuff. Everyone’s a little different. And you can pick up little pieces from everyone.”

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