There are games big-league players never forget no matter how long they play.
Kyle Higashioka had one of them Wednesday night, when the career backup catcher, who was dropped from the Yankees’ 40-man roster five years ago and brought back a dozen days later, slugged three home runs and led the Yankees to a 13-2 pounding of the Blue Jays in The Bronx.
Catching Gerrit Cole for the third straight game, Higashioka hit a two-run homer in the third inning, flied to the warning track in the fourth, hit a bases-empty homer in the sixth and a two-run homer in the seventh.
“I think at this point, the way he is swinging I might be his personal pitcher,’’ Cole said of Higashioka, who was a teammate of Cole on the Southern California summer circuit as teenagers.
The Yankees tied a season high with a seventh straight win that followed a 20-6 flogging of the Blue Jays on Tuesday night when they hit six homers. They topped that by one Wednesday.
In addition to Higashioka’s power show, DJ LeMahieu hit two homers and Clint Frazier and Luke Voit added one each. Voit leads the majors in home runs with 19.
Higashioka started the night with seven big-league homers in 178 at-bats and is considered a defense-first catcher with some pop if pitchers miss on the inner half.
“He is an elite receiver, I mean he has amazing hands behind the plate,’’ Aaron Boone said of the 30-year-old Higashioka, who was a seventh-round pick of the Yankees in the 2008 draft. “And he has power at the plate. There is the power potential that is in there and you saw it manifest itself tonight.’’
Higashioka’s first three big-league hits were homers, but the first one stopped a trying indoctrination to the majors, so hitting three Wednesday night topped the first three.
“I think it might be number one. The first three came after an 0-for-22 and they were three hits over 12 at-bats,’’ said Higashioka, who didn’t miss by much joining Lou Gehrig as the only Yankee to hit four homers in a game when he flied out to the warning track in left in the fourth inning.
Overshadowed by Higashioka’s muscle was Cole’s second solid outing in which he allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. He is 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA and posted his 100th career victory.
The win pushed the Yankees to within three lengths of the AL East-leading Rays. The three-game deficit is actually four since the Rays won the season series against the Yankees and hold the tiebreaker.
With 11 games remaining, the Yankees hold a 1 ½-game advantage over the Blue Jays in the race for second place, which brings an automatic bid to the postseason tournament.
Higashioka became the 23rd player to hit three or more homers in a regular-season game in Yankee history. Among the members of that fraternity Higashioka joined are Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez.
“What a performance. He’s got that kind of power. I think he did a great job being aggressive with the fastball. Pitches he was fouling off the other day he didn’t miss them,’’ Boone said. “Great job behind the plate and a night at the plate he will remember forever.’’
And reinforced something every player knows.
“It is kind of crazy how baseball works sometimes,’’ said Higashioka, who started the night hitting .188 (6-for-32). “One minute you can’t hit the ball to save your life and the next game you play you pop three over the fence. It’s kind of crazy but hopefully as a team we keep swinging the bats well.’’
NFL fans had jokes about Bill Belichick’s mask
Bill Belichick has always done things his way when it comes to his sideline attire.
The Patriots coach, who is known for cutting off the sleeves to his sweatshirts, changed up the way he wears a mask, too.
During Sunday’s Patriots vs. Seahawks game, the coach appeared to have some issues with the face covering.
MORE: Here are the NFL quarterbacks getting paid more than Cam Newton in 2020
NFL fans had a lot of jokes about the Belichick’s mask struggle:
You see a handful of people out in public wearing the mask without covering their nose. Bill Belichick once again zigging where others zag. https://t.co/y2EEcYstVC
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) September 21, 2020
Bill Belichick wears a mask like an old man who was just handed one and was given the choice between putting it on or getting kicked out of Walmart pic.twitter.com/YzLylQMQJL
— Great Big Arrogance (@GreatBigIdiot) September 21, 2020
Fantasy Injury Updates: Davante Adams, Courtland Sutton, Jimmy Garoppolo, more impact Week 3 waiver wire pickups
Sunday felt as full of injuries as any NFL gameday in a long time, and that means fantasy football owners across the country will be scrambling for their Week 3 preparations, both on the waiver wire and in start-sit decisions. WRs are banged up, including Davante Adams, Courtland Sutton, Sterling Shepard, Sammy Watkins and Breshad Perriman, and a few notable passers didn’t finish Sunday’s games, either, including Jimmy Garoppolo and Drew Lock, while Tyrod Taylor didn’t even start. We have the latest updates on each of those injuries below.
For information on banged-up RBs, including Christian McCaffrey, Raheem Mostert, and Cam Akers, click here. For all the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
MORE WEEK 3: Best Waiver Wire Pickups
Davante Adams injury update
Adams departed Sunday’s game twice. First, he had his ankle rolled up on and headed out for a bit before returning. Then, he exited the game with a hamstring injury. Adams was never ruled out for the remainder of Sunday’s game, but he didn’t come back in. The Packers play on Sunday Night Football against the Saints in Week 3.
We’ll learn more as the week goes on. It’s encouraging that he wasn’t ruled fully out Sunday despite him not coming back in the game. An Adams absence would elevate Marquez Valdes-Scantling toward WR3 territory and make Allen Lazard a solid flex play. Both should be rostered in most leagues at this point regardless of Adams’ health.
WEEK 3 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Courtland Sutton injury news
Sutton was questionable for Sunday’s game with an AC joint injury in his shoulder before being active and catching three passes for 66 yards. Sutton left the game in the third quarter with what was initially reported as cramping but later had added a knee injury component. Sutton didn’t make it back into the game. Sutton is scheduled for a Monday MRI, while 9News in Denver is reporting Sutton’s injury “could be significant.”
The Broncos already look like they’ll be without QB Drew Lock for a few weeks, so Sutton sees a decline in value even if he’s healthy enough to play with Jeff Driskel. Week 1 showed us that it’s really only Jerry Jeudy who’s a viable fantasy option in this offense if Sutton’s out, although KJ Hamler made his NFL debut Sunday and has big-play upside in deeper PPR leagues, especially if Sutton is out.
Will Jimmy Garoppolo play Week 3?
Garoppolo sprained his right ankle very early in Sunday’s game but played all the way until halftime while carving up the Jets’ defense. Garoppolo was ruled out immediately following the half, though, suggesting his examination at the break didn’t go well. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Garoppolo sustained a high-ankle sprain.
A high-ankle sprain usually keeps players out for multiple weeks. A Garoppolo absence means a big step down for the entire San Francisco offense, as Nick Mullens would take over. Mullens threw 13 TDs and 10 interceptions in his 2019 action and isn’t worth a waiver claim outside of deep two-QB leagues. Better pickups for Garoppolo owners would include Gardner Minshew and Justin Herbert (if Tyrod Taylor is still out).
Drew Lock injury update
Lock landed heavily on his right shoulder during Sunday’s game, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Lock will miss between two and six weeks with a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder. Jeff Driskel replaced Lock and completed 18-of-34 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns, while being intercepted once and running twice for five yards.
Driskel is a more appealing add than Mullens, although not by much. He’s shown some rushing ability in the past, including averaging 50.1 yards per game across three 2018 starts, but it’s not clear whether Denver’s offense will incorporate such plays for Driskel. A Week 3 matchup with a stout Buccaneers defense means you’re probably better off trusting Minshew or Philip Rivers off the waiver wire.
WEEK 3 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Is Tyrod Taylor still the Chargers’ starting QB?
Taylor apparently aggravated a rib injury in pregame warmups Sunday, making him a last-minute scratch as Justin Herbert got his first NFL start. After Herbert nearly beat the Chiefs, Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said Taylor remains the starter if he’s 100 percent. The mysterious nature of the injury bears watching this week ahead of a pretty favorable Week 3 matchup with the Panthers.
Herbert looked much better in Week 2 than Taylor did in Week 1. Sure, Taylor can still provide some fantasy value with his legs, but this development likely accelerates Herbert’s chances of taking over altogether at some point this season. If you have the roster space to work with, especially in a two-QB or superflex league, Herbert is worth an immediate add.
Sammy Watkins injury news
Watkins took a viscious hit to the head during Sunday’s game, and while he walked off under his own power, he was visibly affected and did not return to the game. It looks almost certain that Watkins will have to clear concussion protocol to play in Week 3, although he’ll have an extra day ahead of a Monday Night Football matchup with the Ravens.
If you owned Watkins already, you might as well hold onto him, as even if he misses one game, it shouldn’t snowball into too many more. The bigger question is who has value beyond Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce in this passing game. Demarcus Robinson had been working as the No. 3 WR and caught three-of-four passes Sunday, but Mecole Hardman got involved on the same drive Watkins left and finished with two catches for 30 yards, one short rush, and a two-point conversion. Hardman certainly has the more intriguing long-term upside if you’re taking a shot on an add here.
Breshad Perriman injury status
Perriman left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury and didn’t return, further depleting a Jets offense already without Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder. Perriman will undergo tests on Monday, according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. The Jets play in Indianapolis in Week 3.
Perriman’s fantasy value was already fringe at best — his injury makes him droppable if you have other holes to fill this week. Chris Hogan led Jets wideouts in snaps Sunday and is a decent PPR pickup assuming his chest injury isn’t serious, while Braxton Berrios also could be added in deeper PPR leagues if Crowder and Perriman are both out in Week 3.
Sterling Shepard injury update
Shepard exited Sunday’s game with a toe injury, and after trying to play through it on one second-quarter play, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game at halftime. Giants head coach Joe Judge did not provide a postgame update on Shepard.
Shepard’s injury was just adding insult to the Giants after Saquon Barkley went down, too. A Shepard absence actually clears things up in a bit of a crowded receiving corps, if Shepard is to miss time. Golden Tate caught five passes Sunday, while Darius Slayton caught three for 33 yards after two touchdowns in Week 1. All three New York wideouts are worth owning in most leagues, although their starting status likely depends on this Shepard injury ahead of Week 3 against the 49ers.
Week 2 fantasy injury report: Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey
It was a downright awful day for injuries across the NFL. Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Davante Adams, Raheem Mostert and Jimmy Garoppolo were among those injured in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season. Here’s a recap of the biggest injuries to players across the league and how it could impact fantasy football:
Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (knee)
Barkley went down early and suffered what appeared to be a season-ending knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Bears. The Giants fear the 2019 No. 2 overall pick tore his ACL, which would leave the G-Men and many fantasy managers without their top playmaker. Dion Lewis is next on New York’s depth chart and will be a top waiver add this week. He previously played for the Patriots and Titans and is frequently involved in the passing game.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (ankle)
McCaffrey suffered an ankle injury after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers and limped off the field. He is set to undergo an MRI exam on Monday to determine the severity of the issue. Head coach Matt Rhule did not provide any further details on the injury, but NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that there is initial hope the injury isn’t serious.
McCaffrey — who insists he’s “fine” — finished the day with 18 attempts for 59 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 19 yards before he was replaced by Mike Davis. It goes without saying that if he were to miss time, this would be a devastating blow to fantasy managers, who likely had to draft him No. 1 overall. Davis is next on the depth chart and is a sixth-year veteran who was claimed off waivers from the Bears. He should be a popular waiver add this week.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers (hamstring)
Adams was banged up a couple times during Sunday’s win over the lifeless Lions. He was forced to leave the game with a hamstring injury and finished with three catches for 36 yards following his massive two-score game in Week 1. It’s not clear if Adams will miss any time because of this, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on. Any absence would help Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3-7-64-0), Allen Lazard (3-5-45-0) and possibly Jace Sternberger (0-0-0-1).
Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers (knee)
Mostert was one of many 49ers to go down in Sunday’s rout of the Jets on a sloppy MetLife field. A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter after the game that the running back suffered a “mild” MCL sprain. He is set to undergo further imaging, which will determine how much time he will miss.
In Mostert’s absence, Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon will see more work out of the San Francisco backfield, though Coleman (knee) also was banged up in the game.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers (ankle)
The 49ers signal-caller suffered a high ankle sprain right before the end of the first half of Sunday’s victory over the Jets. Backup Nick Mullens replaced Garoppolo, who could miss two-to-four weeks. His absence would come at a detriment to any of the remaining 49ers’ pass catchers, many of whom were injured entering this game.
Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos (knee)
Sutton was questionable entering this game and left with knee/cramping issues, according to the team. He did not return in the Broncos’ loss to the Steelers and finished with three catches on six targets for 66 yards. Continue to monitor the situation closely, especially with his preexisting health issues and injuries to other key members of the Broncos offense.
Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts (knee)
Campbell was carted off the field during the first quarter of Sunday’s contest against the Vikings. The injury occurred on a handoff from Philip Rivers when he was hit by defensive back Harrison Smith. Campbell was plagued by injuries last season, but was a highly touted second-year breakout candidate after a strong Week 1. The injury appeared serious (though it was not a torn ACL as initially thought) and could be season-ending, which would elevate the status of wide receivers T.Y. Hilton (3-5-28-0), Zach Pascal (3-4-19-1) and Michael Pittman Jr. (4-6-37-0), as well as tight end Mo Alie-Cox, who tallied a whopping 111 yards on five catches and six targets.
Sterling Shepard, WR, New York Giants (toe)
Shepard suffered a toe injury in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Bears and was ruled out to return. It’s yet another blow to this offense that had already lost Barkley to what looks like a season-ending ACL tear. Shepard limped to the locker room and tried playing the first play of the third quarter before limping back to the locker room. If he were to miss time, pass catchers Darius Slayton, Golden Tate and Evan Engram would likely see more targets from this decimated offense.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears (neck)
Montgomery suffered a neck injury during Sunday’s game and was evaluated in the injury tent before heading to the locker room. Montgomery later returned in the third quarter and finished the day with 16 carries for 82 yards and three catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. His performance and return suggests the injury is not serious.
Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos (shoulder)
Lock suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder midway through the first quarter of Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh. He is likely to miss two-to-six weeks pending the additional tests to be conducted on Monday. Backup quarterback Jeff Driskel entered the game in relief of Lock and finished 18-for-34 with 256 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, but was ultimately bested by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Lock’s absence could devalue any of the healthy Denver pass catchers like Noah Fant.
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos (ribs)
It looked like Jeudy was going to be another casualty of this injury-riddled game after suffering a rib injury by way of a hard hit in the second quarter after making a catch. He returned in the second half and tallied four catches on seven targets for 62 yards. His return suggests the injury wasn’t serious, and he, along with K.J. Hamler and Fant, could see more targets if Sutton were to miss time.
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams (ribs)
Akers also sustained a rib injury in the Rams’ first drive of the game against the Eagles and was ruled out for return. Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown split carries in Akers’ absence, though Henderson was much more efficient in the outing and saw 12 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown and caught two of three targets for 40 yards. Brown, a popular Week 2 waiver add, saw 11 rushes for 47 yards. It’s unclear how serious the 2020 second-rounder’s injury is at this time, but Henderson and Brown would be the obvious beneficiaries of any absence for Akers.
Tevin Coleman, RB, San Francisco 49ers (knee)
Coleman suffered a knee injury and exited the game at halftime. It’s unclear what the severity of the issue is at this time, but with Mostert also ailing, McKinnon should see a lot of touches moving forward.
Breshad Perriman, WR, New York Jets (ankle)
Perriman was injured during the second quarter of Sunday’s sloppy loss to the 49ers in the latest blow to the Jets’ waning offense. Gang Green was already down Jamison Crowder (hamstring), Denzel Mims (hamstring) and Le’Veon Bell (hamstring) entering the matchup, and also lost Chris Hogan (ribs) during the game.
This leaves Adam Gase’s squad very lean at receiver. Next up on the depth chart are Braxton Berrios (6-8-59-1) and Josh Malone (4-6-16-0), neither of whom would you feel comfortable rostering even in deeper leagues. Tight end Chris Herndon could see a slightly elevated status with all the injuries to the Jets’ pass catchers, though he was barely featured on Sunday and caught one of four targets for 5 yards.
Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills (concussion)
Knox has been placed into the concussion protocol after Sunday’s game against the Dolphins. If he were to miss time, Tyler Kroft would be the next man up on the Bills’ tight end depth chart.
Darrel Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (ankle)
Williams suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s overtime win against the Chargers. He was only utilized on one touch for 12 yards behind rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Darwin Thompson would be Edwards-Helaire’s handcuff if Williams misses any time.
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