DFS NBA Optimal Lineups:  February 23 Cover Image
DFS NBA Optimal Lineups: February 23
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Matt Davidson Headshot

Davidson said changes to his swing were the primary driver in his improved numbers at Triple-A Charlotte in 2016, Scot Gregor of the Daily Herald reports. "Just getting in a better position, trying to get there every pitch. There were a couple of cues that I focused on. Keep it simple, and it was a daily routine so it became ingrained. I wasn't searching for things every day," said Davidson.

The 25-year-old Davidson had his best season since joining the White Sox organization, posting a hitting line of .268/.349/.444/.792 over 75 games while trimming his prodigious strikeout rate in 2016. He's going to get an opportunity this spring to stick on the roster, partially because he's out of minor league options, but also because of the promise he hinted at last season.
8:54 am (EST)
Cody Anderson Headshot

Anderson, who underwent an arthroscopic debridement of his right elbow in November, is in the race for one of the last remaining bullpen spots on the big league roster, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports.

Anderson appeared in 19 games for the Tribe last season, in nine of which he was the starting pitcher. He struggled his way to a 6.68 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 60.2 innings while opposing hitters racked up a .333 BAA. Nearly all of Anderson's professional career has been spent as a starter, and the righty has proven he can deal effectively. In 468.2 minor-league innings, the 26-year-old who was drafted by the Indians in 2011, owns a solid 3.46 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 7.1 K/9.
8:34 am (EST)
Brady Rodgers Headshot

Rodgers will be the starting pitcher Sunday against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista (Fla.), Brian McTaggart of the Astros' official site reports.

Rodgers had a nice bounce-back season at Triple-A Fresno that earned him Pitcher of the Year honors in the Pacific Coast League. On the surface, it would appear the 26-year-old right-hander is ready to compete for the final available spot in the Astros' rotation, but his mediocre stuff didn't play very well in a five-game stint in the majors last September. Notionally, he's in the mix for the final rotation spot, but is well behind Joe Musgrove, Mike Fiers and Chris Devenski in the pecking order.
8:29 am (EST)
Kevin Siegrist Headshot

Siegrist (shoulder) threw his first bullpen session of spring Wednesday, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports. "It was good," said Siegrist, who threw about 25 pitches. "Everything was fine. [I threw] all fastballs and changeups. No pain, nothing like that. Now it's just all about building back up to get ready to throw in games. I feel good so far."

Saddled with some shoulder tightness last week that had prompted him to cancel his scheduled pitching sessions, Siegrist had moved up to playing catch on a couple of different occasions since Friday. Having experienced no setbacks, he finally threw his first bullpen of spring Wednesday, and reported that he was able to do so without restriction or discomfort. The Cardinals' projected setup man in 2017, Siegrist will evaluate how he feels Thursday before making firm plans to embark on a normal schedule of bullpen and batting practice sessions.
8:19 am (EST)
Chris Devenski Headshot

Devenski has been named the starter for Houston's spring-training home opener next Wednesday against the Nationals, Brian McTaggart of the Astros' official site reports.

Devenski was a nice boost out of the Astros bullpen in 2016, posting a 2.16 ERA and .91 WHIP in 108.1 innings over 48 appearances, including five starts. That was good enough to earn fourth place in the A.L. Rookie of the Year voting. But the 26-year-old right-hander was raised a starter and is being stretched out as one this spring. He has an outside chance of landing the final spot in the Astros rotation, competing with Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers.
8:01 am (EST)
JaVale McGee Headshot

McGee could remain the starting center Thursday even though Zaza Pachulia (shoulder) is expected to return to action, Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr feels Pachulia will ultimately return to a starting role, but wants to make sure he's healthy. Kerr is also considering the possibility of leaving McGee as the full-time starter. The five-man unit featuring McGee and Golden State's four All-Stars -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green -- is the most efficient grouping among the 90 different lineups across the NBA to have played at least 100 minutes together. It all comes down to the skill each player offers. McGee's strength is in the lob-and-dunk game, giving opponents one more element to consider in their own end while spacing the floor. But Pachulia is the superior defender, passer and screener.
7:41 am (EST)
Troy Tulowitzki Headshot

Tulowitzki will get some rest and sit out the first week of Grapefruit League games, Mike Nabors of MLB.com reports.

On Wednesday, Jays' manager John Gibbons confirmed the decision to delay Tulowitzki's spring start to keep the 11-year veteran from being overworked early in the campaign. It's no secret that the five-time All-Star shortstop has an extensive history of injuries and DL stints, so easing Tulowitzki's workload this spring makes perfect sense. With the extended Grapefruit League schedule this year (due to the World Baseball Classic), Tulowitzki should still see plenty of at-bats to be running on all cylinders by Opening Day.
7:29 am (EST)
Melvin Upton Headshot

Upton feels his struggles in recent years have made him "mentally stronger" and well-prepared to hang on to the starting job in left field, which is bursting with competition breathing down his neck, Mike Nabors of MLB.com reports.

In the past three years, Upton has changed his name, changed uniforms three times and late last year jumped back into an American League lineup for the first time since playing for the Rays in 2012. The 12-year veteran feels he's benefited from the roller-coaster ride. "Having some pretty good highs and feeling the lowest of lows kind of put things into perspective and has [helped me] stay even keel," Upton said. "It makes you continue to work and makes you mentally stronger." He'll need more mental toughness to hold on to the starting job in left field, though, where a competition includes journeyman Ezequiel Carrera, the up-and-coming Dalton Pompey and the newly-acquired Steve Pearce. Upton wasn't given a boost of confidence last week when his general manager, Ross Atkins, stated that the Jays' best lineup would include Pearce as the starting left fielder. Upton's 2017 fantasy value hinges on what type of role he'll play.
7:20 am (EST)
David Desharnais Headshot

Desharnais has been a healthy scratch for five straight games.

Desharnais, who is in the final year of his contract, finally appears to be on his last legs in a Montreal uniform. With just 10 points in 29 games, Desharnais is looking at his lowest output since 2010.
6:55 am (EST)
Brayden Schenn Headshot

Schenn scored a second-period goal during Wednesday's loss to Washington.

Outside of his minus-19 rating, Schenn is having another solid fantasy campaign. He's posted 19 goals, 39 points and 128 shots with 38 PIM and 156 hits, which makes him a solid cross-category contributor in the majority of seasonal settings. He's also now scored in three consecutive games, and there is no reason to expect him to suddenly stop tipping the scales across all categories.
12:38 am (EST)
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