DFS NHL Optimal Lineups:  February 21 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups: February 21
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C.J. Watson Headshot

Watson (Achilles) was held out of Tuesday's practice and is expected to have an MRI performed on Wednesday, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Watson suffered the injury in a game against the Spurs just prior to the All-Star break and despite over a week off for added rest and recovery, he's still dealing with some lingering discomfort. That's obviously concerning for his availability moving forward, but with an MRI scheduled for Wednesday, we should get further clarification on whether or not something more serious is at hand. Watson can be considered highly questionable for Thursday's game against the Trail Blazers until additional information is provided.
6:15 pm (EST)
Patrick Beverley Headshot

Beverley (groin) is back to full strength and is good to go for Thursday's game against the Pelicans, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Beverley suffered a groin injury in a game against the Heat just prior to the All-Star break, but it was never considered a serious ailment and he's now fully healthy after the added time off. Look for him to take on his usual role as a starter in the backcourt on Thursday against the Pelicans and he'll look to build on a strong start to February, where he's averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals across 27.0 minutes in six games.
6:08 pm (EST)
Mike Smith Headshot

Smith (head) is okay after being pulled from Monday's victory against the Ducks.

The NHL's concussion spotters are rightly over-cautious when it comes to pulling players from games sometimes, so it appears that Smith was simply the victim of a nasty looking play and nothing more. No word yet on if the 34-year-old will start Thursday's game in Chicago, but that seems like a heavy possibility considering that he's started 12 of the Coyotes' last 13 contests.
5:55 pm (EST)
Trevor Cahill Headshot

Cahill will compete for a rotation spot this spring, but the Padres are open to using him as a reliever as well, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.

This should come as no surprise considering Cahill's history as a swingman in the past. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has found more success in the majors as a reliever (3.24 ERA) than as a starter (4.14 ERA), but the Padres are so thin in the rotation that they will consider him as a potential option before simply making him a bullpen arm. If Cahill were to enter the season as a starter there would be some deep league intrigue surrounding him when you consider his newfound success -- albeit as a reliever -- and the home ballpark he will be pitching in.
5:48 pm (EST)
Robby Anderson Headshot

Anderson recorded 42 receptions for 587 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games with the Jets this season.

Anderson showed promise throughout his rookie season, pairing a solid route-running ability with speed. He emerged as a favorite target of fellow rookie Bryce Petty, as the two formed a connection throughout the offseason last year. Just like last offseason, Anderson will continue to work out with former Pro Bowl wideout Chad Johnson, according to Ethan Greenburg of the team's official site. "I'm going to put a lot of work in this offseason. There are a couple things I really want to focus on to get better," Anderson noted. He'll look to take the jump next season in the hopes of securing a top wideout spot on the depth chart.
5:38 pm (EST)
Paul Clemens Headshot

Clemens could still make the Opening Day roster as a reliever if he doesn't earn a rotation spot this spring, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports.

The Padres look to be taking a "best available" approach to their arms this spring, looking to simply fill roles with the best talent they have at their disposal. Clemens did well as a starter last season (3.67 ERA in 12 starts) and he will start the team's Cactus League opener Saturday, but the bullpen is not out of the question for the 29-year-old.
5:35 pm (EST)
Fred VanVleet Headshot

VanVleet was assigned to the D-League's Raptors 905 on Tuesday.

The rookie will begin the second-half of the season in the D-League and should see major minutes in Thursday's tilt with the Erie Bayhawks. VanVleet is averaging slightly over six minutes a contest during 15 games with Toronto this season, as he finds himself buried in the rotation behind Kyle Lowry and Corey Joseph.
5:21 pm (EST)
Peter Budaj Headshot

Budaj was the first off the ice in this mornings skate, and is expected to make a road start against Colorado on Tuesday, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports.

Budaj has lost five of his last six starts decisions, recording a brutal .867 save percentage and 3.57 goals-against average. However, the Kings draw a favorable matchup with the Avalanche, who is last in the league in goals per game (2.0) and 29th in power-play percentage (14.3 percent).
5:17 pm (EST)
Bruno Caboclo Headshot

Caboclo was assigned to the D-League's Raptors 905 on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old has not taken an NBA court since Jan. 15, as he continues to bounce to and from the D-League this season. Having only played in eight games with Toronto this year, the small forward will continue his development while getting valuable minutes Thursday against the Erie Bayhawks.
5:16 pm (EST)
Hector Neris Headshot

Neris is using the offseason to polish up and implement his slider, Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports.

Neris is coming off a breakout year in 2016, where he posted a 2.58 ERA and an 11.4 K/9 in 80.1 innings, the third-most among National League relief pitchers. He did so while relying heavily on two pitches, a fastball he threw 46 percent of the time and a splitter he threw 49 percent of the time. He's working on improving his slider, which he threw 2.9 percent of the time in 2016, so he will be able to diversify his pitch repertoire further and build on his success. The third pitch could help the 27-year-old grab hold of the closer job that he is currently competing with Jeanmar Gomez and Joaquin Benoit for.
5:09 pm (EST)
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