DFS NHL Optimal Lineups:  February 21 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups: February 21
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Pascal Siakam Headshot

Siakam will be assigned to the D-League's Raptors 905 later this week, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports.

When he was selected No. 27 overall by the Raptors in the draft last June, it was expected that Siakam's rookie season would be a developmental one, but that changed when projected starting power forward Jared Sullinger fractured his left foot in October and was sidelined until mid-January. Siakam has since spent most of the season sharing time at power forward with Patrick Patterson (knee), but the 23-year-old looks like he'll be pushed out of the rotation following the team's recent acquisition of Serge Ibaka. With Ibaka set to play nearly 30 minutes per game and Patterson, Lucas Nogueira and Sullinger around to pick up the scraps at power forward, there isn't a need for the Raptors to keep Siakam with the big club. As a result, he should be able to benefit from some extensive run with the 905 following the All-Star break.
4:03 pm (EST)
Sean Manaea Headshot

Manaea will make his Cactus League debut Monday against the Giants, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Manaea is projected to follow Sonny Gray, who is expected to open the game. The A's projected No. 2 starter, Manaea is looking to follow up an encouraging 24-start rookie campaign with a breakout 2017 as a pivotal part of the rotation. One of the more interesting aspects of Monday's appearance should be Manaea's use of his slider, which he is focusing on developing this spring as a third pitch alongside his fastball and changeup.
4:00 pm (EST)
Gerrit Cole Headshot

Cole threw two innings of live batting practice Tuesday, a sign that he's finally healthy at the start of a spring training, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "I've learned how to deal with some adversity, so hopefully I'm better for it," Cole said.

He's faced spring training setbacks in both of the last two camps. Cole is coming off his worst professional season -- he compiled a 3.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 116 innings -- and landed on the DL three separate occasions.
3:58 pm (EST)
Johnny Cueto Headshot

Cueto (personal) is scheduled to arrive to spring training over the weekend, Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area reports.

Cueto, who has been working out in the Dominican Republic while taking care of his ill father, is expected to report to spring training over the weekend after obtaining a visa for his father. His status for the World Baseball Classic is still up in the air, with his father's health serving as another possible reason he wouldn't participate. Whether or not he'll play for his home country should become more clear once he reports to the Scottsdale.
3:57 pm (EST)
Rene Bourque Headshot

Bourque is making progress from his head injury and coach Jared Bednar is hopeful that he will return to action soon, but that rules him out for Tuesday night's game against the Kings.

Bourque has now missed 13 of the last 15 games, but finally appears to nearing a clean bill of health. Even so, the veteran winger is averaging just 14:22 of ice time this season, which doesn't allow him to have enough fantasy value even if he wasn't on one of the most anaemic offenses in the league.
3:52 pm (EST)
Sonny Gray Headshot

Gray, projected to be the A's No. 1 starter this season, will see his first Cactus League action Monday against the Giants, Susan Slusser of San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Gray got in his first live action against hitters Monday and put in a strong session by all accounts, firing his full repertoire of pitches and coming away feeling particularly good about his curveball. He'll look to get off to a similarly solid start versus opposing batters for the first time this spring against San Francisco as he continues to ramp up for what he and the A's hope will be a bounce-back campaign.
3:52 pm (EST)
Kendall Graveman Headshot

Graveman, penciled in as the A's No. 3 starter, will start Sunday's Cactus League tilt versus the Angels, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Already impressing in early workouts, Graveman won't have to wait long before jumping into live game action. He'll look to continue displaying the improved control he's flashed thus far while also further honing his changeup, two of his stated goals this spring.
3:45 pm (EST)
Sam Bennett Headshot

Bennett has just two points in his last 21 contests, with his last goal coming on Jan. 21.

The second-year NHLer has largely failed to impress this season, as he's stuck on 10 goals and 10 assists after posting 18 of each in 2015-16. However, he's almost recorded as many hits (99) and blocked shots (28) as last year in 19 less games (110 and 32, respectively), which implies that he's becoming a more well-rounded player as he further acclimates to life in the NHL.
3:44 pm (EST)
Jesse Hahn Headshot

Hahn, who is competing for the fifth starter role this spring, will start the Cactus League opener Saturday against the Cubs, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The 27-year-old will thus get an early opportunity to make his case for a rotation spot, following a 2016 campaign in which he compiled a combined 3-11 record over his 46.1 major league innings and an additional 15 starts at Triple-A Memphis. He's gotten off to a positive start in workouts, however, with catcher Stephen Vogt commenting that Hahn "looks incredible right now" after working with him in batting practice recently, noting that his trademark sinker and curve particularly appear to be hitting on all cylinders.
3:39 pm (EST)
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