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JaVale McGee GS C
Warriors' JaVale McGee: May start Thursday1h ago
JaVale 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.
Golden State 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. Kerr will also consider 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.
Thon Maker MIL PF
Bucks' Thon Maker: Will remain starting center11h ago
Coach Jason Kidd indicated Wednesday that Thon Maker will continue starting at center following the All Star break, Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Maker slid into the starting lineup at center after Jabari Parker went down for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL. The Milwaukee Bucks ' direction is somewhat uncertain going forward this season, as the Parker injury hinders their hopes to advance in the playoffs. While they are still likely to be competitive, they figure to favor the players they see as future contributors to the team. Thus, Maker should continue seeing a relatively healthy workload going forward. In his four starts before the break he averaged 7.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.3 triples across 17.3 minutes per game. Do not be surprised to see his minutes get even more of a boost going forward, so he could be a sneaky source for triples from the center position in deeper leagues.
Dwyane Wade CHI SG
Bulls' Dwyane Wade: Cleared to play Friday vs. Suns12h ago
Dwyane Wade says his wrist "feels a lot better" and he's been cleared to play in Friday's game against the Suns, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Wade indicated that the wrist will still likely be taped up, so he may be dealing with some lingering soreness. That said, it's not expected to be issue moving forward and fantasy owners can expect him to put in a full workload during Friday's tilt with the Suns. With Wade expected to rejoin the starting lineup, Michael Carter-Williams is slated to head back to the bench after starting next to Jerian Grant in the backcourt, while guys like Paul Zipser and Doug McDermott could see a slight decrease in playing time as well.
Rodney Hood UTA SG
Jazz's Rodney Hood: Hopes to play Friday12h ago
Rodney Hood (knee) is hopeful to play in Friday's matchup against the Bucks, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Hood missed the last seven games before the All Star break, and played in just three of the last 15 due to a bone contusion and LCL sprain in his right knee. Joe Ingles filled in for him at shooting guard, so he figures to see a reduced workload if Hood is able to return. It is unclear if the Utah Jazz will keep Hood on any type of minute restriction if he does indeed return Friday, but it would likely be short lived if that is the case. A final determination on his status is not likely to be announced until closer to game-time Friday.
Marcus Thornton WAS SG
Marcus Thornton: Waived by Nets12h ago
Marcus Thornton will be waived by the Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Thornton, along with Andrew Nicholson and a first-round pick were shipped to Brooklyn earlier Wednesday in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough. However, the Nets are happy with where their shooting guard situation is at and will look elsewhere to fill the final spot on the roster. That sends Thornton back to the free agent pool, where he'll look to latch on with a contender or a provide a younger, more inexperienced roster with some veteran help from the eighth-year pro.
Tyreke Evans NO PG
Kings' Tyreke Evans: Will remain on minute restriction with Kings12h ago
Tyreke Evans playing time will remain restricted at around 27 per game for the time being, Sean Cunningham of KXTV Sacramento reports.
Evans indicated he is unsure if his minutes will remain restricted for the rest of the season. The newly acquired shooting guard won Rookie of the Year honors in 2009-10 with the Sacramento Kings , and is now back with the team in a muddled perimeter situation. He had knee surgery on his right knee last February, and did not make his season debut until this past December. While it is unclear how the Kings plan on handling their new rotation, it appears to be a safe bet that Evans will continue on a similar workload he was seeing in New Orleans. He will presumably either start at the two or three position or serve as the Kings' sixth man as he continues his road back to full health.
David Desharnais MON C
Canadiens' David Desharnais: Receives string of DNPs2h ago
David 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.
Brayden Schenn PHI C
Flyers' Brayden Schenn: Scores against Caps8h ago
Brayden 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.
Brandon Manning PHI D
Flyers' Brandon Manning: Chips in helper in lone goal8h ago
Brandon Manning assisted on the Philadelphia Flyers ' lone goal during Wednesday's loss to Washington.
The assist snapped a 34-game point drought, and Manning owned a minus-14 rating and registered just 37 shots and 36 blocked shots during the span. Considering the lack of production, he currently checks out as a fantasy afterthought in all settings.
Michal Neuvirth PHI G
Flyers' Michal Neuvirth: Allows four tallies in loss to Caps8h ago
Michal Neuvirth saved just 25 of 29 shots during Wednesday's loss to Washington.
Facing Washington's juggernaut offense is never a friendly fantasy situation, and relying on Neuvirth was ill-advised Wednesday. He has grabbed a stranglehold of the Philly crease by allowing two goals or fewer in seven of his previous eight outings, but his .911 save percentage during the stretch speaks more to the Philadelphia Flyers limiting opponents than Neuvirth's play. Expect Steve Mason to receive another look sooner than later, and neither goalie should be considered a reliable fantasy option at this stage of the game.
Braden Holtby WAS G
Capitals' Braden Holtby: Turns in another tidy 33-save outing8h ago
Braden Holtby saved 33 of 34 shots during Wednesday's win over Philadelphia.
There isn't much to say about Holtby at this point of the game. He's been an elite goalie for the past three seasons and is currently in the midst of the best campaign of the stretch. Wednesday's victory was his 30th win of the season, and he entered the contest with a rock-solid .926 save percentage and 2.01 GAA. Continue to view Holtby as a set-and forget goalie in seasonal leagues and a top-tier option that's usually worth spending up for in daily contests.
Justin Williams WAS RW
Capitals' Justin Williams: Posts first multi-point game in 10 outings8h ago
Justin Williams collected two assists -- one on the power play -- during Wednesday's win over Philadelphia.
After a hot midseason stretch (15 goals and 24 points through 24 games), Williams entered Wednesday's tilt with three consecutive pointless outings and just four points through his past 10 contests. It's likely best to expect offensive peaks and valleys from the 35-year-old winger. Still, iin most seasonal settings, it's worth enduring the few dry spells considering the elite talent Williams shares the ice with. His high fantasy ceiling and modest price is also attractive in daily contests.
Troy Tulowitzki TOR SS
Blue Jays' Troy Tulowitzki: Sitting out first week of exhibition games1h ago
Troy 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.
Melvin Upton TOR LF
Blue Jays' Melvin Upton Jr.: Feeling mentally tough to handle competition1h ago
Melvin 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.
John Ryan Murphy MIN C
Twins' John Ryan Murphy: Competing for backup catcher role8h ago
John Ryan Murphy will compete with Chris Gimenez and Mitch Garver for the backup catcher job behind Jason Castro, ESPN 1500 am Twin Cities reports.
Murphy won the backup role last year in spring training but then went 3-for-40 at the plate and was quickly demoted to Triple-A Rochester. He didn't fare much better in the minors as he hit just three home runs with a .609 OPS. He'll get a fresh start this spring, but he's likely behind Gimenez with Garver being a long shot.
Adalberto Mejia MIN RP
Twins' Adalberto Mejia: Begins spring in fifth starter competition9h ago
Adalberto Mejia will be in the competition for Minnesota's fifth starter role this spring, ESPN 1500 am Twin Cities reports.
Mejia will compete with Jose Berrios, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May, Justin Haley, Ryan Vogelsong and Nick Tepesch for the final spot in the rotation. Mejia is a long shot and will likely begin the season at Triple-A. Mejia improved significantly in his second season at Double-A Richmond last year with a 3.94 ERA and 58:16 K:BB in 65 innings. He then saw his strikeouts climb to 9.6 K/9 at Triple-A Sacramento, although he had a 4.20 ERA. He'll likely get a crack at the big league rotation at some point this summer if he begins the season at Triple-A.
Ehire Adrianza MIN SS
Twins' Ehire Adrianza: Competing for utility role9h ago
Ehire Adrianza will compete with Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana for a utility role this spring, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Adrianza's glove rates well by advanced metrics (career average UZR/150 of 19.8) and may be needed at times to replace potentially below-average gloves at third base and shortstop in Miguel Sano and Jorge Polanco. As a result, Adrianza may have the lead over Danny Santana, who doesn't have a strong infield glove, for the final spot on the bench as spring training begins.
Austin Gomber STL SP
Cardinals' Austin Gomber: To see action in Grapefruit League opener10h ago
Austin Gomber is slated to see action in Saturday's Grapefuit League opener against the Marlins, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com reports.
The southpaw, who was the St. Louis Cardinals ' 2015 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, will get an early opportunity to start building on his impressive 2016 campaign in High-A Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield, as well as his solid Arizona Fall League stint. Gomber carries some intrigue this spring, considering the Cardinals' prospective starting rotation is exclusively composed of right-handers. The 23-year-old is slated to follow starter Luke Weaver and John Gant on Saturday and will likely work at least two frames.
Jameis Winston TB QB
Buccaneers' Jameis Winston: Talks up DeSean Jackson as possible acquisition10h ago
Jameis Winston recently provided a strong endorsement for a potential Bucs acquisition of free-agent receiver DeSean Jackson, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports. "I've met him before, and we want DeSean. You better believe we want DeSean here," Winston said. "I think he would be a great asset to our team."
Winston's comments came in response to a question stemming from ESPN.com's Josina Anderson's report that the Bucs could be a possible destination for Jackson in free agency. Winston set new personal bests across the board in his sophomore campaign, but did so while seeing his wide receiver corps considerably handicapped by injuries, especially in the second half of the season. With veteran No. 2 receiver Vincent Jackson one of the wideouts that was sidelined for an extended period for a second consecutive season, Winston seems buoyed by the prospect of what a healthy speed merchant like DeSean Jackson could bring to the offense opposite Mike Evans. The 30-year-old Jackson had 56 catches for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns with the Redskins in 2016, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in four years and sporting the highest YPC (17.9) in the NFL for all receivers with a minimum of 30 receptions.
Colts' Jack Mewhort: Knee injury was minor11h ago
Mewhort's season-ending knee injury from 2016 was revealed to be a chondral defect, Kevin Bowen of the Indianapolis Colts ' official site reports.
Mewhort finished the 2016 campaign on injured reserve due to a knee injury suffered in December. However, it wasn't clear which part of his knee had been damaged. Thankfully, a chondral defect is not considered an extremely serious knee injury compared to something like an ACL tear, which some initially speculated was Mewhort's issue. It still isn't clear when he'll be ready to return to action, but it doesn't appear as if rehabilitation will occupy his entire offseason.
James Hanna DAL TE
Cowboys' James Hanna: Uncertain timetable for recovery13h ago
James Hanna 's (knee) timeline for a return is unclear, David Helman of the Dallas Cowboys ' official site reports.
Hanna ended the 2016 season on injured reserve after requiring a second surgery in November to repair a knee injury he sustained last summer. He still has roughly two months until offseason workouts begin, but there is no indication he'll be ready to take the field by then. When healthy, Hanna could be in line to compete with Geoff Swaim (pectoral) for the No. 2 tight end role in 2017 with Gavin Escober set to hit free agency.
Texans' Derek Newton: Progressing steadily in recovery14h ago
Newton (knee) is making "steady progress" in his recovery, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Newton has spent his offseason in rehab after tearing the patellar tendons in both of his knees last October. Considering his long road to recovery, any and all progress is significant. However, it still isn't certain if he'll be able to play at any point in 2017.
Eddie Lacy GB RB
Packers' Eddie Lacy: Running in pool15h ago
Eddie Lacy (ankle) has progressed enough in his recovery to run in a pool, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reports.
Lacy's 2016 season was brought to a halt due to a left ankle injury, the extent if which was enough to contain him to five appearances, but the Green Bay Packers never revealed the nature of the ailment, other than to say he sustained more than a sprain that precipitated surgery. Head coach Mike McCarthy has already mentioned that Lacy's prospects for a return to Green Bay may be contingent upon his health, so a physical could be ordered up as his unrestricted free agency approaches. If retained by the only organization he's ever known, Lacy will team with converted wideout Ty Montgomery to form a potential thunder-and-lightning RB combination.
Derek Carr OAK QB
Raiders' Derek Carr: Growing healthier15h ago
Derek Carr (fibula) is approaching 100 percent health, NFL.com reports. "[He's] Walking around already, stretching it out," his brother, David Carr, said on NFL Total Access on Tuesday. "He can't do a lot for the bone, but he's going to be back. He'll get a whole full offseason in, and that's going to be the best part."
David was backing up the assessment of Oakland Raiders left tackle Donald Penn, who learned from Derek himself that he's "almost 100 percent." Prior to breaking his right fibula in Week 16, the younger Carr had put everything together in his third season, leading the Raiders to a 12-3 record and falling 63 yards short of the first 4,000-yard campaign of his career. As intimated by his brother, Derek is expected to be good to go for the offseason program, which can kick off for the Raiders as early as April 17.