• After two encouraging games to open up the preseason, the Kings were brought back down to earth by the defending champs in their third matchup.  While losses like that can be demoralizing, the team should have a shot to right the ship Monday night against Maccabi Haifa.

    While their talent cannot be completely overlooked, Maccabi Haifa does figure to be the Kings’ easiest opponent of the preseason.  The Kings will still need to execute, but their athleticism alone should cause some real problems.

    Monday night’s game is by no means an automatic win, but the team will have a good chance at a confidence-boosting win heading into the final stretch of the preseason.  Below are some of the key things to watch for Monday night:

    De’Aaron Fox

    Fox has been as good as any fan could have hoped to this point in the preseason.  He had some struggles in Friday night’s game, but overall his confidence and improved jump shot have been encouraging heading into the regular season.

    One slight concern has been his lack of attempts from the free throw line. Fox has just two attempts through three games and will need to generate far more opportunities for himself going forward.

    Spacing issues have kept Fox from driving as much as he should, but he still needs to find ways to draw contact in transition and in pick and roll sets. A game against Maccabi Haifa should present a decent opportunity

    Additions to the rotation

    Yogi Farrell and Nemanja Bjelica have both been upgraded to probable for tonight’s game, and both figure to get a decent amount of playing time if they’re ultimately cleared to play.  While Farrell has already seen time in the team’s first preseason game, Bjelica has yet to suit up for the Kings.

    While neither are sure to play at the moment, it’s not exactly clear how they will impact the team’s rotations if they are cleared.  Skal Labissiere and Justin Jackson have both struggled during the preseason, so it will be interesting to see how much, if at all, these two see their minutes reduced.

    Half-court offense

    The Kings have had success this season when they’re able to push the pace, but the offense has struggled to generate good looks in half-court settings.  While some of this can be attributed to inexperience, poor spacing and ball movement have also contributed.

    Playing in transition certainly highlights the strengths of this team, but they won’t be able to take the next step until they can run a coherent offense when the game slows down.  Adding veterans like Bjelica and Farrell should provide some relief, but the team will need to start making adjustments in the near future.

    PROJECTED STARTERS

    PG – De’Aaron Fox

    SG – Buddy Hield

    SF – Justin Jackson

    PF – Skal Labissiere

    C – Willie Cauley-Stein

    INJURY REPORT

    Kosta Koufos (hamstring) – OUT

    Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) – OUT

    Iman Shumpert (calf) – OUT

    Nemanja Bjelica (knee) – PROBABLE

    Yogi Farrell (thumb) – PROBABLE

    HOW TO WATCH

    When: 7:00 p.m. PST (10:00 p.m. ET)

    Where: N/A

Fantasy News

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans haven't practiced or used their "big lineup" yet which would feature Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle.

    It's likely that two of the three players will be on the court at any given time but it might not makes sense to play all three guys together given it puts the bench rotation out of whack. We don't have any definitive word on if Mirotic or Randle will be in the starting lineup when the season tips off. Both guys should maintain standard league value with Mirotic offering the most upside.

    Source: Scott Kushner on Twitter

  • Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who has participated in two consecutive scrimmages is expected to be active to start the season but he may be a reserve early in the year.

    This shouldn't really affect RHJ too much as we expect him to be going full speed by the end of the second week of the season. The main risk is RHJ has been getting banged up by bigger PF's. View him as a solid contributor that you can draft right around round 10.

    Source: Newsday

  • Ish Smith - G - Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey spoke about the Pistons playing a small ball lineup at times that features Ish Smith at the point with Reggie Jackson playing off the ball.

    Smith is much more of a pass-first guard than Jackson so this makes lots of sense. Casey spoke about Jackson being of the better shooters on the Pistons but the news mostly bolsters Smith's stock as Jackson's main issue is his health, not his opportunity.

    Source: Detroit News

  • Devin Booker - G - Phoenix Suns

    Devin Booker has been cleared for contact and has been participating in 5-on-5 at recent practices.

    Booker's right hand procedure was supposed to sideline him until mid-late October but it sounds like he'll be able to suit up on opening night given the positive reviews he's gotten so far. Booker will still need to get his conditioning back but there's no reason to shy away from taking him the early rounds of any last-minute drafts.

    Source: Arizona Republic

  • Mikal Bridges - F - Phoenix Suns

    Mikal Bridges, who missed the final three preseason games with an elbow injury, says he's feeling 100 percent.

    Bridges may be feeling good but will probably have some rust to shake off. Between that and the fact that the Suns are loaded with forwards, there's no need to look his way for fantasy purposes. You might want to check in around mid-season when the tank takes over but until then you should be able to do better.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Tyler Ulis - G - Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls have claimed Tyler Ulis off waivers and will sign him to a two-way contract.

    The Warriors just let Ulis go, and it's not surprising to see him get scooped up quickly given his NBA track record. He had some solid stretches with the Suns in a nightmare of a developmental environment and is a fine third point guard.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Draymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green will likely have a minutes limit to begin the season.

    Green missed most of the preseason because of a sore left knee, so it's not surprising to see him ease into things despite 21 minutes in Friday's finale. Look for more minutes heading to Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney in the meantime.

    Source: Anthony Slater on Twitter

  • Stephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors

    Stephen Curry sat out Sunday's practice with a "minor tweak" but will still play in Tuesday's season opener.

    No word on what exactly Curry tweaked but it's not an ankle. The Warriors can afford to be proactive with their stars' rest this season but if it keeps Steph healthy throughout the year then fantasy players won't complain.

    Source: Monte Poole on Twitter

  • Jonas Valanciunas - C - Toronto Raptors

    Nick Nurse reiterated that he will change his lineups and rotations game-to-game, and occasionally even half-to-half.

    With Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry the only two locks, the Raptors have enough versatility that Nurse wants to line them up properly every night rather than have everyone stay in set roles. It'll help keep a number of Raptors fantasy relevant and it should put everyone in spots to succeed. Don't worry if Jonas Valanciunas, Serge Ibaka, Danny Green and the like rotate in and out. They'll be back in the starting five before you know it.

    Source: Josh Lewenberg on Twitter

  • Robert Williams - C - Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams was able to practice on Sunday after missing the previous two days with an illness.

    Williams was a nice find for the Celtics in the draft but would need an injury or two to find fantasy value this season.

    Source: Abby Chin on Twitter