Houston Rockets fantasy basketball outlook
Red Nation’s fantasy summit:
Fantasy sports may have began as a way to allow the general public the ability to assume the role of manager, but it has progressed into so much more. You get to be the owner or manager. You are essentially Daryl Morey, the Houston Rockets general manger. Build your team and compete weekly against other owners.
Every year fantasy sports pays out approximately $2 billion in winnings, whether through DraftKings or FanDuel. The competitiveness of the league you are in greatly depends on the owners and the knowledge of your particular fantasy game. Everyone seems to have jumped on the fantasy bandwagon and in doing so, hopefully developed a deeper appreciation for the work these athletes put in.
In saying that, let’s take a look at five of the Houston Rockets I expect to contribute this fantasy season…
Next: Fear the Beard
November 7, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after scoring a basket against Los Angeles Clippers during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
With Mike D’Antoni comes a faster paced offense and a definite possibility of being one of the highest scoring teams in the league. To that end, James Harden should fill up the stat sheet and the 9 categories in standard scoring fantasy leagues.
Last season, he finished with 236-three pointers made [3pm], 2,376 total points (outscoring bucket machines like Paul George and Kevin Durant), 501 rebounds (rebs), 612 assists (assts), and 139 steals (more assts and steals than Lillard).
The Beard’s average draft position (adp) looks to be in the first round and from what I’ve seen he has gone as high as 3rd and as late as 6th. Harden will be handling more of the point guard duties according to Coach D’Antoni, so I would expect his assists to climb.
Next: Appreciate Trevor Ariza's thievery
Jan 10, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) attempts to save a ball from going out of bounds during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Toyota Center. The Rockets won 107-103 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Trevor Ariza totes the fine line of meaning more in reality than in fantasy terms. What this means is his “hustle” stats don’t always show up on the box score. He is essential to the Houston Rockets success and will be called upon for his steals (finished 6th last season with 160) and hopefully with the improved spacing a higher shooting percentage.
Last season he finished with 185 (3pm), 1,025 (pts), and 366 (rebs). I have seen Trevor drafted as early the fourth round and as late as the seventh, his ADP is projected as 54th.
Next: Houston finally lands the long sought after Pelicans forward
Dec 2, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Pelicans 108-101. Mandatoutry Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
While the Rockets may have missed out on a few of the “big name” free agents, landing the three point specialist is no consolation prize. Though both Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon bring a rather dubious injury history, there is no denying their offensive fire power.
All of Anderson’s 37% shooting from three will be needed for the new, more up tempo offense. The former Pelican’s ADP is at 73 and he has gone as early as round 5, but because of his previous injuries or lack of media awareness he may fall to the later rounds.
His 131 (3pm) and total points of 1,124 should rise and not because Ryan only played 66 games last season.
Next: Another former Pelican joins the Red Nation
Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) attempts to control the ball during a game against the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The point beard, aka James Harden, has always been an underrated passer and this was a very particular selling point in Daryl Morey’s pitch.
Gordon, one year removed from his career best 44.8% in three point percentage, looks to expand his play making abilities. The uncertain back court rotation allows room for growth for the “combo” guard.
In discussing Eric Gordon‘s offensive prowess and his ability to create off the dribble, you have to mention his checkered injury history.
In 45 games last season, he finished with 113 (3pm) and 686 total points. His ADP is 121 and in some mock drafts he was on the board well into the later rounds, if drafted at all. Proceed with caution.
Next: Trez Harrell has found favor with Coach D'Antoni
Feb 6, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell (35) dunks against the Portland Trail Blazers in the second half at Toyota Center. Portland won 96 to 79. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
To say that Montrezl Harrell is exactly the type of player Coach D’Antoni loves, is an understatement.
During the preseason, Trez was getting run at the five and though he is undersized, I see him competing for minutes. The 20 (pts) and 10 (rebs) against Memphis certainly didn’t hurt his case.
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I recommend leaving Harrell on the waiver wire for now, but I would keep an eye on him and maybe use as a plug and play.
Follow me this season as I look to bring my fantasy title belt home and keep you posted on noteworthy waiver wire pick ups.
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