Nov 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against New York Knicks shooting guard Courtney Lee (5) during the first quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Examining Houston Rockets for the week of November 7 in fantasy play, as well as other great players to watch on the waiver wire.
Red Nations Fantasy Summit
The Houston Rockets are at .500 after an embarrassing showing against Atlanta, in which a season high 25 turnovers led to 35 points for the Hawks. James Harden continued his superb play, nearly putting up a triple double, but also committed 6 turnovers. Through six games played, the Beard is averaging 32.3 points per game, 7.3 boards, and a league high 12.3 assists per game.
When looking at the losses, there seems to be a lack of consistency or the struggle in trying to establish a defensive identity. However, these issues were to be expected with our coaching changes and the new offense. As the season progresses, Coach D’Antoni will experiment with lineups and game plans in an effort to maximize the potential our roster carries. The same can be said for your own fantasy team.
Establishing your team’s identity, sooner rather than later, will translate to more victories for your squad. For example, with Clint Capela on your team, you can almost guarantee a loss in the free throw percentage category. Knowing this early, will let you hit the waiver and build your team in an effort to capitalize on your strengths. In saying that, here are a couple of standouts from the Rockets over their last few games…
Next: Montrezl Harrell/Eric Gordon
Nov 5, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Rockets forward Montrezl Harrell (5) and guard James Harden (13) box out Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) in the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks defeated the Rockets 112-97. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
With Nene out Trez goes to work
The aging center Nene will sit out in back to back games, this means the second unit center minutes are Trez’s. In the game against the Knicks, Harrell put up 17 points, 10 boards, 1 steal, and 3 blocks. It’s hard to argue against lines like that, but his lack of consistent minutes make him a tough player to own. In fact, Trez is only at 1% owned. Mostly, a plug and play or streaming option and only has value when Nene sits.
Eric Gordon-Houston Rockets, SG
In the loss to the Hawks, Gordon shot 3-11 and only managed 9 points. However, he was able to muster 3 blocks, in an attempt at some defense. Eric is currently averaging 15 points per game, 2.5 boards, 1.8 assists, and 1 steal. As long as his health remains, Gordon will bring mid-to late round value. Ownership hasn’t changed much since last week, still at around 76%.
As the Rockets continue their five game road trip, the team will look to build upon their success in the pick and roll, decrease their turnovers, and improve their overall defense.
As always, the success of your fantasy season depends on the utilization of the waiver wire. To that end, let’s take a look at some of the talent around the league.
Next: J.J. Barea/Larry Nance Jr.
Apr 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) guards Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea (5) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
J.J. Barea gets inserted into starting lineup
Barea-Dallas Mavericks, PG/SG
With Andrew Bogut and Dirk out, Coach Carlise decided to go small. In the game against Portland, Barea dropped 23 points (five 3’s) with 6 assists. J.J. may be a defensive liability, but with Dirk out the next two games, he should get a nice uptick in minutes and production. Owned in 42% of leagues and currently averaging 16.7 points, 2.7 boards, 5 assists, and 1 steal. Barea is worth a short term pick up, while he’s playing nearly 30 minutes a game.
Larry Nance Jr.-Lakers, PF
In the last three contests, Nance has played 25+ minutes a game and has stuffed the stat sheet. He is currently averaging 9.8 points per game, 5.8 boards, 1.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and almost 1 block per game. Owned in 25% of leagues, Julius Randle and Nance will get run at the five, at the expense of Timofey Mozgov. The Lakers recently picked up the option on the young forward and believe in the talent and athleticism of their young core.
Next: Marcus Smart/Channing Frye
Nov 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) shoots against Houston Rockets guard Ty Lawson (3) while guard James Harden (13) and guard Corey Brewer (33) follow in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Marcus Smart-Boston Celtics, PG
Though Smart missed the first 3 games of the season, he is now off and running. With the small line ups that the Celtics run, he will have great value and close to 30+ minutes per game. Against the Cavs, Smart played 28 minutes and dropped 14 points, 2 boards, 2 assists, and 1 block. Only owned in 64% of leagues, he needs to be picked up right away.
Channing Frye-Cleveland Cavaliers, PF/C
Despite playing in just under 20 minutes per game, Frye is currently averaging 11.3 points per game and a few other sporadic stats. Against Philly, Channing played 18 minutes and scored 12 points (4 threes), 2 boards, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Only 3% owned, he’s more suited for deeper leagues or if you need specific stats. On a more personal note, my prayers go out to him for his recent loss and glad to see him back on the court.
It’s always nice being the owner who finds the hidden gem on the waiver. Finding that one player who helps you win your season, while others over looked him, gives you a real sense of satisfaction. Especially, when you are involved in a trash talking, ultra competitive league. I live for those moments. In saying that, the following players aren’t quite ready for a roster spot, but should be placed on your watch list.
Next: Honorable Mentions
Oct 28, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) and Houston Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels (32) fight for the rebound during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Rockets defeat the Mavericks 106-98. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
K.J. McDaniels-Houston Rockets, SF
Seeing this young man develop in the preseason and the regular season has been a real delight. As stated previously, the Rockets are set at the wing position so his minutes are limited. But, against the Hawks, McDaniels scored a season high 13 points, 2 boards, and 1 block. Coach D’Antoni is still unsure about the young forward’s exact role, but he is being plugged in on defensive possessions. Watch his playing time to see if there are any changes.
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Tim Hardaway Jr.-Atlanta Hawks, SG/SF
Being a fan of his father, I want to see this young man succeed. But, Hardaway’s inconsistency is tough to handle as an owner. Against the Lakers, Tim dropped 26 points (5 threes), 1 assist, and 1 block. However, against the Rockets he shot 1-5 and only scored 3 points. Trying to pick on which exact night Tim will go off is a tough task. He will get around 20 minutes per game and as of late, is playing PG behind Dennis Schroder. On most nights though, he might not be worth the headache. At least, not yet.
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