Analyzing our Houston Rockets and other players around the league to help make the most of your fantasy team for the week of Dec 5th
Red nations Fantasy Summit
The NBA season is a roller coaster ride, to say the very least. Fleeting joy and painful realizations as your favorite players push their bodies to the brink night in and out. For our Houston Rockets, this week has shown us both sides of the spectrum. Obviously, the loss in Utah was pitiful, but to bounce back the way they did just goes to show how special this team is. The road trip was a resounding success going 4-1 and now the good guys have a few games back at the Toyota Center.
In the road trip, the Rockets MVP candidate James Harden, played masterfully. The Beard is currently averaging 28.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 11.8 dimes (leads the league), 1.3 steals, and almost 1 block per game. As stated previously, the camaraderie and energy seem to be back as Chef Harden cooks the rest of the league. The back to back wins against the Warriors and the Nuggets can’t be talked about enough. Now, I will admit that the game was more of a statement for the Rockets than Golden state, but any early motivation this team can find will only help their development.
The Houston Rockets have four games this week, with three being at home and one away with the Thunder. The home games are against the Celtics this evening, a rematch with the Lakers, and the Mavs in a back to back. It’s not crazy to say the team has the chance to go 4-0. But, before looking ahead to this week’s action, let’s take a quick glance at some standouts from the Rockets over their last few games…
Next: Sam Dekker/Trez Harrell
These two Rockets exude the pure, unadulterated joy that playing in the NBA brings
Sam Dekker-Hou, SF
The “Inspectah Dek” is the playing the best ball of his young career right now. Against Denver Dekk finished with a career high 17 points (1 triple), 4 boards, 1 steal, and 1 block in the blowout win. In the previous game against the Warriors, he earned Coach D’Antoni’s trust and actually played over 11 minutes (team high) in the 4th quarter alone. The young forward is coming into his own and has played over 25 minutes in the last three games. Dekk is a fan favorite and fits in the Rockets offense perfectly. Currently only owned in 6% of leagues, I understand the caution, but in being able to play both forward spots, he has earned at least a speculative add. In addition, Ariza is a game time decision (GTD) with back spasms, so he should get additional run this evening.
Fantasy sports and stats don’t truly reveal the whole story behind the athlete. Sure, they give you a glimpse, but in only looking at the box score you miss out on the entire picture the player is creating. Montrezl Harrell personifies this struggle. The kid can flat out ball and is just barely scratching the surface of what he can do. With Nene out, Trez was able to drop a double/double on the Warriors. The kid did most of his work at center and finished with 13 points, 10 boards, 1 dime, and 1 block. In the very next game against Denver, Trez finished with 8 points, 3 boards, and 2 blocks.
Hopefully, his minutes continue to climb as he further assimilates himself in this high powered offense. Worth more in DFS (daily fantasy leagues) and the games where Nene rests, but make no mistake about his talent. Just ask McAdoo.
As always, the success of your fantasy season depends on the utilization of the waiver wire. To that end, let’s review some options that may provide you with that spark your roster needs.
Next: Patrick Patterson/Andrew Harrison
Patrick Patterson-Tor, PF/C
The Toronto Raptors are balling right now and are currently 2nd in the Easter Conference with a record of 14-6. They have won six in a row and have blown out the last four teams by a combined total of 119 points. Part of their recent success can be attributed to Patterson’s much improved play. Against Memphis, he recorded his first double-double of the season and finished with 14 points (4 triples), 13 boards, and 1 steal. In the game against the Hawks, Demarre Carroll was back, but this didn’t slow down Pat. The former Rocket (maybe a little biased because of this) finished with 17 points (4 triples), 4 boards, 2 dimes, and 1 steal. Though only 24% owned, it’s his recent three point shooting surge that makes him worth a roster spot.
Andrew Harrison-Mem, PG/SG
With Mike Conley out the next 6-8 weeks, the Grizz now hand the reigns over to the rookie. And so far, Harrison has not disappointed. Against Toronto, he finished with a career high 21 points (4 triples), 2 boards, 4 dimes, and 3 steals. However, being a rookie I would expect his numbers to fluctuate greatly. In fact, after his career night he shot 2-of-7 against the Lakers. But, 10 of Memphis’s 16 December games are at home, where the Grizz are still formidable.
The 22 year old Texan is a taller guard (6’ft 6), so along with traditional guard stats, I would expect a few blocks as well. He is currently averaging 10.3 points (1.5 triples), 2.8 boards, 5 dimes, 1 steal, and nearly 1 block per game. The Grizz may add some veteran guard help, but in the meantime and even in the foreseeable future, it’s Harrison’s show. Currently only 33% owned.
Now let’s head to Brooklyn to discuss a couple of players that I received a number of questions on and quite frankly couldn’t wait to write about…
Next: Sean Kilpatrick/Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Sean Kilpatrick-Bkn, PG/SG
Woe to the league when a slighted player gets his chance. Even Nets Coach Kenny Atikinson, has stated that Sean is playing with an angry chip on his shoulder. Kilpatrick out-dueled the “Point God” CP3, for a double-double with 38 points (4 triples),14 boards, and 2 dimes. Then followed up in back to back games against the Bucks, he put up 19 points, at least 6 boards, and a couple of steals. Yet, still only owned in 65% of leagues? What more does this man have to do? He’s averaging 23.7 points (2.3 triples), 7 boards, 3 dimes, and almost 1 steal per game. Now, granted his value may dip when Lin comes back, but for the time being he is worth a hold.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson-Bkn, SG/SF
Admittingly, one of the reasons Kilpatrick has been getting major run is because of the injuries to Lin and Rondae. In saying that, and though Sean has been balling, the Nets are glad to see Rondae back. But, his minutes will be limited as they monitor and work him back to a full recovery. In his first game back, he only played 17 minutes, but finished with 7 points, 2 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The next game against those same Bucks, with 24 minutes of work, Rondae put up 5 points (1 triple), 9 boards, 3 dimes, 3 steals, and 1 block. Basically, he filled up the stat sheet. This is a prototypical line while his minutes continue to build. At 55% owned, a few people have already taken a chance on him, but i would recommend patience while his minutes continue to trend upward.
Since actuality doesn’t always translate into fantasy relevance, I wanted to highlight some players who should be kept an eye on. These guys are an injury, coaching change, or big game away from impacting on a consistent basis. Mark them on your watch list
Next: Honorable Mentions
Nov 5, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels (32) drives past Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala (31) in the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
K.J. McDaniels-Hou, SF
The young forward is not really seeing a ton of playing time as of late. But, if for any reason Ariza has to miss time with his back issues, K.J. could see more run. The Red Nation loves the kid and would love to see him get more clock, but not at the expense of Ariza’s health.
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Wade Baldwin-Mem, PG
Although Wade is behind Andrew Harrison (see previous slide) on the depth chart, the Grizz are severely short handed and want to develop their young guard. Wade is seeing nearly 20 minutes per game and against the Lakers he was able to finish with 7 points, 2 boards, 9 dimes, 3 steals, and 1 block. The rotation should fix it self once Memphis gets players back, but I am curious to see how this unfolds.
Greg Monroe-Mil, PF/C
Finally Jason Kidd gives this guy some run! But, of course it happens after I dropped him. In the last three games Monroe has played 20 minutes or over and has filled the stat sheet. Seriously, boards, assists, steals, and blocks-everything. No clue what he did to earn his time in Coach Kidd’s doghouse, but glad he’s out. And coincidentally, the Bucks are winning. Even with limited burn, he’s averaging 9.7 points, 6.3 boards, 2.3 dimes, 2.3 steals, and 1 block. At 79% owned, it seems as though I was the only fool who cut him.
Follow Space City Scoop as the Rockets prepare to defend the Toyota Center against the Celtics, Lakers, and the Mavs this week. Let’s go Red Nation!