Analyzing our Houston Rockets and other players around the league to help make the most of your fantasy team for the week of Nov 28th
Red Nations Fantasy Summit
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James Harden and the Houston Rockets rolled this week while setting an NBA record for attempts from beyond the arc. Against the Kings, the Rockets connected on 21 of their record 50 shots from three point land. This year’s squad has more depth and definitely more firepower, as evidenced by the 16 straight games in which they have made at least 10 threes.
The fireworks continued on the second game of their five game road trip as Houston lit up the Blazers for a decisive victory. In Portland, Harden dropped 38 points, 10 dimes, 2 steals, and 1 block.
Most importantly, in the last two victories Harden has only committed 5 turnovers. A steep contrast to the game against Toronto where he had 12 turnovers. Even in the lackluster loss, the Beard was able to dish 15 assists. The Rockets are still a “work in progress”, but seem to be making strides towards the team they want to be.
The Rockets play three games this week against the Jazz, Warriors, and Nuggets. From a fan’s perspective, I’m most excited to see the game against the Warriors. It will be an early test to see where our guys stack up against one of the top teams in the league. Now, 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…
It’s easy to see the correlation between the defensive stalwart’s play and the Rockets early success. After putting up a double/double (18 points/10 rebounds) against Sacramento and 18 points (4 triples) against the Blazers, the offense seems to click specifically when Ariza contributes early.
From a fantasy standpoint, he usually starts the season out slow and builds up steam as the season progresses, but he has started this season on fire. Currently averaging 15 points (4.3 triples), 5 boards, 3 dimes, 1.5 steals per game. Trevor is rewarding his owners with top 30 value and sits among the top five steal leaders.
Eric Gordon-Houston, Shooting Guard
The move to the bench for Gordon hasn’t been an easy transition. Prior to him torching the Blazers for 26 points (6 triples), Gordon has struggled finding his rhythm. However, his defense has improved and is currently averaging at least 1 steal per game. Along with the steals, Gordon is averaging 12.3 points (2.8 triples), 2.3 boards, 2.3 dimes, and nearly 1 block per game. A shooting slump is to be expected, but the offense and his off the ball movement, gets him plenty of open looks.
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.
While injuries can decimate a team, it can also provide “unproven” players a chance to carve out more playing time. In recent games Murray is averaging 19 points, 5.3 boards, 1.8 dimes, and nearly 1 steal/block.
Although foul trouble against the Suns limited his productivity, injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton, give Murray plenty of opportunities.
Currently only 54% owned, he needs to be picked up immediately. Even when the Nuggets get healthy, Murray’s hot streak has allowed him to retain value.
Tim Frazier-New Orleans, Point Guard
With injuries to Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans had to adjust their line ups. Tim was given a chance with the starting group and he responded well. In the game against the Hawks he dropped 21 points (3 triples), 5 boards, 14 dimes, and 3 steals.
Now with Holiday back and eventually taking the starting job back from Tim, the Pelicans have been running both guards together. Frazier is still playing over 30 minutes per game and this is expected to continue, at least until Evans is ready to go.
There is no current timetable for Evans and when he does return ,he will more than likely be on a minutes restriction. Until then, Frazier is a recommended pick up.
Currently averaging 12.8 points (1.5 triples), 3 boards, 8 dimes, and 1.3 steals per game. Only 74% owned.
Oct 21, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Frank Kaminsky III (44) looks on during the first quarter against thes Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Frank Kaminsky-Charlotte, Power Forward/Center
Since the loss against the Grizzlies, Frank “The Tank” hasn’t played less than 30 minutes per game. Even in minimal minutes though, he was able to score 23 points (3 triples), 1 steal, and 3 blocks. Against the Knicks he got more significant run and dropped 14 points (2 triples), 5 boards, and 3 dimes.
Filling in for the injured Marvin Williams, who is out at least one more week, Kaminsky’s value is trending upward. With current averages of 15.8 points (1.8 triples), 5.5 boards, 3 dimes, and nearly 1 block per game, he is expected to challenge Williams for the starting job. Only 39% owned, he definitely should be picked up in all leagues.
Maurice Harkless-Portland, Small Forward
Against the Pelicans, Harkless had arguably one of his better games of the season. The young forward was able to put up his first double/double of the season, with 19 points (1 triple), 11 boards, 1 dime, and 1 steal. He has now scored in double digits for the last seven games and is playing over 30 minutes per game. Curiously, Harkless is only 50% owned while averaging 15.8 points (1.3 triples), 7.3 boards, 1.8 steals, and nearly 1 block.
Since actuality doesn’t always translate to 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.
Now and again, a player will welcome trade talks in hopes of being shipped out of town right away. Monroe found himself in Coach Kidd’s doghouse and slowly saw his playing time shrink to single digits. Before the game against the Magic, he was playing less than five minutes per game. Monroe is a talent in this league, but with his inconsistent playing time and ever changing line ups, he is a tough player to own.
Having scored in double digits in four of the last five games, it looks like Turner is finding his niche with the Blazers. Against the Nets, he was able to score 19 points, 4 boards, 4 dimes, and 1 steal. Turner states he’s finally feeling comfortable in the offense, but his shooting still leaves something to be desired.
This former Rocket seems to have finally found his shooting stroke. Patterson has scored in double digits in three of the last four games. His minutes are steady and if he can continue to knock down the open looks he gets, he will be an asset to Toronto and fantasy owners.
Sam Dekker-Houston, Small Forward
Just as with Capela, seeing Dekk grow and evolve as a player is beyond entertaining. His slashes to the goal, three point shooting, and growing confidence make him a Red Nation favorite. “Triple Dekk” scored a career high against the Pistons and his array of moves were on display. As fans, we cant wait to see how high Dekk’s ceiling is.
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