DraftKings Fantasy Outlook: December 2015

by Adam Wexler – Houston TV and Radio Personality

Mavericks at Rockets, Fri., Dec. 4

In the first meeting b/w these teams, a depleted Mavericks group scored 110 points, led by Raymond Felton and Charlie Villanueva, who each made 8-of-16 shots and combined for 42 points. The Rockets were without Dwight Howard and while Zaza Pachulia is one player willing to mix it up with Howard, the combination of Howard and Capela is a duo to watch, big rebounding games could be had.

Kings at Rockets, Sat., Dec. 5 Rockets at Kings, Tue., Dec. 15

In James Harden’s last 5 games against the Kings, he’s scored 43, 26, 44, 51 and this season 43 points. He’s also had at least 8 assists in four of those 5 games. DeMarcus Cousins had a triple-double in his last game against Housto: 24 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists. He also recorded 6 blocks.

Rockets at Nets, Tue., Dec. 8

The Nets are the worst 3-point shooting team in the NBA, and as a result they shoot the fewest 3-pointers per game in the league. Their best night shooting 3-pointers this season came against Houston in their first meeting, when the Nets went 8-of-17. This could possibly be one of the least statistically pleasing games of the season.

Rockets at Wizards, Wed., Dec. 9

Houston has struggled against the Eastern Conference this season and the Wizards are a team that likes to push the pace. John Wall has had ten or more assists in five straight games against Houston and posted the second highest scoring game of his career against them in 2012 when he poured in 38 points. The Rockets interior duo of Howard and Capela have a distinct advantage in the paint.

Lakers at Rockets, Sat., Dec. 12 Rockets at Lakers, Thu., Dec. 17

The Rockets always shoot a lot of 3-pointers, but the last time these teams met, Houston launched 44 of them. The Lakers are among the worst teams in forcing turnovers and allowing assists. James Harden against Kobe Bryant at the two-guard spot could yield 50 shot attempts between them.

Rockets at Nuggets, Mon., Dec. 14

Danilo Gallinari has played well in two meetings against Houston already in 2015, two of his six games with more than 20 points this season have come against the Rockets. He’s made 14-of-26 shots and 6-of-9 3-pointers. Kenneth Faried is averaging 16 points and ten rebounds against Houston this season. Terrence Jones had his best game of the season in the second meeting between these two teams, with 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting. He also had seven rebounds and tallied four blocked shots.

Clippers at Rockets, Sat., Dec. 19

The Rockets, like most teams, have struggled to slow down Blake Griffin. Griffin has popped for 30 or more against the Rockets in two of their last 3 meetings and he also did that twice in the seven game playoff series last season. DeAndre Jordan had a pair of 20-rebound efforts against the Rockets during the regular season in 2014-15, had 19 in another. Harden poured in 46 points on just 26 shots against the Clippers in the Rockets 109-105 victory in Los Angeles earlier this season.

Hornets at Rockets, Mon., Dec. 21

These are not your same old Hornets, that struggle to score and play with no pace. They are the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference, sixth overall. Heading into this season, Kemba Walker was shooting under 40 percent from the floor for his career and 32 percent on 3-pointers. This season he’s shooting 46 percent from the floor and 40 percent on 3-pointers. Nicolas Batum has been filling up the stat sheet, with 17 points, six rebounds and nearly five assists per game.

Rockets at Magic, Wed., Dec. 23

Victor Oladipo is a tough matchup for the Rockets and could be in line to post strong numbers across the board. Two of his career games with 29 points or more have come against Houston. Evan Fournier has become a vital part of the Magic offense and will likely get off a good number of 3-pointers in this game. Dwight Howard made all 10 of his shots and grabbed 14 rebounds against Orlando in the Rockets overtime win earlier this season. The Rockets could struggle from the perimeter against the Magic, who are one of the better defensive teams against the 3-pointer.

Spurs at Rockets, Fri., Dec. 25

In addition to being one of the premier defensive players in the league, Kawhi Leonard has now become a dynamic offensive threat. Danny Green can go hot or cold but seems to be hot more often than not against the Rockets. Harden struggled in two April meetings against the Spurs making just 11-of-34 shots and averaged just 18 points per game in those two Rockets losses but Houston did make nearly 39 percent of their 3-pointers against San Antonio last season.

Rockets at Pelicans, Sat., Dec. 26

Obviously, Anthony Davis is a stat-stuffer. Even as the Pelicans have struggled he’s going to get his. Tyreke Evans also returns from injury to face the Rockets, whom he played very well against last season, averaging 20.3 points per game, while shooting 57%. Very quietly, the former Kings point guard has posted 7.7 assists per game, good for 6th in the league. The Pelicans, like the Rockets, have been among the easiest teams to make shots against. Both are in the bottom five when it comes to field goal percentage allowed.

Hawks at Rockets, Tue., Dec. 29

The Rockets and Hawks are both in the top half of the league in pace and usually their matchups produce good offensive basketball. Jeff Teague had not played well against Houston over his career until their most recent meeting last March, when he hit the Rockets for 25 points and six assists. The Hawks strength up front with Al Horford and Paul Millsap has created matchup problems in the past for Houston.

Warriors at Rockets, Thu., Dec. 31

Steph Curry has been the most prolific offensive player in the league this season and has been very successful against the Rockets in recent contests. Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli more than hold their own against Dwight Howard on the inside and Draymond Green is a box score filler. The nets at Toyota Center will likely get worked over in this final game of 2015.