Ryan Knaus explains how the Rockets' recent hot streak coincides in part with Jae'Sean Tate's expanded role and that the second-year forward's fantasy value is very real.
RYAN KNAUS: The Rockets' recent turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous. A team with one win in their first 17 games has suddenly reeled off six consecutive victories, albeit with recent match-ups against the lowly Magic, Pelicans, and twice versus the Thunder.
The hot streak started in the very same game that saw franchise-pillar rookie, Jalen Green, get injured. And it's also coincided with Christian Wood dominating as a center in small-ball lineups, clearing more room for him to operate in the paint.
Perhaps less obvious, with one notable exception, has been the improved play of second-year forward Jae'Sean Tate. The exception I noted was a career night last Wednesday in which Tate scored 32 points with 10 boards, seven assists, five blocks, and two steals. That fantasy bombshell ensures that he's no longer on the waiver wire in competitive leagues, though he shouldn't have been in the first place.
This is a 26-year-old who made the All-Rookie First Team last year, and who was a reliable fantasy option even late last season. Tate's numbers are up in most areas this year, including points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and a drastic improvement in free-throw shooting from 69% to 78%.
Fantasy managers in eight cat and nine cat leagues, love his ability to rack up defensive stats with some dimes and triples. And points league GMs are also on notice after the aforementioned eruption netted him 71 fantasy points, using Yahoo's default scoring. Whether the Rockets keep winning or their recent hot streak proves to have been a mirage, Tate's fantasy value is very real.