Plays of the Day
Value: While Celtics HC Brad Stevens is often reluctant to play rookies extensive minutes, No. 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum is no normal rookie. The path is clear for him to log significant run in his NBA debut with Marcus Morris (knee) already ruled out.
Fade: Either Chris Paul or James Harden will suffer statistically from playing with each other and both are very risky in a tough matchup against the defending champion Warriors. Fade Harden at $11k on FanDuel and CP3 on DK.
- Golden State Warriors (-9.5) hosting Houston Rockets (Over/Under = 231.5)
- Cleveland Cavs (-3.5) hosting Boston Celtics (Over/Under = 212.5)
Stephen Curry (GSW) vs. HOU DK:$8,800/FD:$9,700
Curry is a relative bargain on DK and really has been since Kevin Durant donned a Warriors uniform last year. Yet he’s coming off another extremely efficient season in which he shot 46.8% from the floor and posted a .580 effective field goal percentage while hitting 324 threes. The 0.5-point bonus for every 3PTM on DK is obviously a big bonus for Steph and he should get a full slate of playing time with Houston bringing in CP3 and looking to challenge the Warriors this year. Curry averaged 31.5 PPG and 7 APG while shooting an absurd 55% from the floor over 4 meetings against Paul in a Clippers uniform last year and he’s always a dynamic threat at Oracle Arena.
Kyrie Irving (BOS) @ CLE DK:$8,300/FD:$8,200
All eyes will be on Kyrie tonight in his immediate return to Cleveland and apparently that’s how he likes it. The best ball handler in the NBA will probably make mincemeat out of Derrick Rose and/or Dwayne Wade early on before LeBron James potentially shifts over to guard him in crunchtime. Yet we can expect heavy output from Irving in his Celtics debut considering he posted a 38.7% Usage Rate with LeBron off the floor last season. Cleveland ranked 21st in defensive efficiency last year and only got older in the backcourt this offseason.
Marcus Smart ($4800/$5300) should log heavy minutes alongside Kyrie and Gordon Hayward as the Celtics best wing defender.
Derrick Rose ($5000/$5500) has the potential for a redemptive season with LeBron and Kevin Love drawing the defense and opening up more driving lanes for him.
Eric Gordon (HOU) @ GSW DK:$4,600/FD:$5,200
No, this is not an error in which we recommended the wrong Rockets SG, simply a strategy to fade James Harden at his lofty price tag as he learns to play with Chris Paul on the fly in a hostile environment. Gordon shot just 9-of-30 from three over 4 meetings with the Warriors last year, but revamped his shot this offseason and looked even more lethal from downtown during the preseason as a result. He’ll definitely pay off if he can knock down his looks in what should be a shootout in the Bay tonight.
Jaylen Brown (BOS) @ CLE DK:$3,700/FD:$3,700
The Celtics offer a bevy of value plays at the wing position and there’s more clarity in that regard with Marcus Morris already ruled out for their first few games. Brad Stevens has shown a hesitancy to play rookies extensive minutes, but now that Brown has some NBA experience he should remain in the rotation and could even start against LeBron and the Cavs. He’s established a solid floor with per 36 averages of 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.4 STL/BLK last year, and the sky is the limit for Jaylen in terms of upside.
Dwayne Wade ($5200/$6000) can’t be trusted all season, but he should show up for big games, including the Cavs opener against rival Boston.
Klay Thompson ($6200/$6800) will need to catch fire to exceed value since he provides very little peripheral stats, but he’s certainly capable of going off at any time.
LeBron James (CLE) vs. BOS DK:$10,200/FD:$10,400
There is essentially no chance LeBron misses the season opener against Kyrie Irving and his newest blood rival with an ankle injury, but hopefully that questionable tag will lower his ownership rate. Expect LBJ to cover Kyrie at times, to rip through the Celtics promising (but still young) combination of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, and put the first exhibit of his MVP campaign on tap while leading the Cavs to a home win on Opening Night. He stepped up against the Celtics to average 29.4 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 8.1 APG and 3.0 STL/BLK per game over 9 contests including the regular season and playoffs last year, and remains slighty under priced because of his reputation for taking games off.
Jayson Tatum ($3900/$3500) should start for the Celtics with Marcus Morris out and he’s looked NBA-ready thus far.
Of course Kevin Durant ($9600/$9800) is a premier play in any format in a fast-paced matchup against Houston.
Kevin Love (CLE) vs. BOS: DK:$7,800/FD:$7,000
Love is expected to see more usage this year with Kyrie Irving gone and Isaiah Thomas (hip) several months away from seeing the court. More importantly, he’s expected to see a lot more action at the 5, where he can exploit slower big men and use his potent shooting to keep the Cavs offense rolling. That might not be too easy against Al Horford and the Celtics, but posting a double double should be against a team that ranked 22nd in total rebounding last year and has given up the fifth-most RPG (12.68) to opposing PFs over the last two seasons.
Jae Crowder ($4300/$4500) will be highly motivated to stick it to his former team tonight.
Perhaps Draymond Green ($7000/$8300) will be overlooked because of his back injury, and produce one of his quintessential stat-stuffing lines.
Clint Capela (HOU) @ GSW: DK:$5,600/FD:$6,000
The options are limited at this position on a two-game slate, especially on FanDuel, where Capela stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of safety. Al Horford has struggled to produce meaningful stat lines and the Warriors often go with center-less lineups, but Capela is versatile enough to stay on the floor for Houston and eat glass in a fast-paced matchup. The Dubs have allowed opposing centers to grab 15.28 RPG and score an above average 21.39 PPG over the past two seasons due in part to their pace and Capela produced 29 points and 20 boards over his last 2 meetings with the Warriors. Plus, now he has two partners in the PnR who will throw him perfect lobs to finish.
Tristan Thompson ($3900/$5200) should still see plenty of run for the Cavs and he could really exploit the Celtics rebounding weakness.
If Aron Baynes ($3300/$3200) is cleared to play through a knee injury tonight he’ll be worth a look as a punt.