If that video doesn’t get you hype, you’re probably in the wrong place.  The NBA is BACK!  We’ve got three games to wet our appetite tonight before Wednesday’s main course, and I’ve got your DFS needs covered.  Here’s who I like tonight.

*****GAMES*****

Cleveland Cavaliers at Chicago Bulls -4.5, O/U 197

Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks -6.5, O/U 199

New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors -10, O/U 212.5

*****PICKS*****

You should always check the latest injury news and adjust accordingly.

POINT GUARD

Steph Curry (GSW) – $9,500 DK / $10,400 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 34
  • DvP Matchup: Good

It’s Opening Night, he draws a good matchup (I think Nate Robinson will be on him for 10-15 minutes), and his game carries the highest total of the night by 13.5 points.  Only concern might be the game gets a little out of hand given the Warriors are -10.

Mo Williams (CLE) – $4,900 DK / $6,000 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 26
  • DvP Matchup: Good

Williams is filling in for Kyrie tonight, and he should be fairly popular.  We saw what he could do last year during his torrid stretch with Charlotte.  There are two questions you should think about if you’re planning on using him… First, how many minutes is he going to get?  I have him slated for 26, and I think that’s probably close to the median.  How much is playoff sensation Matthew Dellavedova going to play?  I think that number has to be at least 20.  Shumpert is out; will Mo get a few extra minutes at SG with Dellavedova at PG?  Or will those minutes go to James Jones?  Obviously I think he’s a fine play even at only 26 minutes (I’m writing him up after all), but if his number gets close to 30, I think he’s a near must play.  The second question I have is how will he be used in Cleveland’s offense?  LeBron should do most of the ball-handling, and Love tends to pick up the slack when Kyrie is out.  Is he going to stand in the corner or be actively involved?  I tend to think Williams is more of a GPP play, but given his price and minutes, he’s probably okay for cash, too.

SHOOTING GUARD

Klay Thompson (GSW) – $7,200 DK / $7,100 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 33
  • DvP Matchup: Bad

Don’t be too scared by that “bad” matchup tag.  Given the Pelicans’ injury situation, Klay will likely be shadowed by Eric Gordon and Alonzo Gee (but who knows).  Not the most intimidating of defenders.  This is kind of the same deal as Steph… it’s a decent matchup in a high-total game.  But with Klay, you’re getting a $2-3k discount at a position with far less depth.  I love his price on FD, but his price on DK is also more than fair.

Eric Gordon (NOP) – $5,200 DK / $5,200 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 34
  • DvP Matchup: Bad

Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole are out plus Jrue Holiday is allegedly going to play no more than 15 minutes (though I suspect that number will end up closer to 20).  Last year when Evans and Jrue were out/limited, a lot of the ball-handling duties were delegated to Gordon.

Screenshot (41)

Screenshot (40)

With Tyreke out, Gordon got up 2 more shots and doled out 2.2 more assists per game.  Once Jrue hits the bench, the offense should run a little more through Gordon than usual, and $5,200 is a great price given his potential opportunity tonight.

SMALL FORWARD

LeBron James (CLE) – $9,800 DK / $11,000 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 36
  • DvP Matchup: GREAT

Everyone knows what they’re getting when they roster LeBron, so I won’t waste too much of your time.  Just a couple things to consider…  Kyrie is out, and LeBron saw a 5% bump in fantasy production when Kyrie missed time last year.  Also, it’s Opening Night and President Obama will be in the house.  So the King probably has a little extra motivation to show out.

Marcus Morris (DET) – $4,500 DK / $5,700 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 28
  • DvP Matchup: Good

The Morrises have been disjoined.  They had a little bit of “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” going on in Phoenix, so I’m interested to see how Marcus performs in Detroit.  I think he’ll be fine.  He does a little bit of everything, and I like that.  I’m expecting him to get up 5+ 3PA.  Couple that with his ability to fill up a box score, and he’s got the upside you’re looking for in GPPs.  If you prefer Curry and/or Davis to Lebron tonight, Morris is definitely the way to go on DK; and if you’re playing on FD, I think you have to use two of LeBron, Mirotic, or Marcus at SF.

POWER FORWARD

Anthony Davis (NOP) – $10,400 DK / $11,200 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 36
  • DvP Matchup: Good

He’s the best player in the game with the highest total.  New Orleans is playing with a depleted roster, especially up front, so he should have plenty of opportunity.  I think his O/U on DK could honestly be set around 55-60 points.  So yeah… I like him tonight.

Paul Millsap (ATL) – $7,700 DK / $7,700 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 34
  • DvP Matchup: GREAT

I LOVE the Atlanta frontcourt tonight.  The Pistons were the worst in the league against bigs last season, and there’s no reason that should change going forward.  DeMarre Carroll packed his bags and shipped off to Toronto, and I think that bumps up Millsap and Horford’s fantasy production a little.  Millsap is another guy whose price is fair on DK but GREAT on FD.

Kevin Love (CLE) – $7,500 DK / $7,200 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 32
  • DvP Matchup: AWFUL

It’s not the best matchup for Love.  Mirotic is starting at PF for the Bulls, which means Love will spend some of his time covering Nik on the perimeter.  That’s death for his rebounding numbers.  However, Love should be able to absolutely destroy Mirotic on the other end.  So there’s that.  Also, Anderson Varejao has returned to the rotation, and there’s only so many minutes to go around.  For this game, I think Love’s minutes are safe with Tristan Thompson missing most of training camp and Andy still being a little hobbled.  Just something to keep in mind going forward.

The reason I like Love tonight is simple, and it can be explained in the two charts that follow.

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Screenshot (38)

Despite playing less than a minute more, Love took 4.6 more shots per game with Kyrie out (and 2.1 more threes).  LeBron’s numbers see a little uptick when Kyrie misses, but the real beneficiary is Love.  Look for him to shoulder more of the offensive load and have a nice game.  His price is reasonable on DK, but it’s great on FD.  You can use him on either site.

Ryan Anderson (NOP) – $5,000 DK / $5,400 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 32
  • DvP Matchup: Good

Anderson should be one of your building blocks tonight.  The Pelicans’ only healthy center is Kendrick Perkins, so AD should slide over and spend a fair amount of his time at C.  That will free up minutes for Anderson.  He should see at least 30.  Also, with Tyreke out and Jrue limited, Anderson should carry more of the load on offense.  Great price, loads of opportunity, and ample talent.  Use him.

CENTER

Al Horford (ATL) – $7,300 DK / $7,200 FD

  • Projected Minutes: 33
  • DvP Matchup: GREAT

As I’ve already mentioned, I’m all-in on the Hawks’ frontcourt tonight.  Given Drummond’s proclivity for blocks, you’d think Detroit would do at least a fair job protecting the paint, but that simply wasn’t the case last year.  I love his price.  It’s becoming a trend, but I like him more on FD than DK.  That said, I’m using him everywhere.

*****SITE SPECIFIC PLAYS*****

DRAFTKINGS

PG Derrick Rose (CHI) $6,500

  • GPP ONLY
  • Projected Minutes: 32
  • DvP Matchup: Neutral

If you believe reports, he might see only 20-25 minutes tonight.  Obviously, I disagree.  His price is just too good to ignore on DK given his upside.

FANDUEL

SG Jimmy Butler (CHI) $7,500

  • Projected Minutes: 36
  • DvP Matchup: Good

All of the Bulls seem to be a little underpriced on FD.  Like I previously alluded to, Fred Hoiberg claims he’s going to cut the starters’ minutes this year.  We shall see.  On a site where you have to roster two SGs and given his reasonable price, Jimmy Butler is definitely in play.

SF Nikola Mirotic (CHI) – $5,500

  • Projected Minutes: 32
  • DvP Matchup: Bad

The only reason you wouldn’t use Nik on FD is you’ve locked in LeBron and you favor Marcus Morris.  He’s going to get 30 minutes and will be covered primarily by Kevin Love.  He only needs 27.5 FD points to pay off value, and I think that’s a fairly safe bet tonight.

PF Paul Gasol (CHI) $7,900

  • Projected Minutes: 32
  • DvP Matchup: AWFUL

Joakim Noah will start 2015-16 by coming off the bench, so Pau will shift over to C.  Mirotic will be spending a lot of time floating around the perimeter tonight; leaving Pau all the rebounds.  Mozgov and Varejao are pretty tough inside, so wouldn’t fault you for looking elsewhere.

PF Ersan Ilyasova (DET) $5,200

  • Projected Minutes: 28
  • DvP Matchup: Bad

He’s a perfect fit in Stan Van Gundy’s system.  He will get minutes and ample opportunity to chuck from three.  His price is great, and he has enough upside to use in GPP.

C Joakim Noah (CHI) $5,700

  • Projected Minutes: 26
  • DvP Matchup: Bad

Purely a price play.  He has triple-double potential, but will he get enough minutes?

C Tiago Splitter (ATL) $4,000

  • Projected Minutes: 22
  • DvP Matchup: GREAT

Like Noah, it’s a price play.  I am curious to see how the Atlanta frontcourt minutes situation shakes out.  I have Tiago down for 22 minutes, but I could easily see him getting more or less.  He’s capable of playing with Horford, so I’m optimistic.  If you’re looking to fit in two or three of Steph, LeBron, and AD, Splitter wouldn’t be a bad play.

Good luck tonight!

oreo

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