Fantasy basketball advice and projections for Opening Night

ByESPN Fantasy ESPN logo
Tuesday, October 24, 2023

ESPN's fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN's proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. Fantasy advice is based on ESPN 10-team leagues.

New this season, ESPN Analytics will generate daily NBA fantasy projections. By combining historical player and team data and specific game factors ESPN is able to accurately predict player box score stats. Accounting for injuries, trends in playing time, and other factors impacting future performance the statistical models can be used to help NBA fantasy players gain an edge in their league.

What you need to know for Tuesday's games

Memes and hoops dreams are back. The wait is over, real NBA action ensues after another busy offseason rife with superstars (i.e., Damian Lillard), stars (Bradley Beal), and specialists (Marcus Smart) shifting addresses. The dust hasn't settled with so many new-look schemes and rotations, which means we need to relearn the league's altered landscape.

Tuesday's two-game slate is the appetizer for Wednesday's stacked schedule. Even though it's a limited player pool for DFS and streaming candidates, the matchups couldn't be more marquee or meaningful. The night begins with a revenge narrative; the Los Angeles Lakers in Colorado to face the reigning champion Denver Nuggets. A series of offseason barbs between these two squads drives anticipation for a game that has Denver positioned as fairly sizable favorites.

This matchup bears some telling outcomes: Can anyone slow down Nikola Jokic? It's safe to assume not. I'm most interested in how Michael Porter Jr. looks to open the campaign, especially as he has been somewhat of an afterthought in most fantasy formats.

Can LeBron James sustain his ageless high-end production? What willAustin Reavesand the Lakers' complementary crew look like on this stage? Questions abound.

Arguably just as fun is this tilt in San Francisco between the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors in a game that oddsmakers deems too close to call as the spread approaches a pick on most books. Craving more narratives? We got you. Chris Paul faces his former team while playing for his former nemesis. Stephen Curry andKlay Thompsonbring continuity to the court, while we've still barely seen Kevin Durant and Beal align with the new-look Suns.

Enjoy the games, you've earned it.

-- Jim McCormick

Tuesday's Stream Team

This segment nominates three key streaming options ahead of that day's action. A streamer, by our standards, is a player available in at least half of ESPN men's fantasy basketball leagues.

Jonathan Kuminga, Warriors (Rostered in 30% of ESPN leagues): Possibly lost in the build-up to this Warriors season is the potential leap Kuminga could make; he's had a brilliant preseason playing more minutes given Draymond Green's ankle injury. Green, after all, has been ruled out ahead of tonight's action.

Rui Hachimura, Lakers (20.3%): The Lakers suddenly have a collective of athletic 'tweeners between Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Christian Wood. Here's the thing; Vanbderbilt opens the season sidelined by a heel injury, which could vault Hachimura, who matches up with Aaron Gordon's skill set, into an important spot role this evening.

Nassir Little, Suns (0.5%): This a deep cut aimed at, well, deep leagues. There's also some DFS juice to consider with Little, who could surface as a big part of the team's rotation. A top-heavy roster has made the Suns target a number of upside-driven prospects such as Little. If preseason tea leaves mean anything, Little's bounce and confidence could earn him minutes.

Projections and Analytics

BPI and fantasy projections powered by ESPN Analytics. Players available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues are listed in italics.

7:30 p.m ET,Ball Arena, Denver

Injury Report:

Lakers: Jalen Hood-Schifino, (Out - Knee); Jarred Vanderbilt, (Out - Heel)

Nuggets: None reported

Note: Projections account for players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Lakers projections:

  • LeBron James, SF/PF: 47.9 FPTS (25.0 pts, 7.9 reb, 6.1 ast, 2.0 3PM)
  • Anthony Davis, PF/C: 41.4 FPTS (23.0 pts, 12.1 reb, 2.2 ast, 2.0 blk)
  • D'Angelo Russell, PG/SG: 24.6 FPTS (12.9 pts, 2.7 reb, 3.8 ast, 2.1 3PM)
  • Austin Reaves, SG/SF: 23.0 FPTS (11.8 pts, 3.2 reb, 2.9 ast)
  • Gabe Vincent, PG: 19.1 FPTS (10.2 pts, 2.0 reb, 1.8 ast, 1.9 3PM)
  • Rui Hachimura, SF/PF: 16.7 FPTS (9.1 pts, 3.2 reb, 0.9 ast)
  • Cam Reddish, SG/SF: 15.5 FPTS (8.9 pts, 2.2 reb, 1.3 ast)

Nuggets projections:

10 p.m ET,Chase Center, San Francisco

Injury Report:

Suns: Bradley Beal, (GTD - Back); Devin Booker, (GTD - Toe); Damion Lee, (OUT - Knee); Ish Wainright, (GTD - Calf)

Warriors: Draymond Green, (O - Ankle)

Note: Projections account for players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Suns projections:

Warriors projections:

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