Cover Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images


The Boston Celtics got off to a spectacular start Tuesday on opening night against the Philadelphia 76ers, as a full-strength Boston squad easily won, 105-87, to start the year.


The Celtics finally got a full game out of Gordon Hayward, about a year after he suffered a gruesome leg injury just five minutes into his first start with the team. Hayward put up 10 points, five rebounds, and four steals in about 25 minutes and while his shooting looked a little rusty, it was nice to see him out there.


Meanwhile, his teammate Jayson Tatum lit up the floor once again, scoring 23 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while also banking a jumper over Joel Embiid with a stare-down to follow. So with both players now in the lineup, who's the better fantasy play overall?

Since it's early in the year, let's look at each players averages from their last healthy season:

Tatum (2017-18): 13.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, 1.4 turnovers

Hayward (2016-17): 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.3 blocks, 1.9 turnovers


Looking at these stats, they're fairly equal in most categories, with Hayward's Utah Jazz numbers taking the biggest advantage in scoring. However, Tatum has shown he's a high-volume scorer and has come on greatly since the playoffs last year.


If we just used Tatum's 2018 playoffs numbers alone, he'd be averaging 18.5 points per game, which puts him right up with Hayward scoring wise. Also, Hayward surely won't have as much opportunity to score for the Celtics as he did for the Jazz in 2016-17.


Honestly, this matchup is almost too close to call, but by the slightest of margins, it goes to Tatum, only because Hayward is still recovering from his injury. And while Hayward may be physically ready to play, it takes a while for a player to get back to a true 100 percent.


For now, I'd rather have Tatum in my lineup.


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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.