With real basketball currently on hiatus, DraftKings is launching simulated basketball games! Take note of the rules since this contest doesn’t work like any other contest we have had before.

How does Simulated Basketball work?

DraftKings will choose an NBA matchup and prior to each game, entrants can draft free DFS Showdown lineups for the upcoming simulated game. Lineups will receive fantasy points for a player’s performance within a randomly-assigned game earlier this season (any game from the 2019-20 season is eligible, not just the specific Showdown matchup listed above).

Set your free to play lineups here: $5K Simulated Basketball Free Contest (MIL vs. TOR)

How does Simulated Basketball scoring work?

All lineups will receive points for the performance of their players in a specific game from the 2019-20 season. Each individual player will be randomly assigned stats from a single game in the 2019-20 season prior to the contest going live. Points will be revealed per player as the game moves along. Players will receive points in accordance with our single-game NBA Showdown Captain Mode rules and scoring.

Which players are eligible in the player pool?

Players who have played in at least 15 games in the 2019-20 season are eligible to be drafted.

What do I get if I win?

Every free contest will award DK Dollars that can be used to enter DFS contests.

What are DK Dollars?

DK Dollars act just like cash and can be used to enter any daily fantasy contest on DraftKings. DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.

Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.



Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are the first team back for a second simulated contest as they take on another top team in the East after beating the Lakers in a simulated game on Saturday. Obviously, their top fantasy producer is Giannis Antetokounmpo ($13,000), who has averaged an amazing 59.82 DKFP and has 52 double-doubles in his 57 games this season. He has over 50 DKFP in 48 of those 57 contests and at least 60 DKFP in 28 games, which is 49% of his contests.

In the first simulated game the Bucks played, Khris Middleton ($10,000) upstaged his bigger star teammate and hit for his biggest total of the season. However, that has no bearing at all on this simulated game since it will just be another randomly assigned game total. He is averaging a solid 37.15 DKFP in his 55 games, but the chances are slim that he’d hit a monster number for a second straight sim game.

Of the other starters, Brook Lopez ($5,200) is a much better play for his salary, averaging 25.43 DKFP per game than Eric Bledsoe ($8,000), who is a little over-priced for his 31.25 DKFP average. Bledsoe has had a couple of big games but Lopez has been the steadier performer.

As far as value options go, Donte DiVincenzo ($4,800) offers some nice salary relief and is averaging 22.42 DKFP. Ersan Ilyasova ($3,400) could easily end up as the best value play of the game if his stat line is pulled from a game when he filled in for Giannis. He has averaged 15.63 DKFP but has over 29 DKFP six times in 56 games, giving him a 10.7% chance of returning a monster game. He’s a little riskier than DiVincenzo but his ceiling is tantalizing.

If you need to dig even deeper for a punt play, Pat Connaughton ($1,800) is averaging 14.3 DKFP, which isn’t far off from the more-expensive Ilyasova’s average, but he has much less potential to go off like Ilyasova has. He’s a solid steady play, though, from under $2K.

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors, as a whole, are a very volatile bunch since they have dealt with so many injuries this year. When key players are out, some of the more fringe players step into much larger roles and produce much higher DKFP than their typical levels. As a result, there’s a wider span of results for some less expensive plays like Terence Davis ($4,000) and Chris Boucher ($3,000). If the game selected happens to be one where they had extra run, they have a very high ceiling but their average outputs are a little less than their counterparts on the Bucks.

The stalwarts for the Raptors have definitely been Pascal Siakam ($10,400) and Kyle Lowry ($9,000), who have averaged 42.02 DKFP and 40.6 DKFP, respectively. For the money, Lowry is a little better option, especially when compared to Fred VanVleet ($8,600), who has averaged 36.85 DKFP in his 48 games. All three are fairly solid and better plays than Bledsoe or Middleton, but Lowry does seem set up to be the best play from the top options.

Norman Powell ($5,800) also offers nice production from his price point, averaging 27.43 DKFP, making him a little better play for his pay than Serge Ibaka ($7,000)OG Anunoby ($4,400) has definitely had some big games but is averaging 24.1 DKFP which is almost the exact same as Marc Gasol ($1,600), who is a great value for his 24.07 average. Gasol has been sidelined for so long with his hamstring injury that people may sleep on the big man and forget his solid production from early in the season. He’s by far the best bargain play on the board and has a higher average than Boucher, Davis, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($3,200), DiVincenzo and George Hill ($4,200).


While Antetokounmpo ($19,500 CP) is the surest thing in this matchup, his salary in the captain’s slot will leave you stretched thin across the rest of your roster. With value plays like Gasol, Ilyasova and Connaughton, it’s definitely possible to make the Greek Freak work in your top spot, though. If you want a more balanced lineup, Lowry ($13,500 CP) gives you the ability to still roster several other top players. If you’re swinging for the fences, you could even consider a cheap captain like Davis ($6,000 CP) or Boucher ($4,500 CP) and hope you get one of their good games. There’s even a fun roster construction taking advantage of Gasol ($2,400 CP) in the captain’s spot and stuffing the rest of your utility spots with the rest of the stars. Of all the different options, Lowry is my favorite captain’s pick since he’s the best balance of upside and consistency.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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