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 Kickoff Contest (MEM vs. LAL)

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 DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.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.




As much as I love Zion Williamson ($10,200), I don’t think he should be the highest priced player in this game. Both Brandon Ingram ($15,000 CP/$10,000) and Jrue Holiday ($14,700 CP/$9,800) average a decent amount more DKFP per game. We also run the risk of drawing one of Zion’s first games when he had a minutes restriction. Williamson is averaging 36.91 DKFP per game compared to 41.76 DKFP per game for Ingram and 40.82 DKFP for Holiday. I am looking at Ingram or Holiday as the preferred choices for captain. Since there aren’t many super expensive players in this game, rostering both Holiday and Ingram is viable.

The easiest player for me to fade from the Pelicans is J.J. Redick ($6,400). He’s oddly priced at a really high salary despite not having many big games this season. He averages 23.03 DKFP per game, making Redick the worst per dollar play in the game. It doesn’t make much sense for him to be $600 more expensive than Lonzo Ball ($6,000), who averages greater than 11 DKFP more than Redick. Ball is an upside play at his salary, but a bit risky if we draw one of his games from December.

The best value play from the Pelicans is Derrick Favors ($3,400). His playing time has waned since Zion has returned, but his per game average is still solid. Favors scores 27.1 DKFP per game, which is a much better scoring average than the players priced around him. Favors has more games with over 30 DKFP than games below 20 DKFP, so his odds of success at this salary are pretty high.


The top fantasy player on the Grizzlies this season has been Jonas Valanciunas ($7,600). He’s averaging a team-best 34.76 DKFP despite being priced considerable cheaper than Ja Morant ($9,000), who averages 33.97 DKFP. JV is a bit too cheap while Morant is a bit too expensive. Morant is about the same price as the Pelicans’ starters and all of them have been better fantasy producers this season. Even though Morant has been great lately, his season got off to a bit of a slow start. In his first 29 games, he only scored over 40 DKFP seven times, so drawing one of his games from the first couple months of the season could sink a lineup.

Gorgui Dieng ($4,200) is a boom or bust play with upside. He’s started 17 games this season and averaged 32.19 DKFP in those games. He had a great run when he was with the Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Towns was injured. Unfortunately, drawing any game where he comes off the bench is probably going to mean he busts. As a reserve, Dieng is only averaging 15.29 DKFP. If you want to roll the dice, there is certainly cause to roster Dieng and I doubt many people will be on him.

At close to min price, there is a pretty good chance of getting a solid game out of Josh Jackson ($1,400). He’s played well since getting called up to the Grizzlies from the G-League and hasn’t had many poor games. He’s scored over 13 DKFP in 14 of his 18 games in the NBA, which is all we really need from him at this salary. Jackson has scored over 20 DKFP in more games than he’s gone under that mark.

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) 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.