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. Here, we will focus on Saturday’s free simulated game between the Lakers and Blazers, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Set your FREE to play lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (LAL vs POR)

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).

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 DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.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.



Los Angeles Lakers

For Captain’s Pick, LeBron James ($17,100 CP; $11,400) is my favorite choice. Anthony Davis ($16,500 CP; $11,000) isn’t a bad option, but LeBron is the better fantasy producer and we typically see a bigger price gap between the two. James averages 55.77 DKFP per game, with AD sitting at 51.06 DKFP per game. On a per game basis, these are the two highest scoring players in this game, which is usually the case whenever the Lakers are in a simulated contest.

Rajon Rondo ($2,800) is cheap and averages 19.61 DKFP with upside. His game log is a bit inconsistent, but if he happens to draw one of his games where LeBron sat, he is going to be the top value from this game. In the three games that LeBron missed this season, Rondo moved into the starting lineup and averaged 35.83 DKFP. He’s scored over 30 DKFP in six games this season. Rondo has been a frequent target for me in these simulated contests since he’s always one of the cheapest players on the Lakers despite his upside. There aren’t any cheap players in this game with anywhere near the ceiling that Rondo has.

JaVale McGee ($3,400) doesn’t have the same upside as Rondo, although his game log is a bit more consistent since he is in the starting lineup. McGee averages 18.57 DKFP per game and his best games came from the stretch that Davis missed because of a tail bone injury. We can also look at the Lakers’ other center, Dwight Howard ($4,400), as a good value play. For the season, he’s averaging 20.72 DKFP and has 13 games with at least 30 DKFP.

Portland Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard ($10,800) is having the best season of his career. It looks like the Blazers are going to miss the playoffs, but we can’t blame Dame, who has been tasked with carrying the team. He would be an easy Captain choice if not for the fact that Portland is playing the Lakers, so we have LeBron James and Anthony Davis to consider. Lillard averages 49.75 DKFP and has a ridiculous ceiling since he’s scored as many as 92 DKFP this season.

In the next tier of player, Hassan Whiteside ($8,400) and CJ McCollum ($9,800) have been strong fantasy producers for Portland. Between the two, I prefer Whiteside as a stronger play. He averages 43.15 DKFP compared to 37.45 DKFP for McCollum. The big man should be the more expensive of the two secondary stars on Portland. The only issue I have with Whiteside is the amount of star power in this game. If possible, I would prefer to go stars and scrubs to fit a combination of Dame, LeBron and AD into a lineup. It won’t be doable to make a lineup with these three and Whiteside due to that pesky salary cap.

The Blazers typically play their starters big minutes and have a tight rotation, making it a bit hard to find any decent plays outside of the key players. If looking to go a bit off the board with a value play, there’s reason to consider Rodney Hood ($1,800). Prior to his season-ending because of a torn Achilles, Hood was playing decently and averaging 19.9 DKFP. On previous sim slates with the Blazers, I have considered Hood a fringe option, but he’s more of a priority on this slate because we have so much star power at the top of the pricing.

For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app and follow DK Live on Twitter @dklive.

For sports betting, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook or download the DK Sportsbook app.

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.