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-to-play 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 (DEN vs. UTA)

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 DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.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.




Averaging more than six DKFP more than any other player in this contest, it makes sense that Nikola Jokic ($12,000) is the most expensive player in the pool. The big man has averaged 47.6 DKFP and has 10 games with over 60 DKFP. He has actually been a little less productive in fantasy than he was last season, but he is still by far the most reliable play and brings a very high ceiling as well.

Jamal Murray ($8,400) and Will Barton ($7,000) have very similar production, averaging 33.68 DKFP and 31.92 DKFP, respectively. Murray has a handful of games over 50 DKFP, though, while Barton has only reached that number twice. Even though Murray has a higher ceiling, he also comes with a little bit more risk, so I actually like Barton more at his salary.

PF is a little bit tricky since Paul Millsap ($6,000) has been decent averaging 24.63 DKFP in his 44 games but Jerami Grant ($5,200) has stepped up with big games when Millsap has been out. Grant is averaging 21.02 DKFP but is a major boom-or-bust play since in the 22 games he has started, he is averaging 27.5 DKFP, but in his 42 games off the bench, he’s only producing 17.8 DKFP. He’s a risky play but does come with solid upside.

The only other player averaging over 20 DKFP for the Nuggets is Gary Harris ($4,800), who also rounds out their starting lineup. He’s averaging fewer DKFP than Grant but does come with less volatility. Off the bench, Monte Morris ($4,200) makes sense and could go off if you get a game where he filled in for an injured Jamal Murray. My favorite bargain play, though, is Mason Plumlee ($3,000), who is underpriced for his 18.93 DKFP average. He has been very steady when healthy and has even popped for a few big games with 29-plus DKFP in six of his 53 games (11.3%).

You could also take a flier on Michael Porter Jr. ($3,400), who had a few big games, but there is also definite downside since he had so many low-scoring games early in the season and also recently. Torrey Craig ($1,400) has a similar problem with too many low scores, but he at least costs less and still gives you a decent ceiling.


There may be some serious coronavirus backlash against Rudy Gobert ($9,400), but he can’t infect your fantasy team and is actually available at a surprisingly low salary. He averaged 40.63 DKFP in his 62 games which is more than Donovan Mitchell ($11,400) and over 10 points more than Bojan Bogdanovic ($9,000), whose salary is in the same range. Gobert had under 30 DKFP 11 times and over 50 DKFP nine times. He definitely doesn’t have the monster performances that Jokic offers but is a relatively safe play at his price.

Mitchell comes with more volatility but also more upside, but I don’t know that it’s worth $2K more to pay up for him. He has the same amount of games with over 50 DKFP as Gobert, while Bogdanovic hasn’t hit 50 DKFP in any contest this season and has only crossed the 40-DKFP plateau 10 times. Of the big three for the Jazz, Gobert has the most consistency and upside for his salary.

Since joining the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson ($7,800) has been a key piece of their rotation but is only averaging 23.68 DKFP in his 63 games on the season. Mike Conley ($6,600) has only played in 41 games but is averaging 26.1 DKFP and actually offers better value at his salary despite struggling to live up to expectations since joining Utah. Joe Ingles ($5,600) is also averaging more than Clarkson, who seems overpriced due to some recency bias. Ingles doesn’t have the high points that Clarkson offers but is a solid play that saves you $2K.

As far as bargains, the Jazz have their own version of Mason Plumlee in Royce O’Neale ($2,600), who has put up a solid 19.13 DKFP and been consistent most of the season. He doesn’t have as many standout games as Plumlee, but he’s the best cheap option from Utah. Tony Bradley ($1,200) is a punt play that does offer a few good games while filling in for Gobert but also has some pretty scary low numbers in his 50 games played.


With some solid value options, paying up for Jokic ($18,000 CP) is definitely an option to consider. He’s the most expensive play but also comes with the best upside and most consistency. Options like Plumlee and O’Neale make his salary in that slot manageable while leaving space for starters in your other flex spots. Gobert ($14,100 CP) would be my top Captain’s pick from Utah and does allow you to fill Jokic in a flex spot with room for other stars as well. If you want to go with a cheaper Captain’s pick and more balance, my top options would be Barton (10,500 CP) or you could take a flier and try to differentiate your lineup with Grant ($7,800 CP) and hope you draw a game where he was a starter.

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 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.