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 Sunday’s free simulated game between the Pacers and Clippers, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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

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 DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.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.

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


Los Angeles Clippers

There are five players on this slate priced above $8K and four of them happen to play for Los Angeles. That means one of two things. Either the Clippers are going to absolutely run away with this simulation or there’s some value to be had outside this top grouping. Honestly, in both cases, you’ll have to figure out which Clippers’ assets you can trust and that would seem to begin and end with the disparity between Kawhi Leonard ($11,800) and Paul George ($10,800). Simply put, it’s just really difficult to find the confidence to use the latter. Due to injuries and minutes restrictions, George has had a down campaign in 2019-20, failing to reach 45.0 DKFP in 71.4% of his 42 games and scoring less than 25.0 DKFP more times than he’s exceeded 50.0 DKFP. I mean, at least Leonard has the decency to sit out games entirely and not ruin his average fantasy production, right? The reigning Finals MVP has never dipped below 30.0 DKFP in any of his 51 starts and he’s eclipsed the 50.0 DKFP plateau 21 times. That is a stunning combination of ceiling and floor, my friends.

Still, the most enticing Los Angeles player might not be Kawhi. Heck, it might not even be Montrezl Harrell ($9,400) or Lou Williams ($8,600), who each check-in with rather hefty salaries for bench pieces. It might actually be Marcus Morris ($4,200). Consider for a moment that just over a month ago, in a simulation against Minnesota, the Kansas product was priced within $1K of both Harrell and Williams. Now, at the time, that seemed a little crazy; yet this appears to be an overcorrection by DraftKings. Morris is averaging slightly fewer DKFP per contest than his two aforementioned teammates, but he’s also someone who has brought back at least 30.0 DKFP in 49.1% of his 55 games this season. For the sake of comparison, Williams has done the same in exactly 60.0% of his 60 appearances in 2019-20; however, that doesn’t seem to be enough of a difference to warrant the former Sixth Man of the Year costing twice as much on this slate, especially if Morris draws a New York game log.

Finally, as we continue to talk value, let’s take a moment to acknowledge Patrick Beverley ($3,000) and Reggie Jackson ($2,400). Each has never really been considered a “consistent” fantasy basketball asset, yet this is certainly a different environment than we’re all used to. For instance, Beverley is suddenly a near lock to bring back 6x value. The veteran point guard has managed to exceed 20.0 DKFP in 68.8% of his 48 contests this season, doing so with the upside of a 57.0 DKFP performance against Boston back in November. Meanwhile, Jackson, like his new teammate, is batting above .500 when it comes to cresting the 20.0 DKFP mark, having done so in 12 of his 23 games in 2019-20.

Indiana Pacers

Domantas Sabonis ($10,400) was Indiana’s lone All-Star this season, yet it’s still quite jarring to see him be almost $3K more expensive than any other player on the Pacers’ roster. Still, at the end of the day, the big man’s viability is more about how he compares to the likes of Leonard and George; something I’d suggest he does quite well. Specifically, Sabonis’ production blows George out of the water. Despite the Lithuanian coming into this slate with a cheaper salary than the man he was once traded for, Sabonis has exceeded 40.0 DKFP and 35.0 DKFP way, way more often than George. In fact, while George has managed to score at least 35.0 DKFP in a respectable 59.5% of his 42 appearances in 2019-20, Sabonis has accomplished the feat in 85.5% of his starts. Knowing that it’s not hard to see why I’m lukewarm at best on the prospect of owning George this afternoon.

Heck, you could actually make the case that Malcolm Brogdon ($7,000) deserves to be more expensive than George, or, at the very least, the two should be much closer than they currently stand. Yes, Brogdon doesn’t possess the All-Star’s massive upside; however, the former Rookie of the Year has exceeded the 35.0 DKFP plateau in a very comparable amount of games (58.3%), which definitely raises some eyebrows about his $7K price tag. Honestly, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Brogdon’s averaging more DKFP per contest (36.8) than Harrell, Williams and T.J Warren ($7,800), so it’s almost as if DraftKings is begging you to put the 27-year-old into your lineup. They might even be begging you to put him in the Captain’s spot.

Finally, let’s dissect the viability of Aaron Holiday ($4,000). The guard has scored more than 20.0 DKFP in about half his games in 2019-20, while he also brings the ceiling of a player who dropped 53.5 DKFP in a start against Brooklyn. Additionally, Holiday has averaged more fantasy points per contest than both Doug McDermott ($5,800) and Justin Holiday ($4,400), two men that sport higher price tags than the 23-year-old guard on this slate. Still, while I’m fairly confident that the younger Holiday is the Pacers’ best value option, I’m simply not sure he presents himself as a better play than Beverley or Jackson on the other side. For my money, I’ll stick with the Clippers’ duo.


For as much as you obviously wouldn’t be incorrect in Captaining Kawhi Leonard ($17,700 CP) or Domantas Sabonis ($15,600 CP), each man’s strength as a fantasy asset tends to be in their overwhelming floor. That’s not always the best archetype to spend over $15K on. Instead, I’d suggest utilizing one of the two vastly under-priced players on this slate at 1.5x value: Malcolm Brogdon ($10,500 CP) or Marcus Morris ($6,300 CP). Both provide a decent amount of upside and the money you save makes it easy to spend lavishly elsewhere.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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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