With real basketball currently on hiatus, DraftKings has launched simulated basketball games! Thursday’s game is between the Pelicans and Kings, and it gets underway at 3:00 p.m. ET. Take note of the rules since this contest doesn’t work like any other contest we have had before.

Set your free to play lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (NO vs SAC)

Curious about when major leagues and events will return? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for the latest updates.

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


New Orleans Pelicans

I am always saying the same thing about Zion Williamson ($10,000) when we have a sim slate with the Pelicans. I think he’s a guaranteed future All-NBA player and I love watching him. The issue is that he’s always a bit overpriced. Both Brandon Ingram ($10,600) and Jrue Holiday ($9,800) average a decent amount more DKFP per game. We also have to remember that Zion hasn’t played a ton of games and started his season with a minutes restriction. This is why Williamson is averaging 36.91 DKFP per game, compared to 41.76 DKFP per game for Ingram and 40.82 DKFP for Holiday. Both Ingram and Holiday are guys I am looking to play while Zion is somebody I am fading.

JJ Redick ($7,000) is another fade for me. Like Zion, he’s a bit overpriced and averages less DKFP than all of the players priced around him. This has been a consistent theme for his pricing in this simulated contests. He averages 23.03 DKFP per game, making Redick a really poor play relative to his price. Lonzo Ball ($5,800) is always priced cheaper than Redick despite averaging 11 more DKFP per game. Ball is an upside play at his salary, but a bit risky if we draw one of his games from December. Lonzo came off the bench for a while with mediocre results, although he’s been a great fantasy producer as a starter.

Derrick Favors ($2,800) is always a great value play who is priced too cheaply in NBA sim contests. Even though he saw a reduced role after Williamson came back from knee surgery, the average results for Favors have been stellar relative to his current salary. 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. He’s my favorite value play in this contest.

Sacramento Kings

Fantasy production hasn’t been great for the Kings in what’s been a disappointing season. A popular pick to be a breakout team and make the playoffs, Sacramento has fallen well short of expectations. Per game, the top producer for Sacramento has been De’Aaron Fox ($11,400 CP/$7,600). He’s putting up an average of 38.62 DKFP, making him a viable player to roster in the Captain’s slot. It is really odd to see Kings like Buddy Hield ($10,200) and Harrison Barnes ($8,400) at higher salaries than Fox. Given that they are producing significantly less, Barnes and Hield are easy fades for me at these salaries.

My favorite value from the Kings and most underpriced player in this game is Richaun Holmes ($4,000). A fantasy star this season, Holmes one of Sacramento’s top fantasy producers, averaging 29.43 DKFP per game. The big man is the third-highest scoring fantasy player on the team, but he is priced as the sixth most expensive. Holmes is much too cheap due to all the success he’s had filling in for Marvin Bagley, who isn’t in the player pool since he hasn’t played the minimum amount of games to qualify. If not for a shoulder injury, it’s very possible that Holmes could have ended up being the Kings’ top fantasy producer this season.

A sneaky play to consider is Jabari Parker ($3,800). A lot of people probably didn’t even realize was on the Kings since he’s played a minimal role for the team since being acquired at the trade deadline. Despite playing limited minutes in Sacramento, Parker played a big role for a stretch of the season with the Hawks. He was forced to start at power forward for a while since John Collins was dealing with a PED suspension. In the starting lineup, Parker averaged 31.73 DKFP, making him an upside play for this contest. We just have to hope we draw one of his games as a starter as opposed to one of his games as a bench player.

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).

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.

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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.

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