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: $2K Simulated Basketball Free Contest (OKC vs HOU)

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 DK Dollars cannot be withdrawn from your balance.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.



Oklahoma City Thunder

Danilo Gallinari ($8,200) is one of the safer plays in this game. He doesn’t have a massive ceiling, but he scores 31.71 DKFP per game and we normally see him score right around his average. It’s also interesting to see Gallo priced below Dennis Schroder ($8,800). Schroder averages 31.27 DKFP, so slightly less than Gallinari, yet he’s $600 more expensive. Gallo is the stronger play of the two.

The pricing between Chris Paul ($9,400) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($9,000) is really similar and for good reason. CP3 averages 37.33 DKFP compared to 35.48 DKFP per game for SGA. This leads me to look at upside to determine who’s the stronger Showdown play of the two. For the season, Gilgeous-Alexander has eight games of 45 or more DKFP and Paul has gone over that mark 14 times. Given the higher ceiling for Paul, I think he makes for the better play of the Thunder guards.

My favorite value play from the Thunder is Nerlens Noel ($2,400). At a cheap price, he’s averaging 19.93 DKFP with a solid combination of ceiling and floor. Noel has only scored single-digit DKFP in nine games this season and he’s had a handful of big games as a starter from games that Steven Adams ($7,600) missed. In six starts, Noel averaged 28.54 DKFP and he has seven games with at least 30 DKFP this season.

Houston Rockets

James Harden ($18,900 CP/ $12,600) or Russell Westbrook ($16,800 CP/ $11,200)? How about both. There are enough viable cheaper options in this game that I think we can fit both of the Rockets’ stars into our lineups. If only choosing one, I think Harden is the pretty clear choice and my preference as the captain. While Russ has come on strong since the new year, Harden is still the much better fantasy producer for the season. He averages 59.24 DKFP and Westbrook averages 51.25 DKFP. The problem with Westbrook’s scoring average is that he got off to a bit of a slow start with Houston. We also need to consider the massive upside from Harden during the games that Russ missed. Harden has scored over 70 DKFP 17 times this season.

If you want to get risky and save a bunch of salary to fit the two former MVPs into your lineup, Isaiah Hartenstein ($1,000) is the ultimate boom or bust play at min price. It’s well documented how hard he’s busted as chalk at times this season, and he isn’t even on the Rockets’ roster anymore. This doesn’t mean he didn’t put up some strong games this season. Hartenstein has scored as many as 52.75 DKFP when he had a double-double against the Timberwolves in January.

The easiest fade for me in this game is Eric Gordon ($6,400). I am looking for salary savings to jam the two Rockets’ stars in, and Gordon is way overpriced. Gordon only averages 22.04 DKFP per game, and it’s hard to overstate how poorly he shot the ball early in the season. He didn’t make more than 40% of his shots in a game until we were three weeks into the season. For a much cheaper price, P.J. Tucker ($4,400) averages nearly the same amount of DKFP at 21.65 per game.

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.

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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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NH/NJ/WV/IN/PA only. 21+ (18+ NH). Eligibility Restrictions Apply. See website for details.