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Best lineup strategy for Lakers vs. Celtics NBA simulation Showdown

The classic rivalry is rekindled, this time in simulation form! Check out our breakdown of the Boston-L.A. simulated basektball Showdown on DraftKings.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives during the second half against the Houston Rockets at TD Garden.  Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It’s thirsty Thursday and the only thing I’m thirsty for at the moment is basketball. I can’t quench that thirst just yet, but we’re getting there. DraftKings is offering simulated basketball Showdown contests with the NBA on hiatus. We’ve got the classic rivalry matchup of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics for Thursday afternoon with a 3:00 p.m. ET lock time. Here’s a link to the contest and be sure to check out the rules before entering your lineup.

Captain’s Picks

It does not appear to be a LeBron night. LeBron James is the highest-priced player at Captain at $18,300 and I’m not crazy about paying up like that. Sure, LeBron has the highest ceiling and floor among players in this group, but that price tag limits the type of lineup we can throw together. I prefer going cheaper in the form of Anthony Davis ($16,500), who has similar ceiling games and is probably a safer pick on top of the savings. Both LeBron and AD have their fair share of dud box scores, so we’re getting basically the same play to an extent, just for nearly $2K cheaper.

If there’s anyone else I’d consider at Captain it’s possibly Avery Bradley ($3,000), who seems really underpriced for this spot. Bradley has started 44 of 49 games for the Lakers this season, so we know the minutes are there. The production doesn’t exactly line up, but at 1.5x points, the value we’re looking for is in the say 18-25 fantasy point range. If we hit that and can save salary to fit in LeBron, AD and one other stud, I’d say that’s worth it.

FLEX Options

Bradley ($2,000) drops down $1K for the UTIL slot, so I think he’s an OK value play. I worry about most of the mid-range options since pretty much everyone lacks upside. “Stars and Scrubs” has been my approach in most Showdown contests, and this is no different. We can get LeBron at $12,200 if we decide to Captain AD. After that, we need to fit in that value, so Bradley is cheap and I don’t mind guys like Brad Wanamaker ($2,400) and JaVale McGee ($3,200).

Are any of the Celtics guys worth paying up for? Sure. Kemba Walker ($9,600) has had big games this season and his range of outcomes is shorter given the time he’s missed due to injury. Jayson Tatum ($10,200) is a bit expensive, since we’re paying up for what he had been doing before the break. Realistically we could hit a earlier box score for Tatum and sort of be screwed. I like Jaylen Brown ($8,800) at a cheaper price tag with similar lines.