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Best lineup strategy for Nuggets vs. Pelicans NBA simulation Showdown

We go over how to construct a winning lineup for Wednesday’s featured sim Showdown on DraftKings.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac during the first half at Staples Center.  Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We’re at hump day and there’s another simulated basketball Showdown contest that’s FREE on DraftKings for Wednesday night. This time, we’ve got the Denver Nuggets vs. the New Orleans Pelicans on tap. Here’s a link to the contest and be sure to check out the rules before entering any lineups.

Captain’s Picks

There’s Nikola Jokic ($18,300) and then a handful of guys price above $10K for the Captain slot. In other words, there are a lot of options for us to pick from here. Jokic is the safest but I don’t think he’ll be worth it in the end. He’s better suited for the UTIL. Brandon Ingram ($15,000) is my favorite choice given what he was doing earlier in the season when Zion Williamson was out. Ingram’s production through January was absolutely insane. Then Zion came back and stunted it a bit. We still have access to those gaudy box scores in these sim contests, so I think Ingram offers a lot of upside here.

FLEX Options

There’s a lot of value in the mid-range in this contest because of how the pricing is tiered. We have a bunch of the top guys priced in the $8-10K range. Behind them is a pile of intriguing plays. Lonzo Ball ($7,200) has triple-double upside and a safe floor given he averages around 7.0 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game this season. Josh Hart ($5,800) has had plenty of nights in the starting lineup and while he lacks upside, there’s plenty of appeal at this price. Derrick Favors ($3,800) seems underpriced as well given he’s played in 45 games and started 43 this season, averaging almost a double-double.

I don’t really like a ton of the Nuggets plays. Outside of Jokic, nobody has a lot of upside really. Jamal Murray ($8,400) and Will Barton ($7,600) are both overpriced and lack consistent box scores. Paul Millsap ($5,000) is cheap and can bring back some value, but it’s not as reliable. It seems the way I’d approach this contest without real basketball is stack the Pelicans and pray they roll box scores from a game the team put up 140 in.