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Celtics vs. Pelicans Simulated NBA Game: DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategies and Captain’s Picks

With real basketball currently on hiatus, DraftKings is hosting simulated basketball games! Tuesday’s game is between the Pelicans and Celtics, 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…

With real basketball currently on hiatus, DraftKings is hosting simulated basketball games! Tuesday’s game is between the Pelicans and Celtics, 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 (BOS vs NO)

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.


Boston Celtics

The Celtics have dealt with a number of injuries this season. The one player to stay relatively healthy throughout the season has been Jayson Tatum ($11,400). As a result, he leads the team with an average of 42.02 DKFP and has had some big ceiling games when pushed into a high usage role due to other players being out. He is a bit overpriced and some of the Pelicans’ players are better per dollar plays on the high end, but since we don’t have a true DFS superstar on this slate, I think it’s okay to pay all the way up to Tatum if we have the available salary. With that said, he’s a secondary play and not somebody that we must go out of way to jam into a lineup.

In the mid-tier, Marcus Smart ($5,800) is a player to target. With an average of 30.23 DKFP, he far outscores the other Celtics players priced below him, including Daniel Theis ($4,600), who averages 23.65 DKFP. There is also strong upside from Smart if we draw the right game. Smart has topped out at 68.25 DKFP this season and has eight games scoring at least 43 DKFP. Like Tatum, Smart has benefited from high usage in some games where Boston was banged up.

Priced just above Smart, Gordon Hayward ($6,600) is a bit cheaper than we normally see him in these simulations. He averages 34.31 DKFP, nearly the exact same as Jaylen Brown ($7,800), and we get Hayward at a slight discount. This season, Hayward has struggled with injuries, which we don’t have to worry about in this format. We can only draw a box score from a game he was active for and Hayward has generally played well when on the court this season.

There are a couple of big men worth taking on chance on from Boston for cheap. Enes Kanter ($3,200) typically hasn’t played a ton of minutes this season, but he’s a great per-minute fantasy producer. This creates variance in his box score, although he still averages 21.37 DKFP overall. The range of outcomes is wide here, as Kanter has about the same number of games scoring over 30 DKFP as he has scoring in the single-digits. If you really get desperate to save salary, Robert Williams ($1,000) is priced at the minimum and averages 15.41 DKFP.

New Orleans Pelicans

If you have read any of the dozen or so sim articles that I have written about the Pelicans, you probably know that I don’t love Zion Williamson ($10,600) in this format. In real life, he’s one of my favorite players and a lock to be a future star. The issue is that he’s always a bit overpriced for our sims. Both Brandon Ingram ($10,000) and Jrue Holiday ($13,800 CP/$9,200) 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. With a bit of a discount on Holiday, he’s my favorite play in the Captain’s spot.

JJ Redick ($7,200) is another guy I am always looking to fade in sims. Like Zion, he’s a bit overpriced and averages fewer DKFP than all of the players priced around him. This has been a consistent theme for his pricing in these simulated contests. He averages 23.03 DKFP per game, making Redick a really poor play relative to his price. Lonzo Ball ($5,200) is typically 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 has been a great fantasy producer as a starter.

Derrick Favors ($3,000) 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.

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

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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.