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. Here, we will focus on Wednesday’s free simulated game between the Bucks and Trail Blazers, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Set your FREE to play lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (POR vs MIL)
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
Looking at this contest, the big debate I am having is whether to use Giannis Antetokounmpo ($17,700 CP/$11,800) or Damian Lillard ($16,500 CP/$11,000) in the Captain’s spot. The Greek Freak averages 60.11 DKFP this season, which is a decent amount more than Dame. Due to this, I am looking at Giannis as the top dog to play in the 1.5x slot. I don’t hate lineups with Dame as the Captain, but I view Antetokounmpo as having a much higher floor even though his ceiling isn’t quite as high. The odds show us the Giannis should put up more DKFP and the price difference between the two All-Stars isn’t significant.
The next most expensive players on the Bucks, Khris Middleton ($9,200) and Eric Bledsoe ($7,200), always make some sense to roster in this format. Each has had some massive fantasy scores on their game logs from games that were missed by Giannis. Middleton has dropped as many as 76.5 DKFP while Bledsoe scored as much as 60 DKFP. Of the two, I prefer Bledsoe for the salary savings. For the season, Middleton is averaging 37.39 DKFP, compared to 31.59 DKFP for Bledsoe. I think the $2,000 in price difference makes Bledsoe the more appealing option when I want to Giannis as Captain.
Donte DiVincenzo ($5,000) is a decent midrange player from the Bucks’ side of this game. With the team often shorthanded either due to rest or injuries, DiVincenzo has stepped up on a number of occasions. He’s scored over 30 DKFP 10 times. Typically a value play at a cheap price, Ersan Ilyasova ($4,200) has seen a big price increase for this contest, making him a player that I think we can fade. Ilyasova’s role was reduced in the games before the NBA went on hiatus, so that makes it hard for him to count on for production. In earlier sims, he made more sense to take a chance on since he was nearly the minimum price. This is now two Bucks sims in a row where Ersan has had a lofty price, so he’s not going to be relevant in this format if this trend keeps up.
Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard ($11,000) is having the best season of his career. It looks like the Blazers are going to miss the playoffs, but we can’t blame Dame, who has been tasked with carrying the team. He would be an easy Captain choice if not for the fact that Portland is playing in a game that includes Giannis. Lillard averages 49.75 DKFP and has a ridiculous ceiling since he’s scored as many as 92 DKFP this season. Like I said above, if you need the salary savings, I don’t strongly oppose playing Dame as Captain. No matter who you go with at Captain, I think the best strategy is jamming Lillard and Antetokounmpo into lineups together.
In the next tier of player, Hassan Whiteside ($8,000) and CJ McCollum ($10,200) have been strong fantasy producers for Portland. Between the two, I prefer Whiteside as a stronger play. He averages 43.15 DKFP compared to 37.45 DKFP for McCollum. The big man should be the more expensive of the two secondary stars on Portland. In addition, I prefer Whiteside to both Bledsoe and Middleton relative to production and price. He’s been the most productive of the three.
The Blazers typically play their starters big minutes and have a tight rotation, making it a bit hard to find any decent plays outside of the key players. If looking to go a bit off the board with a value play, there’s reason to consider Rodney Hood ($1,600). Prior to his season-ending because of a torn Achilles, Hood was playing decently and averaging 19.9 DKFP. On previous sim slates with the Blazers, I have considered Hood a fringe option, but he’s more of a priority on this slate because we have so much star power at the top of the pricing.
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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.