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Heat vs. Pelicans Simulated NBA Game DraftKings Showdown Strategy

Greg Ehrenberg preps you for Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET simulated NBA Showdown with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans smiles during the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 8. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

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

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.


Miami Heat

The two stars on Miami, Jimmy Butler ($10,000) and Bam Adebayo ($12,600 CP/$8,400), have provided very similar production this season. Butler averages 41.85 DKFP compared to an average of 41.67 DKFP for Adebayo. I prefer rostering Bam to Butler for the salary savings and the slightly higher ceiling. Adebayo has scored as many as 70.25 DKFP this season. Even though I prefer Bam, this doesn’t mean we have to fade Butler. It makes sense to roster them both if fitting them both works for your lineup construction. Bam is also my favorite choice for Captain in this game. Of the five players I consider elite in this contest, Adebayo is the cheapest and there’s an argument to be made that he should be the most expensive.

Kendrick Nunn ($8,000) is a player from the Miami side of the game that I am comfortable fading. Even though he has upside, Nunn is a bit overpriced considering his average performances. He’s stepped up at times when Miami has dealt with injuries, but only averages 26.35 DKFP for the season. This makes Nunn only $400 cheaper than Adebayo, who is a significantly better fantasy player.

As a value play, Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,800) is a sensible play. He’s been a pretty steady player, averaging 19.4 DKFP and he rarely has games with under 15 DKFP. Despite having a modest ceiling, Jones is cheap and makes sense because his salary savings allow us to fit in the three highest-priced players in this contest. There is also some reason to look at Kelly Olynyk ($3,200) for value, but he’s a way higher variance play than Jones.

My favorite value play from the Heat is Jae Crowder ($4,400). He’s a bit underpriced since his role has decreased a bit in Miami, but before being traded he was a starter in Memphis and logged some heavy minutes. As a result, Crowder is averaging 25.32 DKFP for the season. It looks like he is only priced for his production during his time with the Heat and all his games are important for the format of these NBA sims.

New Orleans Pelicans

Once against, I am covering a game with the Pelicans. I think I have done a dozen or so sim games with the Pels and I always have to have the same take on Zion Williamson ($10,600) for this format. In real life, he’s one of my favorite players and a lock to be a future star, but for our sims, he’s always a bit overpriced. Both Brandon Ingram ($11,400) and Jrue Holiday ($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 of the three New Orleans stars.

JJ Redick ($6,000) 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. Redick averages 23.03 DKFP per game, making him a really poor play relative to his price. Lonzo Ball ($5,000) is typically priced cheaper than Redick despite averaging 11 more DKFP per game. Ball is an upside play at his salary, but is 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.

I am not sure I have covered a Pelicans sim game where Derrick Favors ($2,000) hasn’t been my favorite value play. He is always much too cheap. 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.

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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.