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Bulls vs. Pelicans Simulated NBA Game: DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy, Captain’s Picks

Garion Thorne preps you for DraftKings’ simulated NBA Showdown contest between the Bulls and Pelicans, which starts at 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 12th.

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

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 Sunday, July 12th’s free simulated game between the Bulls and Pelicans, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Set your free to play lineup here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (CHI 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.


SHOWDOWN STRATEGY

Chicago Bulls

As has been the case with Chicago throughout these simulations, there’s really no one on the team’s roster that comes close to Zach LaVine ($11,000) as a DFS asset. While the former lottery pick is averaging a robust 41.5 DKFP per night in 2019-20, there’s not another soul on the Bulls generating in excess of 30.0 DKFP. So, knowing that, it’s not all that insane that there’s a $3K salary discrepancy between LaVine and Coby White ($8,000). It’s also not that insane when you realize LaVine’s ceiling. The 25-year-old has managed to surpass the 40.0 DKFP plateau in 31 of his 60 games so far this season, and, on top of that, he’s brought back at least 55.0 DKFP on seven different occasions. This includes a 72.5 DKFP outburst against the Cavaliers back on Jan. 25. Maybe LaVine lacks the consistency of someone you’d want to Captain, but the guard is oozing with fantasy potential.

I mentioned White earlier. Well, sadly, I don’t think you’ll want to roster the rookie. While White undoubtedly has the second-highest ceiling of any Chicago player - something assisted by the fact that he went into the postponement with nine-straight 30-plus DKFP performances - he’s only actually managed to clear that threshold in 30.8% of his 65 contests in 2019-20. To put that figure in perspective, Lauri Markkanen ($6,600), Wendell Carter Jr. ($5,000) and Tomas Satoransky ($5,400) have all mustered a better or identical ratio; with the former checking in at a decent 36.0%. As for Carter, who comes into Sunday as the Bulls’ sixth-most expensive asset, the sophomore center ranks second on the team in daily DKFP average (28.3). Either would seem to be a fantastic value in the mid-tier.

Finally, when it comes to absolute bargains, Luke Kornet ($1,000) is someone you should strongly consider putting into a lineup this afternoon. The young big man has benefitted from drawing 14 starts in 2019-20, the direct result of Chicago’s crippling injury woes. In any event, Kornet’s exceeded 10.0 DKFP in 16 of his 36 games, giving the 24-year-old a 44.4% chance of reaching 10x value. However, if that’s not enticing enough at the minimum, remember that Kornet’s also eclipsed the 20.0 DKFP threshold eight times, providing quite an interesting amount of upside. Chandler Hutchison ($1,000) is another name to keep an eye on, too.


New Orleans Pelicans

The most important thing I can stress when it comes to simulation slates featuring the Pelicans is taking a cautioned approach to Zion Williamson ($10,200). Yes, the rookie has been an absolute sensation in the brief period of time he’s been healthy, but a minutes restriction wrecked havoc on Williamson’s initial fantasy outputs. To wit, the 20-year-old has failed to exceed even 35.0 DKFP in eight of his 19 career contests, while Zion has also only managed to eclipse the 50.0 DKFP mark on a single occasion. In a vacuum, that wouldn’t be all that big a deal, yet, with a price tag above $10K, you simply need more upside than Williamson is able to provide in this particular format.

Conversely, Brandon Ingram ($10,600) - New Orleans’ only other player with a salary above $10K - appears to enter this slate with an immense amount of value. The former second-overall pick’s game has exploded to 2019-20, with Ingram translating his huge numbers into an invite to this year’s All-Star festivities. So, as you might expect, Ingram’s been a pretty solid fantasy asset. In fact, the forward has dropped 40-plus DKFP in a whopping 58.9% of his 56 starts this season - a ratio that’s actually better than the aforementioned and more expensive LaVine. That doesn’t necessarily mean Ingram will be a superior play when it’s all said and done; however, I can say with certainty that the 22-year-old needs to be rostered ahead of both Williamson and Jrue Holiday ($9,600), who’s exceeded 40.0 DKFP in just 47.3% of his opportunities.

The two other two players I would seriously consider rostering are Lonzo Ball ($6,200) and Derrick Favors ($3,600). Ball is averaging 34.8 DKFP per contest in 2019-20, which doesn’t just rank him fourth among Pelicans on this slate, but fifth overall. It’s not hard to see how this has happened, either. Prior to the NBA’s lockdown, Ball had scored at least 30.0 DKFP in 29 of his last 31 games, a stretch that also saw the former lottery pick exceed 50.0 DKFP seven times. Ball’s upside is clearly not in doubt. As for Favors, his salary just doesn’t make a lot of sense. The veteran has produced 28.3 DKFP per night so far this season - a figure that would make him the second-highest scorer on Chicago’s whole squad. Yet, Favors finds himself with a price tag below $4K. I’d very much suggest taking advantage of that flaw.


CAPTAIN’S PICK

There’s a couple of different ways you can go as it pertains to a Captain’s pick, but most of your options should be New Orleans’ players. Brandon Ingram ($15,900 CP) is far and away the best dollar-for-dollar play at the top-end of the pricing list, while both Lonzo Ball ($9,300 CP) and Derrick Favors ($5,400 CP) are miscast in the bottom of the mid-tier, meaning each will provide a ton of value at marginal salaries.

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


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.