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Cavaliers vs. Suns Simulated NBA Game: DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy, Captain’s Picks

Greg Ehrenberg preps you for DraftKings’ simulated NBA game between the Cavaliers and Suns with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks. The contest locks at 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 15.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Phoenix Suns Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Since the NBA is currently on hiatus, DraftKings is running NBA simulations that give DFS basketball players a chance to keep their skills sharp and show off their knowledge. On Wednesday, the Cavaliers take on the Suns and the action gets underway at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Set your free-to-play DraftKings lineups here: $2K Simulated Basketball Free Contest (CLE vs PHO)

Curious about when major leagues and events will resume? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for our latest updates.


Phoenix Suns

It shouldn’t be a shock that Devin Booker ($11,600) and Deandre Ayton ($7,500 CP/$5,000) are the top two fantasy producers on the Suns. Booker averages 42.38 DKFP and Ayton puts up 41.47 DKFP per game. While both are in play, I love putting Ayton as Captain. Despite averaging nearly the same amount of DKFP, Ayton comes with a $4,100 discount in the flex. With him at Captain, there is plenty of space to pay up for the other fantasy stars in this game. Ayton is priced much too cheap.

Kelly Oubre ($9,400) is too expensive for my liking. He is considerably more expensive than Ayton but averages a decent amount fewer DKFP. Instead, I think it makes more sense to roster Ricky Rubio ($8,000) in the midrange. He averages 2.04 more DKFP per game than Oubre even though he’s the cheaper of the two.

There are a couple of big men here that make sense to save salary with. One of them is Aron Baynes ($3,200). Due to ankle injuries and a PED suspension for Ayton, Baynes has started more often than not and crushed in that role. He’s made 28 starts and averaged 27.26 DKFP in the starting unit. While his output is significantly lower in a reserve role, Baynes has only played off the bench in 14 games.

The other cheap value big that makes sense from the Suns is Frank Kaminsky ($2,400). While not quite as a great of a value as Baynes, there is still reason to consider him. Kaminsky has also made a handful of starts this season (13) and averaged 25.9 DKFP in the role. Kaminsky has made fewer starts and been less productive than Baynes as a starter, but he should come at less ownership than Baynes.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Andre Drummond ($10,400) is the top overall play on the Cavs. He averages 47.3 DKFP for the season, easily the most in this game. He would be my favorite play in the Captain’s spot if it weren’t for the crazy low price on Ayton. The good news with Ayton as Captain is that we can easily fit him, Drummond and Booker into a lineup together. That is the lineup construction that I think offers the most upside for this slate.

The next best fantasy producer on the Cavs is Kevin Love ($8,600). However, I can’t get past that Collin Sexton ($9,800) is oddly the second-most expensive player on Cleveland in this contest. With that said, maybe I should expect it at this point since this is the case for just about every sim showdown that involves the Cavs. Sexton only averages 30.9 DKFP and is an easy fade since his production doesn’t come close to justifying the price tag. It’s a pricing I don’t quite understand. Love averages 37.12 DKFP and makes for a far stronger play than Sexton at a cheaper salary.

There are some other interesting plays in the Cavs’ frontcourt other than Love and Drummond. Due to injuries and trades, there have been other players that have stepped up and had good games at times. As a starter, Tristan Thompson ($5,800) averages 31 DKFP and he’s made more starts than he’s had games off the bench. A riskier play than Thompson with a bit more upside is Larry Nance ($4,200). In his handful of starts, Nance has averaged 37.1 DKFP. If we draw a game where he was in the starting unit, he would be one of the better plays in this contest. When comparing big men, I slightly prefer Baynes to Nance although both are viable options.

Set your free-to-play DraftKings lineups here: $2K Simulated Basketball Free Contest (CLE vs PHO)

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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.