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 Thursday, the Lakers take on the Warriors and the action gets underway at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Curious about when major leagues and events will resume? Check out our DraftKings Sports Calendar for our latest updates.
Los Angeles Lakers
Prior to the season, this is a matchup that we would have assumed to be much more exciting that what is actually is. The Warriors have the worst record in the league and the Lakers are favored to win the title. For Captain’s Pick, LeBron James ($17,700 CP; $11,800) is my favorite choice. Anthony Davis ($10,600) isn’t a bad option, but LeBron is the better fantasy producer and we typically see a bigger price gap between the two. James averages 55.77 DKFP per game, with AD sitting at 51.06 DKFP per game. On a per game basis, these are the two highest scoring players in this game, which is usually the case whenever the Lakers are in a simulated contest.
Rajon Rondo ($3,000) is cheap and averages 19.61 DKFP with upside. His game log is a bit inconsistent, but if he happens to draw one of his games where LeBron sat, he is going to be the top value from this game. In the three games that LeBron missed this season, Rondo moved into the starting lineup and averaged 35.83 DKFP. He’s scored over 30 DKFP in six games this season. Rondo has been a frequent target for me in these simulated contests since he’s always one of the cheapest players on the Lakers despite his upside. There aren’t any cheap players in this game with anywhere near the ceiling that Rondo has.
JaVale McGee ($4,000) doesn’t have the same upside as Rondo, although his game log is a bit more consistent since he is in the starting lineup. McGee averages 18.57 DKFP per game and his best games came from the stretch that Davis missed because of a tail bone injury. We can also look at the Lakers’ other center, Dwight Howard ($5,000), as a decent value play. For the season, he’s averaging 20.72 DKFP and has 13 games with at least 30 DKFP.
Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry isn’t in the player pool since he hasn’t played the required 15 games to qualify. This, combined with Klay Thompson missing the season, means we are stuck choosing the remaining scrubs on the Warriors’ roster. This is why it makes sense to have lineups that include both LeBron and AD. Of the players we have to choose from on Golden State, Andrew Wiggins ($9,600) has been the top fantasy producer. He is averaging 37.17 DKFP, making him a viable option, although he’s a lower priority play for me than James or Davis. Wiggins also has decent upside since he’s scored over 40 DKFP this season 22 times.
One player I am looking to fade here is Eric Paschall ($9,200). While he’s had some nice games this season, he’s way overpriced based on his average game. Playing time hasn’t always been assured for Paschall and he only averages 24 DKFP. He’s had a handful of games scoring single-digit fantasy points, so he’s a pretty risky play. The same goes for Marquese Chriss ($6,400), who played well given opportunities, but didn’t produce much earlier in the year when he was in a reserve role. For the season, Chriss is averaging 22.98 DKFP.
As a cheap play with upside, Ky Bowman ($2,000) is a good source of salary savings. It’s easy to forget his run as the starting point guard from earlier in the season since it was so long ago, but he played well for a stretch. Bowman moved into the starting lineup when Curry, Draymond Green ($5,800) and D’Angelo Russell were all injured and had a handful of games scoring over 30 DKFP. Overall, Bowman averages 17.16 DKFP this season, making him a viable play at a cheap salary. Green is also a viable option, but he is a bit risky due to the amount of times that he’s been ejected or left games early due to injuries this season.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.