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 Tuesday, the Pelicans take on the Jazz, and the action gets underway at 3 p.m. ET.
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New Orleans Pelicans
Once again, 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 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 ($15,000 CP/$10,000) and Jrue Holiday ($9,400) average a decent amount more DKFP per game, yet Zion is the most expensive of the trio. 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. Ingram is the top fantasy producer in this game and doesn’t have too steep of a price tag. He’s my favorite play in the Captain’s spot.
JJ Redick ($5,000) 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.
I am not sure I have covered a Pelicans sim game where Derrick Favors ($4,000) 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.
For some reason, Donovan Mitchell ($11,000) is always more expensive than Rudy Gobert ($8,800) in NBA sims. Since nothing matters other than past production this season, there isn’t much of a case to be made that Mitchell should be more expensive. He averages 38.38 DKFP while Gobert averages 40.06 DKFP per game. Gobert is the stronger play of the two Utah stars and Mitchell is somebody to consider fading at his price. Ingram and Holiday both average more DKFP at cheaper salaries.
One other player from this side of the game that I think we can fade is Bojan Bogdanovic ($7,400). Bogdanovic has been solid and averages 30.05 DKFP, but the problem is that rostering him likely comes at the opportunity cost of playing one of the All-Stars priced above him. While not quite as pricey, Jordan Clarkson ($6,000) is another player I am looking to avoid since his production has been up and down due to him playing a reserve role and limited minutes.
A risky play from the Jazz with upside is Mike Conley ($5,400). Due to leg injuries, he’s played limited minutes at times, although he’s been stellar during the time he’s been in the starting lineup. As the starting point guard for Utah, Conley is averaging 28.14 DKFP. As long as we get one of the games where he starts, he is almost certainly going to pay off his price tag. On the flip side, Conley is going to bust if we draw a game where he came off the bench and was restricted.
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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.