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Celtics vs. Nuggets Simulated NBA Game: DraftKings DFS Showdown Strategy, Captain’s Picks

Greg Ehrenberg preps you for Wednesday’s 3:00 p.m. ET simulated NBA game between the Celtics and Nuggets with game-script analysis and Captain’s Picks.

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-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 Celtics take on the Nuggets and the action gets underway at 3:00 p.m. ET.

Set your free-to-play DraftKings lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (DEN vs BOS)

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


Boston Celtics

The Celtics have dealt with a number of injuries this season. The one player to stay relatively healthy throughout the season has been Jayson Tatum ($10,600). As a result, he leads the team with an average of 42.02 DKFP and has had some big ceiling games when pushed into a high usage role due to other players being out. He is a bit overpriced and I prefer paying up for Nikola Jokic ($11,400), but there are enough viable cheap options in this game that both of these stars can fit into a lineup together.

In the mid-tier, Marcus Smart ($6,000) is a player to target. With an average of 30.23 DKFP, he far outscores the other Celtics players priced below him, including Daniel Theis ($4,600), who averages 23.65 DKFP. There is also strong upside from Smart if we draw the right game. Smart has topped out at 68.25 DKFP this season and has eight games scoring at least 43 DKFP. Like Tatum, Smart has benefited from high usage in some games where Boston was banged up.

Priced above Smart, Gordon Hayward ($7,400) is a bit cheaper than we normally see him in these simulations. He averages 34.31 DKFP, nearly the exact same as Jaylen Brown ($8,800), and we get Hayward at a slight discount. This season, Hayward has struggled with injuries, which we don’t have to worry about in this format. We can only draw a box score from a game he was active for and Hayward has generally played well when on the court this season.

There are a couple of big men worth taking on chance on from Boston for cheap. Enes Kanter ($3,800) typically hasn’t played a ton of minutes this season, but he’s a great per-minute fantasy producer. This creates variance in his box score, although he still averages 21.37 DKFP overall. The range of outcomes is wide here, as Kanter has about the same number of games scoring over 30 DKFP as he has scoring in the single-digits. If you really get desperate to save salary, Robert Williams ($1,000) is priced at the minimum and averages 15.41 DKFP.

Denver Nuggets

As the top fantasy scorer in this game, Nikola Jokic ($17,100 CP/$11,400) is a strong play. He averages 47.39 DKFP per game and is my favorite choice for the Captain’s spot over Tatum. Rostering the Nuggets’ star center also comes with a ton of upside since he’s scored as many as 82 DKFP this season and he has 11 games going over 60 DKFP. There isn’t anybody else on Denver who compares with Jokic’s ceiling.

I don’t really like the price points on Jamal Murray ($10,000) or Will Barton ($8,000). They average 33.76 DKFP and 31.97 DKFP, respectively, so I prefer finding the space to pay up for Jokic and Tatum. Since those two All-Stars are the top fantasy producers by such a wide margin, I think this is yet another good sim slate to go with a stars and scrubs build. With that said, I thought that about a slate with the Nuggets the other day and Murray drew one of his best box scores of the season. Even so, Kemba Walker ($9,400) is a much stronger play at $600 cheaper.

Typically a good cheap play in these contests, Jerami Grant ($6,200) is priced way up today. He averages 21.14 DKFP and has potential for upside if we draw one of his games as a starter. Grant has made 22 starts for the Nuggets this year due to injuries, averaging 27.53 DKFP in the role. The problem is that drawing any of his games off the bench is likely to end in a dud. When Grant was priced close to the minimum, he was a good play in this format. At his current salary, he’s a player I don’t have interest in.

Set your free-to-play DraftKings lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (DEN vs BOS)

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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.