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 Thursday’s free simulated game between the 76ers and Wizards, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Set your FREE to play lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (PHI vs WAS)
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
The difficult thing to figure out on a slate with two rosters that vary so heavily in quality is how much you’re able to invest in the dominant side. That quandary is right on the surface in this contest between Philadelphia and Washington, as seven of the nine most expensive assets happen to be employed by the 76ers, with Joel Embiid ($10,600), Ben Simmons ($10,000) and Tobias Harris ($9,200) leading the way. So, how does one go about separating these three dynamic athletes? Well, the first thing to note is that that latter doesn’t quite belong in this grouping. While Embiid has exceeded 40.0 DKFP in 81.8% of his 44 games and Simmons has done the same in 61.1% of his 54 games, Harris has managed to reach that threshold just 38.5% of the time in 2019-20. He’s good, but if Harris is going to be priced so similarly to these two teammates, he loses most of his value. That leaves the two All-Stars as incredibly viable; though, if you had to Captain one over the other, Embiid’s ceiling is much higher than Simmons’, with the center having reached the 50.0 DKFP plateau is almost half of his opportunities this season.
In terms of enticing plays in the mid-tier, the name that immediately jumps out is Al Horford ($7,400). Yes, the free agent acquisition has technically had an underwhelming campaign in Philadelphia. However, for the purposes of this slate, he’s clearly underpriced. To wit, Horford is one of only five people taking part in this simulation that’s averaged north of 30.0 DKFP per contest in 2019-20. While the other four members of that club find themselves with a salary above $9K, Horford’s just a little bit over $7K. The Florida product has also surpassed the 30.0 DKFP mark in 31 of his 60 appearances this season, giving Horford a much higher floor than someone like Glenn Robinson III ($6,400), who has seen his numbers crater since being traded to the 76ers in February.
Finally, when looking for some flat-out bargains on this roster, Shake Milton ($2,000) is your man. Though Matisse Thybulle ($1,600) is another young asset that deserves a look and provides some upside, Milton’s become a mainstay of Philadelphia’s rotation dating back to mid-January and his fantasy figures have obviously benefitted. In fact, Milton’s exceeded 16.0 DKFP in 16 of his most recent 20 games, a stretch that includes outbursts of 46.3 DKFP and 54.8 DKFP against the Hawks and the Clippers, respectively. At the end of the day, it’s simply rare to find anyone this inexpensive that can provide such slate-altering production.
With so few players burdened with hefty price tags, it’s understood that Washington will mostly be providing affordable options in the mid-tier on this particular slate. However, the lone exception to that rule is Bradley Beal ($11,400), who isn’t just the most expensive asset in Monday’s simulation, but who is also a staggering $800 more than the aforementioned Embiid. Now, it would be insane to question whether or not Beal is viable this afternoon, yet I think it is fair to suggest that it might be unwise to Captain the 26-year-old. I mean, consider how similar Embiid’s ratios are. Though Beal does lead all players on this slate in daily DKFP average at 49.0, Embiid’s sitting at 48.7. Though Beal has managed to eclipse the 50.0 DKFP plateau in 47.4% of his 57 contests in 2019-20, Embiid’s done the same 45.5% of the time. Save the couple hundred dollars with the big man at 1.5x value. That excess salary might come in handy down the line.
After Beal, the Wizards’ assets almost become indistinguishable. In fact, Washington has eight different players that happen to be averaging between 20.0 DKFP and 28.0 DKFP in 2019-20, a random list of names that encompasses most of the squad’s remaining roster. Still, while that might seem like something that could complicate matters, it actually makes identifying possible values quite simple. The general rule of thumb? Side with the cheaper option. For instance, Thomas Bryant ($3,200) is the Wizards’ seventh-most expensive player on this slate, despite sitting behind only Beal and Davis Bertans ($7,800) in DKFP average. Heck, Ian Mahinmi ($1,800) is almost a third of the price of Troy Brown Jr. ($4,600), even with the two men having produced near identical fantasy outputs so far this season. Basically, the lesson is to spend up on the 76ers you feel you need to own, and just fill in the blanks with this glut of Washington’s tertiary scorers.
With values like Shake Milton and Thomas Bryant on the board, I wouldn’t get too bashful about selecting an expensive Captain in this Showdown contest. So, with that in mind, Joel Embiid ($15,900 CP) becomes the No. 1 target. The Cameroonian’s floor is unmatched and, though Bradley Beal ($17,100 CP) possesses a similar ceiling, you don’t have to spend over $17K for Embiid’s services atop your lineup. What more could you ask for?
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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.