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 Hawks take on the Knicks, and the action gets underway at 3 p.m. ET.
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Trae Young ($17,400 CP/$11,600) is an elite option whenever the Hawks are involved in a fantasy contest. He averages 51.47 DKFP and has a massive ceiling. Young has six games this season in which he scored over 70 DKFP. The only real risk with rostering him is that he’s had a few games that he left early with an ankle injury. If we draw one of those games, Young is going to be a massive bust. As long as we don’t get any of those games, Young should be one of, if not the top fantasy producers in this contest. Since there aren’t a ton of elite players in this game, Young is by far my favorite choice in the Captain’s spot. We know nobody on the Knicks’ side of the game can be considered elite.
John Collins ($10,000) doesn’t have the name value of a guy like Young, but that doesn’t mean we should look past him. He is averaging 41.8 DKFP and he’s only scored under 30 DKFP in five games all season. Per dollar, he is a bit too expensive, although since he averages more DKFP than anybody on the Knicks, I think we have to consider Collins a decent play.
We are yet to see Clint Capela ($7,800) play for the Hawks in real life, which doesn’t matter for this contest. For our purposes, he can draw any of the box scores he had during his time with the Rockets. While with Houston, Capela averaged 38.54 DKFP. It’s crazy that a player like De’Andre Hunter ($8,600), who averages 22.75 DKFP, is significantly more expensive than Capela. Capela is one of the stronger plays in this contest.
If looking for a bargain player, Dewayne Dedmon ($1,600) is worth considering. The benefit of rostering Dedmon is that he’s had a handful of games that he’s started and played well in that role. In 18 starts, Dedmon has averaged 21.49 DKFP. If we get one of these games, he should provide excellent value and he allows us to easily pay up for a guy like Trae Young as Captain.
New York Knicks
There aren’t many players from the Knicks we can confidently roster. The playing time and production from this team has been very inconsistent from game-to-game. The most reliable source of fantasy production from the Knicks this season is Julius Randle ($10,600). He averages 38.25 DKFP and is the only player on the team putting up over 30 DKFP per night. For $600 cheaper, John Collins makes for the better play.
Oddly, RJ Barrett ($9,000) is way more expensive than Elfrid Payton ($5,000), which is usually the case in our NBA sims. Behind Randle, Payton is the second best fantasy producer on the Knicks. He averages 29.86 DKFPm compared to an average of 26.4 DKFP for Barrett. Of the two, Payton should pretty clearly be more expensive and is one of the better value plays in this contest. Another player I think we can confidently fade is Bobby Portis ($5,800). His salary is crazy high for a player who only is putting up 20.36 DKFP per game.
As a risky cheap play from New York, Frank Ntilikina ($3,000) has had some decent games. Occasionally starting at point guard for the Knicks, he averages 17.53 DKFP in the role and even has a couple games with 43 DKFP. Ntilikina is a variance play since he has some duds in his game log, but he has the upside to break the slate at a low price. We could also roll the dice on Dennis Smith Jr. ($1,000), who has had a couple of decent games when moving into the starting lineup due to injuries. With all this said, Dedmon is a better play and a higher priority than Ntilikina and Smith.
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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.