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Best lineup strategy for Pelicans vs. Lakers NBA simulation Showdown

We go over how to craft a winning lineup for Wednesday’s featured simulated basketball Showdown on DraftKings.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson in action against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

We continue our series of simulated basketball on DraftKings with Wednesday’s contest between the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers. We’ve seen this matchup a few times recently with Zion Williamson going up against LeBron James twice in the week before the League shut down. Of course, none of this really matters when it comes to simulated basketball, so let’s just get into some picks. Here’s a link to the contest and be sure to check out the rules for sim basketball before locking in a lineup.

Captain’s Picks

The idea here is going to be to fit in as many of the studs as humanly possible. because of this, I like the idea of fading LeBron James ($18,300) and Anthony Davis ($17,100). We can get both of them at a cheaper rate in the UTIL slot and I like the upside of a few Pelicans players at CAPT. Brandon Ingram ($14,400) and Jrue Holiday ($13,500) both have pretty good ceilings and get us some salary relief. It’s stacked field really. Hell, I’d even consider Lonzo Ball ($12,000) because of the triple-double upside. Ingram is the safest of the cheap Captain options and he’s my favorite choice.

FLEX Options

If we’re captaining Ingram and fitting in LeBron and AD, we aren’t left with much salary to work with. Two Pelicans players who are super cheap are Nicolo Melli ($1,400) and Jaxson Hayes ($1,600). These are strictly salary-relief plays. Melli actually has some decent numbers given this price this season and we could hit gold. Hayes is in a similar boat, but will less certainty he’ll return value.

If you want to balance things out a bit, I’d say roll with one of Melli or Hayes and then grab someone in the mid-range like Derrick Favors ($5,000). The contest is very top-heavy and most of the mid-range doesn’t really offer any pop. So like I’ve been saying, “Stars and Scrubs” seems like the play, as is tradition in these types of Showdown contests.