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 Wednesday’s free simulated game between the Timberwolves and Raptors, which locks at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Set your FREE to play lineups here: Simulated Basketball $2K FREE Contest (TOR vs MIN)
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
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I am not sure there is a player I have written up in these NBA sims more frequently than Marc Gasol ($3,600). A core player for the Raptors, he averages 24.35 DKFP, yet he’s one of the cheapest players in this game. I am not sure why this is the case, but it happens every time the Raptors are on a slate and he almost always ends up being a top value play. The only poor games Gasol has had are due to limited minutes either from returning from an injury or when he got injured during a game. He’s a safe play for salary savings and has decent upside since he’s scored at least 30 DKFP in a third of his games. Gasol is easily my favorite value play in this game.
Of the highest priced Raptors players, both Pascal Siakam ($10,600) and Kyle Lowry ($10,200) are viable plays. Lowry averages 41.36 DKFP, only slightly behind Siakam’s 42.45 DKFP per game average. Since the difference in price is minimal, we might as well go with Siakam as long as our cap space allows for it. The two are only $400 apart in salary and we typically see a price gap of at least $1,000 between these guys.
Typically a solid play in these games, Fred VanVleet ($9,000) is a bit more expensive than what we normally see from him. FVV is scoring 36.96 DKFP per game and has upside, but he isn’t a priority play for me. There are spots where he’s had to step up and play a massive role for Toronto since Lowry has missed a handful of games. Those missed games from Lowry have almost always led to juicy stat lines for VanVleet. If we get one of those games it would be great, although I am not sure the price tag is worth the risk unless he is being rostered to fill out a lineup.
One player I definitely want to fade from Toronto is Norman Powell ($7,200). In the middle of a breakout season, Powell is averaging 27.19 DKFP and we have seen him improve as he’s gotten thrust into a bigger role when the Raptors have dealt with injuries. The problem is that he’s really expensive and I would rather try to find the extra cap space to spend up for one of the All-Stars in this contest. This showdown slate sets up well for a stars and scrubs build.
Karl-Anthony Towns ($16,500 CP/$11,000) is the clear top choice for Captain. He averages 51.98 DKFP, significantly more than either of the top guys on the Raptors. Due to the amount of value in this game and the ability to roster a guy like Gasol at such a cheap price, it’s fairly easy to fit Towns in as the Captain. KAT has missed a bunch of games this season due to a knee injury and a wrist injury, but this won’t be an issue for us in this contest. Towns has only scored under 40 DKFP seven times this season, so he’s a very safe play.
Since there are a handful of higher-priced players that warrant consideration in this game, there are some players priced in the mid-range from the Wolves that I think we can avoid. Josh Okogie ($5,000) averages just 19.04 DKFP and he’s only scored 30 DKFP five times this season, so I don’t see much chance of upside at his salary. A couple other players that I think we can fade because they average under 20 DKFP are Malik Beasley ($5,600) and Jarrett Culver ($5,400). Beasley was great as a starter in Minnesota prior to the league shutting down, but he rarely produced decent fantasy games when he was on the Nuggets, which accounts for most of his season.
The best source of value on Minnesota is James Johnson ($2,000). At a super cheap price, he’s averaging 19.84 DKFP. This is a higher per game average than Okogie, Culver and Beasley, all of whom are much more expensive than Johnson. The upside for Johnson isn’t massive, although we don’t need it to be for such a meager salary. His floor is solid and that’s what I am looking for from such a cheap player. Johnson scored at least 27 DKFP in 11 of 12 games prior to the league getting shut down.
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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.