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 Friday afternoon, we have a matchup between the Jazz and Pistons, with a breakdown of the targets below.
Set your free-to-play lineups here: $2K Simulated Basketball Free Contest (UTA vs DET)
So here’s the thing about these NBA simulations — it feels like there are a wider variety of outcomes than an actual NBA game. Why do I say this? Well, I recapped an earlier simulation in which the Hawks defeated the Mavericks 220-102. So your lineup essentially needs to be prepared for anything, and with just one lineup in a free contest, being super contrarian is likely the key. Here are some targets I’m considering.
The Jazz players in general are super priced up on this slate, as you’ll notice when we start running through the top rotation plays. That just makes paying for the stars a more reasonable strategy, especially when you consider the lack of star power on the Detroit side.
Donovan Mitchell’s ($11,200) is generally in the mid-$10,000 range, but he’s the only play on the slate that averages a 24-4-4 line. Utah really lacks value, but Detroit provides enough plays to make Mitchell essentially a must-play.
Rudy Gobert ($10,800) is pretty much in the same spot at Mitchell. Unfortunately, his salary takes an even bigger jump, about $2,000 since earlier in the month. He averaged 15 points, 14 boards and a couple blocks in his 34.5 minutes per game during the regular season.
Bojan Bogdanovic ($10,000) has been an impressive 20-point scorer this season, but I don’t want to pay $10,000 just for scoring, which is essentially what we’re doing. I faded him at $8,200 on the last slate I wrote up, so the $1,800 jump only further limits my interest. Bagdanovic is more expensive than every play on the Pistons, which doesn’t make much sense.
Joe Ingles ($7,200) was previously a value I liked using on Utah, but that was in the $5,500 range. At this salary, there are just much stronger plays on Detroit.
The narrative continues with Mike Conley ($8,200), who’s seen one of the larger salary bumps I’ve ever seen. He was $4,600 the last time I wrote him up earlier in the month. His salary has finally adjusted from elite value, to significantly overpriced. Jordan Clarkson ($8,600) now becomes slightly more of a consideration, but even he’s still up $1,000. He’s a great spark off the bench, but overpriced.
Derrick Rose ($9,800) is the go-to scorer for the Pistons, despite averaging just 26 minutes and predominantly playing off the bench. Given the lack of scoring options on Detroit, Rose should be in line for a lot of opportunities.
Christian Wood’s ($6,000) salary makes no sense, coming down over $3,000. He’s the most obvious steal on the slate, and should be heavily owned, but don’t be the guy that fades him.
Once again, no clue what’s going on with Blake Griffin’s ($3,800) salary. He’s played in just enough games to be in this sim (15 is the minimum, and he played 18), and had a very inconsistent season. He’s been priced at $9,000 in some sims and $1,600 in others, but is still a value at $3,800. We know what the upside is here, and it’s worth well over $3,800.
Bruce Brown ($5,000) has been an impressive piece this season. He started 43 of 58 games and is kind of a wild card in terms of his role, mostly due to the Pistons’ revolving door of a rotation. He’s not a consistent option, but proved capable of 40-DKFP games multiple times during the regular season.
Luke Kennard ($4,000) is shockingly cheap in this sim given what we saw when healthy. He missed a lot of time with knee issues, but in the 28 games he played, he posted averages of 15.8 points, 4.1 assets and 3.5 boards. Getting that type of production at this price makes him another obvious value, helping us pay for those Utah studs.
In order to afford both studs on the Jazz, we’ll likely use the CPT spot on a value on the Pistons. I don’t think we need to dig deep, or risk low floor plays in Kennard or Griffin, so paying $9,000 for Christian Wood ($9,000 CP) makes a lot of sense.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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.