What is up Karma Nation! Welcome to the our first ever NBA Sim Sports article. As everyone knows we are on day 7 of no NBA and we have finally entered the realm of uber degen status. After being stuck in my house for almost a week I needed something like this to keep me occupied, especially after my spring break vacation got cancelled and I have no classes right now. Fanduel needed to find a way to keep us all entertained during this downtime in sports and they seem to have hit the nail on the head with this one. 93,000 entries last night the $4000 NBA Sim Sports Free Play contest and we are currently at 80,000 lineups reserved. Clearly Fanduel finally did something right and added a contest that will hopefully help us get through this difficult time in our lives with an NBA hiatus for potentially 3 months. It seems like a lot of people were confused on how this contest actually works so I’m here to explain it all and hopefully give you the edge to take down the $400 prize!
How it works
The contest may seem a little confusing at first, Sim Sports? What’s that, are we getting some NBA2k games going on and betting on those? No, that’s not the case here. This is how it all works:
- Players will be randomly assigned stats from a game they played during the 2019-2020 season
- Only players who have scored fantasy points in at least 15 games will be included in the pool. The Opponent Matchups in each slate are irrelevant for the simulations.
- Only games where players scored more than 0 points will be available to be assigned stats. No need to worry about DNPs.
- Scores will be slowly revealed throughout the night. We still want you all to have a little bit of a sweat.
- Games assigned will be viewable on this landing page in the Games Assigned Section below.
- Winners will receive site credit and potentially other prizes each night and entry will be 100% Free!
Find official rules HERE
Where is the Edge?
At first glance you have to ask yourself where is the edge in a contest like this? It’s completely random so there shouldn’t be an edge, but like table games there is a definitely an edge behind this contest. The main way to look at this is from a ceiling perspective. What players can possibly give me the most fantasy points. Now let’s take a look at the lineup that can give you the highest score for tonight. Wait hold on Joey, how the hell do you know what the highest scoring lineup for tonight will be? Well, since we already know what each player’s ceiling is because all of these games have already happened, we can pick the lineup that can give you the most total points. Will this end up being the highest scoring lineup for the night, no but this is the lineup that has the potential to score the most points.
Let’s first see who the highest scorer at each position:
PG: Damian Lillard 84.5 (9.17x)
SG: James Harden 82.6 (7.3x)
SF: Giannis Antetokounmpo 81.8 (7.17x)
PF: Kristaps Porzingis 75.6 (9.5x)
C: Andre Drummond 81.6 (8.16x)
Next let’s take a look at each top value play:
PG: Shake Milton 14.2x and Seth Curry 12.1x
SG: Gary Trent 14.1x and Furkan Korkmaz 13.7x
SF: Eric Gordon 17.1x and Kevin Porter Jr 13.4x
PF: Isaiah Hartenstein 16.4x and Jeff Green 12.5x
C: Ante Zizic 17.1x and Boban Marjanovic 15.9x
I’m not giving you a player pool for this; you can check out Sriracha’s article for a player pool. I’m just giving out data so everyone knows the risks of each play and which plays make more sense and which plays are you capping your ceiling. This is all random number generated plays but you should at least be putting yourself in the best situation to cash.
Best Possible Lineup
Let’s take a look at the ceiling lineup for tonight. There is an extremely low probability it hits but we can calculate the max amount of points able to score for tonight’s slate. I think it’s just a fun thing to look at.
PG: Damian Lillard (84.5 fantasy points), Shake Milton (51.1 fantasy points)
SG: CJ McCollum (71.8 fantasy points), Khris Middleton (70 fantasy points),
SF: Jonathan Issaac (58.5) fantasy points), Eric Gordon (68.7 fantasy points)
PF: Kristaps Porzingis (75.6 fantasy points), Isaiah Hartenstein (57.5 fantasy points)
C: Andre Drummond (81.6 fantasy points)
If every player hits their potential ceiling then they will score a total of 618.7 fantasy points, with and average value of 11.8x. Obviously this is extremely unlikely to happen, around 2.1x(10-15) but this just gives you a glimpse into how high some of these lineups can possibly get.
Selecting Your Studs
Luka Doncic ($10,800): Luka has had 7 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a point guard this season. He is the safest point guard to get you the ceiling you want today.
Westbrook ($10,300): Westbrook has had 2 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a point guard this season. All coming in the bottom third of the top 25. He is my fade today.
Damian Lillard ($10,200): Lillard has had 5 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a point guard this season. He also has the most fantasy points scored by a point guard this season. So, if you are looking for the highest scorer on the slate for a point guard, he is your guy.
Ben Simmons ($9,200): Simmons has had 2 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a point guard this season, but both of those rank in the top 4. So, if you are looking to get risking with your spend up guy and save $1000 he is your guy.
Shooting guard, you have James Harden to pay up for then there is McCollum and Middleton who are both underpriced. Is James Harden worth the salary?
James Harden ($11,200): Harden has had 17 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a shooting guard this season, including the top 9 fantasy performance. He has 12 70-point games meaning he has a 20% chance to score 70 points. He has 24 60-point games this season which gives him a 40% chance to drop 60+ fantasy points. Which is a 40% chance to hit 5.35x value which is pretty good for someone $11,200. If you are looking for a safe play to spend up on Harden is a great choice, but of course I played him last time and he had 27…
CJ McCollum ($7,200): McCollum has had 1 game this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a shooting guard this season. This number really isn’t fair to measure him by because how much Harden has dominated the top 25. McCollum has a 32% chance to hit 40+ fantasy points. 40+ fantasy points would be 5.55x value. Harden still has a higher chance of hitting value at a higher price. Which means Harden is still the safest choice to pay up for. Let’s see if Middleton, who has played 7 games boosted without Giannis, can dethrone him.
Khris Middleton ($7,000): Middleton has had 0 games this season scoring in the top 25 highest fantasy points for a shooting guard this season. This number really isn’t fair to measure him by because how much Harden has dominated the top 25. Middleton also has a 32% chance of hitting 5.5x value which would be 39 fantasy points. While Middleton isn’t the safest play to hit value, you are getting the highest value for a ceiling with 10x and 70 fantasy points.
Again, just like SG we have one stud, Giannis, and then a huge drop off. Is Giannis really worth the price tonight?
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400): Giannis obviously has the highest ceiling of a small forward being almost double the price of Tobais Harris, the next highest priced player. Is Giannis really worth that price tag or should be fade him tonight. There is no definite answer to that question but at least you can be a little more confident in your approach thinking this way: raw points vs value. Giannis has a ceiling of 81.8 which is almost 24 more points than Harris and Issac. His ceiling value is only 7.2x compared to 8.4x for Harris and 9.1x for Issac. Also, his ceiling ranks third worst on the slate for a small forward. That being said he has 8 70 point performances and 20 60 point performances. Both of these numbers are lower than James Harden, but he has played 4 less games then him. He has a 13.7% to score 70 and a 34% chance to score 60 fantasy points, both of which are lower than Harden as well. So, if you have to I would play Harden over Giannis just based on probabilities.
Tobias Harris ($6,900): With Harris you are getting a ceiling of 57.9 fantasy points which is 8.4x value. Harris has scored over 50 fantasy points in 6 games this season which gives him a 9% chance of reaching 50+ fantasy points or 7.2x. He has 21 games of 40+ fantasy points which would give him a 32% chance of hitting 5.8x. He has a lower probability of hitting those celling 7x games but he is a great safe option tonight to get you 5.8x.
Jonathan Issac ($6,400): With Issac you are getting a higher ceiling than Harris with 58.5 fantasy points and 9.1x value. You get to save $500 for a higher ceiling. So, this sounds like a no brainer right, let’s dig into it a little more and see if Issac is actually the better play. He has 4 games with 50 fantasy points scored and 10 games with 40+ fantasy points. While those number seem bad compared to Harris, Issac has played half the games Harris has. He has a 12.5% chance of scoring 50+ fantasy points and a 31.25% chance of scoring 40 fantasy points. Which is 7.8x and 6.25x respectfully. Issac is the better play if deciding between the two.
Kristaps Porzingis ($7,900): Porzingis is the best PF play on the board. Not only does he have the highest ceiling for a PF on the slate but he is just such a big value play. He is finally healthy and those games without Luka added up to some amazing value tonight. His ceiling is 75.6 which is 16 more than Love. He has 15 games of 50+ fantasy points which is 6.3x He also has 24 games of 40+ fantasy points which is 5x. With only 51 games played this season he has a 29% chance of hitting 6.3x and a 47% chance of hitting 5x which is one of the highest on the slate.
Kevin Love ($6,800): Kevin Love is another option to pay up for tonight outside of Porzingis. Love has had plenty of success this season and he is cheap enough to still hit value right now. He has a ceiling of 59.6 which is a value of 8.7x. He has played 56 games this season and has reached 50+ fantasy points 4 times which is 7.35x value this is a 7% chance and 40 fantasy points 14 times which is 5.88x this is a 25% chance. He is a great play tonight but if I had to choose I would prioritize Porzingis over Love.
Aaron Gordon ($6,200): Gordon the should be 2 time dunk champion has a ceiling of 57 which is better ceiling vale than Love at 9.2x. He has a played 58 games this season and has hit 31 points 24 times this season which would be 5x. He has a 41% chance of hitting this which is a great sign. He has 12 games over 42 points which is 7x. He has a 20% chance of hitting 7x value which makes him an elite play and better than Love in my opinion.
Center is a deep position each and every night, you can find high ceilings at every price tier. It’s tough to decide.
Andre Drummond ($10,000): Drummond has the highest ceiling on the slate for centers with 81.6 and now you don’t even have to worry about foul trouble when playing him tonight! Drummond has had some huge scoring nights along with a lot of duds especially after joining the Cavs. So hopefully we will get some Piston ceiling games tonight. Drummond has 10 60+ points game with two outliers of 81.6 and 78.6 other then that they are 67 or less. He has played 57 games this season so he has a 17.5% chance of getting 60 or more. While he has 24 games of 50+ fantasy points. This gives him a 42% chance of hitting 5x.
Joel Embiid ($9,600) vs Hassan Whiteside ($9,300): Most likely you will have the salary for either of these guys if you have the option for one and don’t have the money to get to Drummond. Who is the better choice tonight? Embiid has the higher ceiling 78.3 vs 69.6. Whiteside has 19 50 point games which gives him a 31% chance to hit 5.3x. Embiid has 16 50 point games which gives him a 35% chance of hitting 5.3x value. If you have the money try to get up to Embiid. If you don’t don’t force Embiid, Whiteside is just as good for a little cheaper.
Nikola Vucevic ($9,000): I know it’s Vuc and we should never play him, but good news the data even backs that up tonight! He has the second lowest ceiling value tonight, he is only behind Tyson Chandler with 7x value. Center is a stacked position and no reason to risk it on Vuc. These are GPPs and you are getting a limited ceiling playing him. Although he does have his safe floor going for him tonight. He has reached 5x value 21 times this season, which gives him a 38%. There is just is not much of a ceiling for him, he has reached 54 fantasy points or 6x only 5 times this season, giving him just a 9% chance of hitting value. He is a complete fade for me during this Sim Sports contests unless they lower his price to at least $8000.