Daily Fantasy Basketball NBA Sim Contest Picks for Monday, March 23

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Just about the entire sports world has been put on hold all over the world as we try to come to grips with the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, sports bettors are having to take a little hiatus of their own.

There’s just not a whole lot going on out there from a sporting perspective these days. As a result, Daily fantasy sports sites have had to get creative due to the shortage of options out there at the moment.

For the past few days, FanDuel has been running a new “NBA Sim” contest. It’s free to enter, and those that win will earn some cash that can be used to play in paid contests on the site. Players will fill out a 9-man NBA lineup, just as they would for a normal NBA DFS slate.

Players earn points based on a random simulation of games that have already happened this season. For example, if Giannis Antetokounmpo is randomly drawn the number 30, his score will reflect his stat line from the 30th game he played this season.

While this is essentially a lottery, there can still be some strategy involved. Not all players have played in the same number of games, for example. Others have wider ranges of outcomes than others, as well. While it’s something of a crapshoot, there is still value to be found in the salaries.

It’s also worth noting that matchups obviously don’t matter. You’ll see “Denver at Chicago” on the schedule on the site, but the Nuggets obviously aren’t really playing the Bulls. So, don’t base your picks off of matchups. We’ve got 8 fake games on the schedule for Monday. Everyone can enter as many as 5 lineups with the hopes of winning some FanDuel bonus cash. Let’s try to find some worthwhile targets, shall we?

Malcolm Brogdon, PG ($6,300)

Malcolm Brogdon has really come into his own in his first season with the Pacers. The former Rookie of the Year has averaged a solid 32.86 FanDuel points per game on the season, and he has scored fewer than 20 FD points in just 6 of the 48 games he’s played. That means you have a very high floor with a hint of upside, to boot. Brogdon has recorded over 40 FanDuel points 12 times on the year, and he’s topped 50 twice.

You can do a lot worse than Brogdon at $6,300 tonight. My preference is to target guys with high floors in order to avoid getting completely burned. While Brogdon has put up a few duds, he hasn’t done so often enough for me to be overly concerned about it. In all likelihood, you’re getting somewhere between 25 and 40 points from him tonight. I imagine quite a bit of ownership will flood to Luka Doncic as a high-end point guard spent, so if you’re looking for a little value I like what Brogdon brings to the table.

Zach LaVine, SG ($7,900)

The suspension of play is probably welcome news for the Chicago Bulls as they endure yet another miserable season. One of the few bright spots for the Bulls has been Zach LaVine. The former lottery pick has averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game along with 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists.

LaVine is a guy we’ve seen cost you more than $9,000 at times this season, so the fact that you can lock him in for $7,900 tonight makes him look like a nice value option. He has averaged right at 40 fantasy points per game this season (39.99, to be exact). The only other shooting guard in this same price tier is Devin Booker. While Booker makes for a perfectly fine option himself, LaVine comes with a higher floor. Booker has gone under 20 FanDuel points 3 times this season, while LaVine has done it twice. Booker has gone under 30 FD points 14 times compared to 11 for LaVine. Both guys have gone for 50 or more 9 times.

Luke Kennard, SF ($5,200)

Luke Kennard isn’t exactly the most well-known DFS commodity, but there’s plenty to like about him in a lottery-style game like this. Kennard was in the midst of a breakout season before knee tendinitis ended his campaign prematurely in December. Prior to going down, the former Duke Blue Devil was averaging career-highs in just about every statistical category. Kennard was up to 15.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting an excellent 39.9 percent from 3-point range.

For the sim game, the fact that Kennard has only played 28 games all year is a good thing. We have a very limited allotment of outcomes with which to work. Kennard contributed at least 20 FD points in 23 of his 28 games played, which means you’re almost certainly getting a score that at least won’t kill you for his $5,200 salary. He’s also gone over 30 FD points 11 times, so he has the potential to smash that salary if luck is on your side.

Bam Adebayo, PF ($8,200)

Power forward comes with plenty of high-floor options tonight. Kawhi Leonard, Domantas Sabonis, Kristaps Porzingis and Bam Adebayo all really stand out, while a $7,200 Julius Randle is plenty tempting, as well. Adebayo has averaged 40.71 FD points per game on the year, and he’s put together a number of monster games. Bam has gone for at least 30 FD points 54 times across 66 games. He’s gone over 40 37 times, over 50 13 times and over 60 3 times.

As is the case with LaVine, we’ve paid upwards of $9,000 for Bam on FanDuel this season. For the most part, we know what we’re getting with Adebayo. We were burned 3 days ago when we played him and we got one of his very few floor games (17.6), but the chances of that happening again are incredibly slim. I like the upside you get with Bam at a low-$8,000 price point.

Deandre Ayton, C ($8,600)

Going with this build means you probably won’t have the funds to spend up for a Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo or James Harden, but there’s still plenty of upside to be had. Center looks like a position at which you’ll want to spend some salary, so I like Deandre Ayton quite a bit for $8,600.

Due to the combination of a 25-game suspension with a few other nagging injuries, the second-year big man has played in just 30 games this season while averaging over 41 fantasy points per contest. He might be a little expensive given the FP/game production, but I think they jacked his price up a bit because he has played in so few games. As is the case with Kennard, there is a very low chance that Ayton burns you. Ayton has only gone under 20 fantasy points in 1 of his 30 outings, and he’s gone under 30 just 5 times. That means you have an 83 percent chance of getting at least 30 fantasy points from him.

Locking in these 5 guys gives you an average of $5,950 with which to fill out the rest of your lineup. Good luck!

Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.