The Philadelphia 76ers will likely be without star point guard Ben Simmons Tuesday against the Detroit Pistons. While this means quite a few things, it specifically has an impact on the DraftKings NBA slate for the night. Simmons was downgraded from questionable to doubtful for the game, and it seems more likely than not that he sits this game out.
In turn, there’ll quite a bit of value that opens up on DraftKings if that proves to be the case. I’m going to take a look specifically at the 76ers and break down where the value may come from and who’ll thrive in his absence. Before diving into it, it’s worth noting that Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer revealed Markelle Fultz, who’s been starting at shooting guard, will move over to point if Simmons is out.
The Obvious DraftKings Targets to Replace Ben Simmons
- Joel Embiid ($10,400)
- JJ Redick ($5,300)
- Markelle Fultz ($4,900)
Joel Embiid and JJ Redick are unquestionably the biggest beneficiaries when Simmons is off the floor. Although it’s a limited sample size from this season, the usage of both players has increased, with Redick seeing a jump from 24.9 to 26.9, per Basketball Monster.
Going back and including last season, Redick’s usage still increased (21.9 to 23.9) but Embiid’s saw a drastic increase from 33.4 to 37.2. It’s obvious these two are likely the top targets to consider, but Markelle Fultz, who’ll get the starting nod, has also seen a big usage increase (21.2 to 24.4).
The only concern with Fultz will be his minutes. Sixers coach Brett Brown opted to go with T.J. McConnell over the former No. 1 pick down the stretch of the last game while giving Fultz just 23 minutes. His price is likely too hard to pass up on in most cases, but I wouldn’t use him in 100 percent of lineups.
The Underrated DraftKings Targets Who Benefit
- T.J. McConnell ($3,800)
- Landry Shamet ($3,200)
- Mike Muscala ($3,200)
McConnell is a top target for me tonight, for a few reasons. He has the full trust of the coaching staff and if things start to go haywire with Fultz, McConnell will draw big minutes. The 26-year-old played 25 and 22 minutes in two of the team’s three games this season and totaled eight points with four assists and four rebounds in the game Simmons left.
As for Shamet, his price is exceptional when you consider he’s played 21 and 29 minutes in the past two games. Also factoring in that he’ll likely become the go-to scoring option off the bench if Redick starts, the rookie sharpshooter could have a very nice night statistically.
Both McConnell and Shamet see a usage increase without Simmons, but the former’s is far larger (from 12.7 to 15.3). Both guards are in play and should be solid value options to help fit in the top options on this slate.
The reason I mentioned Muscala is for a different reason. Philly will have their offseason acquisition available for the first time this season. It’s unknown how Simmons’ status impacts his court time, but one thing we know is that the Sixers are light on bodies inside. Muscala will take on a huge role and is priced nicely. With Philly likely running out a pass-first point guard with him in most spots, it makes sense to use him some.