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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for December 25

Alex Hunter breaks down Friday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Merry Christmas, everyone! For this holiday, the NBA has blessed us with a star-studded five-game slate, and DraftKings has released a new fantasy format for DFS players to attack. Snake Drafts are now available in the DraftKings lobby for both NBA and NFL.

If you’ve ever played season-long fantasy before – either for NBA or any other sport – you’re likely familiar with how a Snake Draft works. In short, for these contests, once the allotted number of entries are filled in a contest, the draft will begin one minute later. The entrants are assigned a random draft order and will commence in that order. The player with the first pick gets dibs on anyone while the player with the last pick will get a double pick, as it’ll end the first round and thus begin the second.

Roster requirements for lineups: G – 2, F/C – 2, Util – 2

Visit the DraftKings NBA lobby to view all the available NBA Snake contests!

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic Millionaire lineups here: NBA $2.5M Holiday Basketball Millionaire [$1M to 1st]

Big Trey Payday

Opt-in and if a player hits a 3-pointer in the last minute of the fourth quarter in tonight’s New Orleans vs. Miami game or tonight’s Golden State vs. Milwaukee game or tonight’s Dallas vs. Los Angeles game or Los Angeles vs. Denver game, you get an entry to an exclusive $100K contest on 12/30! See the DraftKings Big Trey Payday page for more details!

Favorable Early Round Targets:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F/C, Milwaukee Bucks
Snake Classic Rank: 1st

The reigning MVP is a well deserving 1st overall pick in snake drafts for Christmas Day. He was excellent vs. the Celtics on Wednesday, recording 57.75 DKFP in 36 minutes of work. Antetokounmpo and the Bucks will now head back home to face off against the Warriors, which is great news for the superstar. He scored 62.3 DKFP per game at home last season, which is a notable 5.4 more DKFP per game than when the Bucks were on the road.

Plus, this matchup vs. the Warriors sports the highest O/U game total of this five-game slate, at 232.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. Last year, when Antetokounmpo was on his home floor and the O/U game total was north of 225 points, the “Greek Freak” generated 64.3 DKFP.

Nikola Jokic, F/C, Denver Nuggets
Snake Classic Rank: 5th

Jokic was incredible Wednesday night, recording a triple-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists, to go along with three blocks across 41.5 minutes against the Kings (76.75 DKFP). He was the high scorer of the huge 13-game slate by a notable 10.75 DKFP. Now, Jokic and the Nuggets will remain at home for a Christmas Day matchup vs. the Clippers. The Nuggets pulled off the upset knocking this Clippers team out of the playoffs in seven games this past summer and Jokic was excellent in that series, producing 55.6 DKFP per game.

He topped 60 DKFP points in four of those seven games and this Western Conference semifinals rematch carries a small spread with the Clippers favored by 2.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook. Jokic should see a full workload in this competitive tilt and is vastly undervalued at the five spot in DraftKings snake classic rankings.

Early Round Player to Avoid:

Kawhi Leonard, F/C, Los Angeles Clippers
Snake Classic Rank: 7th

The Clippers came away with a win vs. the Lakers on Tuesday, but Leonard had a relatively quiet night, scoring 36 DKFP. This wasn’t surprising to see with the Clippers at full strength. Last season, Leonard averaged 47.8 DKFP per game, but in the 51 contests he played with Paul George also active, he only produced 32.8 DKFP per game.

Don’t get me wrong, Leonard is one of the best players in the NBA, but his fantasy ceiling takes a hit when George is fully healthy and I would rather look elsewhere during the first few rounds of snake drafts Friday.

Late Round Fliers:

Montrezl Harrell, F/C, Los Angeles Lakers
Snake Classic Rank: 34th

In his first game as a Laker, Harrell didn’t start, but he played a team-high 32 minutes off the bench against the Clippers on Tuesday. With the expanded role as the Lakers’ sixth man, the 26-year-old recorded a 37 DKFP double-double against his former team. Lakers starting center Marc Gasol is 35 years old and with the Lakers’ tendencies to have two big men on the floor at all times, Harrell should find himself logging around 30 minutes on a nightly basis this season.

In the 19 games he received at least 30 minutes last year with the Clippers, Harrell supplied 36.6 DKFP per game. His opponent, the Mavs, ranked 21st in defensive efficiency a year ago and Harrell should tally his second double-double of the season on Christmas Day.

Eric Bledsoe, G, New Orleans Pelicans
Snake Classic Rank: 40th

After only playing 27.6 minutes per game last season with the Bucks, Bledsoe played 34.3 minutes in his first tilt with the Pelicans on Wednesday. Albeit a one game sample size, Bledsoe only trailed Brandon Ingram in playing time for New Orleans during their 113-99 win over the Raptors. He recorded 33.5 DKFP in the difficult matchup and Bledsoe should see a similar workload on Christmas Day vs. the Heat.

This matchup is expected to stay tight throughout with Miami only favored by 4.5 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and Bledsoe is averaging 35 DKFP across his last two meetings with the Heat. He should be ranked much higher than 40th and Bledsoe is one of the best late guard values of this slate.

Jeff Teague, G, Boston Celtics
Snake Classic Rank: 70th

With Kemba Walker (knee) missing, Teague flourished in his Celtics debut, posting 36.75 DKFP in 25 minutes against the Bucks this past Wednesday. He didn’t start, but Teague was 4th on the team in playing time after Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. The 32-year-old also garnered a very healthy 27.2% usage rate, and the veteran should continue to see this type of role until Walker returns sometime next month.

Additionally, Teague is in a great spot on Christmas day going against the Nets, who ranked 8th in pace last season. Playing up in pace is perfect for his skill set and Teague is an awesome late round gamble on this holiday.

Visit the DraftKings NBA lobby to view all the available NBA Snake contests!

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic Millionaire lineups here: NBA $2.5M Holiday Basketball Millionaire [$1M to 1st].

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) 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.