clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for December 29

Matt LaMarca breaks down Tuesday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Philadelphia 76ers v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA season is in full swing, and DraftKings has released a new fantasy format for the current season. Snake Draft contests are now available for the NBA in addition to the NFL, including for Tuesday’s 10-game NBA slate.

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 everyone 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 lineups here: NBA $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st]


Favorable Early Round Targets

Russell Westbrook, G, Washington Wizards
NBA Snake Rank: 5th

Westbrook is currently ranked fifth in the default rankings, but I think he should be coming off the board with the third pick. He has looked like his old self in his first season with the Wizards, racking up massive totals in every category across the board. He’s posted a triple-double in each of his first two games with Washington, and he’s scored at least 57.75 DKFP in both games.

Westbrook got the night off in the Wizards’ last game, so he should be ready to go Tuesday in an excellent matchup vs. the Bulls. They’ve played at the second-fastest pace to start the new season, and they’re also tied for 23rd in terms of defensive efficiency. The Wizards are currently implied for 119.75 points, which is the top mark on the slate.

Andre Drummond, F/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
NBA Snake Rank: 12th

Drummond has a default ranking of 12, which is selling him short on Tuesday. His ADP of 7.2 is much more reasonable, but I still think you can make the case that he deserves to be drafted earlier.

Drummond has been nothing short of a fantasy monster to start the season. He’s averaged 1.64 DKFP per minute, and he’s scored at least 57.0 DKFP in back-to-back games. That includes his last game vs. the 76ers despite the fact that he played just 26 minutes in a blowout win.

He gets a favorable matchup on Tuesday vs. the Knicks. They have been crushed in the interior so far this season, allowing more points in the paint than any other team in the league. They also rank just 25th in team rebound rate, so Drummond has the potential to dominate in this matchup.


Early Round Player to Avoid

Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
NBA Snake Rank: 9th

Booker has had a disappointing start to the new season. He’s averaged just 35.42 DKFP through his first three games, and his per-minute production has dipped to just 1.06 DKFP per minute. Booker was always expected to see a dip in production after the team acquired Chris Paul in the offseason, but he’s averaging more than seven fewer DKFP per game than he did last year.

With that in mind, Booker still seems like he’s overpriced in the Classic format and being overdrafted in the Snake format. Things don’t figure to get much better for him on Tuesday vs. the Pelicans, who have been a tough matchup to start the season. They’re playing much slower than they did last year – they’re merely tied for 19th in terms of pace through their first three games – and they’re tied for third in terms of defensive efficiency. There will likely be some good games coming for Booker in the future, but this is simply not a good spot to target him.

Also, make sure to avoid Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s ranked as the No. 3 overall player but has already been ruled out vs. the Clippers.


Later Round Fliers

It should be noted that these players are ranked below the threshold of players that would be drafted. This section simply tries to exploit players who are in favorable matchups and are down the rank list.

Tyler Herro, G, Miami Heat
NBA Snake Rank: 72nd

Herro is ranked as the No. 72 option, which puts him right on the cusp of being drafted in 12-team leagues. He has struggled a bit to start the season, but there is plenty of reason for optimism with him moving forward.

For starters, Herro has solidified himself as a starter this season after coming off the bench last year. That has resulted in nearly five additional minutes of playing time per game compared to his mark from last season. The only thing that has kept Herro’s production in check has been some poor shooting to start the year. He’s made just 37.5% of his shots from the field and 33.3% from 3-point range, and he’s simply too good of a shooter to let those struggles continue.

He’s in a potential buy-low spot Tuesday vs. the Bucks. Milwaukee played at the fastest pace in the league last season, and they will likely find themselves near the top of that category again in 2021. Their style of defense also encourages teams to shoot the 3-pointer, and we saw the Heat have success vs. them in the playoffs last season.

Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 79th

Bagley is not being drafted in the majority of NBA Snake contests at this point, but he’s someone I’m definitely interested in. Bagley is leading the Kings in usage rate to start the season at 28.4%, and he also ranks third on the team in rebound rate. With that in mind, he should be able to improve upon his average of 0.91 DKFP per minute moving forward.

Like Herro, Bagley is another player who simply hasn’t shot the ball well to start the season. He’s shot just 39.5% from the field and 14.3% from 3-point range, and both of those numbers are well below his career averages. He should see some positive regression sooner rather than later.

Naz Reid, F/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA Snake Rank: 89th

With Towns out of the lineup, Reid figures to draw another start at center for the Timberwolves. He was solid in that role on Sunday vs. the Lakers, scoring 27.25 DKFP in 28 minutes. Reid has averaged 1.09 DKFP per minute through his first three games, so he has the potential for an even better performance vs. the Clippers.

Reid is not being drafted in most leagues – he doesn’t currently have an ADP – but he’s a very solid selection with your last pick.

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


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic lineups here: NBA $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st]


Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.


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

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/NH/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.