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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for December 31

Stan Son breaks down Thursday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 6:30 p.m. ET.

New Orleans Pelicans v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/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 Thursday’s 5-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

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Favorable Early Round Targets

James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

Harden is the highest projected player on the slate by a wide margin. Through two games, he’s averaging a whopping 67.25 DKFP per game and 1.80 DKFP per minute. He is garnering a 34.2 usage rate and literally does it all.

Now, those two games were without John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and Eric Gordon, who are all expected back for Thursday’s game against the Sacramento. And the Kings have done a fine job against shooting guards so far this season, suppressing fantasy points per minute to the position by 12.28%. You know what, though? It doesn’t freaking matter. Harden is going to get his.

De’Aaron Fox, G, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 11th

Fox is averaging 1.09 DKFP per minute and 36.81 DKFP per game so far this season, despite shooting 44% from the field and attempting 15.3 shots per game. Last season in 51 games, Fox averaged 16 shots per game and converted 48% of his opportunities.

The matchup against the Rockets is a juicy one. This game has the highest total on the slate at 231 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, a good 10 points more than the second-highest, and Houston is boosting the fantasy points per minute to the point guard position by 15.22%. And that’s without John Wall! From a team perspective, the Rockets are 28th in defensive efficiency.


Early Round Player to Avoid

Devin Booker, G, Phoenix Suns
NBA Snake Rank: 6th

Through four games, Booker is averaging 19 points, 3.5 assists, and 16 shots per game. This has translated to 0.98 DKFP per minute and 32.56 DKFP per game. For perspective, he averaged 26.6 points, 6.5 assists, 18.3 shot attempts, and 42.70 DKFP per game last season. Things will get better but it may not come on Thursday.

We know that Utah is methodical on offense but the Suns are dead-last in pace this season. In addition, the Jazz are 9th in defensive efficiency. Booker can pop off for 50 DKFP on any given night, but the acquisition cost seems too high considering the circumstances and matchup.


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.

Tyrese Haliburton, G, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 48th

The rookie looks calm, cool, and collected out on the court. The eye test is one thing but there’s no denying the 56% field goal percentage and 0.8 turnovers per game. More importantly, he’s played 30, 26, 26, and 24 minutes the past four games while sharing the court with Fox for 57 total minutes.

Haliburton is averaging 0.9 DKFP per minute and 24 DKFP per game. As mentioned above, the matchup is a juicy one for the backcourt and the game environment should produce plenty of offensive possessions.

Richaun Holmes, F/C, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 43rd

I guess we are just stacking the Kings tonight. It’s not my fault many of the Kings are ranked low, so don’t shoot the messenger!

Holmes is averaging 1.04 DKFP per minute and 26.75 DKFP per game. After playing only 24 minutes per game in the first three contests, Holmes received 32 minutes last outing and produced 36.25 DKFP. Hassan Whiteside no longer looks like a factor and the matchup against the Rockets is one of the most favorable for the center position, as they boost fantasy points per minute by 27.19%. Only the Knicks are more generous.

Mitchell Robinson, F/C, New York Knicks
NBA Snake Rank: 35th

It’s scary rostering Robinson because of his penchant for fouling, so there’s an obvious risk. That said, it looks like he’s garnered the trust of Tom Thibodeau, as he’s played 31 and 34 minutes the past two games, while Nerlens Noel has played 13 and 16 minutes.

The matchup against the Raptors isn’t great, as Toronto is 4th in defensive efficiency, but Robinson doesn’t accumulate his fantasy points by scoring. He is all about rebounds and blocks, where the Raptors aren’t particularly daunting. Robinson is averaging 0.85 DKFP per minute and 23.81 DKFP per game. Just pray that he can stay on the court.

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


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic lineups here: NBA $700K New Year’s Toast [$150K to 1st]


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

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