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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for January 11

Kenny Ducey breaks down Monday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Happy Monday, everybody! We’ve got the perfect cure for your early-week blues — a seven-game NBA slate. DraftKings has released a new fantasy format for DFS players to attack — Snake Drafts are now available in the DraftKings lobby for both the 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 lineups here: NBA $500K Excellent 8’s [$100K to 1st]


Favorable Early Round Targets:

Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
Snake Classic Rank: 4th

With Russell Westbrook out Monday, we should see another welcomed episode of the Bradley Beal Show. With Westbrook off the floor this season, Beal is averaging 56.91 DKFP, compared to 50.4 when they’ve shared the floor. Though he doesn’t have a clear matchup advantage against Phoenix, I still love Beal because he’ll be in line for plenty of looks, and has hit 11 threes in 20 tries over his last two appearances. If Beal slips a few spots due to the matchup, you could have a steal on your hands.

Fred VanVleet, G, Toronto Raptors
Snake Classic Rank: 15th

Have you heard that Portland can’t play defense? Well, if not, allow me to tell you. Portland can’t play defense — especially against the point guard position, which averages 27.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists and 3.4 three-pointers against the Trail Blazers. Enter VanVleet, who has shouldered the bulk of the load for the Raptors during a tumultuous start to the season and led the Raptors to a few nice games in a row, though just one ended in a victory. Even on a back-to-back, I still love VanVleet to play 35-plus minutes and shoot the ball well here, and I don’t know if he will go high at all given the fact that he did just play 39 minutes on Sunday. The matchup is too good to ignore.


Early Round Player to Avoid:

Andre Drummond, F/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Snake Classic Rank: 10th

Before his recent two-game outburst, Drummond’s fantasy performances were unspectacular, and now he’s going up against a surprisingly formidable frontcourt in Memphis. The Grizzlies allow the third-fewest points per game to opposing centers and are decent on the glass with Brandon Clarke and Jonas Valanciunas. Nothing excites me about Drummond except for the fact he’ll play 40 minutes; there are far more appealing options out there.


Late Round Fliers:

RJ Barrett, F/C, New York Knicks
Snake Classic Rank: 31st

While he’s not the most exciting player to come out of the 2019 draft — or the best — Barrett probably holds the honor of having the most given to him in the shortest amount of time. The Duke product went for an enormous number of 20-point games in his rookie season last year. This season under Tom Thibodeau, he’s received a boatload of minutes (38.1 per game) and has flashed 50-DKFP upside. Already down Alec Burks, I expect Barrett to get close to 20 shots up and play 38 minutes with Reggie Bullock out. If you can steal a player like that late, you have to.

Jusuf Nurkic, F/C, Portland Trail Blazers
Snake Classic Rank: 43rd

Highest total on the slate according to the DraftKings Sportsbook? Check. Soft matchup? check. Good form? Check. All systems appear go on the Jusuf Nurkic rocket ship, I expect him to post a nice line from this far down the draft board considering all the circumstances. Nurkic hasn’t been playing a ton of minutes, which you’d obviously like to see, but he has made the most of them. In just 23 minutes against Sacramento last time out, Nurkic racked up 34.5 DKFP by posting 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. While the Raptors won’t be as clumsy as the Kings when it comes to taking care of the ball, there is a high likelihood Nurkic eats all night on the glass. Toronto has missed Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, allowing some big games to opposing centers and the ninth-most rebounds per 100 possessions in the NBA. My only fear here is that Enes Kanter eats too heavily into Nurkic’s minutes.

Brandon Clarke, F/C, Memphis Grizzlies
Snake Classic Rank: 58th

I’ll admit it, this is a heat check play. However, Clarke has looked real solid of late, and he has a great matchup on Monday. Cleveland has one of the worst rebounding rates in the NBA, grabbing just 48.4% of available boards, and Clarke has grabbed eight in each of his last two games. The Grizzlies are still trying to regain their footing after the loss of Ja Morant, and Clarke — who is expected to start his sixth straight game on Monday — has played an integral part in that. He did just go for 14 points and eight rebounds against Cleveland — and after his showing against Brooklyn, he should probably see more minutes and even better numbers.

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


Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic Millionaire lineups here: NBA $500K Excellent 8’s [$100K to 1st]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) 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.