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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for January 18

Kenny Ducey breaks down Monday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball during the game against the Chicago Bulls on January 17, 2021 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everybody! We’ve got the perfect cure for your early-week blues — a four-game nightcap in the NBA after a day full of hoops. DraftKings has released a new fantasy format for DFS players to attack — Snake Drafts are now available in the DraftKings lobby.

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 $450K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]


Favorable Early Round Targets:

Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks
Snake Classic Rank: 1st

This one is pretty easy. Doncic is going up against a Raptors defense that ranks 28th in DKFP allowed to opposing point guards and averages a line of 22.8 points, 8.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds allowed to the position. They just gave up a 24-point, 41.8-DKFP game to Terry Rozier, and things are about to get a lot worse against Luka, who has gone for 70 DKFP in four of his past six games. He’s just on another level at the moment, and I’m not concerned at all that he played on Sunday.

Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls
Snake Classic Rank: 7th

Another player on the second leg of a back-to-back, LaVine is still in a great spot here. Not only has he been red-hot offensively this season and had all of the ball (he’s ranked 22nd in Usage Rate), but he’s got a fantastic matchup against Houston here. Victor Oladipo is going to be trying to check LaVine in his Rockets debut. Oladipo had the worst defensive rating on the Pacers at 111.2, which would rank second-worst on the Rockets. So, while James Harden isn’t there at the two-guard to exploit anymore, there’s another poor defender ready to take his place. As an added bonus, LaVine has Lauri Markkanen back now to dish to, generating a little more upside for this Bulls offense.


Early Round Player to Avoid:

Kevin Durant, F/C, Brooklyn Nets
Snake Classic Rank: 4th

I know, what we saw in Harden’s Nets debut was spectacular. Let’s consider the fact, though, that the big games from Harden and Durant came against the second-worst defense in the NBA, and frankly, it didn’t even look that pretty for most of the game. Durant scored three fewer DKFP per 100 possessions with Harden on the floor in that game and now both will face a stout defense in Milwaukee. I’m just not confident the Nets will have this all figured out right away on offense, and we should see a crash to Earth here. It will take months before Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving (who remains out) figure out how to share the basketball.


Late Round Fliers:

Jrue Holiday, G, Milwaukee Bucks
Snake Classic Rank: 18th

This Bucks-Nets game will be one you want to target with the highest implied total of the day on DraftKings Sportsbook (239.5 points), and this is a perfect way to get a piece of the offense. I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but James Harden cannot play defense. His defensive efficiency in his Nets debut (109.3) was still very poor, and he is about to have his hands full with Holiday on Monday. I love how low you can get potentially a top-three guard on this slate.

Lauri Markkanen, F/C, Chicago Bulls
Snake Classic Rank: 21st

Otto Porter Jr. will not suit up for this game, and it’s a real shame for him considering the fantastic matchup the Bulls have against a soft, soft Houston defense that’s missing a bunch of bodies. P.J. Tucker won’t be the easiest matchup in the world for Markkanen, but his offensive prowess should shine through against his tired legs. It’s also worth noting due to the injuries it’s no guarantee Tucker will see significant minutes on Markkanen anyway. The team total (112.5) is high enough here to have faith in the Bulls offense, and we’re going with possibly their best player.

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



Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic lineups here: NBA $450K Fadeaway [$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.