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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for January 28

Stan Son breaks down Thursday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA season is in full swing, and DraftKings has released a new fantasy format—Snake drafts! Below, we break down some of the best targets for Thursday’s NBA Snake slate.

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


Favorable Early Round Targets

Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

DraftKings Sportsbook has this game with the highest O/U on the slate at 230 points. The Trail Blazers are also 4.5-point underdogs. With CJ McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington out, Lillard will once again need to carry the load like he’s done the past three games. Over that span, he has averaged 36.4 minutes, 20.7 field goal attempts, 33.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and eight assists, good for 50.75, 60.75, and 50 DKFP. He’s garnered a usage rate of 30.3%, 32.7%, and 39.8%. More of the same should be in order for this one.

The Rockets do play at the sixth-fastest pace, so the environment should be a fantasy-friendly one. Not all is rosy, though, as Houston is fourth in defensive efficiency and does an excellent job of limiting scoring to opposing point guards. On the season, they negate points and three-pointers by 12.06% and 6.06% respectively below the league average. So, there is a modicum of risk.

With that said, we all know what time it is.

Christian Wood, F/C, Houston Rockets
NBA Snake Rank: 8th

Wood has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury. On Wednesday, he proclaimed, “I’m back, I feel 100 percent, and I’m ready to go tomorrow.” Coach Silas said the plan is to play Wood if the ankle holds up after Wednesday’s practice. I’m going under the assumption that he plays but keep an eye on any push notifications from the DK Live app.

On the season, Wood is averaging 1.31 DKFP per minute and 33.6 minutes per game. The usage rate is 28.3%, he’s converting 52% of his 17.7 shot attempts, grabbing rebounds, and getting those juicy steals and blocks.

Now he gets a matchup against Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers, who are 29th in defensive efficiency and will have difficulty defending Wood on the perimeter. On the season, the Trail Blazers have boosted the scoring and three-point prowess for opposing centers by 13.41% and 19.16% above the league average.

Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns
NBA Snake Rank: 13th

This selection is all predicated on the health of Devin Booker, who is dealing with a hamstring injury. I’m going off the assumption that Booker will not play, as he missed Wednesday’s game. The DK Live app is your friend.

In the last two games without Booker, Paul has seen his usage rate increase to 26.3% and 32.5%. He scored 32 and 21 points while contributing 47.25 and 56.75 DKFP. Prior to that, the usage rate was sub-20% in seven games out of 14 games and he scored less than 40 DKFP in 12 of 14 games.

This is the second leg of a back-to-back, which is somewhat concerning, but he played in two prior back-to-backs this season. On January 8th, Paul scored 32.75 DKFP. The following night, he put up 33.5 DKFP. On January 22nd, he produced 40.5 DKFP then contributed 56.75 DKFP the following night. He should be fine.

The game environment is a juicy one. It’s a huge pace up spot for the Suns as the Warriors play at the third-fastest pace. Golden State is 15th in defensive efficiency and are seventh-best at limiting the fantasy points per minute to opposing point guards, but Paul should still be able to get his.


Early Round Players to Avoid

Bam Adebayo, F/C, Miami Heat
NBA Snake Rank: 6th

Over the last seven games, Bam has been a beast. He’s scored over 50 DKFP three times, with a 62.75 DKFP outburst against the Nets. The usage rate has been a robust 28%. Bam can literally do it all, as he rebounds, passes very well, and gets those defensive stats.

Here’s my issue with him today. Jimmy Butler is likely to return to the mix after missing the last nine games. With Butler on the floor, the usage rate for Bam was in the 22% range. He scored over 50 DKFP only once in eight games.

Even if Butler doesn’t play, Bam has scored 28 and 31.25 DKFP with him off the court. In addition, the matchup against the Clippers is a difficult one for centers, as the combo of Serge Ibaka and Ivica Zubac has negated the fantasy points per minute by 16.45% below the league average. That’s good for second-best in the league.

DeMarcus Cousins, F/C, Houston Rockets
NBA Snake Rank: 18th

Cousins has been nothing short of amazing the past three games, as he’s scored 36.25, 58.25, and 50.25 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging a team-high 1.41 DKFP per minute. He received the start in those games and played 32, 29, and 33 minutes. Unfortunately, Wood is expected to return, and so far this season, Coach Silas has played the two next to each other a total of six minutes on the season. In games that Wood has played, Cousins is playing around 15-16 minutes per game.


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.

Abdel Nader, F/C, Phoenix Suns
NBA Snake Rank: 69th

In the two games that Booker has missed, Nader has played 19 and 30 minutes, contributing 20.75 and 14.5 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 0.77 DKFP per minute. Much of the playing time could be based on the absence of Booker but he did play 19 minutes in the game before Booker succumbed to injury. He’s garnered a usage rate of over 19 in two of the past three games and is a big who can space the floor for Paul.

Anfernee Simons, G, Portland Trail Blazers
NBA Snake Rank: 61st

In his most recent two games since McCollum went down, Simons has played 23 and 29 minutes. The usage rate has been 22% and 25.7% while he’s attempted nine and 17 shots. That’s translated to 34.5 and 23.75 DKFP. On the season, Simons is averaging 0.87 DKFP per minute. Now, he’s converted 66% and 58% of his shot attempts, which isn’t the norm. Simons is a career 40% shooter from the field so regression is going to come, but we just don’t know when.

Mason Plumlee, F/C, Detroit Pistons
NBA Snake Rank: 52nd

Plumlee is coming off a 34 DKFP game against the Cavs. On the season, he’s averaging 0.99 DKFP per minute and 26.7 minutes per game. Most of his value is derived from rebounds and assists, as he’s scored in double-figures just seven of 18 games this season, but he can access ceiling when he does score and contributes defensive stats. Plumlee has scored less than 20 DKFP four times this season while contributing at least 30 DKFP in eight games.

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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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