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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for January 4

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

Charlotte Hornets v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Happy Monday, everybody! We’ve got the perfect cure for your early-week blues — a nine-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 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 Millionaire lineups here: NBA $1M Shootaround Special [$200K to 1st]


Favorable Early Round Targets:

Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia 76ers
Snake Classic Rank: 9th

Simmons has had some games this season which have reminded us all of just how good he is, the most recent one coming just two days ago against these same Charlotte Hornets. The matchup is spectacular here, as evidenced by Philly’s win over the Hornets this weekend where Simmons went for a triple-double; Charlotte is allowing around 26 points to opposing point guards, good for ninth in the NBA, and nine assists, which ranks third. Let’s not get carried away, I don’t think it’s fair to ask Simmons to grace us with another three-pointer, but a matchup against the mediocre defense of Devonte Graham — and the very weak defense of LaMelo Ball — should provide us a huge night.

De’Aaron Fox, G, Sacramento Kings
Snake Classic Rank: 16th

I want a big piece of this Kings-Warriors game; it’s the highest total on the slate this evening with an implied total of 234. Rookie Tyrese Haliburton has been a revelation for Sacramento this season, but he won’t play in this one due to a bone bruise on his left wrist. That means this backcourt belongs solely to Fox now. While he didn’t exactly seize the extra usage on Saturday, Fox did go for 23 — and the speedy guard should thrive here in a fast-paced game. Fox is averaging over 38 DKFP this season, and the Warriors have allowed the fifth-most DKFP to opposing point guards. This is probably the best way to get a piece of the highest total on the slate.


Early Round Player to Avoid:

Steph Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
Snake Classic Rank: 7th

When Devin Booker went for 70 in 2017, he went for 23 the next night. When Klay Thompson went for 52 points in 2015 and hit 11 threes, he hit four the next night. When Steph went for his previous career high of 54 in 2013, he scored 25 the next night. I’m not saying Curry won’t have a great performance, but don’t reach for him, you’re just chasing because you didn’t have him on Sunday — or you want to re-kindle that magic. Chances are he’s a bit tired and is due for a letdown, even though the spot is great.


Late Round Fliers:

Tobias Harris, G, Philadelphia 76ers
Snake Classic Rank: 26th

Let’s run it back, baby! We’re loading up on the Sixers against one of the worst defenses in the NBA. Yes, I am well aware that this isn’t the highest total on the slate, but I’m putting Harris here just in case you don’t have the chance to get Simmons. Perhaps you have one of the first few picks and want to take Giannis Antetokounmpo instead of reaching for Simmons, that’s your right! If you can’t figure out a way to get him, then you can turn to Harris, who is in arguably an even better matchup against the Hornets wings who are allowing nearly five threes per game to opposing small forwards — tops in the league. Harris has been an absolute monster this season and is easy to trust here in a smash spot.

Marvin Bagley III, F/C, Sacramento Kings
Snake Classic Rank: 72nd

This is somewhat of a bold call going with Bagley over Richaun Holmes — and I like them both tonight — but I’m siding with the more talented offensive player in a get-right spot. For starters, we already touched on this game as one to target with the highest-implied total on the slate. Golden State’s interior defense has been pretty awful this season, and Draymond Green still isn’t 100% up to speed. Bagley’s dad tweeted that he wanted his son to be traded “ASAP” last night on Twitter, and while this won’t vault him into 35 minutes per game, I suspect the Kings might start giving Bagley some extra touches sooner rather than later with the uber-talented big man in year three of his deal. His floor should be pretty high with a consistent compliment of minutes around 25 points and just one game out of double figures in the scoring column.

Payton Pritchard, G, Boston Celtics
Snake Classic Rank: 88th

Tonight could be the long-awaited Payton Pritchard game. You’ll want to keep an eye on injury news before tip, but if Marcus Smart doesn’t suit up, the rookie out of Oregon will be the only point guard active, getting the start and probably playing north of 30 minutes. If you don’t know about Pritchard, he was one of the most electrifying players in the nation last season, showcasing unlimited range from three and big-time shot-making ability. He’s plenty capable of scoring in the NBA, and I might even consider playing him with Smart in the lineup, since he’ll be the only other healthy point guard (Jeff Teague and Kemba Walker are out). It helps that Toronto has one of the worst defenses against point guards this season, too.

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

Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball Classic Millionaire lineups here: NBA $1M Shootaround Special [$200K 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.