Happy Monday, everybody! We’ve got the perfect cure for your early-week blues — a fantastic eight-game slate in the NBA, and plenty of value all around. You know by now that DraftKings has released a new fantasy format for DFS players to attack — Snake Drafts — so let’s get into how to best approach your picks.
You can head to the DraftKings NBA lobby to view all the available NBA Snake contests.
Favorable Early Round Targets:
Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
Snake Classic Rank: 4th
This is a huge smash spot for me. Lillard will go up against the Bucks in this one, who rank just 17th in defensive efficiency. Their biggest weakness? They can’t defend the three, sitting second-to-last in 3-point percentage allowed. Lillard has taken a ridiculous 13 3-pointers per game over the past three games, including 17 at Chicago on Saturday. He’s being asked to do everything for Portland with C.J. McCollum out, and that should continue on Monday. I love him — and more Blazers.
Julius Randle, F/C, New York Knicks
Snake Classic Rank: 10th
Don’t be fazed by the back-to-back. On the second night of a B2B this year, Randle is seeing roughly 35 minutes per, and in those four games, he has averaged 45.85 DKFP. This guy’s Usage Rate is unquestionable at this point — he’s going to be the focal point of the Knicks offense, and he’s going to put up plenty of shots. I’m particularly encouraged by his recent 3-point shooting as well, coming off a loss to the Clippers where he hit four. With all this said, Randle has one of the best matchups on the slate against the team allowing the fourth-most DKFP to opposing centers. The Bulls are soft down low — back Randle to exploit it.
Early Round Player to Avoid:
Nikola Jokic, F/C, Denver Nuggets
Snake Classic Rank: 2nd
There will be a great temptation to chase Jokic’s monster game against one of the best defenses in the league, but this is an absolute trap spot for the Nuggets. Denver’s on the second night of a back-to-back, meaning Jokic probably feels the fatigue and takes it easy. The 77 DKFP were also an outlier when it comes to the overall season for the Joker. I’m looking elsewhere.
Late Round Fliers:
Michael Porter Jr., F/C, Denver Nuggets
Snake Classic Rank: 46th
With Gary Harris out, and most players feeling the fatigue of a back-to-back, the Denver Nuggets are going to need somebody to score. That’s where MPJ should come in, who’s pretty well rested having seen just 39 minutes across the past two games. We know when he sees a lot of minutes he’s got a high ceiling, and we also know just about any shooter has a high ceiling against Detroit, which allows the third-highest 3-point percentage to opposing teams. This is a great shot to take late.
Gary Trent, Jr., G, Portland Trail Blazers
Snake Classic Rank: 77th
Yep, this is very far down the rankings, but hear me out! We touched on Milwaukee’s inability to defend, particularly when it comes to 3-pointers, and Trent has taken a combined 23 over the past two games, hitting 11. With injuries to McCollum, Derrick Jones Jr. and Robert Covington, he’s emerged as the second-fiddle to Lillard, and even with Covington now back in the fold that hasn’t changed. The Trail Blazers are going to have to chuck if they want a shot at beating Milwaukee, so I expect both Dame and Trent to have plenty of attempts from deep — 15 3-pointers apiece is not out of the question.
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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.