Happy Monday, everybody! We’ve got the perfect cure for your early-week blues — a fantastic seven-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:
Joel Embiid, F/C, Philadelphia 76ers
Snake Classic Rank: 2nd
Embiid may fall in your drafts due to his questionable tag, but considering he’s had ample time to rest his ailing back, he should be good to go. The only times we’ve really had to worry about him playing was on the second night of a back-to-back.
If he does end up playing, then the big man has a favorable matchup. The Utah Jazz rank second-to-last in points per play given up to post-ups, and the Sixers are scoring over 11 points per game out of the play. Despite all his accolades, Rudy Gobert isn’t the greatest one-on-one defender, as evidenced by this statistic and some of the huge games we’ve seen from opposing bigs. Embiid should eat if given a full complement of minutes, and could even top the slate. Getting that in the middle or end of the first would be a steal.
Domantas Sabonis, F/C, Indiana Pacers
Snake Classic Rank: 9th
Speaking of post-up stats, the Chicago Bulls rank sixth-worst in the league allowing 0.99 points per play, so it’s no surprise that they are allowing the third-most DKFP to opposing power forwards. Sabonis should eat tonight, even if Wendell Carter Jr. is welcomed back into the fray. He only needed 27 minutes to rack up 44.75 DKFP, which is all the proof you need that he is the centerpiece of this Pacers offense. Grabbing a guy with a usage rate this grand with your second pick would be a nice way to attack Monday’s slate.
Early Round Player to Avoid:
Trae Young, G, Atlanta Hawks
Snake Classic Rank: 5th
The logic here is pretty simple. Trae Young’s upside lies in his ability to score from deep; any time he can add four or five 3-pointers to his ridiculous assist totals, he’s a stud on even the most competitive of slates. When he isn’t hitting shots, he’s hardly worth the cost. The New York Knicks have one of the best 3-point defenses in the NBA and are allowing the 10th-fewest DKFP to opposing point guards. I hate this spot.
Late Round Fliers:
Draymond Green, F/C, Golden State Warriors
Snake Classic Rank: 33rd
Green may not be seeing the crazy usage rate he enjoyed when the Dubs were down to exactly zero centers and zero power forwards aside from him, but he’s still very involved for this team. Draymond is still seeing north of 30 minutes, and you know that when he’s on the floor he stuffs the stat sheet as evidenced by his 37.9 DKFP per game over the past six. The Cleveland Cavaliers are already incredibly bad at defending opposing centers, and now they’re going to be without Andre Drummond as they attempt to find a new home for him. I’m attacking this spot.
Tyrese Haliburton, G, Sacramento Kings
Snake Classic Rank: 36th
There is going to be absolutely no defense played in this game, and as a result, the total is set at 242.5 on the DraftKings Sportsbook — the highest on the slate. Haliburton has been a menace this season, and his size has kept him on the floor a ton at several different positions. His average 25.5% usage rate over the past two games is a great sign that he’ll be a big part of Sacramento’s gameplan on Monday against one of the worst defenses in the league. As an added bonus, he should match up with James Harden at least some of the time. He should have 40-point upside.
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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.