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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for February 16

Matt LaMarca breaks down Tuesday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA season is in full swing, and DraftKings has released a new Snake Draft fantasy format! Below, we break down strategy for Tuesday’s DraftKings 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: 5th

The hits just keep coming for the Blazers. CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic remain out of the lineup with long-term injuries, and Rodney Hood and Harry Giles have also been ruled out Tuesday vs. the Thunder. The Blazers played a tight rotation in their last game, with only nine players seeing the court and five playing at least 31.4 minutes. Giles was one of those nine players, so they will be even thinner today.

Lillard has unsurprisingly carried a huge workload for the Blazers recently given all their injuries. He posted a usage rate of 41.4% in their last contest, and he finished with 57.75 DKFP. He has nice upside today vs. the Thunder, who have played at the ninth-fastest pace this season. Lillard has an ADP of 5.0 in the snake format, but I’d have no problem drafting him as early as third.

Jayson Tatum, F/C, Boston Celtics
NBA Snake Rank: 10th

Tatum is coming off a poor game in his last outing, but that was a Sunday afternoon contest vs. the Wizards. Sunday afternoon contests are notorious for going under the total, and the players’ internal body clocks are not calibrated to play at that time of day. I think we can throw that result out. He exploded for 59.25 DKFP in his previous contest, which is more indicative of the type of player he’s become.

Nothing stands out about his matchup vs. the Nuggets on Tuesday, but he could benefit if Kemba Walker is ruled out. The Celtics are playing the first leg of a back-to-back set, and Walker has sat on one leg of back-to-backs all season. Marcus Smart also remains out of the lineup, while Daniel Theis was downgraded to out on Tuesday morning. That could leave the Celtics without three rotation players, which would open up some additional usage for Tatum.


Early Round Player to Avoid

Brandon Ingram, F/C, New Orleans Pelicans
NBA Snake Rank: 12th

Ingram is ranked as the No. 12 player in the snake format, and he has an ADP of 10.4. That means he’s easily being drafted as a first-rounder in 12-team leagues. That feels a bit aggressive. Ingram can definitely score the ball with the best of them, but his production in the other categories is a bit hit-and-miss. For that reason, I’d much rather roll the dice on someone like Zion Williamson (rank 15), Khris Middleton (rank 18), or Ja Morant (rank 23), who are all coming off the board after Ingram.

Also, make sure to remove Anthony Davis (rank 6), Kevin Durant (rank 7), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (rank 11) from your draft boards. All three players have already been ruled out for tonight’s contests.


Late Round Flyers

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.

Michael Porter Jr., F/C, Denver Nuggets
NBA Snake Rank: 48th

Porter is being drafted significantly above his rank – he owns an ADP of 35.3 – but that still puts him on the cusp of being undrafted in everything but 12-team leagues. That’s a mistake. Porter is an excellent contributor when on the floor, averaging 1.04 DKFP per minute, and he has a chance to play much more than usual Tuesday vs. the Celtics. Gary Harris remains out of the lineup, and Will Barton and Paul Millsap have already been ruled out. Monte Morris is also listed as questionable, so the Nuggets could be without a bunch of their usual contributors on today’s slate.

DeAndre Jordan, F/C, Brooklyn Nets
NBA Snake Rank: 76th

Jordan has been a reliable fantasy producer recently. He’s scored at least 21.0 DKFP in eight of his past nine games, and his playing time has been way up over his past two games in particular. He’s played 36.6 and 27.1 minutes in those contests, and he should see another expanded workload with Durant out of the lineup. Jordan has averaged 1.02 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s capable of taking advantage of a few additional minutes.

Tyus Jones, G, Memphis Grizzlies
NBA Snake Rank: 80th

The Grizzlies are another team that is dealing with some absences at the moment. De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane have both been ruled out for tonight’s contest vs. the Pelicans, so Jones should serve as the backup PG. When Jones sees minutes, he’s a good bet to return fantasy value. He’s averaged 1.05 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s averaged 26.35 DKFP in games where he’s played at least 20 minutes this season. The Pelicans have also been one of the best matchups in fantasy this season for point guards, so Jones has plenty of appeal at the back end of 12-team drafts.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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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