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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for February 18

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

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.

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Favorable Early Round Targets

Giannis Antetokounmpo, F/C, Milwaukee Bucks
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

Giannis is the highest-projected player on the slate and is averaging a ridiculous 1.64 DKFP per minute. Last season, coach Mike Budenholzer only played him 30.4 minutes per game. This season, that number has jumped to 33.6 minutes per game. Over the last four games, Giannis has played 38, 39, 36, and 37 minutes. That’s translated to 70.75, 65.25, 74.75, and 72.5 DKFP. Now he gets a matchup against a Raptors team that has struggled mightily against power forwards, boosting the fantasy points per minute by 6.14% above league average. Giannis has faced the Raptors twice this season, going for 63 and 72.5 DKFP, with the latter occurring on Tuesday.


LeBron James, F/C, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Snake Rank: 3rd

With no Anthony Davis on the floor, James gets a usage rate bump of 1.6 percentage points to 33.7%, the highest on the team. On the season, he is averaging 1.45 DKFP per minute and 34.7 minutes per game. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Lakers favored by 2.5 points over the Nets with a 232 O/U. The Nets play at the eighth-fastest pace and are 25th in defensive efficiency. With no Kevin Durant, who is guarding James? Joe Harris? Bruce Brown? James Harden? Over the last six games, James has scored at least 50 DKFP in six of seven games, with two of those over 60 DKFP and one 70-DKFP explosion.

Jimmy Butler, F/C, Miami Heat
NBA Snake Rank: 7th

The Kings play at the 12th-fastest pace and are dead-last in defensive efficiency. Butler is averaging 1.33 DKFP per minute and 32.9 minutes per game. Against small forwards, the Kings boost the fantasy points per production by 4.31% above the league average, and that was with Harrison Barnes in the lineup. Barnes is out with a foot injury, so Buddy Hield will likely slide down to small forward and draw the assignment of trying to check Butler. Advantage Butler. These teams met in late January and Butler went for 30 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists, good for 50.75 DKFP.

Bam Adebayo, F/C, Miami Heat
NBA Snake Rank: 9th

The Kings have been THE juiciest matchup for centers, as they have boosted the fantasy points per minute by a whopping 23.73% above league average. The Wizards are second at 10.15%. Richaun Holmes is out with a knee injury, so Bam should be able to feast against both Marvin Bagley and Hassan Whiteside. Bam is averaging 1.25 DKFP per minute and 33.6 minutes per game. In the prior meeting, he went for 18 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block, good for 45.25 DKFP.

Pascal Siakam, F/C, Toronto Raptors
NBA Snake Rank: 12th

The Raptors and Bucks just played on Tuesday, with Toronto winning by 11 points. Siakam put up 23 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and one steal in 39 minutes, good for 51.75 DKFP. The interesting thing about that game, though, was that Nick Nurse started Siakam at center, which is a huge matchup advantage for Siakam on the perimeter and gets Giannis off him. There is some risk, though, as Budenholzer can adjust to the adjustment by moving Giannis to center. I have my doubts, though, as Lopez spreads the floor for the Bucks, is their anchor on defense in the paint, and Budenholzer hasn’t been known to adjust quickly.


Early Round Players to Avoid

Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
NBA Snake Rank: 14th

Lowry sprained his ankle on Tuesday and is listed as questionable for Thursday’s contest. Even if he’s able to play, he’s only scored 39 and 34 DKFP in his last two games against Milwaukee.


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.

Cory Joseph, G, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 43rd

Due to the Harrison Barnes injury, Joseph received the start at shooting guard last game with Buddy Hield sliding down to small forward. He produced 22 points, two rebounds, and five assists in 31 minutes for 32.5 DKFP. In the prior two games, Joseph didn’t start but still played 29 and 27 minutes and contributed 22.25 and 25.75 DKFP. On the season, he’s averaging 0.75 DKFP per minute.

Marvin Bagley, F/C, Sacramento Kings
NBA Snake Rank: 34th

With Richaun Holmes out, Bagley got the start at center last game. Unfortunately, he only played 21 minutes, as Hassan Whiteside went bonkers for 58 DKFP. So why Bagley then? On the season, he’s averaging 1 DKFP per minute, so it’s just been about the playing time. He’s played at least 28 minutes in seven games this season. With Bam on the floor, I’m not sure Whiteside gets too much run because he can abuse him out on the perimeter. Plus, Bagley and Whiteside are next to each other on the draft board, so most will likely go with Whiteside due to his most recent performance.

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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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