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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for March 23

Matt LaMarca breaks down Tuesday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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

James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

What to do with Harden is one of the most crucial decisions in today’s drafts. He’s ranked as the top player in the Snake format, but he’s coming off the board with an ADP of just 8.5. The reason for the large discrepancy is that he’s currently listed as questionable with a sore neck. He took an elbow to the back of the head during Sunday’s contest, but he still proceeded to play 39 minutes.

That said, he’s in easily the best spot of the day if he’s able to suit up. Kevin Durant remains out with an injury, while Kyrie Irving is away from the team for personal reasons. Since joining the Nets, Harden has increased his usage rate by 7.1 percentage points and his assist rate by 14.4 percentage points with both players off the court. He’s also averaged 58.63 DKFP in four games without both players. That gives him insane upside against a Blazers squad that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency.

I understand if the injury concerns make him too risky for you to take him with the No. 1 pick, but there is no circumstance where he should be falling all the way to No. 9. The goal is to win, and Harden is going to give you a great chance of winning if he suits up.

Julius Randle, F/C, New York Knicks
NBA Snake Rank: 7th

The Knicks are getting healthier at the PG position. Derrick Rose has officially cleared the league’s health and safety protocols, and Immanuel Quickley returned to the lineup in their last game. Even Elfrid Payton has been upgraded to questionable for tonight’s matchup vs. the Wizards, so there’s a chance he will be back in the lineup soon.

That definitely hurts Randle’s production, who has operated as the Knicks’ primary playmaker with all of their point guards out of the lineup. Still, that shouldn’t matter too much vs. the Wizards. The Knicks are in the largest pace-up spot possible on today’s slate. They play at the slowest pace in the league, while the Wizards play at the fastest. Washington also ranks 27th in defensive efficiency, so this has the potential to be one of the highest-scoring games of the season for the Knicks. They average 104.7 points per game on the year, but they’re implied for 113.25 on today’s slate. That additional offensive production should make up for Randle’s decreased role as a distributor.

Early Round Player to Avoid

Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia 76ers
NBA Snake Rank: 14th

The rankings on today’s slate are pretty tight. No one at the top stands out as being wildly over-drafted, but Simmons is my least favorite option. He’s getting boosted a bit due to a great matchup and the injury to Joel Embiid, but I’m not sure that either of those things are all that favorable for Simmons.

Let’s start with the matchup. The Warriors have played at the second-fastest pace this season, which typically makes them a team to target. However, they haven’t played nearly as fast with Stephen Curry off the court this season. Curry has already been ruled out for tonight’s contest, so expect this game to be played at a relatively slow pace. The total on DraftKings Sportsbook currently sits at 217.0 points, which is tied for the second-lowest mark on the slate.

Simmons also simply hasn’t seen a huge boost in games without Embiid this season. He’s actually averaged fewer fantasy points per game than Tobias Harris in that situation, who is ranked a few spots below him.

I don’t think Simmons is necessarily a bad pick, but I would rather draft him in the second round than the first in 12-team leagues.

Also, make sure to avoid all the landmines on today’s slate. There are a lot of them: LeBron James (rank 4), Embiid (rank 5), Irving (rank 8), Curry (rank 10), Durant (rank 13), and Anthony Davis (rank 16) all own ADPs despite not suiting up tonight.

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.

Talen Horton-Tucker, F/C, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Snake Rank: 49th

The Lakers are an obvious source of value on today’s slate. The Pelicans have been atrocious defensively of late, and there will be plenty of shots and minutes to go around without LeBron and AD. Montrezl Harrell (rank 27), Kyle Kuzma (rank 28), and Dennis Schroder (rank 33) stand out as great targets, but Horton-Tucker might be my favorite value of the bunch. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high 6.1 percentage points with LeBron and AD off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.12 DKFP per minute. He’s also coming off the board significantly later than Harrell, Kuzma, and Schroder.

Bruce Brown, G, Brooklyn Nets
NBA Snake Rank: 81st

Brown is coming off the board way above his ranking – he owns an ADP of 46.7 – but that still means he’s going undrafted in everything but 12-team leagues. That seems like a mistake for the shorthanded Nets. They have a ton of minutes available with Irving out of the lineup, and Brown has averaged 0.92 DKFP per minute over the past month. He should see more than 30 minutes in this contest, which gives him a nice floor for someone you can grab with one of your final picks.

Nicolas Claxton, F/C, Brooklyn Nets
NBA Snake Rank: 93rd

Let’s double down with the Nets. Claxton has earned more playing time for the team recently, and he’s coming off 26.75 DKFP in his last outing. He’s averaged a stout 1.15 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he’s another candidate for a few additional minutes on today’s slate. Portland is also a great matchup for big men, ranking just 23rd in team rebound rate.

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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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