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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for January 19

Matt LaMarca breaks down Tuesday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 9:00 p.m. ET.

The NBA season is in full swing, and DraftKings has released a new Snake Draft fantasy format. If you’ve ever played season-long fantasy before – either for NBA or any other sport – you’re likely familiar with how a Snake Draft works. In short, for these contests, once the allotted number of entries are filled in a contest, the draft will begin one minute later. The entrants are assigned a random draft order and will commence in that order. The player with the first pick gets dibs on everyone while the player with the last pick will get a double pick, as it’ll end the first round and thus begin the second.

Roster requirements for lineups: G – 2, F/C – 2, Util – 2

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Favorable Early Round Targets

Nikola Jokic, F/C, Denver Nuggets
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

Jokic is the highest-ranked player on the slate, and it’s hard to imagine selecting anyone over him. This is a small, two-game slate, and no other available player can match his upside. He’s coming off three straight monster performances, finishing with at least 64.5 DKFP in each game. Overall, Jokic has averaged a ridiculous 1.75 DKFP per minute this season.

He takes the floor in a solid spot vs. the Thunder. The Nuggets’ implied team total of 115.0 points ranks first on the slate, and the Thunder rank just 27th in team rebound rate this season. They’ve also allowed the third-most points in the paint per game, which makes them an elite matchup for opposing big men. Add it all up, and the Thunder have allowed the most DKFP per game to centers this year.

Rudy Gobert, F/C, Utah Jazz
NBA Snake Rank: 6th

If I can’t grab Jokic, Rudy Gobert is a solid consolation prize. He’s coming off the board in the second round of most drafts given his ADP of 6.2, but he has a chance to be the second-highest scorer on the slate. His average of 1.24 DKFP per minute this season trails only Jokic on today’s slate.

His performances have been down a bit recently, but he’s still scored at least 33.5 DKFP in all but one game this season. He’s also displayed a ceiling of nearly 50 points, which gives him a nice combination of floor and ceiling. His matchup vs. the Pelicans isn’t ideal, but Gobert stands out as one of the best pure values at his current draft position.

Early Round Player to Avoid

Brandon Ingram, F/C, New Orleans Pelicans
NBA Snake Rank: 2nd

Ingram is being drafted with the second pick in most drafts, which feels a bit aggressive. He got off to an excellent start this season, but his production has dipped recently. He started the year by being much more active as a distributor and rebounder, but he hasn’t been nearly as active in those categories of late. Ingram can score the ball with the best of them, but he needs that peripheral production to be a truly elite fantasy asset.

His matchup vs. the Jazz also is a brutal one. Utah ranks seventh in defensive efficiency this season, and the Pelicans are currently implied for just 105.5 points. That is not the ideal game environment for someone who needs to score points to return fantasy value.

Other players to avoid are Michael Porter Jr. and Al Horford, who have already been ruled out. Lonzo Ball is also listed as questionable after missing the past three games, so he carries some risk as well. There’s no late swap in the Snake Draft format, so you’re risking a zero if you draft Ball.

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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.

Bojan Bogdanovic, F/C, Utah Jazz
NBA Snake Rank: 18

Bogdanovic is right on the cusp of being drafted in three-team snake drafts given his rank of 18, but I think he should be coming off the board much earlier than that. Bogdanovic played 33.7 minutes in his last outing, which was his highest mark in more than two weeks. His fantasy scoring is down a bit compared to last season – he’s averaged just 0.77 DKFP per minute to start the year – but he’s shooting just 39.1% from the field and 38.8% from 3-point range. He has room for improvement moving forward.

Bogdanovic would also benefit if Joe Ingles is unable to suit up. He’s seen a slight usage bump with Ingles off the court this season, which gives him more upside than usual.

Isaiah Roby, F/C, Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Snake Rank: 30

With Horford out of the lineup, Roby becomes one of the best value options on the slate. He’s ranked 30th in the Snake Draft format, but he has the upside to finish inside the top 10 in fantasy points.

Roby has started all three games that Horford has missed this season, and he’s scored at least 24.0 DKFP in each contest. He’s also increased his usage rate by a team-high +3.2% in games without Horford, resulting in an average of 1.07 DKFP per minute.

PJ Dozier, G, Denver Nuggets
NBA Snake Rank: 32

The guard position is a bit thinner than F/C today, but Dozier would be an excellent selection if you need a guard with your last pick. He should see a solid handful of playing time with Porter Jr. out of the lineup – he’s played at least 27.2 minutes in two of his past three games – and he’s averaged 0.78 DKFP per minute with Porter Jr. off the court. The Nuggets also stand out as the top team to target today, and Dozier is a cheap way to grab some exposure.

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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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