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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for February 11

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.

Visit the DraftKings NBA lobby to view all the available NBA Snake contests!

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Favorable Early Round Targets

Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

If Embiid was a bank, depositors wouldn’t need FDIC insurance. That’s how money he is. He scores inside, outside, with his back to the basket, spotting up from downtown, and off the dribble. It doesn’t stop there, though. He jumps tall buildings with a single bounce. Fine, that’s a different guy but he does grab a ton of rebounds, dishes out assists, gets his block on, and steals passes.

On the season, he’s averaging a ridiculous 1.6 DKFP per minute. He’s scored at least 50 DKFP in 11 games, with a high of 82.5 against the Heat. He does have one clunker of 17.75, but that came against the same Heat in the very next game. Outside of that game, the low is 39.75 DKFP with every other game above 40.

Now he gets a matchup against a Trail Blazer team that is 28th in defensive efficiency and boosts the fantasy points per minute to centers by 2.21% above league average. DraftKings Sportsbook has this game with an O/U of 229.5, the highest on the slate, so the environment is a good one.

He’s the number ranked player on the slate, and for good reason.

Nikola Vucevic, F/C, Orlando Magic
NBA Snake Rank: 4th

Vucevic is the highest projected player on the slate, besting Embiid by a little over three points. While Embiid is averaging 1.6 DKFP per minute, Vucevic is at 1.4, but he plays 1.4 more minutes per game. There’s also the fact that both Cole Anthony (shoulder) and Evan Fournier (back) are questionable for this contest. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Warriors favored by 7.5 points, so that seems to indicate that one or both will be out. Aaron Gordon is also out so the offense should begin and end with Vucevic.

Jimmy Butler, F/C, Miami Heat
NBA Snake Rank: 10th

Since returning from a 10-game, Covid-induced absence, Butler has been a rock of DFS salvation. He’s scored 50.75, 50.25, 44.5, 44.5, 44.5, and 56 DKFPs. On the season, he’s averaging 1.32 DKFP per minute. The great thing about Butler’s game is the versatility, as he contributes in every category. So, despite having a usage rate that has fluctuated from a low of 18.8 to a high of 35.2, Butler can deliver the DKFP goodies regardless. Now he gets a matchup against a Rockets team that increases the fantasy points per minute by 9.01% above league average. DraftKings Sportsbook has this game with the tightest spread at 2.5 points in favor of Heat, so it should remain competitive and give Butler a chance for a ceiling game.

Jerami Grant, F/C, Detroit Pistons
NBA Snake Rank: 18th

Both the game environment and matchup are neutral for Grant, as the Pacers play at the 13th-fastest pace and are 14th in defensive efficiency. In terms of fantasy points per minute to small forwards, they are 18th, negating the production by 1.61% below league average. DraftKings Sportsbook has the O/U at 216, the second-lowest on the slate while the Pacers are favored by only three points.

So, why Grant? Over the last three games, he’s gone for 44.5, 27.5, 53, and 47.25 DKFP. The 47.25 was against the Nets, so that doesn’t count. Everyone gets busy against them, as they are the slutty girl in high school. I’m going to focus on the 44.6 and 53 DKFP outings. Those were against the Jazz and Lakers respectively, the number one and two ranked teams in terms of defensive efficiency. Against small forwards, they neutralize the fantasy points per minute to small forwards by 11.81% and 13.37% below league average. If he can get it done against them, he can get busy on anyone. The usage rate has also spiked to 28.7 and 29.1 over the last two games after languishing in the low-to-mid 20s.

Early Round Players to Avoid

Fred VanVleet, G, Toronto Raptors
NBA Snake Rank: 9th

VanVleet has a ceiling as high as any player, evidenced by the 77.75 DKFP he put up against the Magic five games ago. He also has one of the lowest floors, scoring 19.5 DKFP against the same Magic. He hoists a ton of shots per game (16.5) so the opportunities are always there, but the efficiency is always a concern with VanVleet as he’s shooting 41% from the field on the season and often has stretches shooting sub-40%. The usage rate also fluctuates. It can easily be 15.8 one night and 33.5 the next. Now he gets a matchup against the Celtics who negate the fantasy points per minute to shooting guards by 5.47% below league average. He did eviscerate this same Celtics team for 55.5 DKFP back in early January, so it’s a risky fade, but out of all the top guys on the slate, VanVleet is the one who is likeliest to disappoint. I’m ready to get internet tomatoes thrown at my head.

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.

Frank Mason III, G, Orlando Magic
NBA Snake Rank: 72nd

Cole Anthony left last game with a shoulder injury and is questionable for tonight. Mason played 33 minutes in his absence and contributed 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists for 24.75 DKFP. If Anthony is out, Mason should get the start and play over 30 minutes. On the season, he’s only averaging 0.75 DKFP per minute, but the Warriors boost the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 4.7% above league average, sixth-most generous.

Terrence Ross, G, Orlando Magic
NBA Snake Rank: 51st

The NBA Ross experience is exactly the same as the retail store Ross one. You will find quality items for a cheap price from time to time, but it’s hit or miss as to the correct size or color. Much of the time, when you enter Ross, you leave disappointed. Terrence Ross averages 0.83 DKFP per minute and is just as easy to contribute 9 DKFP as 39.25, his low and high marks on the season. With that said, in 105 minutes with Aaron Gordon, Cole Anthony, and Evan Fournier off the court, Ross sees a 7.5% usage bump to 30.2. Whether he takes advantage is another matter, but the opportunities should be there. That’s half the battle.

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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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