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

Stan Son breaks down Thursday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:00 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!

Favorable Early Round Targets

Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
NBA Snake Rank: 1st

The Trail Blazers are 29th in defensive efficiency while the Pelicans are 28th. These teams just played on Tuesday with Portland winning by a score of 125-124 and Lillard going for 75 DKFP. DK Sportsbook has this game with the highest total at 239.5 and a spread of only one point in favor of the Trail Blazers. Even with the return of C.J. McCollum, Lillard still garnered a 36.2 usage rate. Over his last five games, he’s averaged 37.8 minutes, 37.4 points, 5.6 three-pointers, 5.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.4 blocks.

Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
NBA Snake Rank: 8th

Russell Westbrook is out for this game. In 324 minutes this season with Westbrook off the court, Beal has seen a 9.2% usage bump to a whopping 44.4. The matchup is a difficult one, though, as the Jazz are third in defensive efficiency. Utah is also favored by 12 points so there is blowout risk and Beal has scored fewer than 30 DKFP three times this season, but the insane projected usage is too much to ignore.

Rudy Gobert, F/C, Utah Jazz
NBA Snake Rank: 14th

Gobert has gone for 40, 74, and 44.25 DKFP in his last three games. He now gets the most pristine matchup for centers, as the Wizards boost the fantasy points per minute by 17.64% above league average. The rebound boost is 22.93% above league average. The Wizards play at the fastest pace in the league so there will be plenty of opportunities for fantasy goodies. There is blowout risk for sure but if the game can somehow stay close, Gobert could be in line for his third 20/20 game of the season.

John Collins, F/C, Atlanta Hawks
NBA Snake Rank: 21st

This recommendation depends on the health of Clint Capela, who is questionable with a heel injury. In the last two games that Capela has missed, Collins has started at center and played 33 and 31 minutes, producing 48.5 and 40.1 DKFP. He had been averaging 28 minutes per game over the last 14 games. He went 20/10 and 22/12 in those two games, only the 11th time Collins double-doubled this season.

Anthony Edwards, F/C, Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA Snake Rank: 33rd

Is Edwards the new alpha for the Timberwolves? It’s still probably Karl-Anthony Towns’s team but, with D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley out of the lineup the last seven games, Edwards has led the team in shot attempts in six of those contests. The usage rate has been 28.5, 32.6, 32.5, 31.4, 31.9, 35.4, and 30.3. Things that make you go “hmmm”. He’s scored over 30 DKFP in all of those games with two above 40. He has faced the Lakers twice in the span of a month and gone for 38 and 51.25 DKFP.

Early Round Players to Avoid

Trae Young, G, Atlanta Hawks
NBA Snake Rank: 6th

For full transparency, I don’t think I’ve gotten Young right once this season, so a 50-burger could be in the offering. You have been warned. Trae has a tremendous ceiling, as he’s gone for over 60 DKFP three times this season. He’s also scored fewer than 30 DKFP three times. The assists will always be there but the lack of defensive stats and inconsistent field goal percentage allow for more volatility than some of his peers. The matchup isn’t a good one either, as the Thunder neutralize the fantasy points per minute to point guards by 12.93% below league average. For three-pointers, they suppress by 14.38% below league average.

LaMelo Ball, G, Charlotte Hornets
NBA Snake Rank: 14th

The Lakers are usually a good matchup for point guards, as they boost the fantasy points per minute by 12.54% above league average. Overall, though, they are still the number one rated team in terms of defensive efficiency and play at the 18th-fastest pace. In addition, Ball has struggled recently, going for 26.75, 49.25, 29, and 19.75 DKFP in the last four games. Interestingly, he’s played fewer than 30 minutes in four of the last five games. Granted, two of those games were blowouts but still concerning.

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.

Alex Len, F/C, Washington Wizards
NBA Snake Rank: 114th

Len could play 30 minutes or 2. How many he gets? Nobody knows. In the last four games, he’s played 6, 33, 18, and 24 minutes. Now, he’s averaging 1.04 DKFP per minute so, if he gets the minutes, he can produce. Going up against Rudy Gobert, he should get the minutes as the Wizards have no one else to match up to his size.

Raul Neto, G, Washington Wizards
NBA Snake Rank: 98th

Westbrook is out so Neto should get the start. In the first start of the season, Neto played 32 minutes and scored 40.5 DKFP. In the other five starts with Westbrook out, things were not as great. He played 22, 20, 25, 21, and 17 minutes while contributing 19.5, 17.25, 21.5, 10, and 13.25 DKFP. So there’s risk, especially considering the matchup with the Jazz, but there is upside as well if things break right.

Talen Horton-Tucker, F/C, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA Snake Rank: 60th

Over the last two games, Horton-Tucker has played 28 and 26 minutes, primarily due to the Alex Caruso injury. Caruso is out again so he should play in the high-20s again. The production has been fantastic, as he’s scored double digits in both games and dished out 10 assists in one game, which translated to 40.5 and 30.75 DKFP. On the season, Horton-Tucker is averaging 0.92 DKFP per minute and the matchup with the Hornets is a good one as they boost the fantasy points per minute to small forwards by 10.55% above league average.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, New Orleans Pelicans
NBA Snake Rank: 86th

Over the last five games, NAW has played 24, 25, 23, six, and 25 minutes. The six-minute game was a result of spraining his ankle. In the other games, he’s attempted at least 10 shots and contributed 28.25, 19.5, 31, and 33.25 DKFP. He grabs rebounds, dishes out assists, and contributes in the defensive categories. He’s averaging 0.97 DKFP per minute. It’s too bad he doesn’t play all of Eric Bledsoe’s minutes.

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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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