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Fantasy Basketball Picks: Top DraftKings NBA Snake DFS Strategy for March 4

Stan Son breaks down Thursday’s DraftKings NBA Snake contest, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

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

Nikola Jokic, F/C, Denver Nuggets
NBA Snake Rank: 2nd

Jokic is the number one player for fantasy on a per-game basis in season-long, category leagues. He’s averaging a robust 1.61 DKFP per minute and is coming off back-to-back 70-DKFP performances. The Pacers boost the fantasy points per minute to centers by 8% above league average. There really isn’t much to say except Jokic is no laughing matter and is one of the best fantasy options regardless of matchup.

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

I kind of hate writing up the two best players and plays on the slate but they give a sizeable advantage over the next tier of players. You thought Jokic’s 1.61 DKFP per minute was good? Well, take a look at Giannis’s 1.66 DKFP per minute! Jokic averages two more minutes per game on the season but, if games are competitive, Coach Mike Budenholzer has scrapped his rest-his-best-players strategy from last season and instituted a play-his-best-players one. What a novel concept! On the season, the Grizzlies have done a good job against power forwards, but Giannis is not a normal power forward. The only concern is not getting enough minutes due to a blowout, but DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bucks favored by 6 points.

Domantas Sabonis, F/C, Indiana Pacers
NBA Snake Rank: 7th

Sabonis has scored 35.75, 34.75, and 36.75 DKFP in the last three games but he has an excellent chance of producing a ceiling game against the Nuggets. Michael Porter Jr., who is not known as a defensive stalwart will likely be matched up against him and the Nuggets are boosting the fantasy points per minute to power forwards by 13.67% above league average. On the season, Sabonis has gone over 50 DKFP 14 times, with two of this in the 60s and one a high of 82.5 DKFP.

Paul George, G, Los Angeles Clippers
NBA Snake Rank: 17th

George gets the Rolls Royce of fantasy matchups: the Washington Wizards. They play at the fastest pace and are 27th in defensive efficiency. Against shooting guards, they boost the fantasy points per minute by 5.82% above league average. On the season, George is averaging 1.28 DKFP per minute. Kawhi Leonard missed the last game and is questionable for this one. With Kawhi off the court this season, George sees a usage bump of 4.3% to 33.6.

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Early Round Players to Avoid

Steph Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
NBA Snake Rank: 5th

He’s out for tonight.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Snake Rank: 13th

Shai averages 1.21 DKFP per minute. On the season, the usage rate is 27.4. That’s a fine number but well below many of the other stars in the league. In his last two games, he’s produced 24.75 and 32.75 DKFP. On the season, he’s gone under 30 DKFP in five times. Now he gets a matchup against a Spurs team that is 11th in defensive efficiency and negates the fantasy points per minute by 5.52% below league average. Lonnie Walker IV is an excellent defender on the perimeter while Jakob Poeltl protects the rim well. Now, to be fair, he just eviscerated this Spurs team a few weeks ago for 61 DKFP. He scored 42 points, went 6-for-11 from downtown and 10-for-11 from the line. The usage rate was 32.9. In the other meeting back in January, he scored 33.25 DKFP. The February game is likely an outlier one in which all the stars aligned.

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.

Dennis Smith Jr., G, New York Knicks
NBA Snake Rank: 106th

Since starting six games ago, Smith Jr. has played 15, 18, 26, 27, 27, and 27 minutes. He’s produced 12, 25.75, 31.75, 30.25, 30.25, and 51.5 DKFPs over that span. Now he gets a, wait for it, REVENGE game against the Knicks! I kid, I’m not into narratives but the Knicks have been generous to opposing point guards and the Pistons have a bevy of injuries: Delon Wright, Killian Hayes, and Blake Griffin are out while Jermai Grant, Frank Jackson, and Josh Jackson are all questionable. If the latter three are out, then Smith’s prospects are even brighter because Grant and Josh Jackson are usage hogs.

Norman Powell, F/C, Toronto Raptors
NBA Snake Rank: 40th

The Raptors will be without O. G. Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, Malachi Flynn, and Patrick McCaw due to health and safety protocols. With those players off the floor, Powell sees a 9.6% usage bump to 33.4. The Raptors played yesterday without those five players and all Powell did was garner a 30.7 usage rate and score 36 points, a career-high. That was good for 46.25 DKFP. On the season, Powell has scored at least 40 DKFP seven times.

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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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