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🏀 Slate Starter: NBA DFS Strategy for DraftKings + FanDuel | Thursday, 3/25

Eric Lindquist



Awesemo brings the 4/20/21 NBA DraftKings Picks cheat sheet for daily fantasy basketball lineups on April 20, including De'Aaron Fox.

I think I’ve said this phrase a few times this year in jest, but now I’m pretty sure I mean it when I say Wednesday was the worst slate of all time. It all started with my (correct) assumption that there was no shot James Harden was playing on the second leg of a back-to-back as a double-digit dog. I had all the value cued up, fired near all-in amounts of Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo on every site and proceeded to watch my lineups go up in flames before 8 p.m. EST came around. The cherry on top of it all was watching the Nets get obliterated whilst Joe Harris — my only hope in a few decent lineups — played the first five minutes of the game, never to be seen from again. It’s probably the worst slate of my entire daily fantasy career, and the only thing that gives me any solace is that it seems as though I was not alone in that sentiment. Let’s turn the page together, hopefully finding a few NBA DFS picks and strategies to bounce back with on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Make sure you’re checking out Alex “Awesemo” Baker’s industry-leading NBA projections based on his expert stats and data models to ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance to be atop those tournament leaderboards.

Be sure to check out the Slate Starter podcast, featuring yours truly and Rynpak, to get the first look at the slate and make NBA DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel!

NBA DFS Slate Starter: Picks & Strategy | March 25

Quick Trade Deadline Talk Part II

I spent the majority of my Tuesday night digging up every team’s potential involvement in trade negotiations. Those hypothetical moves certainly didn’t come to fruition besides a Delon Wright/Cory Joseph swap well after the slate was over, but at least I was prepared in the event of a bombshell. Also, it allowed me to get it in good when Victor Oladipo was ruled out for “personal” reasons, since I was 99.9% he was never playing when I woke up that morning. The swaps onto an under-owned John Wall and Christian Wood certainly went horrendously, but I would do it all over again in that spot, no questions asked.

While that was a useful exercise for then, the 3 p.m. deadline today guarantees we’ll have all the trade news we need before locking in lineups. We’ll still have some injury news waiting in the wings, but the stress of the unknown won’t be hanging over our heads anymore. So if the Kings decide to make more moves than just swapping backup point guards (I expect them to), we’ll know exactly what we’re working with.

The same goes for the Heat; it sounds like they’re frantically putting packages together in the wee hours to acquire pieces to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. The complexion of the East has changed dramatically since the bubble due to the Nets’ newly assembled trio, so making at least one massive move in an attempt to repeat their NBA Finals run feels like a borderline necessity. Would that result in them having to play short-handed on Thursday night? I have no earthly idea at the moment, but yet again, we will have all the trade information we need to build quality NBA DFS lineups well before lock.

Get Poole In Your Player Pool

I expected Stephen Curry‘s tailbone injury to change the Warriors from one of my top League Pass targets to a complete afterthought. Draymond Green generally complains too much for me to enjoy watching him any more than I have to, Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre both play a brand of volume-based iso ball that’s far from my favorite, and James Wiseman is still so raw it hurts to watch sometimes. There are glimpses from each I still enjoy, but none are all that intriguing to watch right now compared to Curry.

Jordan Poole, on the other hand, has certainly gotten my attention both on the court and in the box scores these past few games. Check out the run he’s been on since he returned from a month-long hiatus to play in the G-League bubble (courtesy of

Poole certainly isn’t Curry, as he showed getting bottled up by the 76ers in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s loss. But not only has he passed the eye test since his return, he has been extremely efficient, shooting under 47.5% from the field just once in the seven outings since his return. The 17.7% assist rate with Curry off the floor this season still isn’t where you want it (surely a product of sharing the court with Green), but his mid- to high-30s minutes and 62% true shooting more than makes up for that.

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And now, of course, he gets the Kings matchup boost, which bolsters virtually any point guard’s fantasy outlook. The Kings continue to be an atrocity on the defensive end, sporting the worst defensive efficiency mark in the entire league (117.9). So at just $6,100 on DraftKings and $6,200 on FanDuel, Poole projects as one of my favorite tournament plays of the entire slate, especially after burning a lot of folks on Tuesday.

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Final Thoughts for Your NBA DFS Lineups

I am ecstatic for tomorrow, as the trade deadline is one of my favorite days of the entire NBA season. I said it a bunch yesterday, but I will say it again: Follow Newzgod’s updates at the @AwesemoNBA Twitter account to stay updated on all the chaos that is about to ensue. And just for the heck of it, I have five takes I want to put in writing in case even one hits so I can brag about it later:

  • Kyle Lowry ends up on the 76ers, Norman Powell ends up somewhere random (aka not the Sixers or Heat)
  • Victor Oladipo gets scooped up by the Lakers for a deal involving Talen Horton-Tucker.
  • Aaron Gordon goes absolutely nowhere, while Evan Fournier goes somewhere.
  • The Bulls overhaul their roster and somehow make things worse than they were before.
  • And for my blockbuster stab in the dark: Bradley Beal lands himself on a contender in a trade involving three teams or more.

No matter what happens, we’ll have you covered on the Awesemo YouTube channel. Stop on by the Live Before Lock show where I’ll be alongside Greg Ehrenberg going over all the aftermath of what is shaping to be one exciting day of NBA DFS.

Oh, and just play De’Aaron Fox.

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