NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Tyrese Haliburton at a Falling Salary (February 8)

We’re back to the madness on Thursday, with another seven-game NBA slate tipping off at 7 p.m. ET on DraftKings. Using Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust tool, let’s dive into the player pool to discuss the best NBA DFS contrarian picks for today’s action, including Tyrese Haliburton and Jonathan Isaac. One of the keys to a winning NBA DFS lineup is differentiation, so without contrarian picks like the ones below, you’ll struggle to separate from the pack in tournaments.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Thursday, February 8

NBA DFS High-Priced Contrarian Pick

Tyrese Haliburton: Warriors-Pacers

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 10.30%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $8,600

Tyrese Haliburton was a staple in this article for much of the beginning of the season, and he’s back as the top contrarian stud on DraftKings at a reduced $8,600 price tag. Knowing that today’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline looms and can completely change the complexity of the slate, Haliburton currently grades out as one of the best leverage plays on the board. He comes into tonight’s action averaging 49.8 DraftKings points per game, and while there is still some uncertainty regarding his playing time, Haliburton is over $1,500 cheaper than his average salary on DraftKings this season.

Despite his falling price tag, the field isn’t interested in allocating $8,600 on Haliburton with other good spend-up options scattered throughout the slate. Haliburton is projected to be in just 4.20% of lineups on DraftKings but has a 10.30% optimal percentage. Haliburton is appropriately priced for his median outcome considering his current restrictions, but he’s far too cheap for his ceiling. In a smash spot at home against the Warriors, Haliburton has slate-breaking upside at $8,600, and it’s clearly worth getting over the field on him in tournaments.

NBA DFS Mid-Priced Contrarian Pick

Precious Achiuwa: Mavericks-Knicks

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 17.50%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $6,400

With Julius Randle and O.G. Anunoby out and Jalen Brunson questionable, the Knicks began the day looking like one of the top teams to target in DFS. After trading Quentin Grimes, Evan Fournier and Malachi Flynn, they are even more shorthanded and look even better on DraftKings. While players like Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart continue to pick up ownership, Precious Achiuwa isn’t getting that same love, and he’s the top contrarian mid-tier play at $6,400.

While he’s not getting completely forgotten about on DraftKings, the field isn’t prioritizing Achiuwa at nearly the rate they should be. As of this writing, Achiuwa is projected to be in 11.10% of lineups but has a huge 17.50% optimal percentage. With Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks coming from Detroit and Randle and Anunoby presumably returning to the lineup soon, expect Achiuwa to play massive minutes tonight in what could be one of his last games as a starter.

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NBA DFS Low-Priced Contrarian Pick

Jonathan Isaac: Spurs-Magic

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 18.80%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $3,600

Jonathan Isaac is the highest-graded leverage play in Stokastic’s tools, and he’s the obvious top contrarian value play on DraftKings at $3,600. Isaac has always been a stat-sheet stuffer, and injuries are the only reason his career hasn’t taken off like many thought it would. Despite his lengthy injury history, Isaac is firmly back in Orlando’s rotation, playing around 20 minutes per night in competitive contests. While his lack of big minutes undoubtedly caps his upside, the field is sleeping on his $3,600 price tag and what it can do for roster construction.

Despite projecting for only 19.77 fantasy points, Isaac is expected to be optimal 18.80% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. Plus, along with only 9.70% of lineups projected to roster him, he has a higher-than-normal floor for a $3,600 player, which helps with roster flexibility.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today

Check out the Stokastic NBA Process Show with Josh Engleman on YouTube, breaking down all of the key elements for today’s slate. Brought to you by BetMGM – new users, use this link to receive $158 in Bonus Bets when you bet $5 ahead of Super Bowl 58! Full details here.

Matt Belman graduated from Tulane University with a degree in Consumer Behavior. He has been playing and analyzing DFS full time since 2018. He has qualified for the 2023 DraftKings NBA World Championship (5x), the 2023 DraftKings MLB World Championship (2x), the 2023 FanDuel MLB World Championship (2x) and the 2023 DraftKings NFL World Championship. You can find him on X at @fantasytipsmatt.

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