NBA DFS Contrarian Picks: Buy What Harrison Barnes is Selling? (January 27)

We’re back with a six-game NBA slate on Saturday. Using Stokastic’s NBA DFS Boom/Bust tool, let’s dive into the player pool to discuss the best NBA DFS contrarian picks on DraftKings this evening, including Damian Lillard and Pat Connaughton.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks — Plays For Today

Contrarian Stud — Damian Lillard: New Orleans Pelicans-Milwaukee Bucks

Damian Lillard is the second-highest-graded leverage play in Stokastic’s tools, and he is the obvious top contrarian stud on DraftKings at $9,300. Coming into tonight’s action averaging 25.3 points, 6.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game, Lillard has been more of a solid piece than a spectacular one in his first season in Milwaukee. Now sharing the floor with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lillard doesn’t have the ball in his hands as much as he did in Portland, so his median outcomes are much more pedestrian. Lillard’s upside hasn’t changed, however, and the field is sleeping on him in a big way.

As of this writing, Lillard is projected to be only 2.3% owned on DraftKings. Compare that to his 8.2% optimal percentage, and it makes sense why Lillard grades out so well from a leverage perspective. Coming off a disappointing loss on Friday against Cleveland, expect the best Milwaukee and Lillard have to offer as they look to bounce back against the Pelicans.

Contrarian Mid-Tier — Harrison Barnes: Sacramento Kings-Dallas Mavericks

Harrison Barnes is the top contrarian mid-tier play on DraftKings at $4,600. Coming into tonight averaging a paltry 19.4 DraftKings points per game, Barnes seems to have found the fountain of youth recently, as he has totaled 94 DraftKings points in wins over the Hawks and Warriors. While it’s hard to completely buy into what Barnes is selling right now, the field isn’t getting to him at all, making him a great contrarian play in tournaments.

Projections tend to change as we get news closer to lock, but Barnes is currently projected to be optimal 7.3% of the time this slate plays out. The field isn’t getting to him at nearly this rate, however, as he’s only projected to be in 2.9% of lineups on DraftKings. With Dallas on the other side of this game potentially having a ton of viable mid-tier options, Barnes has value as a contrarian pivot or as a placeholder to get to more Mavericks.

Contrarian Value — Pat Connaughton: New Orleans Pelicans-Milwaukee Bucks

We’re going back to Milwaukee as Pat Connaughton is the highest-graded leverage play on the entire slate at $3,500. Despite projecting for only 14.8 fantasy points, Stokastic’s tools have Connaughton optimal 7% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. On the second half of a back-to-back, it remains to be seen who is in or out for Milwaukee, but either way, Connaughton stands out as arguably the top differentiator on the slate.

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With Dallas value looming and other good spots on the board, the field is completely overlooking Connaughton on DraftKings. As of this writing, he’s projected to be only 1% owned despite having a higher optimal percentage than almost every other player priced around him. I doubt Connaughton will put up enough fantasy points to win you a tournament, but his price tag opens up paths to roster construction that otherwise would be closed.

Looking for more NBA DFS advice? You’ve come to the right place. Sign up for Stokastic’s NBA DFS Premium Package for access to player projections, ownership projections and Stokastic’s state-of-the-art NBA DFS simulation tools.

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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