NBA DFS Contrarian Picks: Hornets Going Against the Grain (January 17)

We’re back with an eight-game NBA DFS slate on Wednesday. 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, which include LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks — Plays For Today

Contrarian Stud — LaMelo Ball: Charlotte Hornets-New Orleans Pelicans

LaMelo Ball is the top contrarian stud on DraftKings at $9,100. Ball is averaging 24.6 points, 7.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 stocks per game, and he continues to be a top-tier fantasy basketball asset despite his lengthy injury history. Since returning from his most recent lengthy absence, Ball has tallied 49 points, 13 boards, 10 assists and eight steals in 57 total minutes. Although his minutes upside might not be as high as it normally would be tonight, Ball still has massive upside at $9,100, and the field isn’t getting to him at all.

As of this writing, Ball is projected to be optimal 2.70% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings yet only has a 0.60% ownership projection. While he’s a bit too expensive for his median outcome considering the other players in his price range, Ball has slate-breaking upside every time he suits up, and it’s easy to get over the field on him in large-field GPPs.


Contrarian Mid-Tier — Terry Rozier: Charlotte Hornets-New Orleans Pelicans

Sticking with the Hornets, Terry Rozier is DraftKings’ top contrarian mid-tier play at $7,500. Although Rozier is always more appealing when Ball is out and he’s running the show, there’s a lot to like about him in tournaments tonight at a decreasing $7,500 price tag. Rozier is under $8,000 for the first time in over a month, Rozier still has big-time upside even when Ball is in, and there are plenty of scenarios where they both are viable in tournaments, especially at cheaper-than-usual price tags.

With Ball back in the fold, Rozier is only projected to be in 3.20% of lineups on DraftKings, yet he has an optimal percentage of 5.90%. While playing both Ball and Rozier together is probably not ideal from a median standpoint, getting exposure to either one of them in any specific tournament lineup seems like a sharp move.

Contrarian Value — Christian Wood: Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Lakers

Christian Wood is the top contrarian value play on DraftKings at $4,200. Although he’s impossible to trust on a nightly basis, Wood has massive upside at $4,200, as evidenced by the 27.02 DraftKings points he’s averaged over the past four games. Wood’s playing time varies from night to night, but he’s extremely productive when he’s on the court, and there should be minutes available for him right now in the Lakers frontcourt.

The field is uninterested in getting to Wood tonight despite his recent play, as only 3.80% of lineups are projected to roster him. Still, he has an 8.70% optimal percentage, so Wood is grading out really well from a leverage perspective. With other cheap centers like Thaddeus Young and Jontay Porter presumably gaining steam after the Raptors traded Pascal Siakam, Wood might fall even further through the cracks, and he already looks like one of the best differentiators on the slate.

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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