NBA DFS Contrarian Picks: Kawhi Leonard Looks Great in a Return to Toronto (January 26)

The NBA gods bless us with a seven-game slate on Friday. 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 Kawhi Leonard and Cody Martin.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks — Plays For Today

Contrarian Stud — Kawhi Leonard: Los Angeles Clippers-Toronto Raptors

Kawhi Leonard is returning to Toronto for just the fourth time since he led the Raptors to an NBA Championship in 2019. He is averaging 23.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.5 steals/blocks per game, and while his numbers would certainly look better if James Harden and Paul George weren’t around, the Clippers look like a legit contender right now with Leonard at the helm.

Despite his nightly production, the field is struggling to prioritize Leonard as the most expensive small forward on DraftKings. As of this writing, only 6.20% of lineups are projected to roster him, yet he has an 8.90% optimal percentage. Although he’s fairly priced for his medium outcome, Leonard has massive upside at this price point, and it’s worth getting over the field on him in tournaments of all sizes.

Contrarian Mid-Tier — Cody Martin: Houston Rockets-Charlotte Hornets

Cody Martin is the highest-graded leverage play in Stokastic’s tools, and he’s the obvious top contrarian mid-tier play on DraftKings at $4,400. Averaging a respectable 19.1 DraftKings points per game, Martin should see a big bump across the board with Terry Rozier now in Miami.

Martin is currently projected to be optimal 17.60% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. However, the field isn’t getting to him at nearly this rate, as he’s only projected to be 9.60% owned. With players like Josh Green and Isaac Okoro projected for ownership in the 25% range, Martin looks like an idea pivot in both large-field and small-field tournaments.

Contrarian Value — Scotty Pippen Jr.: Orlando Magic-Memphis Grizzlies

Scotty Pippen Jr. came out of nowhere to put up 31.0 DraftKings points on Wednesday. And even with Luke Kennard returning, it’s hard to imagine Pippen not having at least some sort of role for the Grizzlies tonight based on how he played on Wednesday in a win in Miami. Pippen played a season-high 24 minutes against the Heat and was productive across the board, scoring 15 points, pulling down six rebounds and dishing out six assists.

Despite his performance against the Heat, the field is not buying what Pippen is selling even at his cheap $3,300 price tag; he is only projected to be 1.00% owned on DraftKings. With an optimal percentage of 7.20%, Pippen isn’t getting nearly the love he should be, and his near-min salary opens up paths to roster construction.

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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