NBA DFS Contrarian Picks: Kings Have Against-the-Grain Value (January 25)

The NBA is back with a seven-game slate on Thursday. 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 Nikola Jokic and Kevin Huerter.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks — Plays For Today

Contrarian Stud — Nikola Jokic: Denver Nuggets-New York Knicks

Jokic is averaging 26.2 points, 12.0 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 2.0 stocks per game, as he continues to be a top-5 commodity in all of fantasy basketball. Despite his nightly dominance, however, the field is struggling to prioritize Jokic at $11,300 on DraftKings.

As of this writing, Jokic is only projected to be 3.80% owned on DraftKings but has a 7.70% optimal percentage. With Joel Embiid in a smash spot against the Pacers and priced only slightly higher than Jokic, it’s not surprising that the Nuggets big man isn’t getting as much love as he normally might. While there’s clearly opportunity cost in rostering Jokic on a slate with other good expensive options, he’s the top “spend up to be contrarian” play on the board, and it’s relatively easy to get over the field on him in tournaments of all sizes.

Contrarian Mid-Tier — Kevin Huerter: Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors

Kings-Warriors looks like the potential game of the night, and Kevin Huerter is DraftKings’ top contrarian mid-tier play at $5,200. He finds himself in a good spot against the Warriors, and there’s plenty of meat on the bone at his $5,200 price tag. Unsurprisingly, the field isn’t overly interested in Huerter, and he currently grades out as the second-best leverage play on the slate.

Huerter is projected to be optimal 13.60% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings, and with only 8.00% of lineups expected to roster him, it makes sense why Huerter grades out so well in Stokastic’s tools. While Huerter has not historically been a slate-breaker, he has done just that in two out of the past four games, and at his cheap $5,200 price point he opens up nice roster construction flexibility.

Contrarian Value — JaVale McGee: Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors

Sticking with the Kings, NBA DFS legend JaVale McGee is top contrarian value play on DraftKings at the flat $3,000. While we are definitely back to dumpster diving for cheap differentiators, McGee has emerged as one of the top leverage plays on the board and looks intriguing on a slate without a ton of inexpensive value.

Despite projecting for only 12.00 DraftKings points, McGee projects to be optimal 5.40% of the time this slate plays out. The public isn’t getting to him at nearly this rate, however, as only 1.95% of lineups are expected to roster him. McGee is one of only a few players even playable at the minimum price point, and although it never feels good to roster JaVale McGee in the year 2024, his price tag opens up doors 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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