NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Against the Grain Nikola Jokic (March 7)

We’re back with a seven-game NBA slate that tips off at 7 p.m. EST 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 Nikola Jokic and Dominick Barlow. 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.

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NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Thursday, March 7

NBA DFS High-Priced Contrarian Pick

Celtics-Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 20.50%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $11,400

It’s always fun to be able to roster Nikola Jokic at low ownership, and he’s the highest graded leverage play on the slate at $11,400. In what looks like the clear game of the night for viewing purposes, the Nuggets host the Celtics in a potential NBA Finals preview at 10:00 p.m. EST on TNT. It’s rare to see a player of Jokic’s stature grade out so well from a leverage perspective, and while these numbers might very well change as more news comes out closer to lock, he currently grades out as the top tournament play across any price point.

Jokic is projected to be in just 10.90% of lineups on DraftKings. With an optimal percentage of 20.50%, it’s clear why the two-time MVP looks so good from a leverage standpoint. He is undoubtedly an elite tournament core piece at $11,400.

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NBA DFS Mid-Priced Contrarian Pick

Nets-Pistons: Jaden Ivey

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 12.40%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $5,500

Jaden Ivey also grades out extremely well in Stokastic’s tools, and he’s the top contrarian mid-tier play on DraftKings at $5,500. Ivey comes into tonight’s action averaging 27.0 DraftKings points per game, and although his production is volatile, he’s got clear upside at a price tag that’s almost $500 less than his average salary this season. Due to his inconsistent production, Ivey is never a guy I love rostering when he’s getting ownership.

When he’s not getting love, however, I’m much more willing to take chances on his volatility due to his sky high ceiling on any given night. Despite his clear upside at $5,500, the field isn’t getting to Ivey at nearly the rate they should be.

Ivey is projected to be in just 7.00% of lineups but has a 12.40% optimal percentage. While his floor might be lower than other players in his price range due to his necessity to make shots and overall inconsistencies, Ivey’s upside is massive at $5,500, and embracing that volatility is key in GPPs.


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NBA DFS Low-Priced Contrarian Pick

Spurs-Kings: Dominick Barlow

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 6.60%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $3,000

Dominick Barlow is the second-highest graded leverage play in Stokastic’s tools, and he’s the clear top contrarian play on DraftKings at the flat $3,000. Although Barlow hasn’t played actual minutes for the Spurs in close to a month, he should step right back into the backup center role with Victor Wembanyama out with a sprained right ankle. Barlow is definitely not a guy we are rostering to win us tournaments himself, but his $3,000 price tag opens up paths to roster construction that will be unaccessible to others. Barlow was more than serviceable in his time with the Spurs earlier this season, and the field is sleeping on him in a big way at a price point without many pivots.



Stokastic’s tools currently have Barlow optimal 6.60% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. With only 1.00% of lineups projected to roster him, it makes sense why Barlow looks so good from a leverage perspective.


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 $150 in Bonus Bets when you bet $5! 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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