NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Grab Brandon Ingram at Falling Salary (March 21)

In the midst of March Madness, we’re back with another six-game NBA slate on Thursday that tips off at 7:00 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, which include Nikola Jokic and Brandon Ingram. 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 21

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NBA DFS High-Priced Contrarian Pick

Knicks-Nuggets: Nikola Jokic

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 11.10%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $12,000

Averaging 60.3 fantasy points per game, Nikola Jokic has continued his ascent into becoming one of the best centers in NBA history. A third MVP award would certainly strengthen that argument, and Jokic is more than doing his part, as he has the Nuggets playing their best basketball of the season.

Despite his nightly dominance, the field is struggling to prioritize Jokic on a slate with Luka Doncic, Domantas Sabonis and other elite spend-up options. Although there’s opportunity cost in rostering Jokic and bypassing one of the other studs, Jokic’s upside, even in a tough spot against the Knicks, is second to only Doncic.

With Dallas’ point guard $700 more expensive and pulling ownership, Jokic has emerged as the top contrarian spend up option in tournaments — he is projected to be in just 4.80% of lineups on DraftKings against an optimal percentage of 11.10%.

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NBA DFS Mid-Priced Contrarian Pick

Pelicans-Magic: Brandon Ingram

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 16.90%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $7,500

Brandon Ingram has been a bit underwhelming this year, averaging 21.0 points, 5.8 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 stocks per game. As Zion Williamson has taken off, Ingram has been forced to take a bit of a backseat. As a result of his recent play, however, Ingram is now the cheapest he’s been all season on DraftKings, and the field is sleeping on him in a big way.

As of this writing, Ingram is the highest-graded leverage play on Stokastic. Although his stats as a whole are down recently, Ingram still has massive upside on any given night, and his struggles are now baked into a tag that’s almost $700 cheaper than his average salary on DraftKings this season.

Ingram is projected to be in just 8.00% of lineups but has a whopping 16.90% optimal percentage. While his floor might be lower than other players in his price range due to a tough matchup against the Magic, Ingram is way too cheap for his upside at $7,500.

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NBA DFS Low-Priced Contrarian Pick

Pelicans-Magic: Jonathan Isaac

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 17.10%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $3,900

Jonathan Isaac is the third-highest graded leverage play in Stokastic’s tools. Since being drafted in 2017, Isaac has dealt with a litany of injuries to his lower body that has hampered his ability to be on the court. While he’s always been extremely valuable when healthy, Isaac has unfortunately played in only 194 total games in his entire career.

As a result of his extensive injury history, Orlando has kept Isaac in proverbial bubble wrap throughout this entire season. Isaac averages only 15 minutes played per game, and he rarely exceeds 20. All of that being said, Isaac is still highly productive when he’s on the court, and his $3,900 price tag on DraftKings leaves plenty of meat on the bone.

Regardless of how many minutes he plays, Isaac’s $3,900 salary opens up paths to roster construction. Despite projecting him for just 20.45 fantasy points, Stokastic’s tools currently have Isaac optimal 17.10% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. With only 10.50% of lineups projected to roster him, Isaac offers a ton of leverage without much opportunity cost.

Final Thoughts on NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today

Check out the NBA DFS Strategy Show on YouTube, where Stokastic pros break down all of the key elements for today’s slate.

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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