NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Tyrese Haliburton Falling Through the Cracks (February 22)

With this past weekend’s All-Star game behind us, the NBA returns with a monster 10-game 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 Tyrese Haliburton and Jonathan Isaac. 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. Subscribe today for access to our industry-leading resources, including our lineup generator (available for NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA), our DFS simulation tools (available for NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA and MMA) and our industry-leading projections for every sport.

NBA DFS Contrarian Picks Today: Thursday, February 22

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NBA DFS High-Priced Contrarian Pick

Pistons-Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 11.10%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $9,400

Tyrese Haliburton has been a staple in this article, and he’s once again the top contrarian stud on DraftKings at $9,400. Haliburton is averaging 49.1 fantasy points per game, and although his numbers have dipped a bit since injuring his hamstring on Jan. 8, he looks primed for a big-time second half run. While he’s been playing with a minutes limit since the injury, Haliburton saw 34 minutes in back-to-back games before the break and it’s likely he’s back to full go now after playing an Eastern Conference high 27 minutes in the All-Star game. Despite his clear upside at $9,400, Haliburton isn’t getting nearly the love he deserves on DraftKings.

Haliburton is projected to be in just 6.40% of lineups on DraftKings, but his optimal percentage is 11.10%, making him one of the best differentiators on the slate and an elite tournament building block at $9,400.

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NBA DFS Mid-Priced Contrarian Pick

Nets-Raptors: Kelly Olynyk

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 6.40%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $4,700

Newly minted Raptor Kelly Olynyk is the top contrarian mid-tier play on DraftKings at $4,700. Olynyk is averaging only 22.6 DraftKings points per game, but priced down to $4,700, stands out as one of the best leverage plays on the slate. While it’s clear there is plenty of meat on the bone at his $4,700 price tag, the field isn’t getting to Olynyk at nearly the rate it should be.

Despite numerous signs pointing to value here, Olynyk is a forgotten man on DraftKings tonight and grades out as the sixth-best leverage play on the slate, right behind Haliburton. He is projected to be in just 1.80% of lineups but has a 6.40% optimal percentage. While his floor might be lower than other players in his price range due to minutes uncertainty and a back strain that saw him play only two minutes in the Raptors final game before the break, his upside is massive at $4,700, and embracing that volatility is key in GPPs.

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NBA DFS Low-Priced Contrarian Pick

Magic-Cavaliers: Jonathan Isaac

Stokastic’s Optimality Projection
DraftKings: 20.60%
DFS Salary
DraftKings: $3,500

Jonathan Isaac is the highest-graded leverage player in Stokastic’s tools and the obvious top contrarian play on DraftKings at $3,500. Although Orlando is not in an overall good spot for DFS purposes, Isaac has emerged as one of the top value plays on the slate at only $3,500. After recently letting down the masses as uber chalk, however, Isaac is falling through the cracks in a big way on Thursday.

While these numbers will definitely change if news comes out that Paolo Banchero is out tonight, Stokastic’s tools currently have Isaac optimal 20.60% of the time this slate plays out on DraftKings. With only 9.70% of lineups projected to roster him, it’s clear why Isaac currently looks so good from a leverage perspective. These numbers are with Banchero active, so if the reigning Rookie of the Year sits, Isaac will likely become the highest-owned player on the board.

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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