Looking for advice on who to play in your MMA lineups? In today’s edition of MMA Roosevelt’s Scouting Report I break down Saturday’s slate for UFC Fight Night!
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It’s UFC 228 live from Dallas, Texas! We have a pretty stacked card in terms of talent to choose from. Therefore, this will not be an easy card by any means! However, I definitely believe it is a card that we can profit from if we make some good decisions with our lineup selection.
Last time out was not a good card for me. I only had 3 winners in my cash lineups, which is not enough to get it done. I also didn’t do well in GPP. My article was pretty much on point and I had all the right plays. I just didn’t have the right combinations in my lineups. Every fighter that was in the winning GPP lineup was listed as one of my Elite or Good plays with one exception. James Krause who was listed as a Fade/High Risk play. I said I would only play him if I was mass entering and I didn’t mass enter that week so I missed out. Such is DFS life!
We have already lost the C0-Main Event, which is a shame because that was a great fight to stack in cash. Shevchenko was expected to do work and Montano made a great salary saver to allow you to build a lineup with all of your favorites. I’m happy that the UFC is putting more fights on their cards though. From a fantasy standpoint it makes it a little easier to build lineups when we lose matches.
With football here I’m playing very light today. Would definitely like to play more but right now, I’m reserving most of my bankroll for NFL. Hopefully with a couple of good weeks in NFL I’ll be able to play more MMA as there are some very good cards coming up towards the end of the year.
How I Rank Fighters
My rankings are based on the following criteria
- Odds to win the fight.
- DraftKings scoring average last 5 fights
- Draftkings career scoring average.
- Odds to win inside the distance.
- Fight Matrix weight class ranking
- Significant strikes landed per minute
- Average takedowns landed per fight
I have a spreadsheet with a formula that I built based on these factors. Each fighter has an overall rank from 1 to 24. Top 6 fighters go in the Elite category. 7-12 are in the Good category. 13-19 are in the Fair category. 20-26 go in the Fade/High Risk category. Most of my recommendations will come from my rankings but I also factor in my own thoughts based on my analysis of the fight.
Here are my rankings:
Elite Plays – Fighters good for all formats and good for lots of exposure to.
- Zabit Magomedsharipov $9,400 – He has huge, ridiculous odds to win the fight. He averages a ton of DraftKings points. He has huge odds to win by finish. He is by far a superior fighter compared to his opponent. He lands a ton of significant strikes and takedowns. He is absolutely in play in all formats, cash & GPP. The only issue I can see with him is that you might be able to build slightly better lineups by paying down for other fighters. However, not factoring in lineup construction he is by far the best play on the card.
- Jessica Andrade $9,100 – She has strong odds to win the fight. She scores a ton of DraftKings points. She lands a lot of significant strikes and gets a good amount of takedowns as well. The only disadvantages is she’s facing a better opponent in skill level compared to Zabit and she’s doesn’t have high odds to finish the fight. With that said, she is a great play and I will have a lot of her in my lineups. Maybe even more than Zabit.
- Tatiana Suarez $9,200 -She has strong odds to win the fight. She scores a ton of DraftKings points. She lands a lot of significant strikes and is has one of the top takedown averages on the entire card. Also, unlike Andrade, she also has strong odds to finish the fight. She is absolutely a great fighter to build your core around and I personally plan on having at least one of the top 3 elite plays in 100% of my lineups tonight.
Good Plays – Fighters good for all formats but less exposure than the elite plays. Also can serve as GPP pivots from elite fighters who should be higher owned.
- Charles Byrd $8,900 – The biggest reason why he’s not an elite play is because he doesn’t have the odds to win like the elite fighters. He’s also only had one fight in the UFC so far so you realistically cannot trust him to the same degree as you can trust the more elite fighters. However, he has one of the strongest odds to win the fight by finish and he has demonstrated the ability to score well with wrestling upside. He makes a great pivot off one of the higher priced elite fighters, who should be higher owned.
- Geoff Neal $8,700 – Like Byrd he’s not an elite play due to his lower odds to win and his lack of experience in the UFC with only one fight on his resume. However, he has really good odds to win, has pretty good odds to win by finish and lands a ton of significant strikes. The other reason why he’s not an elite play is because he just doesn’t have the wrestling upside many of the elite plays have. However, he’s priced at a good price and has fought significantly better competition than his opponent so he has the ability to do well in this spot.
- Abdul Razak Alhassan $8,400 – He’s not an elite play mainly because he’s got a tough opponent and he is basically in a pickem in terms of odds to win.. However, he definitely has the potential to score very well tonight. He’s scored over 100 fantasy points in 3 out of the 4 fights he’s had in the UFC. He has good odds to finish this fight. He also lands significant strikes at a high rate. I will have a lot of exposure to both sides of this fight, with slightly more exposure to Abdul
- Cody Stamann $7,700 – He’s probably the best underdog on the entire card. He’s undefeated in his 3 fights in the UFC and based on his current price he has exceeded 10 times value of his current price in every fight that he has had. He’s got a really tough opponent though and losing this fight is absolutely a potential outcome. However, if he does win this fight, he should exceed value and could be in the winning lineup tonight.
- Niko Price $7,900 – Like his opponent, Alhassan he’s a pickem in terms of odds to win. However, he also has the ability to score very well tonight. He’s lost only one fight in the UFC so far. Every single fight that he’s won he’s scored well over 10 times value compared to his current price. I don’t like him as much as I like Alhassan because his only path to scoring well is to win by finish. However, he’s got strong odds to win by finish and I will have a lot of exposure to both sides of this fight.
- Irene Aldana $8,200 – She’s a decent cash play because she’s not priced too high and has a fight that is very likely to go the distance. She lands a lot of significant strikes so she can still score decently well in a decision. Don’t like her as much for GPP but you can play her a little bit over there, especially if she helps you to afford somebody you like better.
- Frank Camacho $7,500 – He’s got a tough opponent and there is definitely a chance that he gets knocked out. However, if he can last he can be a great play at this price. In his last fight, even though he lost by decision he scored an incredible 82 fantasy points in a LOSS! He lands a ton of significant strikes so if he can land those and potentially get a knockdown he could pay off his salary. He also has a little bit of wrestling upside as well. I will absolutely be playing him in both cash and GPP tonight.
- Lucie Pudilova $8,000 – Like Aldana she’s a decent cash play because she’s not priced too high and has a fight that’s very likely to go the distance. She lands a lot of significant strikes as well, which adds to her overall potential floor. Also like Aldana, I don’t like her as much for GPP because of the lack of upside due to the low likelihood that she finishes and no wrestling upside.
- Darren Stewart $7,300 – He’s the cheapest that I would go if I’m playing less than 20 lineups. It is very likely that he loses this fight. However, he’s absolutely in play because of his price compared to his odds to win inside the distance. Although he’s an underdog he has somewhat decent odds to win the fight by finish and with not a lot of underdogs and not a lot of price savings he’s somebody that you have to consider in both cash and GPP lineups.
Fair Plays – These fighters make good cash plays if they have a low salary ($7,700 or less). Otherwise, they should be used as GPP pivots only.
- Darren Till $8,100 – He opened up as a slight underdog to the champion but since then has moved up to slight favorite status in this fight. He is absolutely in play for GPP contests because he has good odds to win the fight by a finish. You can also consider him for cash because of his low price tag. However, he is by NO means a MUST PLAY in cash and I personally do not recommend stacking the main event in cash. His problem is he really only has one path to score high and that’s winning by knockout. He doesn’t land a lot of significant strikes and he doesn’t have wrestling upside so if this goes to a decision, he’s not going to score well. I’ll have some shares but I won’t have a lot of him or Woodley tonight.
- Jarred Brooks $9,000 – He has strong odds to win this fight and has strong odds to win by finish. He also has very strong wrestling upside. However, he does have some gaps that have prevented him from making it to more than fair status. In 3 fights in the UFC he only has a DraftKings scoring average of 50. His opponent has fought better competition. He also doesn’t land a lot of significant strikes at all. I will probably fade him, not because he’s a bad play but because there are so many better plays. However, he makes a really good GPP pivot off the elite and good fighters if you want to go there.
- Tyrone Woodley $8,100 – He opened up as a decent favorite but has been bet all the way down to slight underdog status. I think he’s a decent GPP play because he can certainly win this fight and I do not believe he is going to be highly owned at all. However, he most certainly has flaws from a fantasy standpoint. He’s not likely to win by finish. He does not land a lot of significant strikes. He doesn’t land a lot of takedowns. The only way he scores well is if he wins by knockout. I’ll have some shares but I won’t have a lot of him or Till tonight.
- Aljamain Sterling $8,500 – He’s the favorite to win this fight, however, he doesn’t score that well. He does land significant strikes at a decent rate and has more wrestling upside than most, so he’s a pretty good cash play. However, I definitely have hesitancy in playing him a lot in GPP due to the lack of upside.
- Jimmy Rivera $8,400 – He is the favorite to win this fight, however, it’s really tough to call who is going to win that fight. On top of that, that fight is very likely to go to a decision and since he doesn’t land a lot of takedowns, he really needs to land a lot of significant strikes and potentially get a knockdown or two to score well in this fight.
- Alex White $8,600 – He’s not that great of a fighter, however he should be able to beat Jim Miller tonight. He’s got good odds to win by finish. While he is a favorite he’s not a huge favorite. Miller could win and White really only has the knockout as the path to scoring well tonight. I’ll have some exposure but not a lot.
- Craig White $8,800 – He’s a garbage fighter. The only reason why I will have any of him is because he’s facing a washed of Diego Sanchez and he should knock Sanchez out until next week. However, he’s so bad of a fighter that we can’t even guarantee that will happen. It’s very possible that he could lose this fight. You can play him and I will but don’t go crazy.
- John Dodson $7,800 – He’s the underdog in his fight. He doesn’t land a lot of significant strikes. He doesn’t have wrestling upside. He’s a decent cash play because of his price and the likelihood that his fight is going to go the distance. However, GPP upside is absolutely a concern here so I won’t have a lot of him in that format.
Fades/High Risk Plays – Do not play any of these fighters in cash! Do not play any of these fighters if you are playing less than 20 GPP lineups. If you are playing more than 20 GPP lineups you can get low exposure if you want to but limit your exposure to the fighters listed here.
- Roberto Sanchez $7,200 – I don’t mind him if you’re playing more than 10 lineups. However, if your lineups are less than that, I would fade.
- Jim Miller $7,600 – Like Sanchez, I also don’t mind him if you’re playing more than 10 lineups. However, if your lineups are less than that, I would fade.
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz $7,200 – People are going to play her because of the name value. However, I wouldn’t think of playing her if you’re playing less than 20 lineups. She doesn’t have the upside and she is fighting an opponent who should smash her. Where she does offer potential value though is if she can go the distance and land significant strikes she could score a little bit and help you make room for a better fighter up top.
- Diego Sanchez $7,400 – Don’t play him if you’re playing less than 20 lineups. If more than 20, you can have a TINY bit of exposure because his opponent is garbage and you never know what could happen.
- Carla Esparza -$7,000 – Don’t play her if you’re playing less than 20 lineups. If more than 20 you can have a TINY bit just in case Suarez isn’t as good as we think she is. She’s at least good enough to capitalize if this is the case. However, I think Suarez is as good as we think so I will be completely fading Esparza.
- Brandon Davis – $6,800 – FADE FADE FADE FADE FADE FADE FADE FADE FADE!!!!!