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 live from Denver, Colorado!
If this article helps you have success, please feel free to leave me a tip!
If you have questions, the best way to reach me is within our Facebook group The DFS Masters.
This group is the only place I answer individual questions about events.
For anything else, you can contact me on Twitter.
Welcome to my breakdown of UFC Fight Night! Last week was not a good week. My main lineup only put up 248 points and my best GPP lineup only put up 454 points. I had David Branch as an Elite play and he lost, so that really hurt my chances of cashing. We have good days and we have bad days in fantasy sports and this was definitely one of the bad days. The good thing is there’s always a new week where we get to begin again and that’s what we have this week!
This week, the UFC is live from Denver, Colorado for UFC Fight Night where The Korean Zombie takes on El Pantera in The Main Event! This is a fight I’m actually looking forward to watching! Let’s take a look at this card and see where the fighters stand for fantasy purposes.
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. Most of my recommendations will come from my rankings but I also factor in my own thoughts based on my analysis of the fight.
So with that here is a breakdown of the fighters.
Elite Plays – Elite fighters are fighters that I expect to win their fights and exceed their value on DraftKings. They have high scoring floors due to their ability to score points in multiple ways. They also have high scoring ceilings due to their ability to finish the fight, score a lot of points or both. Elite fighters are great plays in both cash contests as well as GPP contests. They are fighters that you can build your lineups around and have lots of exposure to.
- Davi Ramos $9,500 – He has the highest odds to win and win inside the distance on the entire card and it’s not even close. This is for good reason. He’s the better striker, the better wrestler and the all-around better fighter. I expect him to smash in this spot and if I have a bad night because Ramos disappoints? I will take my chances.
- Mike Perry $8,900 – This guy has made me so much money over the years and I absolutely love him in this spot. His opponent struggles with fighters who constantly put on the pressure and that’s exactly what Perry does. I will have a lot of exposure to Perry and I expect him to exceed 10x value in this spot.
Good Plays – Good fighters are fighters that should do well. However, they have one or more issues that prevent them from being an Elite play. They could be priced too high. They could be an underdog. They could have a more limited scoring path to meeting value. Good fighters are fighters that you try to get into your lineup after you have gotten as many Elite fighters in.
- Mark De La Rosa $9,000 – I think this is a good spot for De La Rosa this week. He has the third highest odds to win but he’s only the 5th highest in price so we’re getting some odds value here. He should be faster and stronger than his opponent and I think he can score well with a wrestling-based victory in this one.
- Germaine de Randamie $8,800 – I was already on her before weigh-ins because she’s the better striker and the better athlete. Now that her opponent has missed weight, I like her even more. My only concern is she’s priced pretty high so there’s definitely a risk that she wins but doesn’t pay off that price tag. I will certainly be factoring that into my ownership. However, I like her to win here and I’ll have some shares.
- Yair Rodriguez $7,700 – He’s $7,700 and he’s the favorite so we’re getting some odds value here. He’s tough and he will push the pace against his opponent who has been rocked before. I think if he can rock him too in this fight he’s got a much better chance at finishing him off. I think you have to take the odds value in cash and play him over there. I’ll have a decent amount of exposure to both fighters though in GPP.
- Beneil Dariush $8,700 – I like this spot for him here. He’s the far more experienced fighter who pressures. His opponent is not a big finisher and I think that if he doesn’t get finished early, he’s going to be able to take over and cruise to a decision victory. There’s risk that he doesn’t pay off value though at this price.
- Luis Pena $9,300 – My biggest concern with Pena is he’s got a 33% takedowns defended. So there’s absolutely a chance where he could get taking down and dominated on the mat. That lowers his appeal a bit especially at such a high price tag. However, I think it’s very clear that he’s the far superior fighter standing up and he’s big and strong enough to enforce his own will wrestling as well. So with that caveat, he’s fine as a play this weekend.
- Chas Skelly $8,400 – His opponent is a decent wrestler but not good enough that I’m concerned. This will not be a easy fight for Skelly. However, it should be a spot where he can win here and I would be surprised if he doesn’t. At $8,400 I definitely like exposure to a fighter who I feel pretty confident is going to win.
- Hannah Cifers $6,800 – While I don’t necessarily think she’s going to win, I absolutely think she has a chance to win and at $6,800 I will absolutely have exposure to a fighter this cheap that can win. We don’t know how good of a wrestler her opponent really is. We also don’t know how good Cifers is either. She’s looked good though so it’s worth getting some shares in case she’s the real deal and she can also make room for more fighters that you feel more confident in.
Fair Fighters – These are fighters that you can use to round out your lineups. You need one or two more picks and you can’t fit anymore Elite or good fighters? This is where you go next. Here you have fighters that should win but might be priced too high. You also have mid-priced fighters who are in really close matchups with not as high of an upside. Finally, you have cheap fighters that are either live underdogs or are worth a punt to make room for more Elite or Good fighters.
- Chan Sung Jang $8,500 – I like The Korean Zombie and I’m really looking forward to watching this fight. However, for DFS purposes, I have some concerns. He’s $8,500 and is the underdog in this fight so we have to pay a premium to get him. His opponent is tough, has endurance and will push the pace. I would like him a lot more if he was like $8,200 or even $8,000. I’ll still have some ownership at $8,500 but he’s really tough to pay up for in this match in massive amounts.
- Devonte Smith $9,100 – I’m not a fan of paying up for fighters who lack experience especially where there are more experienced fighters within the same price range. That lack of experience lowers the floor for those fighters and that’s what Smith is. With that said, he hits HARD and his opponent likes to strike so there’s a very real chance that Smith gets a first round finish especially when Vegas has him as the 2nd highest odds to win inside the distance.
- Maycee Barber $9,400 – Barber has the second-highest odds to win on this card, but this is a risky pick here, especially when you can just pay $100 more for Ramos who is in a MUCH better spot. If Barber is as good of a wrestler as we think she is, she should win this fight and score really well. However, if the fight stays standing, I really like her opponent’s chances to score well and win the fight.
- Ashley Yoder $8,600 – I think Yoder has the best chances of winning in this match. However, she hasn’t shown me much and I’m not excited at the though of paying up for her in a spot where she’s most certainly capable of disappointing. Especially when there’s a cheaper fighter in a much better spot.
- Eric Shelton $8,200 – This is a close fight and I give the edge to Shelton as he’s beating better competition and averages a higher amount of significant strikes and takedowns per fight compared to his opponent. However, this is a probably the closest fight on the card and is tough to pick.
- Joseph Morales $8,000 – This is a close fight and I gave the edge to his opponent. However, I’ll have shares of Morales as well. He’s not the best athlete, but he’s a decent wrestler who can also hit hard and I think he’s absolutely in play here.
- Julian Erosa $7,100 – If you’re looking for somebody to pay down for, Erosa is someone you can take a look at. Let me be clear. I think he loses this fight and he loses convincingly. However, Smith does not have the best takedown defense, so if Erosa would try to take him down instead of standing up with him, there’s a path to victory here. For that reason, I will have some shares.
- Donald Cerrone $7,300 – I’ll have little to no exposure personally because I really like Perry. However, putting my personal playing aside, Cerrone isn’t the worst play at this price point. Perry doesn’t have the best of defense and that opens up the door for Cerrone to exploit it. He’s probably the best play down at this price range.
- Raquel Pennington $7,400 – I’ll also have little to no exposure to Pennington as I think this is a bad matchup for her. However, there are reasons to play her at this price point. She’s the hometown favorite. She’s the better grappler. She’s also fighting an opponent who is 34, which is getting up there in MMA age.
Poor Fighters – These are fighters that are either very unlikely to win or they are very unlikely to meet value. They should not be played at all if you are playing less than 20 lineups. If you are playing more than 20 and you want to play any of them, they should be the lowest owned fighters in your player pool.
- Thiago Moises $7,500 – I like Moises, the problem is I don’t like the price or the spot that he’s in. He’s probably the best play in the poor section but unless you’re playing more than 20 lineups I would stay far, far away.
- Bobby Moffett $7,800 – I would like him more if he was priced a little bit less but at $7,800 it’s tough to pay up for him when I have very little confidence that he’s going to win this fight.
- Joby Sanches $7,200 – He’s fun to watch, but the only path that I see him winning is landing some type of crazy kick and getting a surprised knockout. Other than that, I really don’t see him winning or paying off value.
- Amanda Cooper $7,600 – Don’t be fooled by that Magana fight. Cooper is very inconsistent and uninspiring as a fighter and even at $7,600 I don’t have any interest in her.
- Michael Trizano $6,900 – I have no interest. It’s a bad matchup for him and I don’t see him paying off value here even at such a low price point.
- John Gunther $$6,700 – He’s in a huge mismatch and I think he has almost no chance of winning. I wouldn’t have any shares even if I were playing 150 lineups.