Fantasy MMA UFC Roosevelt’s Scouting Report – Saturday December 15th 2018

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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lee vs Inqunita 2 courtesy of UFC.com

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Welcome to my breakdown of UFC Fight Night! It’s been a pretty rough last few weeks in MMA for me. Hopefully, I can get back on track this week.

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.

  1. Kevin Lee – $9,000
  2. Charles Olivera – $8,900

Lee is the number one ranked fighter on my spreadsheet for good reason. Iaquinta beat him last time but that was much earlier in his career. He has the highest DraftKings scoring average over the last 5 fights and the highest DraftKings career average out of all fighters on the card with more than 5 fights. Charles Olivera is the number two ranked fighter on my spreadsheet. You get some odds value here as he’s third in odds to win but 6th in price (7th if you still count the other Lee whose fight was canceled). 3-3 in his last 6 fights is a concern but if you look at his odds history, he’s won the fights he was favored to win and he’s lost the fights he was the underdog in so I have no problem with going heavy on him on this card.

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.

  1. Juan Adams – $9,500
  2. Dan Ige – $8,500
  3. Gerald Meerschaert – $7,400
  4. Jared Gordon – $8,600
  5. Edson Barboza – $8,000
  6. Mike Rodriguez – $7,500

Adams, in theory, could be an elite play. However, I never play fighters who have never fought in the UFC as elite plays. This dude NEEDED THE TOWEL TO MAKE HEAVYWEIGHT!!! THAT’S INSANE!!!! Ige gives us wrestling upside at mid-tier pricing, which I like. I don’t think Meerschaert wins but he is a live dog and is just too cheap compared to his odds to win so he’s very easy to play in all formats. Gordon is too expensive compared to his odds to win but if he does win he’s got HUGE upside when you look at his striking and takedown numbers. Not safe for cash but he’s an awesome GPP play. My spreadsheet only considers Barboza a fair play, but this is a fantastic matchup for him. Rodriguez is a live dog and helps you pay up for other fighters.

Fair Plays – 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.

  1. Rob Font – $8,400
  2. Jack Hermannson – $8,800
  3. Dan Hooker – $8,200
  4. Zak Cummings – $9,100
  5. Dwight Grant – $9,400
  6. Drakkar Klose – $9,300
  7. Adam Milstead – $8,700
  8. Joaquim Silva – $7,600
  9. Al Iaquinta – $7,200
  10. Bobby Green – $6,900
  11. Jordan Griffin – $7,700
  12. Trevor Smith – $7,100
  13. Zak Ottow – $6,800

Full disclaimer, my spreadsheet loves the first four fighters on this list. So if you want to go completely by the numbers, you can play all four of them as good plays. For Font and Hooker, I’m concerned about the matchup and for Hermannson and Cummings I’m concerned about their prices as they both likely need finishes to pay off value. Grant has high odds to win and win inside the distance but has never fought in the UFC like Adams. Unlike Adams, he’s fighting a much more experienced fighter. Klose has high odds to win but not high odds to win inside the distance and with his mediocre striking and takedowns I don’t see how he pays off that price. Milstead is favored to win but expensive for the odds. Al Iaquinta has beaten Green before so he’s worth a look at that price. Green likely loses here but the fight is very likely to go to a decision, which increases his floor and gives you a fighter at a very low price.

Poor Plays – 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.

  1. Sergio Pettis – $7,800
  2. Jim Miller – $7,300
  3. Chris De La Rosa – $6,700

Good luck!

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