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 Brooklyn, New York!
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Welcome to my breakdown of UFC ESPN+ 001 card live from Brooklyn, New York! This is the first card under the umbrella of the brand new billion-dollar partnership between UFC and ESPN! Last year was a really bad year for me in MMA. You wouldn’t have thought it would be considering how accurate many of my MMA articles are. However, one thing you have to remember when it comes to fantasy sports. You can accurately predict the result of a sporting event. However, you still have to build winning lineups. Hopefully, 2019 will be better in that regard!
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.
- T.J. Dillashaw – $8,900
- Gregor Gillespie – $9,400
You gotta like building around the winner of the only 5 round fight on the card, which is what I see Dillashaw doing. He clearly has a significant striking volume advantage and I don’t see Cejudo getting enough takedowns to make up for it. Gillespie has the DraftKings fight logs and the highest fantasy point scoring path to victory out of all the 9k+ fighters on the card. Not only does he have finishing capability, he can get enough takedowns to score high even in a decision.
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.
- Cory Sandhagen – $9,300
- Greg Hardy – $9,500
- Alonzo Menifield – $9,100
- Donald Cerrone – $7,600
- Dennis Bermudez – $8,000
- Henry Cejudo – $7,300
Sandhagen, Hardy and Menifield should all win pretty decisively. Their lack of experience in the UFC is what prevents them from elite. Also, in the case of Hardy and Menifield, their upside is basically 1st round 100 point knockout, which is good, but not necessarily GPP winning at their price points. In a card with not a lot to like in the underdog department, I actually like Cerrone and Bermudez’s chances of winning these fights. While I don’t see Cejudo winning, he is a live dog and he’s super cheap in a fight that has a really strong chance of going the distance. I think you have to play him in cash. I think the Main Event is stackable in cash and I don’t mind him alone in GPP in case I’m wrong because he does have a chance to win this fight.
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.
- Belal Muhammad – $7,700
- Paige VanZant – $8,400
- Ariane Lipski – $8,800
- Joseph Benavidez – $9,000
- Glover Teixeira – $8,300
- Chance Rencountre – $7,500
- Alexander Hernandez – $8,600
- Karl Roberson – $7,900
- Te Edwards – $8,200
- Geoff Neal – $8,500
- Kyle Stewart – $8,700
- Dustin Ortiz – $7,200
I have the fair plays listed in order of how I like them for fantasy purposes. Muhammad, I’m predicting to get the upset. However, definitely not hugely confident in that pick, which is why he’s down here in the fair zone. VanZant, Lipski, Benavidez and Teixeira should win. I’m concerned about whether they will hit value as well as other fighters who I’ve ranked higher. Chance Rencountre is trash but so is his opponent. So if I have to pick between two trash fighters, I’m taking the cheaper one. Hernandez, I’m predicting will lose to Cerrone but he can obviously win here so don’t mind some shares in case I’m wrong. Roberson, Edwards, Neal, Stewart and Ortiz, I’m predicting will lose. However, they have enough of a chance to win to make them worth considering as a final piece or as someone to differentiate your lineups.
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.
- Rachael Ostovich – $7,800
- Joanne Calderwood – $7,400
- Vinicius Moreira – $7,100
- Mario Bautista – $6,900
- Yancy Medeiros – $6,800
- Allen Crowder – $6,700
Ostovich and Calderwood have chances of winning. However, I don’t like their chances of scoring well even if they do win so I won’t have any shares. Moreira, Bautista, Medeiros and Crowder, I don’t like their chances of winning at all so I won’t have any shares.