Fantasy MMA UFC Roosevelt’s Scouting Report – Saturday February 9th, 2019

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 234 live from Australia!

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Welcome to my breakdown of UFC 234 live from Melbourne, Australia! Last week I took a very small loss. My main lineup was solid. I had 5 out of 6 wins. The only problem was I had Assuncao in my main lineup, which limited my upside with his 1 fantasy point! I had too many losers though in my GPP lineups for those lineups to make any noise. Hopefully, this week will be a better 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
  • Personal analysis of the fighters.

Under each category, fighters are listed in order of how much I like them.

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. Kyung Ho Kang – $9,400
  2. Lando Vannata – $9,300

Kang is the better grappler and probably the better striker too. He has huge odds to win and favorite odds to win inside the distance. The grappling gives him more upside than Adesanya who should be more popular in ownership. Vannata didn’t look great in his last fight. However, Marcos Rosa is steaming hot garbage and has absolutely no business in the UFC. My understanding is that he’s friends with Silva and that’s likely the only reason why he’s even getting a shot. Vannata should smash this dude in the 1st round and if he doesn’t he should be ashamed of himself.

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. Devonte Smith – $8,600
  2. Montana De La Rosa – $8,800
  3. Shane Young – $9,100
  4. Israel Adesanya – $9,600
  5. Jalin Turner – $8,700
  6. Rani Yahya – $8,000

I really like Devonte Smith here and came close to ranking him as an elite play. He acutally has higher odds to win than several of the fighters who are priced higher than him and higher odds to win inside the distance than many of them as well. The only thing that keeps me from making him elite is Ma does have the reach advantage and actually knows how to fight from the distance so that could give him a little trouble, although I think Smith will be fine. Women fighters don’t often have high inside the distance odds to win so the fact that Montana does tells you everything you need to know about the spot she’s in here. She’s just so much better than Kassem on paper. I also like Shane Young and think he can go under owned as well. Don’t read too much into his debut. He took that fight on short notice and Arnett is not that good. A lot of people are going to be on Israel Adesanya and he’s fine. My concern is that at $9,600 with no ground game I think there is a very good chance he doesn’t score high enough to be on the winning GPP lineup. Jalin Turner has a really good matchup for him on paper and should be able to get a very quick finish. Rani Yahya is clearly without question the underdog on this card that has the best chance of pulling out the victory, which is why he’s in the good section. Make no mistake though, that fight is super close and I’ll have both sides of it.

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. Kai Kara-France – $9,000
  2. Jimmy Crute – $8,300
  3. Ricky Simon – $8,200
  4. Sam Alvey – $7,900
  5. Jonathan Martinez – $8,500
  6. Wuliji Buren – $7,700
  7. Raulian Paiva – $7,200
  8. Dong Hyun Ma – $7,600
  9. Anderson Silva – $6,600

I won’t break down every single fair play but I will highlight some of the fighters Kia Kara-France has great power for a flyweight but there’s a lot of fighters in better spots around the same price or cheaper so it’s going to be tough for me to play him at that price. All of the mid-ranger fighters are in play and have a good chance to be in the winning GPP lineup. Just keep in mind Sam Alvey is the ultimate boom or bust play. This dude will either score high with a finish or give you garbage even in a victory so keep that in mind if you use him. Raulian Paiva is my favorite play out of the cheap guys. Do I think he’s going to win? No. However, his fight is very likely to go to a decision and if no underdogs win, which is a very real possibility here, a loser that goes the distance could very well be in the winning GPP lineup and that’s what Paiva can do. Silva is a living legend but I don’t really see him winning this fight and he could get smashed. The only reason why I have him as a fair play is that he’s SO cheap on a card like this with very little to like from the underdogs, he can help you build a 5 winner lineup, which tends to do well on cards like this where favorites dominate.

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. Nadia Kassem – $7,400
  2. Callan Potter – $7,500
  3. Teruto Ishihara – $6,800
  4. Austin Arnett – $7,100
  5. Marcos Mariano – $6,900


  1. Kelvin Gastelum – $7,300
  2. Robert Whittaker – $8,900

The Main Event was canceled due to injury by Robert Whittaker. That’s why he and Gastelum are in this section.

Good luck!

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