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 237 live from Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro Brazil!
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Welcome to my breakdown of UFC 237! Last week, I suffered yet another loss. I’ve just been bleeding money in MMA this season. This time, I can at least say I didn’t make any stupid mental mistakes. It just didn’t work out. Cash line was really high, 511, so you pretty much needed 5 wins to cash. I only had 3 wins in my main lineup and put up a 464.5 and the lowest score in my main lineup was 40.5 from Adams. If that fight goes different and he wins, I probably cash instead of losing.
If there was ever a weekend I needed to turn things around it is this weekend! I’m competing in the DFS MMA Championship! It’s a 192 person tournament featuring some of the best fantasy MMA players in the world. The first 3 weeks everyone competes in 6 person pods. The top 3 cumulative scorers advance out of the pods and compete in groups. After 3 weeks of group play the top 3 players from each group advanced to Head to Head play, where they battle it out in a “March Madness” style single elimination tournament. Winner is crowned champion and takes home a cash prize of $2,500!
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.
- Raoni Barcelos – $9,600
- Jessica Andrade – $8,300
- Irene Aldana – $9,200
- Clay Guida – $9,500
This is the first week I’ve ever had 4 fighters that I deem elite plays. However, I like each of these plays today and feel very comfortable building my lineups around them. Barcelos should smash Huachin who is simply not in his league as a fighter. Andrade clearly has the toughest matchup out of all the elite plays by far as reflected by her price. However, as the stronger and more physically imposing fighter, I think she is going to give Thug Rose a lot of problems. I see Aldana as a matchup nightmare for Correia. Finally, BJ Penn? Whatever comes after washed up, that’s what he is. Guida should demolish him with ease. You can get at least 3 out of these 4 plays in a lineup if you want to and I wouldn’t even think about making a cash or main GPP lineup that didn’t have at least that. GPP you don’t have to have 3 but I would definitely make sure I have at least two of them in my GPP lineup.
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.
- Ryan Spann – $8,600
- Alexander Volkanovski – $7,800
- Jared Cannonier – $8,700
- Rose Namajunas – $7,900
- Sergio Moraes – $7,600
I like Spann as a play this weekend. However, Nogueira is too legitimate of a threat for Spann to be an elite play. He can absolutely lose this match but if he wins he’s got GPP winning upside. A lot of people are picking Aldo over Volkanovski, and for good reason. He’s one of the best to ever do it. However, from a strictly DraftKings perspective, Volkanovski’s fantasy scoring have been nothing short of magnificent. From a fight perspective, he’s got the better cardio, he’s a younger fighter and while Aldo’s takedown defense has been fantastic, Volkanovski’s grappling game has been fantastic as well. Cannonier is really a good GPP play. I wouldn’t play him in cash. However, I think he wins this one and I also think there’s a path to him exceeding value and potentially being low owned as well. Thug Rose is a great fantasy play as well even though I think she is going to lose. She’s absolutely in play as a cash stack and she’s absolutely in play to beat Andrade outright as well. Moraes is really tough to finish and he really likes to pour the pressure on. That could be a bad recipe for Alves.
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. I’m going to divide fair into two categories. Fair plays I’m picking to win and fair plays I’m picking to lose. I still may have exposure to both side, but obviously the ones I’m picking to win I will have more exposure.
Fair Plays I’m Picking To Win
- Talita Bernardo – $9,300
- Luana Carolina – $8,900
- Thiago Alves – $8,200
- Thiago Moisis – $8,500
Fair Plays I’m Picking To Lose
- Jose Aldo – $8,400
- Rogerio Nogueira – $7,400
- Laureano Staropoli – $8,000
- Warlley Alves – $8,600
- Kurt Holobaugh – $7,700
- Viviane Araujo – $6,900
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. Expect the unexpected in UFC and if a poor play wins and you have them, you got a good shot at taking down a GPP if the rest of your lineup is solid.
- Anderson Silva – $7,500
- Bethe Correia – $7,000
- Priscila Cachoeira – $7,300
- BJ Penn – $6,700
- Carlos Huachin – $6,600