Monday, March 5, 2018

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Saturday, March 3, 2018

MMA UFC Plays - UFC 222

Cris Cyborg headlines the Main Event in UFC 222!

By Sailormars657 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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We have a 12 fight card tonight on UFC 222 live from Las Vegas, Nevada starting at 7:00pm! For this article, I want to spend more time talking about the fighters that I like and why I have exposure to them rather than just providing a list of fighters. This way, you can see what stats I'm looking at and do your own research. There may be certain things that you value more than I do and in that case there may be certain fighters that you would like more than I like that fighter.

If you are brand new to daily fantasy sports in general or MMA fantasy sports in particular, this article is for the MMA contests on DraftKings. DraftKings is the undisputed leader of the daily fantasy sports market. They are also one of the only daily fantasy sports sites that offer fantasy MMA contests. If you don't have an account on DraftKings you can sign up for one by clicking here. Deposit a minimum of $5 and receive a 25% match in free DraftKings dollars up to a maximum of $25.

I always begin my research with Vegas odds, not just for UFC but for EVERY fantasy sport. It is my belief that Vegas tends to know and account for a lot more than we do. They are a powerful syndicate and while they are not omniscient, I think it's foolish not to take their multi-millions of dollars of research and analysis into the equation. You can find the latest odds at http://bestfightodds.com

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Next, I look at DraftKings logs. I want to know how that fighter has done on DraftKings in the past. Just because they are a favorite and have a winning record that doesn't mean that they are a good DraftKings play. Generally speaking, you need at least 600 points to take down a tournament. With a team of 6 fighters, that's at least 100 points per fighter on average. With a $50,000 salary pool on average you are looking for about 83 points per fighter to have a shot at winning a GPP. So I'm looking at how many points have they scored on average in the past. If they have less than 5 fights in the UFC, I don't weigh that as high as someone who has had 5 or more fights in the UFC. For me an average of less than 50 points is bad, 50 to 70 is mediocre, 70 to 90 is good and 90 or more is excellent.

Next, I look at matchup statistics, to identify areas that I believe a fighter can exploit. So for instance, if a fighter throws a lot of significant strikes and their opponent has a low significant strikes defensive percentage, that's an area that can be exploited. If a fighter has a high takedown average and high takedown accuracy and their opponent has a low takedown percentage that's another area that can be exploited. You can find matchup statistics right at http://ufc.com. Scroll down to the box that has all of the matches and then click on the match that you want to analyze.

Finally, I look at who the average UFC fan is picking and how they are expecting the fight to go. I do this to get a general consensus of what most people are believing will be the final result of the match. I also do this to get an idea of what ownership is going to be. If you have a fighter who 80% of the fans think he or she is going to win and they think it's going to be an early round knockout or submission and that fighter is $8,000, that's going to be an insanely high owned fighter.

So with that, let's take a look at the fighters that I like on this card tonight! Keep in mind I only play GPP so these are all GPP plays. If you're looking for cash plays, look for fighters who are heavy favorites. Look for fighters whose price is lower than what their odds reflect. So for instance, if a fighter is less than $8,200 but has favorite odds to win, that's an example of a good cash play. Look for fighters who have consistent high DraftKings logs. Finally, look for underdogs who are fighting in fights where the Vegas odds have an over/under that is favorite to go over 2.5 rounds. That means the fight is likely to go the distance and that gives them a better chance to score points.

Fighters I Like Tonight

Cris Cyborg $9,700 - It is NOT a question of whether I'm playing Cris Cyborg tonight. The only question is how much of her I'm going to own tonight. She is the largest favorite on the card tonight by far! So large that even the high price doesn't reflect how large of a favorite she is. Her opponent Yana Kunitskaya has never fought in the UFC before. She does have 3 fights at Invicta and is the Bantamweight Champ down there, which is like the next level below UFC for women MMA fighters. She won her last fight by decision, lost the fight before by submission and won the fight before that by submission. However that fight result was changed to a no contest because the referee warned her opponent about a maneuver that was actually a legal one. I'll have anywhere between 50 and 100% of Cyborg tonight. I have no concerns about her losing. My only question is at $9,700 will she score high enough to be in the winning lineup and allow me to build a good team of fighters with her taking up over 19% of my salary.

Brian Ortega $7,500 - I'll definitely have some shares of his opponent Frankie Edgar as well. However, Ortega is an outstanding GPP play on this card tonight. He's $7,500 on DraftKings but only a 140 underdog. Go $200 less to Mike Pyle and that jumps to a 260 underdog. So we are getting some value here. UFC fans are only picking Ortega to win 39% compared to 61% for Frankie. However, 71% of those picking him to win expect him to win by submission. The risk that we have here is although Ortega is undefeated, his most likely path to victory is a submission win. If this fight goes the distance, Frankie Edgar is significantly more likely to win this. The problem with that path is Frankie Edgar has never been submitted before. I'll take my chances, especially in Cyborg lineups where I'm going to need to save salary somewhere to build a decent team.

Andre Soukhamthath $8,200 - I like Sean O'Malley. The kid has heart. I will even have some lineups with him. However, Soukhamthath is the better GPP play to me. The UFC fans are ALL over O'Malley picking him at 76% to win. DraftKings has this fight as a very close to an even fight with the slight edge to Soukhamthath when you look at the pricing. Vegas has this as completely even with both fighters at a -105 odds to win. With O'Malley having the lower price and with so many people expecting him to win, I expect for him to be highly owned. So from a GPP standpoint, it makes complete sense to have more of Soukhamthath, who I believe has an excellent chance to win this fight. Plus I can get him at lower ownership as well.

Stefan Struve $8,800 - I'm going to have as much Struve as I can afford. Arlovski is old and washed up. I don't know how he won his last fight by decision. I believe that win is going to put more people on him than there should be. Especially people who are looking for salary savings to try to afford Cyborg. Fine with me. 100% fade on Arlovski for me and as much Struve as I can afford in my lineups. I am even willing to play him 100% if I can fit him in 100% of my lineups. The only thing I will say is it is a heavyweight fight and in those fights anything can happen. I'll take my chances and if an Arlovski win kills my lineups tonight, so be it, on to next week.

Pedro Munhoz $7,600 - This is another fight where I think the fans have it wrong and I'm going to take the opposing side. The fans are picking Dodson over 86% to win. Vegas only has him at a -140 to win though. Munhoz has great recent form. He's won 4 out of his last 5 fights, including 4 straight victories. 3 out of 4 have been finishes and the one decision he scored 81 points. Dodson has had terrible recent form. He's LOST 3 out of 5 fights. I'll have excellent exposure to Munhoz and will be fading Dodson today.

So those are some of my favorite plays on the card today. Also to help you out, I'll list the fighters that I will be avoiding today. They are as follows:

Fighters I Hate Tonight

Yana Kunitskaya - $6,500
Andrei Arlovski - $7,400
John Dodson - $8,600
Ashley Yoder - $7,200
Alexander Hernandez - $7,000
Zak Ottow - $8,900

So when you are building your lineup, I think the most important thing is to avoid all the fighters that I hate tonight. They either have a very low chance of winning based on my analysis OR in the case of Dodson and Ottow they are severely overpriced. I think that as long as you avoid those fighters, you got a good chance at cashing tonight. 

Next, get decent exposure to the fighters that I like. They may not all win, but with the lower priced fighters especially I believe if they do win you have an excellent shot at winning a GPP. 

Finally, the fighters who I didn't list in either section, feel free to put them in where they make sense salary wise. I'm not as high on them as I am on the fighters that I listed above. However, there's nothing wrong with getting some exposure to them.

Good luck tonight!

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Thursday, March 1, 2018

EuroLeague DraftKings Plays - Thursday March 1st 2018

We have a 5 game slate of EuroLeague Basketball today starting at 1:00pm EST

Picture By Sid the Kid2010 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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We have a 5 game slate of EuroLeague basketball today! 5 game slates are considered big slates here. The average is 4 and smaller slates have as few as 3. This gives us lots of options to pick from! To start, let's take a look at the slate's implied totals.


EuroLeague Schedule Odds & Lines
Road TeamHome TeamLineOver/UnderAway TotalHome TotalGame Time (ET)
FC BarcelonaZalgiris KaunasZAL -4.5162.578.5831:00 PM
CSKA MoscowMaccabi Tel AvivCSK 617389.583.52:05 PM
Brose BambergValenciaVBC -7155.574.2581.252:30 PM
Anadolu EfesOlimpia MilanoAXM -4.5167.581.5862:45 PM
Khimki MoscowSaski BaskoniaBKN -5.5163.57984.53:00 PM
Implied TotalsGOPRKFOPRK
CSKA Moscow89.51511
Olimpia Milano861214
Saski Baskonia84.5313
Maccabi Tel Aviv83.515
Zalgiris Kaunas83132
Anadolu Efes81.5166
Valencia81.2584
Khimki Moscow79108
FC Barcelona78.51112
Brose Bamberg74.2597
The sweet spots are obviously the teams with the highest implied totals with the biggest opposing position defensive ranking. However, pretty much every team is in play in the right spots. 

Let's take a look at some of the plays I'm looking at with the guard position:

Guards

Alexey Shved is my favorite play at the guard position. He's the lowest price that he's been in months. While Khimki Moscow is the underdog, Saski Baskonia is more beatable at guard than forward which is good for Shved. He has the highest floor in all of EuroLeague having not had a game with less than 30 fantasy points since December. His minutes are secure, consistently getting 30 minutes a game. I'm looking at heavy exposure to Shved today, definitely more than 50%.

Nando De Colo - Excellent matchup. Very "feast or famine" over the last 4 weeks.
Kevin Pangos - Excellent matchup. Higher floor but lower ceiling than De Colo.
Sergio Rodriguez - Same as De Colo, very "feast or famine."
Errick McCollum - Excellent matchup. Streaky, but has the ability to "get buckets."
Thomas Heurtel - Good matchup. I don't mind him if you need a top tier guard that fits salary.

I'm completely fading the mid tier of guards with the exception of Cory Higgins. He has an excellent matchup and has been consistently getting 19 to 25 fantasy points a game with 30 fantasy point upside. That's not bad for $8,400.

Toney Douglas is a lock in the value tier. He's been streaky, however, his upside is immense in an excellent matchup. Vasilije Micic is also in an excellent spot today and he also has immense upside at that price. Juan Carlos Navarro is worth a look ESPECIALLY if Pau Ribas sits again. Finally, if you're looking for a deep punt, take a look at Andrea Cinciarini. His team has a good matchup and he averages over a fantasy point a minute. The issue with him is that his minutes are not consistent.

Forwards

Tornike Shengelia is my favorite play at the forward position. He had a double double in his last game and like Shved he has a super high floor. I'll probably have him in every lineup I don't have Shved in and I may even play them both in some lineups if I can find a way to fit them both in. Will have at least 40% exposure.

Will Clyburn - High upside in a good match. This is his highest price in months though.

Rodrigue Beaubois is my favorite play in the mid tier. He has an excellent matchup and he's scored double digits in 7 consecutive games. He's also averaging more than 3 points above his season fantasy point average over the last 4 games 

Thomas Robinson - Super duper risky coming back from injury but I'll take a chance in 1 or 2 lineups.
Arturas Gudaitis - Wasn't great in his last game but he's been pretty solid in 4 games prior to that. He also has an excellent matchup. 
Adam Hanga - Good matchup and definitely in play if Kevin Seraphin is out.
Ante Tomic - Same as Hanga. Good matchup and definitely in play if Seraphin is out.
Vladimir Micov - Has an excellent matchup and had a big game his last time out.

Adrien Moerman is my favorite play in the value tier. He has had 3 straight games of hitting almost 3x value and he has a good matchup this week.

Artsiom Parakhouski - Don't like the matchup but he's been very consistent. I'll take some chances.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas - Patiently waiting for this kid to explode one day. With the implied total and the matchup, this could be the day that he does it.
Derrick Brown - Absolutely in play with Zoran Dragic out for the season.
Nikita Kurbanov - Has hit 3x value or more in 3 out of the last 4 games. Good matchup.
Brock Motum - Same is Brown. Absolutely in play with Dragic out.

Good luck!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

PGA Draft & DraftKings Plays - WGC Mexico Championship

It's the WGC Mexico Championship Live From Naucalpan, Mexico

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It's the WGC Mexico Championship live from Naucalpan, Mexico just west of Mexico City! This event is played at the Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico. It was previously played at the Trump National Doral Golf course and was moved last year. That really only gives us one year of course history to look at. As a result, course history will not be anywhere near as much of a factor as it normally is in my analysis.

The course is very large, Par 71 over 7,300 yards. However, one thing to keep in mind is Mexico City is a very high altitude area. You know how baseballs fly out of the park in Coors Field in Denver? The same thing happens to golf balls in Mexico City. So while many players are going to look at the yardage and automatically target bomber golfers, the high altitude should allow this course to play like a shorter course. This event has no cut as well so all golfers will play into Sunday.

This week, I'm starting my research off with Vegas odds as always. My belief is Vegas knows way more than we do so I always factor what they have to say in ALL my research for ALL sports and golf is no exception. Next, I'm looking at strokes gained approach as opposed to strokes gained off the tee because I think accuracy is going to be more important than driving when you factor in the altitude. Birdie or better percentage is going to be HUGE for me because of the fact that this is a no cut event. There's 3 Par 5 holes on this course, so I will be looking at Par 5 scoring as well as Par 4 scoring. Finally, I am looking at recent form, which means how has the golfer done at his most recent tournaments. Course history will be very little of a factor for me this week, if at all.

If you are a premium member on Rotogrinders, I highly recommend the article "Searching For A Specialist" by Josh Culp. I also recommend that you look at the Projected Ownership. This article and the projected ownership reports are one of the only reasons why I pay for a Rotogrinders subscription as I like to do my own research as oppose to reading other people's takes. The reason why I like Josh's article though is because he looks at things like who is good on the type of greens the course is being played on, who is good on the type of distance the course is, who is good in the type of field strength this tournament has, who is good in no cut events, stuff like that. The projected ownership is valuable because it helps me identify golfers that I like that will be lower owned. Since I am a tournament player, I would rather play a golfer I like that's going to be lower owned than a golfer I like that's going to be higher owned.

So with that, let's take a look at my strategy for the two different sites:

Draft

This field is loaded with top talent, so this isn't the type of event I'm trying to be cute for on Draft. I'm taking the best available golfers with my picks. Dustin Johnson is my number one pick. He is Vegas favorite to win the event. Last year he was 5th on the tour in strokes gained approach, 12th in birdie or better percentage, 3rd in Par 5 scoring and 6th in Par 4 scoring. His numbers are great so far this season as well. He has the highest fantasy points scored average over his last three events than any golfer in the field. He's 3rd in this field on Poa Annua grass. He's 6th in this field in non cut events. There is zero reason not to take him first this week on Draft.

So as you can see, if you read my breakdown of Johnson I'm basically giving you everything I'm looking at when I decide on a player. So all you have to do is look at the same things and then you can decide for yourself which players you want to take based on the data that YOU believe is most important to YOU!

Here are my top 10 picks on Draft based on all the data points I look at:

Dustin Johnson
Justin Thomas
Jon Rahm
Jordan Spieth
Tommy Fleetwood
Phil Mickelson
Alex Noren
Rickie Fowler
Sergio Garcia
Justin Rose

DraftKings

For DraftKings I look at all the things I mentioned previously. The only difference is because there is a salary there is the question of value. Will that golfer produce enough points to justify the salary I'm paying. So to that end I'm looking for golfers who profile well for this event who can exceed their salary.

50% of my lineups will have one of my two favorite top tier players, which are Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas. I will have slightly more DJ over JT.

Some players that I like that will have decent ownership (20% or more) are:

Paul Casey
Matt Kuchar
Gary Woodland
Xander Schauffele

Some of my favorite player that will have lower ownership are:

Marc Leishman
Pat Perez
Webb Simpson
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Thomas Pieters
Alexander Noran

My two super punts this weekend are Chan Kim and Jorge Campillo. Won't have a lot of them but I'll take a couple of shots.

Good luck!



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Monday, February 26, 2018

NBA Drafters, Draft & DraftKings Plays - Tuesday February 27th 2018

We have a 6 game slate of NBA action tonight!

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We have a 6 game slate of NBA action tonight! Here are the plays that I like on Drafters, Draft and DraftKings!

Drafters
Hopefully you read my article yesterday and saw that I had Anthony Davis listed as number one. If you did and you picked him, you were well on your way to having a good night on Drafters. If position scarcity wasn't a thing, Nikola Jokic would be my number one pick on the slate tonight. He has a juicy matchup tonight against the Clippers and he has the highest fantasy points average increase over the last 5 games compared to his season average. However, the reality is you cannot ignore the big gap at small forward, which is why LeBron James is the number one option tonight who has a juicy matchup of his own against the Brooklyn Nets.. Giannis Antetokounmpo is number two for the same reason making "Joker" the number 3 option on Drafters. I like Joel Embiid next followed by Damian Lillard. Even though I think Lillard has more upside, he's only PG eligible on Drafters, whereas Embiid can play PF and C, which is why I give him the slight edge. Ben Simmons is next with his unique SF/PG eligibility. Bradley Beal gets the slight edge over Kemba Walker because Beal is SG eligible, which is a more scarce position than Kemba's PG eligibility. Finally, I like Eric Bledsoe and Tobias Harris although in larger draft pools, I would consider taking DeAndre Jordan over Harris if I needed a center.

Draft
My first three picks are the same on Draft as Drafters, James, Antetokounmpo and Jokic. However, for 4th, I want Lillard over Embiid. Simmons plays guard only on Draft, and as a guard, I like Kemba Walker and Bradley Beal before I take him. Finally, for Forwards, I'll take Tobias Harris and Otto Porter Jr. In drafts larger than head to head, I'll take Dwight Howard over the both of them.

DraftKings
My superstars that I'm spending up for tonight are LeBron James and Nikola Jokic. Wilson Chandler's price is creeping up but he's got a good matchup tonight and is worth taking a shot as long as Paul Millsap remains out. The young Bulls are all worth a look. The problem is they have shot up in price. I would focus on the forwards like Nwaba (although I don't like his price), Markkanen, Portis and Valentine. Jarrett Allen is definitely worth a shot against Tristian Kardashian who has been pillow soft defensively this year. 

Just a reminder, I'm writing this before I go to bed on Monday night, technically early Tuesday morning on the East Coast so a lot can change. This is just to help you get started and point you in the right direction!

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Sunday, February 25, 2018

NBA Drafters, Draft & DraftKings Plays - Monday February 26th 2018

We have a 10 game slate of NBA action tonight!

Picture By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (James Harden) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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We have a 10 game slate of NBA action tonight! Here are the plays that I like on Drafters, Draft and DraftKings

Drafters
Anthony Davis is the clear cut number one choice for me on Drafters. He's the hottest fantasy player in the game and has the best matchup in a game that his team is the favorite to win that might not necessarily be a blowout. Sign me up. I like Westbrook over Harden as he has the better matchup and isn't playing in a back to back. Kevin Durant is next, followed by Victor Oladipo over Stephen Curry. Then I like Paul George despite that awful performance against the Warriors. Orlando is the opposite of the Warriors so I'm fine with him today. I'm taking Karl-Anthony Towns over Andre Drummond and after that I like Draymond Green.

Draft
For Draft, I literally like the same order that I like for Drafters. The only diference is I would take Towns and Drummond over George and I'll take George over Draymond Green.

DraftKings
On DraftKings, my two studs that I'm playing tonight are Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. I'm looking for 25% exposure to each. My other top tier play is Paul George who I'm going to have a lot of exposure to against the Magic. People are going to be scared to play him after that dud against the Warriors, but it's the WARRIORS! Play him with confidence tonight.

I like TJ Warren in a great matchup against the Pelicans. I like Kyle Lowry who has hit 6x value 40% of the time over the last 4 weeks. I like Serge Ibaka in a good matchup against the Pistons. I like D'Angelo Russell against the Bulls, which is a good matchup for him. The Brooklyn guard situation is always a little risky though as they have a pretty crowded backcourt.

As for punts, I like Trey Burke on the Knicks. I expect the Warriors to blow them out and he could get some extended run. He averages 1.16 fantasy points per minute so when he gets playing time, he delivers. I like Brook Lopez as a punt tonight against the Hawks who are straight hot garbage. Finally, Cameron Payne has looked good in 2 games as the backup point guard for the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls have made it very clear that they are playing the young talent so I don't mind getting some exposure to him.

This is where I am as of late last night. As news breaks, this could change so make sure you check back throughout the day to see if I'm still on these plays! Good luck!

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Try out DRAFT risk free! Deposit a minimum of $10 and get a free $3 entry! You will also be qualified for special DFSMasters promotions that we do in the future. If we get 50 signups between now and the end of the month we will host a $150 Freeroll Tournament
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Looking for another fantasy site to try out with a unique format? Try DraftBoard! You can play some pretty creative lineups on this format including multiple centers! Deposit a minimum of $10 and receive a $5 credit for free! Deposit a minimum of $20 and receive a $10 credit for free! 
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