Friday, July 14, 2017

UFC Fight Night Nelson vs Ponzinibbio DraftKings Fantasy MMA Picks & Fades

For every UFC card, I share my picks with my fantasy sports Facebook group. I figured it only makes sense for me to share them on my blog as well. So here they are! Basically I share 5 picks for each UFC event. I do my must play in cash games. I do must play in tournaments. I do favorite value play. I do must fade fighter (meaning who I'm not playing). Finally, I do my favorite contrarian play (meaning somebody that will likely be low owned but could score well).

Prior to today, I shared the picks and that's it. However, because I want the members in the group to become better players and because I preach don't just look for picks, look for WHY that person is a pick, I started sharing the reasons behind my picks. So with that said, here they are!

It's UFC Fight Night Nelson vs Ponzinibbio live from Glasgow Scotland! The card starts at Sunday morning 12pm Eastern so keep that in mind!

UFC 213 was a complete disaster for me! Curtis Blaydes won but only scored 66 points, which is simply not going to get it done for a $9,500 fighter. Meerschaert got knocked out. Cody Stamann, the "must fade" fighter (although I did give a disclaimer and say nobody is really must fade on that card) put up 135 points in a decision. And Jim Miller lost by decision. The only pick that I nailed was Trevin Giles.

Anyway, moving forward because that's all you can do, we have UFC Fight Night in Scotland. Something new I'm going to do now. When I give you my picks, I'm not only going to give you the pick. I'm going to give you the reasons and the data behind why I have this person where I have them. This way you can incorporate what I'm looking at in your own research if you so desire.

So with that, here are the picks!

1) Who is your must play fighter in cash games?
Brett Johns. In cash games you are looking for safety and Johns to me is as safe as they get. He scored 119 points in a decision victory in his last fight, including an incredible 11 TAKEDOWNS! He is the second largest favorite on the card. His fight is the most likeliest fight to go to a decision according to the Vegas over/under round odds. While I'm not expecting 11 takedowns again, his wrestling allows him to score lots of DraftKings points so he has one of the highest floors on the card. While his opponent does have finishes in his career, he has zero finishes so far in the UFC. Johns is who I am starting my cash game lineup with.

2) Who is your must play fighter in tournaments?
Khail Roundtree Jr. The War Horse is NOT safe for cash. He scored 7 fantasy points in a decision loss to Sanchez and he got submitted in the 1st round by Pedro. However, I had a lot of him in GPP against Jolly and he paid off with 102 points in a first round knockout at only $8500 salary. He's only $8500 again against Paul Craig and while Craig also has finishing potential, I'm going to have anywhere between 30 to 50% exposure to Roundtree in GPP because he's the most likely to me to get a finish at the lowest price point possible.

3) Who is your favorite value play on the card?
Joanne Calderwood. I was SHOCKED when I found out that she was the underdog against Calvillo. Don't get me wrong, Calvillo has been impressive thus far with 2 submission victories in UFC competition. And Calderwood didn't look good against Andrade. However Calderwood is a good fighter and Calvillo is still unproven to me. Can Calvillo submit her? It's certainly possible. However, Vegas has this fight slightly favorite to go over 2.5 rounds and Calderwood has one of the highest striking rate outputs in the UFC. At $7400, I will absolutely take me some Joanne Calderwood at that price.

4) What fighter is a must fade on the card?
Cynthia Calvillo. Don't get me wrong. Calvillo has been impressive so far. However, I absolutely do NOT believe she should be a -210 favorite against Calderwood. As a result, she is completely unplayable for me at $8,800. This fade is purely a fade on her price. She's certainly capable of finishing Calderwood just like she finished her last two opponents. However, at that price, there are other fighters I like much better that I would rather spend that DraftKings salary.

5) What is your favorite contrarian play? (A good play with low potential ownership)
Charlie Ward. I don't think a lot of people are going to be on Ward at all. He looked TERRIBLE against Alhassan. However, Charlie Ward has a VERY clear path to victory in this fight. Bofando is a talented kickboxer. However, he struggles with fighting in close range. He has poor takedown defense. He has ZERO, and I mean ZERO ground game. If Ward utilizes grappling and doesn't try to strike with him, Ward can absolutely win this fight by decision and nobody is going to have him because he sucks and we know the only reason why he's even in the UFC is because he's Conor's boy. Don't go 50% Ward or anything crazy like that. However, pairing Ward with some of your favorite picks could be a very profitable strategy.

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