UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, May 9 and DFS lineups will lock at 6 p.m. ET. We expect the betting and DFS interest to be very high for the card as it is the first marquee sporting event to take place in the United States in nearly eight weeks. Since the whole world will be watching at UFC 249, we wanted wanted to go big. So we have built out a full player-projection model to help us try and put together some winning lineups in UFC 249 DFS.
The model I created is based on 10,000 simulations of all 12 fights. I then pulled the DK score from each fight to create floor, median and ceiling projections for every fighter. Here is how I have each projection defined:
- Floor — fighter has an 80% chance of going over this score, 20% chance of going under
- Median — fighter has a 50% chance of going over this score, 50% chance of going under
- Ceiling — fighter has a 20% chance of going over this score, 80% chance of going under
These should give us a better sense as to what fighters we should target based on the game type. For a contest like the MMA Million (top prize is $200,000), we want to maximize our ceiling as much as possible.
I created an additional metric that will make it even easier to identify which fighters to use in the big tournament: ‘Perfect%’.
Perfect% is the percentage of the time that fighter finishes in the ‘perfect/optimal lineup’ based on my simulations. It’s worth noting that this is factoring in the ‘perfect lineup’ that meets the DK budget of $50,000 or less. Therefore this really is the perfect metric to use when trying to figure out the ideal fighters to use in the MMA Million.
Things to note:
Fights 1 and 2 (Main Event and Co-Main Event): Both of these fights are scheduled for five rounds while all other matches are three rounds. This makes the ceiling for all four fighters (Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz) in the two final fights extremely high. I would try to target 1-2 fighters from these matches. It’s not recommended, but you could make the case to stack Tony Ferguson & Justin Gaethje in the same fight. Both are likely to have a high amount of significant strikes, and there is a 19% chance this match goes at least five rounds. There are scenarios where both end up in the winning lineup.
Niko Price: Price comes in with the fifth-highest Perfect% at 31.6%. He is a sneaky play because this implies that if he were to pull off the upset (books implied odds give him a 26.5% chance) that he will likely be in the perfect lineup. There are also scenarios where he could even lose via decision and still sneak his way into the perfect lineup simply given how cheap he is.
Yorgan de Castro: De Castro is tough to project because he only has 6 minutes of UFC experience. This makes his range of outcomes much wider than other fighters, which raises his ceiling. His Perfect% ranks 9th at 25.9% as a result. The betting market gives him a ~28% chance to win by KO/TKO. It would make sense that if he were to KO/TKO Greg Hardy, that he would be in the winning team for Saturday’s biggest GPP.
Check out my full DFS projections for UFC 249: