We’ve got another night of great fights with this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card. This Saturday’s bouts are headlined by heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov at the UFC APEX, and DFS lineups will lock a bit earlier this weekend at 5 p.m. ET.
We’ve have built out a full player-projection model to help us try and put together some winning DFS lineups in UFC.
The model, created by my colleague Sean Koerner, is based on 10,000 simulations of all 12 fights. He then pulled the DraftKings score from each fight to create floor, median, and ceiling projections for every fighter. Here is how he defined each projection:
- 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 upon the game type — maximizing ceiling in GPPs, for example.
Another tool that you can use to make it easier to identify which fighters to use in the big tournaments is 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 DraftKings budget of $50,000 or less. Therefore this is the perfect metric to use when trying to figure out the ideal fighters to use in the MMA Million.
Check out Sean Koerner’s full DFS projections for Saturday’s UFC card:
The Easy Chalk
Curtis Blaydes ($9400)
Even if you want to be contrarian, I’m not sure how you leave Blaydes out of many, if any lineups. If he wins, I don’t see how Blaydes doesn’t end up in the optimal lineup, on a card that is loaded with fights that are likely to go the distance; and based upon the betting odds he should win this fight more than 80% of the time. He has the highest floor, median, and ceiling projections on the slate, while also returning the biggest bargain rating (98%) and projected points relative to salary; and is projected to end up in the optimal DraftKings lineup more than 72% of the time.
Frank Camacho ($8000)
Camacho draws a late replacement in Justin Jaynes, and my crowdsourced projection essentially makes Camacho a 50/50 proposition to win this fight by knockout, as the second-most significant favorite on the card. He ranks just behind Blaydes in every projection category, but will likely be one of the more highly-used fighters on the slate, which is why his perfect rating (67%) is only tied for sixth-best.
The Upside Plays
Max Rohskopf ($8400)
I bet on Rohskopf to win by submission in his UFC debut – projecting his fair odds at -103, compared to listed odds of +175, because he has a significant grappling advantage against Austin Hubbard ($7800) who was taken down eight times in his last fight. Rohskopf, a former Division I wrestler, has won each of his five professional fights by submission, and he should be a handful in the smaller, 25-foot octagon with a height and reach advantage over his opponent. Rohskopf is an exciting prospect to keep a close eye on, and he could make a statement win to begin Saturday’s card. He has a 27% chance of making DK’s optimal lineup.
Bobby Green ($9100)
Green is 1-5-1 in his past seven bouts, but he is a much better boxer than Clay Guida, who is incredibly tough but likely to get knocked out at some point, as he sets the UFC record for career fights on Saturday night. In his most recent victory, by decision, Green scored 101 DK points on 110 significant strikes, and he is capable of landing at a high volume on Guida or scoring a surprise knockout. Given his history, I doubt that Green will be highly owned given the price point; but that only makes me like him more.
The Swing Fights
Josh Emmett ($7400) vs. Shane Burgos ($8700)
The co-main event is the definition of a swing-fight, with the winner ending up in the perfect DK lineup more than 70% of the time. Emmett is a knockout specialist, and I’ll be seeking the early KO bonus at a reduced price point on a +115 underdog – but he doesn’t throw at high volume. Rather, that is Burgos’s game, with 239 significant strikes in his past two fights, with an average of 100 DK points in his six UFC victories. I’ll deploy one or the other in each one of my lineups.
Lyman Good ($7400) vs. Belal Muhammad ($8900)
To be clear, I’m not interested in using Muhammad for DFS purposes. He is a grinder who generally scores in the ’80s for DK points in his UFC victories, but I did bet him to win and would be surprised if he is able to score a finish. However, I expect Good to be highly owned at his price point, as an even-money underdog in this bout, and if he wins Good will most likely end up in the perfect lineup, an expected 39% of the time. As a result, I’m likely going to use him defensively in some DFS lineups, in addition to Jim Miller ($7000) who could also score an early finish; even though I bet against both guys.