Big Marley’s UFC Vegas 18 Draft Kings Fantasy Breakdown

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If you are just starting out in DFS MMA here are some common terms and their meanings that you will hear every week along with the general rules of MMA DFS:

GPP = Guaranteed Prize Pool (aka tournaments where the top ~25% of the field get paid)

Cash Games = H2Hs, 50/50s, Double-Ups

Stacking = Using both fighters from a fight in the same lineup (typically cash games only)

Over/Under Weight = Your % of exposure to a fighter compared to the projected field %

We have new rules for MMA DFS in 2021 so keep that in mind and think of how the new format will gain you an edge. Here are the new rules:


Strikes +0.2 Pts
Significant Strikes +0.2 Pts
Control Time +0.03 Pts/Second
Takedown +5 Pts
Reversal/Sweep +5 Pts
Knockdown +10 Pts


Fight Conclusion Bonuses
1st Round Win +90 Pts
2nd Round Win +70 Pts
3rd Round Win +45 Pts
4th Round Win +40 Pts
5th Round Win +40 Pts
Decision Win +30 Pts
Quick Win Bonus +25 Pts

This weekend, we have a 13-fight card back at the Apex in Vegas. DraftKings has some solid contests for us to win money on this week. The main GPP is an $18 buy-in & $100k goes to 1st place with $400k in total being paid out. I will probably throw a bunch of lineups in that contest & then focus on a main 1-3 lineups for SE & 3-entry max contests. I will make a cash lineup as well, but I am mostly just going to hunt for non-badges in the H2H lobby instead of posting every week & playing 50/50s & double-ups.

With that said, let’s get into a couple plays I like this week along with my fade of the week:

Cash Game play of the week – Ode Osbourne – $7,800

This week we have a “free square” in cash games. It doesn’t mean he is a lock to win but we have a -210 favorite priced as an underdog on DraftKings and that is a must have in cash games. He will be super chalk in GPPs so if you think he might lose or doesn’t score well in a win then just fade him in the GPPs. I think he is a lock in cash games though. He was the underdog in his original matchup but that was a much tougher fight and against Rivera I think he is better everywhere, and I do like him to get his hand raised. He is still priced at $7.8k where he was priced when he was the underdog in his original matchup and that is too much value for me to pass on.

GPP play of the week – Mike Rodriguez – $9,000

I think Rodriguez is a great GPP play this week because the most likely ending to this fight will be a Rodriguez knockout. Marques is going to be at a big disadvantage on the feet here, so he needs to get the fight to the mat early and often. I just don’t think he is a good enough wrestler to be able to do that enough to get the win. Rodriguez has a -155 ITD line and -150 by (T)KO. He also has 5 guys priced above him on DraftKings. I think he has a good shot at a 1st round knockout (+165) and he is live for the 60-second win bonus as well. That is why he is my GPP play of the week.

Underdog play of the week – Manel Kape – $7,900

I am excited for this UFC debut. Kape has some scary striking and he might be the first guy to knock Pantoja out. The line has also shifted to essentially PK and he might even be the betting favorite on fight day. I do think he will be pretty popular this week, but he has a high ceiling with his KO potential. Pantoja should have a big edge on the mat here but he isn’t a great or consistent wrestler so I think he might give Kape the fight he wants, and I do like what I have seen from Kape in the striking department. I don’t like many dogs on this card but Kape is one I did end up picking outright so that is why he is my underdog of the week.

Fade of the week – Youssef Zalal – $9,100

I do like Zalal to get his hand raised this weekend but his $9.1k price tag has me leaning towards full fading him. I probably won’t make more than 20 lineups personally so it is an easier fade with limited lineups and if I was doing 150, I would want some exposure. I just like all the guys priced around Zalal more. I do think Zalal should look for takedowns in this fight, but I don’t see him chain wrestling or anything and he isn’t a high-volume striker. He could possibly get over 100 DK points here and burn me, but I don’t see him even reaching 10x his salary so that’s why he is my fade of the week. I wanted to pick a favorite to fade because there are a few underdogs that are easy fades but choosing from the favorites was a lot harder.

Thanks for reading this and good luck this weekend! If you would like my full-card breakdown where I breakdown every fight on the card and give my full DraftKings analysis, as well as all my pick predictions, you can find that for only $7.99 at this link below:

(Premium bets are available at that link as well. I am 154-132 for +238.40u (+$23,840) since May 19th, 2018 on Premium Plays)


Written by Kyle Marley

9x DraftKings Qualifier, MMA handicapper for MMAoddsbreaker, MMA Expert for CBSSports & SportsLine, NFL & Lead MMA coach at DFSArmy.

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