Big Marley’s UFC 259 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 15-fight PPV 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 $20 buy-in & $200k goes to 1st place with $1,000,000 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 – Amanda Nunes – $9,600

Nunes is a -1000 favorite with a -365 ITD line. She is a lock in cash games this week and she should roll though Anderson here. She is better everywhere but she has a huge advantage on the mat, and she might win in round 1 for an easy 100+ points. She is our free square in cash games this week but she will be the most popular fighter on the card so we can get away from her in GPPs if we want. This is the first person I am clicking for my cash game lineup though and you should be too.

GPP play of the week – Islam Makhachev – $9,400

Makhachev is in the middle of two title fight favorites in Nunes and Adesanya. That should take away from his ownership which would be very high on a different card. He is at a disadvantage on the feet against Dober but that should help him on DraftKings because his path to victory is on the mat and that is what scores great on DK. I expect 5+ takedowns from Islam in this matchup and he might rack up 10+ minutes of control time with a lot of ground strikes as well. Most people will be clicking on Nunes, so I think he is a good pivot away from her at half of the ownership. Adesanya will also take away from his ownership so we might even get him sub 30% and that is what makes him my GPP play of the week.

Underdog play of the week – Rogerio Bontorin – $7,700

I expect Bontorin to be a popular underdog this week, but he is going to be one of my favorites to target as well. He should have a big edge on the ground in this matchup and if he can get it there, he might be able to lock up an early sub. Kara-France has shown a weakness off his back but he is the better striker here so I don’t think Bontrorin will want to spend much time on the feet. I don’t think he can chain wrestle for 3-rounds, but I do think he is dangerous if he can get it to the mat and the submission is what I am really chasing here.

Fade of the week – Kai Kara-France – $8,500

One reason I don’t like Kara-France this week is because I do like Bontorin. Since he is my dog of the week, I don’t see me getting to any Kara-France this week. He is the better striker in this matchup, but he should just be looking to strike and he won’t be adding any ground game stats to his score. If we are just relying on 0.4 DK points per strike, then I don’t see him having a high ceiling without a finish and I would rather just target other favorites with higher ceilings.

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 156-134 for +239.31u (+$23,931) 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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