Big Marley’s UFC Vegas 25 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 12-fight card back in Vegas. DraftKings has some solid contests for us to win money on this week. The main GPP is a $15 buy-in & $100k goes to 1st place with $400,000 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 be throwing 150 in the mini max to work on my MME game. 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 – Merab Dvalishvili – $9,000

Merab in general is DraftKings gold. The secret is out though so I expect him to be highly owned in every matchup he is in. So now we have to decide if we want to go overweight to a ~50% Merab each card. In this matchup, I am not positive I want to do that, but at the same time I am nervous not to. If Merab does Merab things, then it turns into no Merab, no cash. However, Stamann is a good wrestler, and he might be able to limit the takedowns from Merab and turn this into more of a striking match. With a high price and high ownership, maybe we want to get sneaky and take an underweight approach to Merab in GPPs. He will be a lock in my cash games though because it is too much of a risk to fade him there and if he does go out there and get 10 takedowns and we don’t have him in cash, then we aren’t going to cash because everybody else will have him.

GPP play of the week – Andreas Michailidis – $9,100

This fight has a nice 69% chance of ending ITD and that makes me like both sides of it. I think we get a KO in this fight and Michailidis will be my preferred side. He is a core GPP play for me this week and I think he gets a 1st round KO for 100+ points here. His chin is an issue though, so he does have a low floor and that’s why this is a GPP play and a nice pivot from our cash game pick in Merab. Michailidis also doesn’t have a known name yet so this fight could get overlooked a bit and we might get lower ownership than we should.

Underdog play of the week – Dominick Reyes – $7,900

I like a lot of underdogs on this card, but I am picking Reyes because I don’t think he even should be an underdog and if he does win then he is likely on the optimal lineup. Jiri is a wild man, and he has big time power. He might knock Reyes out and it could be early. However, I think Reyes is the better fighter everywhere and I would say he is more likely to get that knockout. Jiri is a very reckless fighter, and I don’t see that working out for him against the top of the UFC division. I also think we are getting some recency bias in this line because of Reyes coming off back-to-back losses. I think Reyes should be the favorite in this fight and since we are getting him as an underdog it makes him my favorite play on the slate.

Fade of the week – Giga Chikadze – $8,600

Giga can always get a KO and score 100+ to end up on the optimal lineup, but that is the only way he gets there. He is not a high-paced striker, and he isn’t going to look to wrestle either. At $8.6k he probably needs a 1st or 2nd round knockout to pay that off and I don’t see it happening. The most he scored in a decision so far is 70 DK points and that won’t cut it at this price tag. Cub is the more well-rounded fighter in this matchup, and he is the higher volume striker as well. I would rather save a grand in salary and just move down to Cub and I will full fade Giga this weekend banking on him not getting the big KO.

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 160-140 for +235.57u (+$23,557) 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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