Big Marley’s UFC Vegas 31 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 an 11-fight card in Vegas back at the Apex. DraftKings has some decent contests for us to win money on this week. The main GPP is a $15 buy-in & $100k goes to 1st place with $350,000 in total being paid out. I will probably throw some lineups in that contest & then focus on a main 1-3 lineups for SE & 3-entry max contests. I also might throw 150 lineups in the mini max to work on my MME game.

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 – Islam Makhachev – $9,400

Islam is the biggest favorite of the week with almost a 90% chance of winning according to the current betting line. He is one of the best wrestlers/grapplers in the sport and he can score 100+ in a 3-round decision with all the takedowns and control time this guy can rack up. Now he has an extra 2 rounds to work with and I don’t see him having much trouble in this matchup. There are a lot of great DK favorites on this card, but Islam is the cash game play of the week and if we want to try and get sneaky then we can go with some of the other top tier fighters in GPPs to get a bit different. I think we have to lock this safe and high scoring win into cash games though and I think we get a 100+ point win from him.

GPP play of the week – Rodrigo Nascimento – $9,000

This is an awesome GPP card because all of the fighters priced $8.7k and up have big ceilings. They are all great GPP plays but I am going to go with Nascimento as my GPP play of the week. I think he can dominate this fight in round 1 and he has one of the highest ceilings on the card for that reason. Affording him would be the only issue but I do want to try and be overweight to the field because Baudot is awful and the line on Nascimento winning in round 1 is lined at +125. I expect this to be a fast and easy fight and it could be under 60 seconds for a massive score.

Underdog play of the week – Billy Quarantillo – $7,700

Billy Q is one of very few volume strikers on this card. This is a tough matchup and I expect he loses the 1st round, but he is a late starter, and I could see him winning rounds 2 and 3 and racking up a lot of points in those rounds. If he does win this fight, I think he will be locked in for more than 10x that $7.7k salary. There aren’t many underdogs I like on this card but the output from Billy is what I like and that is why he is my underdog play of the week.

Fade of the week – Khalid Taha – $8,300

Taha has big time punching power, and he will be trying to take Morozov’s head off from the opening bell. If he lands the KO, then this fade of the week is going to burn me. However, the KO is his only chance at a high score. He doesn’t strike at a high enough pace to get there in a decision, and he won’t be interested in shooting for takedowns. There are just too many favorites on this card with high ceilings and better chances of an early finish so I would rather just pay up for those fighters. Taha isn’t a bad GPP play but I am going to hope he doesn’t get the KO here and that is why he is my fade of the week.

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 169-158 for +222.09u (+$22,209) 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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