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 %
Significant Strikes +0.5 Pts
Advance +3 Pts
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
This Saturday we have an interesting card and I think the ownership will be pretty spread out on DraftKings which should make for less ties. The contests on DraftKings this week are not great but there is still an $8 entry tournament with $15K up top and who doesn’t want a shot at winning $15k? Usually I like to play about 20 tournament lineups but I think I will focus on cash games this week and throw maybe 3-5 lineups in GPPs hoping to hit that top prize. We have a few weeks off until the next UFC event so let’s go into this break with a win this weekend.
Cash Game play of the week – #StackInCash, Kevin Lee AND Edson Barboza
A lot of people will think this is a bad fight to stack in cash because the two fighters won’t have a crazy fight and score a bunch of combined points like the last two cards we had with Rose/JJ & Poirier/Gaethje. Let’s let them make the mistakes and we can lock in a win here with likely over 100 points. The reason stacking in cash makes sense is because you don’t need 6 wins to win cash games. Most of the time you don’t even need 5 wins to win cash games, so we can lock in a high scoring fighter here and look to get at least 3 other wins elsewhere. If Edson wins this fight via KO then everyone who only used Lee in cash will be stuck with low points from him and likely didn’t go 4 for 5 on their other picks. Same thing goes with Barboza if he gets submitted early in the fight by Lee. However, I do know that this fight should score over 100 points and that is all I really need if I can find at least 3 other wins on this card. So, let’s stack these two in cash games, take our 100+ points, and let everyone else make the mistakes in their lineups while we try to get a top half finish in a 50/50 contest. Just remember that 10th place in a 20-man 50/50 contest wins the same amount as 1st place does and that is why stacking in cash works almost every week.
GPP play of the week – Frankie Edgar ($9,000)
If Frankie wasn’t coming off a KO loss 7 weeks ago to Ortega, then he would have been my Cash play of the week. But now there is some risk involved with it because everyone believes it is too soon for him to come back which should make his ownership low in tournaments. I think he is coming back too soon as well so that is why I can’t recommend him in cash games but if we can get Frankie Edgar in a fight we have already seen at low ownership then I think it is a good boom or bust plays in GPPs. When Edgar and Swanson fought 3.5 years ago, Frankie proved he was the better fighter and could do anything he wanted in that fight it seemed. Frankie had 93 significant strikes, 7 takedowns, and 16 advances in that fight scoring a crazy 170 DraftKings points (in 5 rounds). I am ok with taking another shot on him here with that kind of ceiling. He may get KO’d in the first round because he did come back too early and lose it for me but in GPPs we are looking for those boom or bust plays and that’s what I am seeing here.
Underdog play of the week – Leslie Smith ($7,700)
I don’t love Leslie Smith in this spot but she has big time upside for an underdog fighter on this tough card. In her last two fights, she scored 121 and 125 DraftKings points and if she is able to pull out a win here I don’t see why she can’t score that high again with the pace she sets. If you can get ~120 points from an underdog on DraftKings then it almost makes her a must play at a price tag of $7.7k because it would be hard to win without her. The down side of Smith is that Ladd is going to likely take this fight to the ground and Smith won’t be able to score those crazy high points if that happens. However, if you think Smith can keep this fight standing then she sets such a high pace that she will score very high in a win and has the ability to score ~70 points in a decision loss if it stays on the feet. I will not be all in on Smith by any means but I think she makes for a good cash or GPP punt play with a DK price of $7.7k and a close betting line at +125 if you are searching for underdogs to put in your lineup.
Editor’s note: Leslie Smith’s fight is OFF after Aspen Ladd failed to make weight.
Fade of the week – Tony Martin ($8,800)
If I was making 20 lineups again this week then I probably wouldn’t have a complete fade on Martin here. I am only making 3-5 lineups personally this week so that makes it much easier for me to fade him with his $8.8k price tag. At $8.8k, I would want at least 88 points from him to meet the 10x value I would like and I think this is a tough fight for him to reach that in. I can see Martin wanting to keep this fight standing and he doesn’t have the pace to score real high in a striking match. He is the fighter you want getting takedowns if he is on your DK team and that could be risky against a guy like Nakamura. I would prefer all of the fighters around Martin’s DK salary this week so if you are looking for a high scoring fighter I would look to any of them over Tony Martin and the 70 or so points I would project him at in a decision win.