Big Marley’s UFC on ESPN 1 DraftKings 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 %



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 weekend, we have a 13-fight PPV card in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the first ever UFC on big ESPN card and DK has some decent contests for us for this Sunday card. The main GPP is a $10 buy-in and $20k goes to 1st place, and there will be $100k in total prizes. They also have a new Qualifier for $175,000. There will be 100 qualifiers for that final contest and they will compete for a $50k first place price and that $175k will be spread out between all 100 entries that qualify. Those Qualifier only contests can be real bankroll suckers so be careful chasing those too hard. I will probably stick to the top GPP this week and throw 50 or so entries at that $20k prize. I will also be posting H2Hs as well as picking up H2Hs throughout the week to get a good amount of play into cash games. With that said, let’s get into a few plays I like as well as my fade of the week:

Cash Game play of the week – Vicente Luque ($9,400)

Vicente Luque is the safest play on the slate, in my opinion. I think he will be the better fighter anywhere this fight goes, and he should dominate. I like locking that win in my cash game and I think he has a good shot at getting 10x his $9.4k salary. I do expect him to be popular in tournaments so if you want to fade the ownership there and try to be more contrarian, I would definitely want some Luque investment in cash games. Barberena is tough so he could last all 3 rounds and if he does then Luque might only score in the 80s and that won’t win any GPPs. However, we can work with an ~80-point win in cash games because we only need to beat half the field unlike the tournaments.

GPP play of the week – Cain Velasquez ($9,000)

Cain Velasquez is my GPP play of the week because of the odds. A little over a week ago he was a -255 favorite and that is what led to his high $95 price tag. Now he is only -155 and all the value is on Ngannou at his $7.2k price tag. I expect Ngannou to be the highest owned fighter on the card and if Cain wins then he will kill off close to half the field. Also, if Cain wins he is likely scoring over 100-points. I expect his ownership to go down the more his betting line decreases and that is what makes him a great GPP play. He does have a 0-point floor, so I don’t care for him as much in cash game, but for GPPs we want boom or bust to try to get to that 1st place prize.

Underdog play of the week – Andre Fili ($7,400)

Andre Fili is my favorite dog of the week. He is $1,400 cheaper than Myles Jury on DraftKings, but he is only a +125 underdog. I think he has a good shot of winning this fight and I am picking him to get his hand raised. I expect this to be a very close fight, but I think Fili will be the fighter striking at the higher pace and that is what I think gets it done for him on the judges’ scorecards. I don’t see Fili having 100+ point upside but we don’t really need that at his $7.4k price tag. I think he has a good shot at getting at least 10x, so he is playable in all formats for me.

Fade of the week – Andrea Lee ($8,900)

Andrea Lee is my fade of the week. Not because I think she will lose, but I think have a hard time seeing her on the $20k lineup at her salary. I like the $9k range much more than her and they all have higher ceilings with their grappling-based game plans. Andrea Lee scored well in her UFC debut, but that is because she did use grappling there. I don’t see her doing that in this match because I think Evans-Smith has the edge on the ground and she should be the one looking for takedowns. If Lee is going to win this fight, then she is going to need to do it on the feet and I don’t see her having a high ceiling without a finish. The only reason to use her is because she will be super low owned, and it will make your lineup contrarian, but I still wouldn’t advise it.

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 57-34 for +188.13u (+$18,813) since May 19th 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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