GOING OUT WITH A BANG – HOW TO TAKE AN AGGRESSIVE APPROACH TO MME TOURNAMENTS FOR THE FINAL EVENT OF THE YEAR
Upon analysis of 2018’s final UFC event, I find myself leaning toward an aggressive approach for mass multi-entry tournaments. Occasionally an event will present itself with some clear cut options and fighters both to go “all-in” on and fighters to fade entirely. UFC 232 has me looking at an opportunity to eliminate certain fighters entirely and three fighters I will be going nearly all-in on. Let’s take a look at some fighters and discuss their proposition odds as well as how this can lead to an aggressive tournament strategy. Let’s start with three monster plays for Saturday.
CRIS CYBORG (DK $9,200)
Cris Cyborg is 20-1 in the octagon and hasn’t been defeated since 2005. An astounding 17 of those 20 wins have been by KO/TKO. She lands a “cyborgian” 6.81 significant strikes per minute. She strikes. She scores. She wins. She gets big conclusion bonuses. At -125 to win inside the distance, she is one of only two fighters on the card who is a favorite to win prior to the final bell. She is facing a good opponent in Amanda Nunes, but she is easily worth being in a very significant percentage of lineups in MME contests and should be given all-in consideration as well.
Caveman’s advice: Be aggressive. In MME contests give Cyborg 80-100% exposure. In 20 entry or less contests, go all-in on Cyborg.
(As of the time of this writing, Cris Cyborg is -246 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 62.79 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
RYAN HALL (DK $9,400)
In what figures to be one of the least entertaining fights of the evening, Ryan Hall squares up against an over the hill BJ Penn. Understand the dynamics here folks, Penn is fighting to collect a paycheck. He hasn’t won since 2010. Check your calendars… it will be 2019 on Tuesday. Hall is the biggest favorite of the night and has a better than average chance of winning this fight before the conclusion of the third round. He is my number one cash play on Saturday.
Caveman’s advice: Be aggressive. In MME contests use Hall a lot. His salary will inhibit all-in plays but use him in 70-90% of lineups. In 20 entry or less contests, use him as often as possible.
(As of the time of this writing, Ryan Hall is -461 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 76.12 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
WALT HARRIS (DK $8,600)
At -110 to win inside the distance, Walt Harris is the second of two fighters on this card that is a favorite to win prior to the final bell. That implies a knockout and knockouts mean those sweet, sweet conclusion bonuses. Andrei Arlovski was once a champion but he is 2-7 in his last 9 fights and his former glory has faded. Harris is just too much fighter for Arlovski. At $8,600, Harris is my top value play.
Caveman’s advice: Be aggressive. Go all-in on Harris. He could easily be a top three scoring play and is a big time value play. Put him in 90-100% of your lineups in MME contests. He is an all-in play in 20 entry or less contests.
(At the time of this writing, Walt Harris is -173 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 64.03 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
The first part of an aggressive approach is to identify plays that you are willing to take big risks on and play them very heavy. The second part is to identify plays you are willing to pass on in these contests. Let’s take some brief looks at two plays (beyond the opponents of the fighters we listed above) to avoid.
BRIAN KELLEHER (DK $7,800)
Kelleher is only a slight underdog in this contest but is +415 to win inside the distance. His salary lacks value for a fighter that just doesn’t have much likelihood to score. He doesn’t fit within our aggressive strategy.
Caveman’s advice: Limit Kelleher’s exposure as much as possible. Cap his exposure at 10% in MME tournaments and in 20 entry or less contests, avoid him entirely.
(At the time of this writing, Brian Kelleher is +132 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 49.70 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
MEGAN ANDERSON (DK $7,700)
Megan is an absolute dud for DFS play. She is an underdog to Cat Zingano and at +467 to win inside the distance, she presents little upside even in an upset. She averages a paltry 31.4 fantasy points per contest.
Caveman’s advice: One word – nope.
(At the time of this writing, Megan Anderson is +124 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 45.37 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Final thoughts: By going all-in on certain fighters and eliminating others, you allow increase the chances of finishing at the top of the leader board in contests when your fighters perform as expected. Fewer lineups will be wasted on scenarios that have little chance of coming forth. Resolve to take more aggressive approaches to DFS tournaments this coming year and see if you can’t take one down.
Happy holidays and good luck with your lineups!