VALUE PLAYS UNDER $8,000 FOR DRAFTKINGS
Sunday in Phoenix, Emily Whitmire put up 102.5 fantasy points in a first round finish of Alexandra Albu. At a DraftKings salary of $7,600 she brought maximum value to lineups. Francis Ngannou at a DraftKings salary of $7,200 knocked out Cain Velasquez in the first half minute of their fight scoring 93 fantasy points. Finding value under $8,000 is key in MMA contests in DFS. UFC Fight Night in Prague is no exception. With very closely handicapped fights across the board, there is an abundance of value under this price point. This week in our FC Insights we will take a closer look at fighters under $8k with opportunity to score in DFS contests.
VERONICA MACEDO (DK $7,600)
Venezuelan fighter Veronica Macedo is fighting Gillian Robertson in the women’s flyweight division on Sunday. Macedo is a former taekwondo champion and has the ability to place knockout high kicks. She will be flying well under the radar in this fight, losing her first two fights in the UFC. She lost to Andrea Lee and Ashlee Evans-Smith, two good fighters with more experience. Gillian Robertson is a good fighter but doesn’t have the same level of professional experience as Evans-Smith and Lee. Robertson does have four submission wins to her name, but so far Macedo has never been submitted in her professional career. Macedo has a good ceiling at this price with a decent floor.
Caveman’s advice: At $7,600 Veronica Macedo is a good value play in both cash and MME. She has the ability to finish and should score even in losing efforts as long as she maintains her spotless record against submissions. In MME contests I would keep this fight under 50% exposure but I’m giving Macedo more use due to her greater value. I give her a 60/40 split over Robertson.
(As of the time of this writing, Veronica Macedo is +153 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 52.03 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
STEFAN STRUVE (DK $7,800)
Stipe Miocic has three losses to date. He lost to Daniel Cormier, the current heavyweight champion, and he lost to Junior Dos Santos, a former heavyweight champion. He was, in fact, champion himself defeating Fabricio Werdum in 2016. The only other loss on Stipe’s record was to a 7-footer named Stefan Struve. At seven feet tall, Struve has the potential to beat anyone with the length of his jabs and kicks. On Sunday he will take on Marcos Rogerio de Lima who stand at 6’1″. His eleven inch height advantage will give him a chance against de Lima. In addition, Struve has a history finishes by submission with a total of seventeen in his professional career. In his last three losses, Marcos Rogerio de Lima has lost by submission.
Caveman’s advice: Coming in at a salary below $8,000, Stefan Struve has a high ceiling for his price. He has the length to trouble any fighter and the submission potential against a fighter who has shown weakness defending them. Coming off three consecutive losses, Struve’s stock is low and his floor is concerning. For this reason he makes a much better MME play than cash. In MME, I would use this fight a good deal. Give the fight 60-70% exposure with a 60/40 split in Struve’s favor due to his lower salary.
(As of the time of this writing, Stefan Struve is +109 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 51.9 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
DIEGO FERREIRA (DK $7,500)
Diego Ferreira has tremendous upside at a bargain salary. He has a professional record of 14-2 with 9 finishes (3 KO’s and 6 submissions). He has won three straight leading into Saturday’s matchup against Rustam Khabilov. Khabilov has won six straight, all by way of decision. This should be a great fight between two great fighters. When constructing lineups, however, value is king. In terms of finishing, there is more upside for Ferreira. He is averaging 77.8 FPPF. Khabilov on the other hand averages 66.5 FPPF.
Caveman’s advice: In fantasy MMA the ability to score often trumps the likelihood to win. At $1,200 less salary than his opponent and 11 more FPPF, Ferreira is a much better play. Finishes usually mean more points and Ferreira has more scoring potential. His value makes him a solid MME play and his opponents lack of finishing power makes him a decent cash play as well. In MME, give this fight 50-60% exposure with a 75/25 split in favor of Ferreira.
(At the time of this writing, Diego Ferreira is +119 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 51.19 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
JAN BLACHOWICZ (DK $7,700)
As always, Main Event fights have five rounds of scoring potential to the typical three rounds. These fighters always carry more value than they would in a three round fight. Given that this fight is has the tightest odds of the night, Jan Blachowicz is carrying extra value at his $7,700 salary. His opponent, Thiago Santos has the slight edge with Vegas, but carries more salary. Jan will likely have to eat a few kicks from Santos to apply pressure, but when given the opportunity to throw punches, he has the ability to put combinations together and has the chance to score and finish. His 67.4 FPPF is second only to John Dodson on this card for fighters below the $8,000 level of salary. He also has nine submissions to his record.
Caveman’s advice: This fight should be used in MME contest quite extensively. The winner of this fight is likely to put up a good score due to the extra rounds of scoring and the fact that both fighters have a good chance at finishing bonuses. For salary purposes, I like Blachowicz more than Santos for cash play. For MME contests, I would give the fight 70-80% exposure with a 50/50 split between the fighters.
(At the time of this writing, Jan Blachowicz is -111 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 71.6 with Fantasy Cruncher.)
When speculating on underdogs, it is never wise to lose perspective on their chances at winning. They are still underdogs. The salary restrictions in place force DFS players to take that chance. These fighters are not guaranteed plays but they are smart plays with potential. Often a play with a high ceiling makes more sense in DFS competitions than a play with a good floor and low/moderate ceiling, especially in MME contests where big score get all the money. Keep this in mind when you’re playing this week.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!