SEVERAL NEW FIGHTERS MAKING THEIR OCTAGON DEBUTS IN ST. PETERSBURG
In their effort to expand the brand globally, the UFC goes to Russia with a card full of unknowns and local talent. Ultimately, this is good for the UFC but it does make for a weaker card than most Saturdays. It also calls for an earlier start which makes for a poor audience. With the unknowns involved and the limited audience, GPP tournaments should be approached creatively and with consideration for a reduced field. The possibilities for overlays will be out there and should be sought for DFS players. Consider also that 7 of the 24 fighters carry 0.0 FPPF due to the fact that they haven’t fought in the UFC. Contrarian approaches are also carry more weight due to the unpredictability of many fights. This week presents a unique situation and we will look at some fighters who can help separate DFS players from the competition.
IVAN SHTYRKOV (DK $8,700) – Shtyrkov has 0.0 FPPF. This guy has the build of freight train. In 16 professional fights he has 15 victories and 1 draw. He wins in every possible way. In his 15 victories he has 6 by KO/TKO, 5 by submission and 4 by decision. Most impressively he has 8 wins by first round finishes. We don’t have good UFC data on him, but the data that’s there is all good. He faces Devin Clark who has fought respectably in the UFC, but has proven beatable with a 3-2 record in UFC competition and a 9-3 record overall. Shtyrkov is a very slight favorite to finish early in this fight (currently at -101 to win inside the distance). He will be fighting on Saturday in his home country of Russia.
(At the time of this writing, Ivan Shtyrkov is -179 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 66.09 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
MOVSAR EVLOEV (DK $9,100) – Evloev has 0.0 FPPF and is another Russian fighter with the opportunity to make his name in the UFC in his home country. He has tremendous wrestling skills and his ground and pound game will give him the opportunity to score points. He can also win in every way possible. He is undefeated in his professional career with a 10-0 record. He has 3 wins by KO/TKO, 4 wins by submission and 3 wins by decision. He fights Seungwoo Choi who also has a 0.0 FPPF. Choi is 7-1 professionally, but his experience comes against South Korean fighters who aren’t currently on the level of the Russian fighters Evloev has been competing against. It is unlikely he has seen a wrestler of Evloev’s caliber. An early finish is quite likely here.
(At the time of this writing, Movsar Evloev is -377 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 75.66 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
RAFAEL FIZIEV (DK $7,700) – Fiziev may get plenty of exposure in DFS contests due entirely to the fact that he is a favorite with a lower salary than his competitor. Couple that fact with his undefeated record and you have good reason to play him at this bargain salary. Better yet, he is 6-0 with six early finishes. In fact, he has only gone to the second round once. His other 5 victories were first round finishes. Oh yeah, he has a 0.0 FPPF. His opponent, Magomed Mustafaev, on the other hand does have a respectable 66.0 FPPF and is 2-1 in the UFC with a 13-2 record overall. Fiziev hails from Kyrgyzstan and will be facing a native Russian fighter. Still, Vegas makes Fiziez the favorite and with a salary under $8K, that’s really hard to ingore.
(At the time of this writing, Rafael Fiziev is -130 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 58.81 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Caveman’s advice: If ever there were reasons to go with the unknowns, this week presents compelling arguments for that case. Don’t be shy about using fighters you’ve never heard of if the facts give you good reason to use them. When cards like this come up, realize that the other DFS players are more likely to play more familiar names and consider fading some of those fighters. Instead, lean toward lesser known fighters who show promise. Especially in GPP tournaments, you need to find a way to differentiate from the field.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!