BELOW AVERAGE SALARY PLAYS
The UFC returns to U.S. soil this week for Fight Night in Florida. This week we look at fighters who present scoring opportunity despite being priced less than their opponents. Although these fighters are not guaranteed, they do give a compelling reason to be used in DFS contests. Especially in MME contests, finding a lower salary fighter who can post a big number is key to finishing on top of leader boards.
VIRNA JANDIROBA (DK $8,000) – Jandiroba comes in as a slight favorite against Carla Esparza despite being priced $200 less. This is due largely to the fact that Esparza has a ton of UFC experience and Jandiroba has yet to set foot inside the octagon. Strawweights rarely have the same potential to finish fights early as heavier fighters do. They lack the punching power of bigger fighters. When a fighter with the submission game that Jandiroba possesses enters the octagon, DFS players must recognize the potential of bigger scores she brings with her. Esparza is an above average wrestler and may have the defense to neutralize Jandiroba, but she doesn’t have the same potential to score. Jandiroba is 14-0 as a professional with 11 wins by submission.
Caveman’s advice: Give measured use to Jandiroba on Saturday. With a salary in the bottom half and a significant record of early finishes, she presents good potential at a moderate price. Esparza is more expensive and less likely to finish early and therefore doesn’t warrant use. Allow for 20-40% usage on Jandiroba in MME contests. Her lack of UFC experience is a concern but look to leverage her potential.
(At the time of this writing, Virna Jandiroba is -122 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 61.91 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
GLOVER TEIXEIRA (DK $7,900) – Teixeira is no sure thing in UFC competition. His 3-3 record in the UFC is evidence of that. However, in his victories, he has an average of 101.5 FPPF. This is what you look for in a fighter in the bottom half of salaries. He is not a solid cash game play but he has scored well in the half of his UFC fights he has won and this makes him a very solid multi-entry play. Against Ion Cutelaba he is a slight favorite despite being priced less than his opponent. Light heavyweights always bring potential for knockouts and Glover is no exception with 17 KO/TKO’s to his professional record.
Caveman’s advice: This fight could go either way which is good news when you get a fighter with knockout power at a below average salary. Being the favorite only makes it sweeter. I also like Cutelaba for MME contests and would play both fighters moderately. I will be using Teixeira in about 40% of my lineups. Aggressive players may go for more.
(At the time of this writing, Glover Teixeira is -119 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 58.08 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
CORY SANDHAGEN (DK $7,700) – Few fighters have had more impressive starts in the UFC than Cory Sandhagen. He is 3-0 in UFC competition and not one of those fights made it to the third round. He has the highest fantasy average of the evening with 120.5 FPPF. He will be the underdog on Saturday, however, as he faces veteran fighter John Lineker who has lost only once in the past five years. This figures to be one of the most entertaining fights of the evening.
Caveman’s advice: It’s a risky play but one with high rewards. Sandhagen is priced right, however, and figures to get a lot of play in DFS tournaments. I really like his chances here and will be using him in at least half of my lineups. I recommend 50-60% usage in MME contests.
(At the time of this writing, Cory Sandhagen is +122 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 51.11 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
JACK HERMANSSON (DK $7,300) – Hermansson is the biggest underdog on this list, but he also presents some of the biggest potential. He is 6-2 in the UFC including 4 first round finishes. In his 6 victories, he carries a 106.2 average. He will go up against submission expert Ronaldo Souza who will turn 40 this year. Having once scored 142.5 fantasy points, Hermansson has one of the highest ceilings of any fighter while carrying a bargain salary.
Caveman’s advice: I really like Hermansson’s chances in this fight. At a low salary, Hermansson is just too good to pass on here. He can upset Souza and put up a big number doing it. I can see playing him really hard here. I would suggest using him in at least 30% of lineups in multi-entry contests and all the way up to 60% for those feeling frisky.
(At the time of this writing, Jack Hermansson is +172 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 54.66 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!