MID TIER PLAYS FOR UFC CHICAGO
We will skip some of the big salary favorites this week and look to find value for fighters coming in under $9,000 in salary this week as the UFC heads to Chicago for some more fighting action on Saturday.
This is clearly one of the most exciting matchups of the evening. Flyweight champ Henry Cejudo tries to become a “champ champ” by moving up to bantamweight where he will face Marlon Moraes for the title vacated by T.J. Dillashaw. Moving up in weight is clearly a concern with the oddsmakers, as the current flyweight champ comes in as the underdog against Moraes. Both fighters are coming off impressive win streaks, with each winning their last four fights. The fight is scheduled for five rounds and provides good scoring opportunity for both fighters. Both fighters are coming in a moderate salaries and the winner of this fight is likely to be good value for DFS contests.
Caveman’s advice: I like Moraes here as the favorite but Cejudo coming in under $8K in salary provides exactly the kind of pop you’re looking for when filling out the bottom of your lineups. Moraes does have the better average scoring at 81.5 FPPF and absolutely deserves a split of the exposure in MME contests. I favor Cejudo for cash plays as the former gold medalist has legitimate potential to win here with a solid floor in a five round bout. In MME contests both fighters should get significant play. I would give Cejudo the edge due to his salary in these contests. Look to give this fight 70-80% exposure with a 60/40 split favoring Cejudo.
(At the time of this writing, Henry Cejudo is +125 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 63.00 on Fantasy Cruncher. Marlon Moraes is -148 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 77.08 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
This matchup is my personal favorite of the night. Ferguson is on an 11 fight win streak and looks to be impossible to defeat. “Cowboy” Cerrone figures to be just the kind of fighter to do the impossible and is coming of an impressive 3 fight win streak of his own. These two combine for the second highest combined FPPF of any fight of the evening (second only to Suarez/Ansaroff) and this fight promises to figure in prominently in MME contests as both fighters are coming in at moderate salaries. Over his last three fights, Ferguson has averaged 109.5 FPPF. Over Cowboy’s last three fights he has averaged 116.5 FPPF. Look for a fast paced and high scoring fight between these two.
Caveman’s advice: This is the fight of the night in my opinion and should get the highest exposure of any. Both the scoring potential and moderate salaries give this fight big time value. I like Ferguson in this fight but Cowboy comes in at a low salary and presents great opportunity. With the top three salaries of the night all primed to score big, lower salary opportunity is especially crucial and Cerrone is certainly offering that on Saturday. I am giving this fight heavy exposure. Figure using this fight in 80-100% of lineups in MME contests with a 60/40 split in favor of Ferguson. I think both fighters are worthy of play in cash lineups.
(At the time of this writing, Tony Ferguson is -162 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 62.27 on Fantasy Cruncher. Donald Cerrone is +134 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 49.11 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
If you’re looking for some hidden value on Saturday be sure to take a good look at this matchup. Tuivasa is coming off a loss to Junior Dos Santos where he was thoroughly dominated. It’s time to buy as Tuivasa’s stock is currently very low. In his three fights prior to fighting Junior, Tuivasa averaged 96.7 FPPF with two first round KO’s in those fights. Prior to entering the UFC, Tuivasa had five professional fights, all resulting in first round victories for the Australian. Ivanov is no Dos Santos and presents a decent opportunity for Tuivasa on Saturday.
Caveman’s advice: This isn’t my favorite spot of the night, but Tuivasa has definite potential to score big here. I’m not excited about Ivanov’s potential here, but would give him a small bit of exposure in MME contests. I’d give this fight 30-40% exposure with the vast majority of those lineups going to Tuivasa. Give it a 90/10 split in hopes of another first round finish by the big man from down under.
(At the time of this writing, Tai Tuivasa is -142 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 60.80 on Fantasy Cruncher. Blagoy Ivanov is +118 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 50.28 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!