DraftKings MMA Mixed Martial Arts DFS Analysis Picks Plays Advice Strategy

UFC FIGHT NIGHT 159 – September 21, 2019


Occasionally, DFS contests will feature fights that can fall under the radar to casual players. Lack of star power can often lead to fights with low usage for the participants. Here are three fights on Saturday that deserve a second look.


This is easily the sneakiest play of the entire event. At first glance, this looks like a fight with low scoring potential. Vinicius Moreira Castro has an average of 3.3 FPPF losing by KO in both of his UFC fights. Paul Craig has an average of 41.0 FPPF with a 3-4 record in the UFC. Upon closer examination, however, DFS players will notice that neither fighter has gone to a decision in their career. Both are submission specialists with 18 of their combined 20 professional victories coming by submission. The oddsmakers make this fight a strong favorite to finish by early conclusion. Both fighters come in under $8.5K and look to come in under the radar with most DFS players.

Caveman’s advice: This is a great contrarian play on Saturday. There is certainly the danger here for a slow paced grappling affair with a third round conclusion that scores poorly. However, signs point toward a submission finish here and the potential for a good score from a fighter with low usage makes this fight intriguing for mass multi-entry contests. I would give this fight 40-50% exposure in MME contests with an even split between the two fighters.

(At the time of this writing, Vinicius Moreira Castro is -119 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 58.08 on Fantasy Cruncher. Paul Craig is -104 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 55.67 on Fantasy Cruncher.)


Every time I see Angela Hill’s name on a fight card, I immediately expect to see her as the underdog. She seems to be one of those fighters that get used as a filler for cards like these. She is an overall 3-5 in the UFC and has three losses in the last 13 months. She’s a journeyman who can put up a good fight on occasion but rarely ends her contests with an arm in the air. This Saturday, however, she is the favorite against Ariane Carnelossi who will be making her UFC debut. Unfortunately for Hill, Carnelossi is coming into Saturday on a 12 fight win streak with eight of those victories by KO.

Caveman’s advice: It’s not easy to put too much faith in an unproved fighter like Carnelossi. It’s even harder to put trust in a fighter like Hill who carries a losing record and an average of 52.3 FPPF and a salary much higher than her opponent who has the ability to finish fights (she has 4 first round finishes to date). I think Carnelossi deserves a lot of play here based on her ability to finish and a salary under $8K. I think this fight deserves anywhere from 40-70% exposure with all the lineups going to Carnelossi.

(At the time of this writing, Angela Hill is -147 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 65.29 on Fantasy Cruncher. Ariane Carnelossi is +123 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 55.16 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

KYLE NELSON (DK $8,600) vs POLO REYES (DK $7,600)

This is another fight that has the potential to escape the attention of DFS players for it’s lack of glitz. Both fighters are coming off of consecutive UFC losses. Kyle Nelson is 0-2 in the UFC. Polo Reyes is 4-3 in the UFC but has lost 3 of his last 4. Still, no matter how poorly either fighter may look, someone has to win this fight. In his six defeats, Reyes has never lost by decision and in three losses, Nelson has only one loss by decision. The oddsmakers make this fight a favorite to end before the final bell.

Caveman’s advice: Reyes is a Mexican fighter fighting in Mexico City, Mexico on Saturday. He carries a much higher average with 62.9 FPPF compared to Nelson’s 18.0 FPPF. Given that Reyes is $1,000 less in salary, he is the much better play here in front of the home crowd. I imagine this fight will carry low usage on Saturday and for that reason, this fight plays well as a contrarian option in MME contests. I would give the fight 30-60% exposure with a 75/25 split favoring the Mexican fighter, Polo Reyes.

(At the time of this writing, Kyle Nelson is -125 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 59.64 on Fantasy Cruncher. Polo Reyes is +102 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 55.47 on Fantasy Cruncher.)



About Rob

Since getting out of the casino business, Rob has been playing DFS regularly with a focus on MMA and ESPORTS. He now lives in Denver, CO.

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