DraftKings MMA Mixed Martial Arts DFS Analysis Picks Plays Advice Strategy

UFC 244 – November 2, 2019


As always there are strong plays available over the $9K mark in DFS contests this week. We will take a good look at some high value plays under that mark, including some underdogs that have a good chance to score in Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

NATE DIAZ (DK $7,400) – Pop quiz #1: Who has a better record over their last four fights, Jorge Masvidal or Nate Diaz? Answer: Nate Diaz. Masvidal has made a big impression with two big time KO’s in his last two fights, including a record setting knockout delivered to Ben Askren. In the two fights prior to those, however, he lost decisions to Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson. Over his last four fights, Nate Diaz is 3-1 with his only loss coming at the hands of Conor McGregor who he lost to by decision after submitting McGregor earlier in that same year. Diaz did take some time off after that loss, but came back in top form winning a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis back in August of this year where he scored 119.0 fantasy points. It appears that Masvidal’s recent success has elevated his stock quite a bit. I make this fight a pick ’em rather than favoring Masvidal as the current betting lines do. Diaz has not been knocked out since 2013 and carries a higher average at 77.0 FPPF than Masvidal at 73.4 FPPF.

Caveman’s advice: Both fighters in this Main Event fight deserve a lot of lineups. Masvidal does have knockout potential but Diaz is much harder to knockout than the likes of Ben Askren. Current betting lines make this fight a favorite to go the distance. Over the course of five rounds, I anticipate both fighters will accumulate significant strikes. The eventual winner is likely to put up a high score and with a salary under $7.5K. I think Diaz is a great play here and will give him close to 50% exposure in multi-entry contests. Masvidal should get quite a few lineups in multi-entry contests as well but I make Diaz the much better cash play of the two fighters.

(At the time of this writing, Nate Diaz is +135 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 63.33 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

VICENTE LUQUE (DK $7,700) – Pop quiz #2: Who has the better record over their last four fights, Stephen Thompson or Vicente Luque? Answer: Vicente Luque by a good margin. Luque is, in fact, on a six fight win streak dating back to October of 2017. Thompson (the current favorite by the slightest margin) is 1-3 over his last four fights losing two straight coming into Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Luque’s average is over 20 points higher with a 94.1 FPPF to date compared to 73.1 FPPF for Thompson. This is due largely to the fact that Luque is a better finisher with 9 KO’s and 6 submissions in 17 professional victories. Compare that to Thompson who has 7 KO’s and 1 submission in 14 professional victories.

Caveman’s advice: These fighters combine for the third highest combined FPPF of all fights on Saturday. Both fighters should get play in multi-entry contests but Luque is the better play for both multi-entry and cash contests for both his history of higher scoring and his lower salary. Give him 50-60% exposure in multi-entry contests.

(At the time of this writing, Vicente Luque is -107 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 57.40 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK (DK $8,700) – Pop quiz #3: Which fighter under $9K in salary has the highest average? Answer: Edmen Shahbazyan. If you guessed Rozenstruik you were nearly right, however. With an average of 98.3 FPPF, he has the fourth highest average of all fighters on Saturday coming in just after Shahbazyan at 101.3 FPPF. In his eight professional fights to date, Rozenstruik is 8-0 having only gone the distance once. All other fights on his record were finished prior to the third round including six first round KO/TKO’s. He is 2-0 in the octagon with one first round finish and one second round finish. His opponent Andrei Arlovski is 1-3 with one no contest over his last five fights. He has not been knocked out however, since a first round TKO at the hands of the heaviest hitter in the UFC, Francis Ngannou, back in January of 2017.

Caveman’s advice: It is hard to say what might happen in the third round with Rozenstruik as he’s only been in the third round once in his career. Arlovski’s best chance here is to take this fight the distance which is a rarity against Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik has a very high ceiling for a fighter under $9K and has great potential with a history of early finishes. I don’t make him a great cash play but think he should see a fair number of lineups in multi-entry contests. Give him 40-50% play in these contests.

(At the time of this writing, Jairzinho Rozenstruik is -158 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 62.42 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN (DK $8,300) – Pop quiz #4: Which fighter under $9K in salary has the highest average: Answer: Edmen Shahbazyan. If you read the entire article up to this point, you already knew the answer. At under $8.5K Shahbazyan has the third highest overall average on Saturday at 101.3 FPPF. He is a top value play on Saturday and should get into a majority of lineups on Saturday. He is a perfect 10-0 as a professional and has nine first round finishes with 8 by KO/TKO and one submission victory to his credit. In his only decision victory he scored 90.0 fantasy points while dominating his opponent, Darren Stewart, scoring 22 significant strikes, 3 advances and 8 takedowns. In his last two fights, he scored two first round KO’s scoring 106.5 and 107.5 fantasy points. His opponent on Saturday is Brad Tavares who is coming off a loss to Israel Adesanya over a year ago.

Caveman’s advice: Shahbazyan is a top play in both cash and multi-entry contests. His low salary and high scoring make him a great play on Saturday and he should get 60-70% exposure in multi-entry contests.

(At the time of this writing, Edmen Shahbazyan is -155 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 61.58 on Fantasy Cruncher.)

That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!




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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