THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING
Fight Night goes to Moscow this week and there is no shortage of quality Russian fighters on the bill. Sorting through these fighters can be a challenge with limited data on fighters with little to no UFC experience. We’ll be looking at which fighters deserve lineups and which are best used sparingly for this week’s DFS contests.
GET THESE FIGHTERS IN YOUR LINEUPS:
ZABIT MAGOMEDSHARIPOV (DK $9,100) – It may seem fairly obvious to play Magomedsharipov in your lineups this Saturday. The only thing to question is just how much play he deserves. The answer is simple – pretty much all of it. Over a sample size of five UFC fights, he is a perfect 5-0 with three submission victories. In those submission victories, he scored 122.0, 152.0 and 113.5 fantasy points for an astounding average of 129.2 FPPF when submitting his opponents. His other two victories were by decision where he scored 92.0 and 106.5 fantasy points. Over six rounds of action in his decision victories, he averaged 33.1 points per round. On Saturday he fights in front of a home crowd in a Main Event scheduled for five rounds. At a rate of 33.1 points per round, that comes to a total of 165.5 fantasy points in a five round decision.
Caveman’s advice: There are never easier calls than this one. MMA contests in DFS are all about scoring potential and that is why Magomedsharipov should be used in nearly all of your lineups if not every last one. He is the third biggest favorite on the card, he has by far the highest average at 117.2 FPPF, yet he is fourth in salary fighting in his home country in a five round Main Event. He should get 90-100% of lineups in multi-entry contests.
(At the time of this writing, Zabit Magomedsharipov is -303 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 91.09 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
KHADIS IBRAGIMOV (DK $8,700) – Despite a disappointing finish to his UFC debut, Ibragimov was on pace to score well before being submitted in the third round after accumulating 88 significant strikes, 1 advance and 1 takedown at the hands of Korean fighter Da Un Jung in China. This time around he fights in his home country and the oddsmakers give him the third shortest odds of the event to win inside the distance. He is priced well below $9K even with his excellent potential for an early finish here.
Caveman’s advice: Ibragimov has great scoring potential for a fighter with his salary. His opponent is just 1-3 over his last four fights. His stock is low due to being caught by guillotine choke two minutes into the final round of his last fight. Give him a good amount of play. He offers a good chance to leverage DFS fields and should get 40-60% exposure in multi-entry contests on Saturday.
(At the time of this writing, Khadis Ibragimov is -157 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 63.68 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
USE CAUTION WITH THESE FIGHTERS:
RUSTAM KHABILOV (DK $8,600) – Khabilov is one of few “knowns” on Saturday with eleven fights in the octagon. Despite being 8-3 in those fights, he only managed to score better than 100.0 fantasy points in two of them and over his last five fights he is 4-1 but his best score in that span was a mere 71.0 fantasy points.
Caveman’s advice: Khabilov presents a good chance at winning on Saturday but shows little potential for scoring. Avergaging just 55.0 FPPF over his last five fights, he doesn’t merit much play in multi-entry contests and has only a slightly better value as a cash play due to his reasonably high floor. Consider 10-20% exposure at most in multi-entry contests. Passing on him entirely might be best for a fighter who is predictably unimpressive in an otherwise unpredictable slate.
(At the time of this writing, Rustam Khabilov is -222 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 70.13 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
ABUBAKAR NURMAGOMEDOV (DK $9,300) – Don’t let the name fool you. Abubakar Nurmagomedov isn’t the proven UFC commodity that Khabib is. He does have a great professional record of 15-2-1 but he has yet to step into the octagon. Since August of 2015, Nurmagomedov has one second round victory by TKO, one loss, one draw and five wins by decision.
Caveman’s advice: Use caution with Nurmagomedov on Saturday. For a fighter at this salary, I would prefer a much clearer picture of how he can put up a big score. Consistently winning by decision is all his record shows and he cannot be played heavily at his price. I would allow him 20-30% exposure in multi-entry contests and would avoid him in cash due to his lack of early finishes and nosebleed salary.
(At the time of this writing, Abubakar Nurmagomedov is -314 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 75.37 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!