THE UFC IS BACK AND VALUE IS KEY FOR THIS WEEK’S SLATE IN D.C.
The UFC returns to Washington, D.C. after after a few weeks off. There are some heavy favorites this week and in order to play these high salary fighters the need for quality value plays becomes imperative. Here are some of my favorite plays this week.
SONG YADONG (DK $8,900) – Song Yadong sits on top of my personal projections this week. With a salary under $9K, he has the highest average of any fighter on Saturday with an astounding 101.8 FPPF. Within the octagon he is 4-0 with three early conclusions, including two first round finishes and one second round finish. In his sole decision victory, he scored 85.5 FP while accumulating 79 significant strikes, 2 advances and 2 takedowns against one of the divisions best boxers in Vince Morales. In his three other fights he eclipsed the century mark scoring 104.0, 113.5 and 104.0 FP. His opponent, Cody Stamann, is a striker of a lesser kind who hasn’t scored over 80 FP since October of 2017.
Caveman’s advice: At a salary under $9K, Song Yadong appears to be the best play on the board in D.C. this weekend. At this salary, he has the potential to pair with another fighter above his or to be a number one fighter in lineups that allow for room to spend in the next tier of fighters. He has a low floor due to his ability to score in decisions and has wins by submission, KO and decision thus far in his short career. Cautiously, he can be used in 60-80% of your multi-entry contests and more aggressively he can easily get locked into 100% of lineups on Saturday. He is also a top cash play, carrying a high floor with one of the top ceilings of all fighters on Saturday.
(At the time of this writing, Song Yadong is -204 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 66.60 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
MARINA RODRIGUEZ (DK $8,400) – Betting odds have seen a flip flop on Rodriguez’s fight versus Cynthia Calvillo. She opened as the underdog but sits currently as the favorite. Despite starting off on the wrong foot in the UFC with a loss by decision in her debut, she has rebounded since, winning her next two fights. In those two fights, she defeated some of the divisions best, with victories over Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres, while averaging over 100 significant strikes in those fights and averaging over 90 FP as well. She must keep the fight on her feet, however, as her opponent has three submission victories over six UFC fights. She is a top value play among mid-tier fighters this week.
Caveman’s advice: Rodriguez’s game plan is simple. Stay on her feet and attempt to out strike her opponent. If she can manage to do so, her scoring potential is high and her likelihood of victory is as well. Her takedown defense is 84% giving good reason to believe she can accomplish exactly that. Calvillo is a respectable opponent and will earn some lineups in multi-entry contests, but Rodriguez is legitimately the favorite in this one and can score due to high volume striking with accuracy numbers over 50%. Give her 30-40% exposure in multi-entry contests and feel confident in using her as a solid cash play as well.
(At the time of this writing, Marina Rodriguez is -128 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 62.59 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
ROB FONT (DK $8,500) – Rob Font is the favorite this week against Ricky Simon. That’s good news for those with him in their lineups as he has averaged 116.0 FP when victorious. In his most recent fight, he dominated Sergio Pettis, scoring 111 significant strikes as well as 2 takedowns while finishing with 106.5 FP in his win by unanimous decision. He is 4-2 overall in the UFC including wins by KO, submission and decision. He is a boom or bust fighter, however, averaging just 12.5 FP in losses.
Caveman’s advice: Boom or bust fighters like this aren’t great cash plays but are excellent multi-entry plays when priced right. At this salary, he is a great play in multi-entry contests as he has the potential to post a score that can put a lineup at the top of a tournament leader board. Rob Font is priced right for these contests. He has a mid-tier price with potential for high-tier scoring. Due to his volatility, he should be used with some caution, but can easily garner play in 30-40% range. More aggressive approaches could see him as high as 60-70% play for those willing to live and die with his performance.
(At the time of this writing, Rob Font is -144 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 60.96 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK ($7,900) – Rozenstruik figures to be one of the most heavily played fighters on Saturday. With his power, he needs only one punch to find victory. Current odds make him a slight favorite despite being at a lower salary. In his three UFC fights so far, he has two first round victories and one second round victory, all by KO. His average comes in at 99.7 FPPF making his the second best in that statistic this week. This fight is a favorite to finish in under 1.5 rounds and his a massive -800 to finish inside the distance. His opponent, Alistair Overeem, is a dangerous foe with 40 finishes to his credit, with 23 by KO and 17 by submission. The winner of this fight is sure to score big and an early conclusion bonus is nearly a sure thing for this fight.
Caveman’s advice: This fight is a must play for multi-entry contests. In nearly every lineup (if not all), one of these fighters should be in play. Rozenstruik is both the favorite and the below average priced fighter here and should get the bulk of lineups in these contests. At his low price with big score potential, he makes room for more expensive fighters in lineups with the potential for multiple high scores. Overeem is still priced well and should be given play in multi-entry contests but Rozenstruik carries bigger value. I recommend 100% exposure for this fight with a 70/30 split favoring the higher value play in Rozenstruik. As this fight is boom or bust for both fighters, I would recommend passing on both for cash play but Rozenstruik is cheap enough to earn some consideration in these contests.
(At the time of this writing, Jairzinho Rozenstruik is -116 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 70.94 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!