RANKING FIGHTERS AT $9K AND OVER
Choosing fighters to play in the top tier can be tricky. I have ranked the fighters with the top five salaries for this week’s DFS competitions.
#1 VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO (DK $9,500) – UFC title fights are five rounds of competition and this is nothing but good news for Shevchenko’s value in DFS contests. She is a complete champion with the potential to win by KO, submission or decision. She has only lost twice in the octagon and both losses were to the best female fighter of all time in Amanda Nunes. She is averaging 81.3 FPPF and if you were to remove those two fights against Nunes from her fantasy numbers she would be averaging 95.6 FPPF. As long as she is not fighting the UFC’s very best, she is a dominant fighter who scores big numbers. She has five rounds of action to accumulate points against a lesser opponent in Katlyn Chookagian on Saturday, but don’t be surprised if she finishes this one inside the distance.
#2 JON JONES (DK $9,400) – Jon Jones is simply the best light heavyweight in the game. The record shows that he lost to Daniel Cormier in 2017 but on the fight day he was the victor and outside of this overturned fight, he has gone undefeated for a decade. His opponent is Dominick Reyes, a good fighter with a history of high scores in the UFC, but a fighter who comes in as a big dog for this one and rightly so. Jones is averaging 94.4 FPPF a fight and has five rounds of scoring available to him on Saturday night in Houston. Look for Jones to dominate and add up significant strikes before a unanimous decision victory here.
#3 DERRICK LEWIS (DK $9,000) – Lewis is the smallest favorite of all fighters $9k and up in salary. He is also the biggest favorite to finish his opponent within the distance. This heavyweight fight is currently -255 to end prior to decision and is -165 not to see the third round. Over 18 fights in the UFC, he has only been to a decision 3 times. In 29 professional fights, 22 have ended by KO/TKO. He fights Ilir Latifi who is 2-3 over his last five fights with two of his three losses coming by KO. In multi-entry contests, I would suggest hedging and playing Latifi for some of your lineups, but Lewis is a significant favorite and should get triple the lineups. At $9,000 even in salary, he has the potential to outscore any of the fighters priced above him, although the chance of being upset is higher.
#4 ANDREA LEE (DK $9,200) – Lee should dominate her opponent on Saturday and she has the chops to tally a lot of significant strikes in this one. She is +435 to finish inside the distance and can’t be expected to finish her opponent before the final bell, but she should score well in a decision victory. She has the highest floor of any fighter in a 3 round fight on Saturday and will be a solid cash play. Look for her to bounce back after a disappointing split decision loss her last time out and get a win by decision over an opponent that does not intimidate in Lauren Murphy who is just 3-4 in the UFC.
#5 ALEX MORONO (DK $9,100) – Alex is averaging 65.2 FPPF and at +125 to finish inside the distance, he doesn’t have the potential I’m looking for at this price. He is a good fighter fighting Khaos Williams who will be making his octagon debut and Morono should win this one, but his chances at putting up a big number aren’t high and earn him last place on this list. He is a solid cash play having won three in a row coming into this event, but is a concern for me in GPP contests with twice as many scores in the UFC that were under 60 than over 100.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!