DFS IS STAYING ALIVE WITH UFC IN BRAZIL
Thank you Covid-19? No one really can be happy about the current state of the world and more specifically the state of daily fantasy sports. However, if there is a silver lining to be found, it’s that with the UFC being the only thing going, Fanduel has thrown their hat into the octagon. Their MVP format is a departure from the DraftKings format and for this week’s insights, we’ll be looking at my top MVP candidates for Saturday’s fights in Brazil.
KEVIN LEE (FD $16) – The bad news on Kevin Lee is that he has lost three of his last five fights. However, in his two victories in that span he managed to score (DraftKings scoring) 134.2 and 124.6 fantasy points. In those victories, he made short work of Gregor Gillespie with a first round KO and won a unanimous decision over Edson Barboza while accumulating a whopping 142 significant strikes over five rounds of action. He faces Brazilian fighter Charles Oliveira who will be a submission threat in the early rounds but has never fought beyond round 3. Current odds make Lee the favorite in this one.
Caveman’s breakdown: This fight is likely to provide DFS players with a solid MVP candidate. Given that Lee is the favorite, I prefer him in this fight but Oliveira will do his best to submit Lee. Lee caught a break fighting the Brazilian in a fanless environment due to public health concerns over the coronavirus. Lee also came in overweight which is going to be to his advantage as he has long been asking for a 165 lbs. division and will fight at a more comfortable weight this week. Over 5 rounds of action, Lee is a top play if he can fade Oliveira’s submission attempts. Oliveira should also earn some consideration but will have a much lower floor.
JOHNNY WALKER (FD $17) – The story on Johnny Walker is fairly simple. He knocks dudes out – except his last time out when he got KO’d by Corey Anderson in the first round. In his previous three fights in the octagon, he spent a grand total of two minutes and fifty seconds in the cage knocking out his opponents with an average fight time of 57 seconds. Fanduel scoring gives MVP’s 150 points for a first round knockout.
Caveman’s breakdown: No fighter on this card has a better history of first round KO’s than the Brazilian, Johnny Walker. His opponent, Nikita Krylov, has been KO’d just once in his career, however. This fight is a -165 favorite to finish under 1.5 rounds and that gives a great chance for a big score. Walker is even money to finish this fight inside the distance, tied with Kevin Lee as the shortest odds on finishing for the contest. I like this fight to wrap up in the first round and expect Krylov to get his second career loss by KO.
ELIZEU DOS SANTOS (FD $16) – Elizeu dos Santos is the smallest favorite on my MVP candidate list. He is coming off a loss to Li Jingliang by KO just nine seconds before the final bell. Prior to losing to Jingliang in his home country of China, dos Santos had won seven straight with four early finishes including two in the first round. In his three fights prior to his loss, he scored 109.6, 96.0, and 121.0 (DraftKings scoring) fantasy points. He fights Russian Aleksei Kunchenko who is 2-1 in the UFC and is also coming off a loss in his last fight.
Caveman’s breakdown: Look for dos Santos to bounce back from his loss and get back to his winning ways in his home country of Brazil. Although he isn’t my favorite on this list, he is the sneakier play here and will likely be used less in DFS contests than both Lee and Walker.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups and stay safe out there!