DFS Analysis for Font vs Garbrandt from The UFC Apex on Fanduel (5/22/21)
The UFC is back in Las Vegas for MMA action at their Apex facility. Here are two of my favorite underdog plays based on their value in DFS contests on Fanduel on Saturday.
CARLA ESPARZA (FD $14) – Esparza comes into this fight as a small underdog. She has won 4 straight and over the past 4 years has gone 6 of 8 inside the octagon. She faces Yan Xiaonan who is 6-0 in the UFC. Xianon has outboxed her opponents in the UFC, but she has yet to face the division’s best wrestler in Esparza. Esparza creates matchup problems for the entire strawweight division with her expertly executed takedowns and her smothering ground control. Over her last 12 fights, Esparza has secured 4+ takedowns in 7 of them.
Caveman’s advice: Esparza has a good chance at getting the small upset here. Few fighters in her division can deal with her relentless ground attack and once she gets an opponent down she controls them. Esparza doesn’t score big in fantasy, but she is a reliable underdog play here. I would use her minimally in GPP contests, but will make her a top play in cash. Esparza is far and away the best wrestler Xianon has faced, and Xianon will spend a good deal of this fight on her back.
(At the time of this writing, Carla Esparza is -104 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 59.21 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN (FD $11) – Shahbazyan suffered his first UFC lost in August to Derek Brunson in his last fight and will be looking to get back on track here. Drawing Jack Hermansson is not an easy way to right the ship, but he has a real chance in this fight as indicated by the relative closeness of the betting odds. Of all fighters better than +150 in odds, Shahbazyan is a full $2 cheaper than any of them. Hermansson is the better known fighter, but Shahbazyan is a fighter on his way up. He won his first 4 UFC fights and prior to his loss to Brunson he was a perfect 11-0. In his 11 career wins, 10 have come by first round KO/TKO. With an average of 87.7 FPPF, Shahbazyan has the highest average of all fighters on Saturday.
Caveman’s advice: Shahbazyan is a risky play, but one with tremendous upside. Hermansson is a great fighter and should not be take lightly. However, Shahbazyan is a finisher with the power to finish anyone. Play him on Saturday for his ceiling, not his floor. He is a boom/bust play, but his history of first round finishes makes him worth measured exposure in GPP contests on Saturday. This fight is going to be a good one and the winner of it is sure to put up a big score.
(At the time of this writing, Edmen Shahbazyan is +130 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 48.19 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!