Top DFS Plays for UFC on ESPN 29: Cannonier vs Gastelum (8/21/21)
The UFC returns to Las Vegas for more MMA action from Sin City. Our analysis will take a deeper look at some of my favorite plays for DFS contests on Saturday.
Fighter to Build Your Lineups Around
BRIAN KELLEHER (DK $9,000 / FD $21) – Kelleher carries the 4th highest salary on DraftKings and the 3rd highest on Fanduel. Yet, he has the best finishing odds and the second-best odds to win of all fighters on Saturday. His opponent, Domingo Pilarte, has yet to win in the UFC in two tries. In his first, he lost a split decision to Felilpe Colares, and in the second, he was finished in 38 seconds by Journey Newson (a fight that was later overturned and ruled a no-contest due to a failed drug test for Newson). Kelleher has lost fights to very good competition, but against weaker competition, he has dominated. He is 3-2 over his last 5 fights and in all 3 wins he scored finishes. In those losses, he went the distance with Ricky Simon and Cody Stamann. I like Kelleher to dominate Pilarte and to get another finish in this one.
(At the time of this writing, Brian Kelleher is -176 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 64.48 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Value
VINC PICHEL (DK $8,200 / FD $15) –
Pichel is 6-1 over his last 7 fights and has averaged 82.7 FPPF over that span. He will face Austin Hubbard who is 3-3 over his last 6 fights and has averaged 53.7 FPPF. Pichel has 6 victories in the UFC against opponents with 35 total wins combined. Hubbard has won 3 fights against opponents with a combined win total of – ZERO wins. Pichel brings better fantasy scoring and higher-level experience to this fight on Saturday. His salary is just above average on DraftKings and just below average on Fanduel, however. Pichel is no lock to win, but as the favorite and at his salary, he has the potential to bring a lot of value to his price on Saturday.
(At the time of this writing, Vinc Pichel is -117 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 56.73 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Upset Potential
SASHA PALATNIKOV (DK $7,700 / FD $13) – In his last fight, Palatnikov matched against an explosive Impa Kasanganay and ended up on the wrong side of a rear-naked choke in April of this year. His stock is slightly down, and he finds himself the underdog against Ramiz Brahimaj on Saturday. Brahimaj started his career with 6 straight wins but since has gone 2-3 against better competition. In his one and only UFC fight to date, he lost by third-round TKO to Max Griffin. Brahimaj has proved nothing in the UFC and is vulnerable here against Palatnikov who has only lost to Mounir Lazzez and Impa Kasanganay since dropping his first-ever professional fight back in 2017. Look for Palatnikov to get a decision win in this one.
(At the time of this writing, Sasha Palatnikov is +121 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 52.16 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!