MMA DFS Core Plays & Cheat Sheet: UFC Vegas 44 – December 4, 2021

MMA DFS Core Plays & Cheat Sheet: UFC Vegas 44 – December 4, 2021

Fighter to Build Your Lineups Around

Rob Font (DK: $8,400 | FD: $20) – It isn’t too wild of an idea or strategy to build around the Main Event, but the price on Font on DraftKings here helps us keep a huge ceiling while not breaking the bank on the rest of our lineup. Both of these fighters enter this fight on winning streaks, with Aldo a winner of his last two and Font a winner of his last four. We know what we are getting here with Jose Aldo – a striking machine who really isn’t going to throw much more at you than that. Aldo suffered three straight losses from 2019-2020 but the drop to Bantamweight has now resulted in back-to-back wins in decision – it is worth noting that Aldo was the favorite in each of those fights (against Vera & Munhoz). But Aldo is aging, now at 35 and while he still has a great skill set and a great takedown defense, Rob Font is a matchup that can match Aldo blow for blow. Font has a height and reach advantage in this fight and is throwing and landing more strikes than Aldo in recent history. Font’s ability to string combos and jabs together is really going to pressure Aldo and when we take into effect the championship rounds, I question the gas tank of Aldo. Sure, Font is only one year younger than Aldo, but against Cody Garbrandt in a fight that went five rounds, Font landed 176 of 365 strikes. Font’s recent victories have been three unanimous decisions and a TKO of Marlon Moraes. This is going to likely be a five-round stand-up fight, but if anyone was going to get someone to the ground it will be Font taking down Aldo. I doubt it happens, but it is something Font could work in to at least keep Aldo on his toes. I like Font simply for this reason: I do not see Font being knocked out – yet I can see a world where Aldo is. This is going to be a great fight that should offer a ton of strikes, I think Aldo can be used in DFS lineups as both of these fighters are projected to be pretty highly owned, but in the end I like Font for the win in a decision, but more than enough strikes landed to still make him optimal in the five-round fight.

Fighter with the Best Value

Brad Riddel (DK: $7,900 | FD: $15) – In my opinion, we are getting great value on a fighter who is $300 less than his opponent on DraftKings while only being a +102 underdog. Both figthers here are relative up-and-coming fighters who carry just a combined nine UFC fights and a combined 9-1 record in the UFC. Fiziev does have an edge on striking here and carries the one TKO between the two fighters. Riddell is more of a grinder who has an edge in grappling and takedowns and has seen all four of his fights go to decision. While we don’t always want to seek out the three-round decision, his most recent win against Drew Dober put a little bit of light on Riddel’s talents. In that fight with Dober, Riddel attempted 11 takedowns with five being successful. Fiziev and his kickboxing background will keep the striking pressure on Riddel, but if Riddel can work in his wrestling pedigree this could be a very uncomfortable fight for Fiziev. That being said, Fiziev has yet to be taken down through his five professional fights though that has a bit to do with his matchups rather than actual attempts at takedowns. Riddel will need to increase his striking numbers, but his knack to survive all three rounds through four fights makes me think his chin will hold up. While I say that Riddel will need to increase his striking, that isn’t to be confused with him not throwing as Riddel in his last two fights has thrown a healthy number of strikes. Fiziev can be his own worst enemy due to his quick pace and with Riddel’s survivability letting Fiziev wear himself down isn’t a horrible strategy. I think both of these fighters are live for DFS contests, but the slight value on Riddel on both sites puts a small edge his way for me.

Fighter with the Best Upset Potential

Jamahal Hill (DK: $7,000 | FD: $12) – I look around the MMA DFS industry and I see Jimmy Crute’s name absolutely everywhere this week. I do get it, in a vacuum here, Jimmy Crute is a better overall fighter than Jamahal Hill – Crute has over 117 fantasy points in two of his last three fights, with his last loss coming due to a doctor’s stoppage. Crute has all the tools, speed, power, takedown offense, it makes sense that a lot of the industry is touting Crute and if you are entering multiple lineups then Crute should be in them – it is hard to disagree there. But, this section of the write-up is fighter with the best-upset potential and when we look at Hill, he offers us just that. Hill has had a bumpy route here, having been suspended for a positive drug test and then a medical suspension after a broken arm at the hands of Paul Craig. All these small stoppages in Hill’s career may have made people forget the kind of prospect he was at one time. Hill had a 5-0 MMA debut before being selected for Dana White’s Contender Series and then went 4-0 in his first four professional fights. Hill offers us a pretty straightforward gameplan: strike and strike hard. Hill has massive power and throws each blow with it. The issue with Hill and why Crute is a favorite here is Hill has poor defense, while Crute can take the fight to the mat at will. But if we put this fight in a vacuum, Hill can end it early with one punch. The longer this fight goes, the more it favors Crute. But again, if we are looking for someone to pull an upset with one strike, Hill has the best potential on this card.

Below you will find my Cheat Sheet for this week, this will include the fighters that I will have the most exposure to this week. Please note both fighters from a fight may be listed here, though it is not recommended to use both in the same fight. There may be an exception to be made for the Font/Aldo fight this week as if we get a 5-round brawl, each could rack up enough strikes to pay off their salary.

Cheat Sheet

$ TierF
Brendan Allen
(9.6k / 74.22)
(23 / 74.22)
Jimmy Crute
(9.2k / 66.09)
(21 / 66.09)
Alonzo Menifield
(8.7k / 64.49)
(17 / 64.49)
Louis Smolka
(8.5k / 62.37)
(17 / 62.37)
Rob Font
(8.4k / 76.20)
(20 / 76.20)
Jose Aldo
(7.8k / 63.88)
(16 / 63.88)
Brad Riddell
(7.9k / 53.96)
(15 / 53.96)
Darian Weeks
(7.8k / 53.66)
(14 / 53.66)
Clay Guida
(7.4k / 44.96)
(11 / 44.96)
Jamahal Hill
(7k / 46.86)
(12 / 46.86)

About James Smizek

James is a Daily Fantasy Sports Veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on for contest tickets. James specializes in College Football - qualifying for the CFB World Championship in 2018, though you can find his content for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR on FantasyCruncher. James also picked up some new tricks during the Covid/sports shutdown, carving out a niche in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Call of Duty eSports. A winner of multiple large field GPP's, James hopes his knowledge can help you take down the next one. James currently resides in Wisconsin and is a huge Wisconsin sports fan. If you have any questions you can reach out to him @iKezims on Twitter.

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