Top DFS Plays for UFC Fight Night 206: Holm vs Vieira (5/21/22)
The UFC returns for more MMA action from The Apex in Las Vegas. Our analysis will take a deeper look at some of my favorite plays for DFS contests on Saturday.
Fighter to Build Your Lineups Around
CHIDI NJOKUANI (DK $8,700 / FD $22) – Njokuani’s scoring potential on both platforms is exceptionally high and his price tag on DraftKings makes him a great value there. In his UFC debut, Njokuani needed only 16 seconds to cement a first-round win by KO over Marc-Andre Barriault as a betting pick ’em in February of this year. It was his 3rd consecutive finish and the 9th first-round finish of his career. Njokuani has the second-best odds to win of all fighters on Saturday, and he also has the second-best odds to get a finish. Yet on DraftKings (where Njokuani scored 129.92 FP in his only UFC fight to date), his salary is 6th overall (he brings good value even on Fanduel where his salary is tied for second overall). His opponent, Dusko Todorovic, also likes to brawl. Todorovic is 2-2 in the UFC with only one of those fights going the distance. That’s why this fight is a -250 favorite to end with an early conclusion bonus for the winner. This fight should get heavy exposure. The bulk of those lineups should belong to Njokuani who is a 5 to 2 favorite to win and a -120 favorite to get a finish.
(At the time of this writing, Chidi Njokuani is -260 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 69.76 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Value
MICHEL PEREIRA (DK $8,200 / FD $15) – Pereira’s opponent on Saturday is the longtime veteran of the UFC, Santiago Ponzinibbio. After defeating Neil Magny in November of 2018, Ponzinibbio did not return to the octagon for 26 months. Since coming back, he is 1-2, and his only win during that span was as a minus money underdog. Meanwhile, Pereira has been on a tear. He is 5-2 in the UFC, and over his last 5 fights, his only loss came via disqualification. In his 5 wins with the promotion, he is averaging 84.4 FPPF (DraftKings scoring), while scoring two finishes in the process. Pereira is the betting favorite in this fight, and he is available for a salary right about the average on both platforms. Look for him to take advantage of a 35-year-old Ponzinibbio who is showing signs of decline with a losing record in 2021 after more than a two-year hiatus from the game.
(At the time of this writing, Michel Pereira is -144 with the oddsmakers and has a projected score of 62.64 on Fantasy Cruncher.)
Fighter with the Best Upset Potential
POLYANA VIANA (DK $7,900 / FD $14) – After starting her UFC career with a first-round finish of Maia Stevenson, Viana went on a 3-fight skid during which she lost a split-decision to Hannah Cifers and took an ill-advised dabble in the flyweight division. Since returning to the strawweight division in 2020, she has won 2 straight – with both wins by first-round submission. She will face Tabatha Ricci on Saturday, and although Ricci is 6-1 overall, she is just 1-1 at the UFC level. Viana should have the opportunity here to grapple with Ricci where her submission game is on a much higher level with 8 wins by submission in her 16-fight career. Additionally, in striking, Viana has a 4-inch height advantage and a considerable 6-inch reach advantage. This will allow her to keep Ricci at distance until her chance to change levels presents itself. I like her potential to get the win here, and with an average of 103.8 FPPF in victory (DraftKings scoring), her ceiling is quite high for DFS contests on Saturday.
That’s all for this week. Good luck with your lineups!