MMA Picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Rich Mark

    The upcoming UFC Fight Night is not one of the main UFC events, but it still promises excitement. There are a few good fights scheduled for the night, and of course, the daily fantasy sports action that it creates will be a lot of fun, too. Having a good approach to drafting your roster is a must, so we have broken down a few of the bigger fights for you. We’ve also included some things to think about as you create your rosters.

    Without further delay, here are our top 3 daily fantasy MMA picks for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night.

    Josh Barnett v. Roy Nelson

    This might be the biggest fight of the night, but underdog Nelson has a very real chance of winning this one. The last time Barnett fought in a UFC match was back in 2013, and he lost. Nelson fought just a few months ago and also lost, but has much more recent experience than his competition. Barnett is priced at $10,800 on DraftKings, while Nelson is a steal at only $8,600. The Vegas odds have Barnett as the overwhelming favorite, too, which does tend to detract from his actual chances of winning, but in this case, going with Nelson seems like the mathematically correct choice. If you do believe that Barnett is the clear victor here, though, your best choice is to just not include this fight on your roster.

    Gegard Mousasi v. Uriah Hall

    This is another fight where there is an overwhelming favorite. Mousasi is valued at $11,300 while Hall is just $8,100. In this case, the favorite is the better choice. While you won’t be getting much value out of Mousasi at such a huge price, he is a much stronger fighter. His fight record is historically stronger, and he has more than double the recorded fights that Hall has. The only downside to Mousasi is that he’s been scoring fewer fantasy points per fight lately. This is mostly because of Hall’s last fight, where he won by KO/TKO in the first round. This type of win always brings in big points, and it has boosted Hall’s points in a big way. Mousasi is a more experienced fighter by far, and that makes him much more attractive. He has little fantasy value here, but that’s okay because of the big points he will bring in.

    Shinsho Anzai v. Roger Zapata

    This is one of the small card fights, but you need to include it on your roster because both fighters are below $10,000. Even if you are wrong in who you think will win, this is a good value play. They are both at $9,700, which indicates that DraftKings really isn’t sure who will win. Yes, Anzai has more fantasy points per match, but that’s just because Zapata has never been evaluated for fantasy MMA before. In fact, it looks like Zapata has performed better more recently than Anzai thanks to a first round loss Anzai suffered in his last match, so even though there’s no UFC data on Zapata, he looks like a strong choice. And at his price, you almost need to draft him onto your team. Either way though, this fight could be worth considering regardless of who you use for your team.

    Honorable Mention: Jingliang Li v. Keita Nakamura

    The clear favorite here is Li at a price of $10,300, but Nakamura is a good inclusion on your team. He has lost his last three matches, and Li has won two of his last three, but Nakamura’s losses all went three rounds and were all decisions. This indicates that he can hang in there on a rough fight, and that implies he has a good chance of winning just because of his endurance. Li hasn’t quite shown that he’s capable of this to the same extent. Nakamura is cheap at $9,100, so he could be a strong choice if you are short on salary and need a cheaper fighter to fill things up, but don’t want to sacrifice points. It’s the fights like this one that you should look at to find sources of value, and this particular match looks to have the best option in this regard.

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