What is DraftKings?
DraftKings is a daily fantasy sports website that caters to the biggest sporting events including MMA (UFC). You sign up, deposit money and spend a $50,000 virtual budget on five fighters who will score you the most points on the way to winning some cash.
Winning in DraftKings:
One word: underdogs. It isn’t possible to draft five favourites with your budget and you will have to take a chance on a few dogs depending how much you spend on the faves. The key is to find these cheap fighters who will score big for you. Having two to three of these winning fighters can give you a big edge over the field especially in big pools.
Learn more about the DraftKings MMA scoring system here.
Here are some fighters under the $10,000 price tag to consider picking for UFC 201: Lawler vs Woodley:
Fredy Serrano ($9,900)
Flyweight (125 lbs)
Opponent: Ryan Benoit ($9,500)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 86.3
UFC Record: 2-0
The man they call “El Profe” (the Professor) is the finest wrestler you can find out of the Latin Americas. Despite being 36, Serrano is young in fight years and is spry as can be. Against Benoit, he will be fighting an aggressive Muay Thai fighter with some serious oomph in his punches. This fight isn’t expected to hit the scorecards as both guys have heavy hands and have a penchant for spectacular finishes.
Serrano may be tempted to use his newfound striking skills and dance with Benoit but if he were to fight smart, he’d utilize his wrestling to control and finish Benoit on the ground. The American can handle himself anywhere but dealing with a burly Olympic wrestler on the mat is another thing. His aggression can also cost him fights. Serrano will play it patient and capitalize on a mistake by the younger fighter to either finish or outscore him.
Prediction: Serrano by T/KO
Erik Perez ($9,700)
Bantamweight (135 lbs)
Opponent: Francisco Rivera ($9,700)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 71.1
UFC Record: 4-2
If winning “Fight of the Night” netted more points for DraftKings, it wouldn’t be crazy to take both Perez and Rivera. As it is, this almost a pick’em. If you’re going with a higher finishing rate, take Rivera who throws everything but the kitchen sink at his opponent. But “Goyito” is the younger, fresher, and slightly more technical fighter. The Mexican pugilist can and will brawl if given the chance but he’ll need to respect Rivera’s power or he could suffer his first knockout loss.
What will happen is a bit of a striking exchange between the two for majority of the fight. They will both hurt each other. Rivera has more power but Perez has a better chin. There’s an outside chance they clinch especially when either gets hurt. Perez will mix up his combos, use a bit of wrestling and maybe even briefly brawl with Rivera. He has more tools at his disposal and should out-point or even finish Rivera.
Prediction: Perez by Decision
Tyron Woodley (9,000)
Welterweight (170 lbs)
Opponent: Robbie Lawler ($10,600)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 72.1
UFC Record: 5-2
UFC titles switching hands has become quite a trend. Three of the last four main event title fights saw the defending champion drop the belt in the first round. Woodley has the speed and power to make it four in the last five. Lawler is the definition of a “fighting champion” and also Woodley’s teammate. Lawler’s potent striking is made even stronger as the fight goes on. If Woodley looks to win this fight, he will have to do it quickly and viciously.
Woodley has been inconsistent in his UFC tenure. Sometimes he is aggressive and pushes the pace and sometimes he is tentative and gets backed into the cage. If Woodley is more of the former, he has a two-round window to finish Lawler, who has absorbed way too much damage in his last three fights. But if the latter shows, he is in for a long hard beating. At a bargain price, it’s worth rolling the dice that the aggressive powerful Woodley shows.
Prediction: Woodley by T/KO
Hector Sandoval ($8,400)
Flyweight (125 lbs)
Opponent: Wilson Reis ($11,000)
Fantasy Points Per Game (FPPG): 0.0
UFC Record: 0-0
Sandoval is the best bang for your buck in this card. Despite being a short notice fight, Sandoval has all the right tools to rise to the occasion. The Team Alpha Male fighter has heavy hands, powerful wrestling and is a top notch athlete. Sandoval is also very aggressive and won’t be intimidated by his UFC debut. In Reis, he will be fighting his toughest competition yet.
Reis is going from a championship fight to a dangerous prelim fight. While he has the veteran savvy and grappling base to win this fight, he also has a suspect chin and a tough weight cut. Assuming he shows up in his best form, he should teach Sandoval a grappling lesson but if he’s drained and not at his prime, Sandoval could just pull off a major upset.
Prediction: Sandoval by T/KO
How We Did Last Time:
|Valentina Shevchenko||75.5||Win (Decision)|
|Alexander Yakovlev||4||Loss (Decision)|
|Kailin Curran||2.5||Loss (Round 1 Sub)|
|Total:||82 (27.33 Avg)||1-2|