UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 8/8/20

Derrick Lewis is involved in a main event that should be a fantasy-friendly bout. Who else is worth rostering on Saturday?

Combat sports are one of America's longest-standing active sports to wager on. This was evident throughout the late-1900s as boxing took the sports world by storm. From Muhammed Ali to Mike Tyson, several stars were born, and Americans around the country placed bets on who would win boxing matches. Nowadays, with boxing much smaller than it was throughout the 1900s, mixed martial arts have taken the lead as America's favorite combat sport.

By far, the largest and most successful MMA organization in North America is the Ultimate Fighting Championship, commonly known as UFC. The UFC lays claim to the best mixed martial artists in the world and is showcased on both cable and pay-per-view events every month. As one of the first sports to return with compliance of social distancing, UFC daily fantasy is now live on FanDuel.

numberFire is always your best place to prepare for the upcoming UFC card. In addition to this DFS helper, if you would rather bet the fights outright on FanDuel Sportsbook, Barry Cohen has you covered with his betting guide to find where to place sharp money on Saturday’s fights.

With those tools at our disposal, let's break down UFC Fight Night for Saturday, August 8 at the UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas.

MVP Considerations

Derrick Lewis ($21): This main event is definitely one to target at heavyweight. "The Black Beast" Lewis takes on "The Boa Constrictor" Aleksei Oleinik in a fight that profiles to be "kill or be killed" bout. At -700 to not go the distance, it is different in daily fantasy in that you really should choose one side of this fight or the other, given that the loser likely will not score well on FanDuel. I prefer the Lewis side because of level of competition, as Lewis has beaten two fighters currently inside the top 10 of the rankings, and Oleinik has been knocked out by all three top-10 opponents he has faced. Lewis may very well be the fourth to knock out Oleinik at -140 odds to win by knockout, but beware, he will not pour on volume from this spot. Playing Lewis at MVP is all about the quick knockout, which I believe to be the most likely outcome on Saturday.

Nasrat Haqparast ($19): Quite the juxtaposition of opponents for Haqparast in this bout. Drew Dober knocked him out quickly last fight, but Dober is 15th in the official UFC rankings. On Saturday, the Afghani fighter faces Alex Munoz. While Munoz is 6-0 and a highly touted prospect from Sacramento's Team Alpha Male training gym, he is currently ranked 115th in the United States and unranked globally. This is a huge step up for Munoz, coming off just a middling decision win in Dana White's Contender Series to earn his UFC contract. Munoz profiles to try to wrestle, attempting six times in his debut, but Haqparast's 78% takedown defense has stood strong in his five UFC bouts. Haqparast, a higher volume striker at 5.25 significant strikes per minute, could pour on volume against his weaker opponent.

Mid-Priced Fighters

Darren Stewart ($17): Stewart has never been one to draw huge attention in fantasy. He is now entering this fight off four straight decisions, and at only at 2.94 significant strikes per minute, he does not really pour on volume, either. However, similar to Nasrat Haqparast, the level of competition here doesn't line up. Maki Pitolo takes a huge step up here as the 75th-ranked middleweight in the world to "The Dentist," who is 30th. Both have knocked out Charles Byrd, but Byrd retired following his loss to Pitolo. Pitolo's only other UFC clash was an ugly loss to Callan Potter. When Stewart has been fantasy relevant, its been by finish. He does have two finishes in his last four wins and is +175 to finish this fight early.

Chris Weidman ($16): It is 2020, and Chris Weidman is a recommended play in daily fantasy. Weidman has not been performing terribly, wrestling well still with a takedown in six straight fights, but his chin has stood up terribly to knockout artists like Dominick Reyes, Jacare Souza, and Yoel Romero. He faces a far less dangerous pair of fists with Omari Akmehdov, who lands just 2.99 significant strikes per minute and has not finished an opponent since June 2015. The -118 odds this fight sees the full distance should be great news for Weidman's chin, and he will look to score and score often on Akmehdov's 62% takedown defense. Also helpful -- this is his first fight in seven contests against someone that has not fought for a UFC title. A step back in competition should do wonders for "The All-American" on Saturday.

Value Fighters

Justin Jaynes ($13): In his last contest, Justin Jaynes set ablaze a lot of lineups with a first-round KO of Frank Camacho, who was priced as an underdog on FanDuel as a -300 favorite to win outright. Jaynes' surprise knockout really should not have been surprising, as it was his fourth straight KO as he begins his UFC career. The knockout artist has another huge advantage this weekend in that it is his first fight at his organic weight class of 145 pounds. He knocked out Camacho as a smaller man, and Gavin Tucker cannot feel great about facing that type of power in the hands of "The Guitar Hero," especially given that Tucker always struggles on his feet with a striking success rate of -1.38 inside the octagon.

Peter Barrett ($11): Youssef Zalal is a comfortable -460 moneyline favorite in this bout, but the peripheral odds indicate Barrett is a very live 'dog. Zalal is only +340 to win by knockout and +460 by submission, so even FanDuel Sportsbook believes this fight should see all three rounds, which would be great news for Peter Barrett. Barrett overcame two flush flying knees to the face and an early armbar attempt, to have the cardio to survive against Sang Hoon Yoo, and he ended up putting up great numbers in that fight. Barrett overcame adversity and showed himself to be very strong at 155 pounds, earning 6:57 of control time in that 15 minute fight, as well. This fight is actually 10 pounds shorter, so Barrett's strength advantage should be massive. Given that two flush knees from a larger man did not finish Peter Barrett, I cannot see the smaller Zalal landing harder than that, and therefore in a 15-minute battle, go with the stronger fighter with great cardio, which allowed Barrett to pile up 132 significant strikes and four takedowns to earn this contract.

Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.