UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 9/12/20

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: Waterson vs. Hill, which will take place Saturday at the UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas.

MVP Considerations

Jalin Turner ($19): Fluidity has been the theme of several recent UFC cards, and this one is no different. Jalin Turner started this week without a fight, but since his bout last week was canceled by Thiago Moises' COVID-19 diagnosis, Turner was first on the list to replace Frank Camacho, who tested positive for COVID-19 this week prior to his bout this week against Brok Weaver. Whomever was going to face Brok Weaver this weekend was likely to be a huge favorite, and Turner may actually be the stronger fighter. Weaver is a striker who has never managed to score more than 14 strikes inside a UFC octagon, while also never securing a takedown or attempting a submission, which is problematic. A step up in competition, which Turner is, is not what Weaver needed. Turner is a whopping -350 favorite to hand Weaver a second straight loss, and while no odds are posted on FanDuel Sportsbook, Turner is more likely than not to secure his third UFC finish in this bout.

Alexander Romanov ($19): Another fighter who is set to get his chance after all is Romanov, who also had his fight canceled last week due to a COVID-19 test. I discussed the exciting UFC prospects of Romanov in depth on my podcast last week. He is making his debut from Moldova this weekend against Roque Martinez in this last-minute bout. Martinez is a Guamanian heavyweight who is 3-2 in his last five fights in RIZIN, which is Japan's top MMA tour. Romanov, however, is someone possibly being eyed as a potential ranked fighter in the UFC at some point in his career. He enters this fight 11-0, with all 11 wins by finish, including some horrifying ground-and-pound knockouts and neck cranks. Romanov is -350 to win his bout, which is tied with the aforementioned Turner for the best win odds on this card. He arguably has an easier debut against Martinez here than he would've had last week, when he was still favored against UFC veteran Marcos Rogerio De Lima.

Other High-Salaried Fighters

Billy Quarantillo ($19): One of the UFC's most exciting fights of 2020 was the fight of the night between Billy Quarantillo and Spike Carlyle back in May, which combined for 174 strikes, 5 takedowns, and 2 submission attempts in this smaller, 25' octagon that has become the new normal in UFC. Quarantillo returns this weekend against Kyle Nelson, and Billy has some eye-popping numbers through two UFC bouts. That likely explains his strong standing as a -255 favorite over Nelson on Saturday. His +4.61 striking success rate is the highest my model has ever charted in a multi-fight sample, as he dishes out 7.43 significant strikes per minute but absorbs just 2.82 strikes per minute in damage returned. Quarantillo also averages 3.1 submission attempts per match, which is how he finished Jacob Kilburn in his UFC debut. Quarantillo has +100 odds to use these tools to finish this fight inside the 15-minute distance, and at only $19, he has a reasonable salary for such good odds to find an early finish.

Michelle Waterson ($17): This card does not tout the most glamorous UFC main event in history, especially for fantasy, but at the very least, the fight should be close and competitive. Michelle Waterson and Angela Hill face off in the lone five-round fight on the card, and that explains the mid-range salary on the slight underdog Waterson. Waterson is certainly the more well-tested side of the main event, as she has faced former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and title challengers Carla Esparza and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, whereas Hill has faced questionable competition as of late. Hill's opponents in each of her last three wins have a combined record of 3-7 inside the UFC, and none of them are still with the promotion. With this fight at -260 to go the entire 25-minute distance, the likely fantasy scenario is an uninspiring decision, but hopefully there's enough volume for Waterson to be worth rostering.

Value Fighters

Khama Worthy ($15): "The Death Star" was a 2-to-1 or larger underdog in both of his first two UFC contests, and he paid off his backers in full with surprise wins over Devonta Smith and Luis Pena. Worthy has finally earned some respect from oddsmakers, as he sits as a slight -135 favorite as of now. On a smaller-scale card, there is some uncertainty in many fights, but both Worthy and opponent Ottman Azaitar have a 100% finishing rate inside the octagon. That means both action and validity of the -340 odds for this fight to avoid a decision. Worthy, despite being a favorite, has the lower salary at $15 on FanDuel as well as the better odds to win by knockout or submission (+125).

Ed Herman ($12): "Slo" Mike Rodriguez faced Marcin Prachnio just three weeks ago in Las Vegas and won via a first-round knockout. Rodriguez was a justified favorite in that fight as the better boxer, but he faces a stylistic mismatch this weekend. Ed Herman is a wrestler, as evidenced by his mark of 2.20 takedowns per match over 24 UFC appearances. That could prove problematic for Rodriguez, whose Achilles' heel is his ability to defend takedowns and prevent wrestling, at just a 38% clip for his UFC career in five matches. Herman is the best value play on the board. Not only does he have a legitimate chance to win by neutralizing Rodriguez with his wrestling, but he also comes in with significant fantasy upside considering "Short Fuse" has multiple takedowns in seven UFC contests entering Saturday.

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.