UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: Fight Night 11/14/20
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 has 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.
To prepare for this weekend's slate, let's break down UFC Fight Night: Felder vs. Dos Anjos, which will take place from the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Rafael Dos Anjos ($21): On a weaker card in terms of title-challenging fighters, the only two ranked participants will do battle in the main event, as Paul Felder is saving the show on five days notice against Dos Anjos after Islam Makhachev pulled out of this fight due to injury. This fight is still five rounds, and while Dos Anjos has had one of the most daunting schedules in the UFC the last few years, Felder represents a slight break. On the feet, Dos Anjos's 62% striking defense has kept him from eating a knockout punch since 2016, and Felder's 61% takedown defense could be susceptible to Dos Anjos's 1.28 takedowns per match. Dos Anjos is a rightful -200 favorite and the definitive fantasy target in this fight, with Felder going to four straight decisions since 2017.
Don'Tale Mayes ($20): After the main event, the quality of this card drops off dramatically. All alternative options come with significant concerns about experience, recent performance, or matchup. Mayes appears to be the most reliable option beyond Dos Anjos as a -250 favorite with nearly even +110 odds to win his fight inside the distance. That likely comes in the form of a knockout, as the 6'6" athletic specimen has never attempted a UFC takedown or submission. Roque Martinez will look to do better than his UFC debut against Alexandr Romanov, where he looked completely outclassed and absorbed 5.87 significant strikes per minute. But at 5'10", the Guamanian has significant athletic disadvantages to Mayes and most heavyweights. Mayes has not been perfect, but with two UFC wins and with Martinez seeing just seven minutes of octagon time, experience could prove incredibly beneficial for "Lord Kong."
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Alex Morono ($19): One of the more difficult fights on the card to diagnose is between Morono and hard-hitting Irishman Rhys McKee, mostly because both are coming off devastating, awful losses. McKee gets his first real UFC opportunity here, as he had no chance as a +900 underdog to Khamzat Chimaev on nine days notice, but Morono has a track record of tremendous UFC experience at many levels. Morono's last fight was his first time getting outstruck since 2016, and he has held a +140 significant striking differential since that time. He also has a 61% striking defense, which means the knockout loss to Khaos Williams in 27 seconds may have been an aberration. In a tightly contested fight, the experience and striking success rate (+1.32) lies with "The Great White Morono."
Brendan Allen ($17): The second-best fight on this card is the battle at middleweight just outside the rankings between "All In" Brendan Allen and Sean Strickland. Both are familiar faces, as Strickland put 106 significant strikes on Jack Marshman back on October 31st, and Allen was scheduled to fight Ian Heinisch last week until Heinisch tested positive for COVID-19. This is a challenge for Strickland, as he still took 48 significant strikes of damage two weeks ago. No fighter in modern UFC history (since 2010) has landed more than 60 significant strikes on less than 25 days rest, which significantly points the arrow in the direction of Allen, a dangerous grappler. Allen also averages greater than one fight-ending sequence per fight with 0.5 knockdowns and 2.4 submission attempts per match. That makes him dangerous in any conditions, especially with Strickland on a quick turnaround.
Randa Markos ($14): A record of 6-8-1 does not exactly make Markos a fantasy target, but level of competition is worth giving the "Quiet Storm" some benefit of the doubt. Eight of her last 10 fights have been against fighters who are currently ranked, and Markos is 2-0 against two unranked foes. Assuming opponent Kanako Murata is on the same level as the ranked women in the UFC may be tough to do, considering her last fight in Invicta was a split decision win against Emily Ducote, a 9-6 fighter with no UFC experience. Markos is bringing three inches of size into what profiles to be a grappling match, although Markos has been good defensively on the feet, as well, with a 59% striking defense. There may be very little fantasy upside in this fight overall, but on a per-dollar basis, the Canadian looks like the superior play.
Khaos Williams ($8): Worth noting -- no fighter with a single-digit salary on FanDuel has won a bout since the inception of UFC contests back in March, but this week may be the strange one that bucks the trend. Both single-digit fighters still scheduled to take the octagon have better than 2-to-1 odds to win on FanDuel Sportsbook, but Williams is the one to watch because of his fantasy upside. He set the UFC ablaze by knocking out Alex Morono in seconds as a +300 underdog, and his fight against Abdul Razak-Alhassan profiles to be "khaos" again, as the fight is currently -750 to be finished inside the 15-minute distance. Razak-Alhassan is an unstable basket to put proverbial eggs in, as following a two-year hiatus due to sexual assault allegations, he missed weight and gave up 98 significant strikes and four takedowns to newcomer Mounir Lazzez in July. Razak-Alhassan missed weight again on Friday, and with no desire to roster a stumbling performer, his opponent with huge power makes plenty of sense at an affordable salary.
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.