UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Vegas 60
The Ultimate Fighting Championship holds no short of a dozen mixed martial arts bouts nearly every weekend with no real offseason. As one of the most unique sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is live on FanDuel.
The strategy behind this fantasy sport is intriguing. Given that two fighters face off against each other, and some fights end in seconds, choosing which side to back is crucial, and there is a wide range of outcomes. However, getting the winning fighter isn't all that matters. They've also got to land enough strikes, takedowns, or submission attempts to score points!
numberFire is always the best spot to prepare you for any UFC card. If you would rather bet on the fights, our betting guide is excellent for finding value on Saturday's card. In addition to this primer, I dove deeper into the slate on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC Vegas 60: Sandhagen vs. Song, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada this Saturday.
The best UFC daily fantasy cards start with a five-round banger, and Cory Sandhagen ($23) and Song Yadong ($14) should provide one.
Sandhagen is the MVP contender of the two as a -215 favorite, but this fight rules for fantasy. Both Sandhagen and Yadong are strikers that average north of 4.90 significant strikes per minute. There's really little risk to this one falling short of some striking points since this fight is -146 to go the entire distance, and the two combine to average just 1.16 takedowns per 15 minutes.
I'd also favor "The Sandman" to lead the dance. He's got more high-level experience against former champions T.J. Dillashaw and Petr Yan, and he'll have a three-inch edge in reach.
There are alternatives, including Joe Pyfer ($22) in one of the best matchups in the sport. Alen Amedovski, his opponent, has been demolished in three UFC appearances thus far. In fact, Amedovski's last two opponents were those slates' respective optimal MVPs.
Amedovski's -3.36 striking success rate is the worst on this card, and Pyfer (+1.00) showed much better than that on Dana White's Contender Series. He even added a takedown and a submission attempt in his two UFC-affiliated appearances on the show.
Sandhagen's floor is higher than the debutant, but Pyfer's middleweight debut could be a nuclear first-round finish. However, I'd also toss Trevin Giles ($20) in here.
Other than pace, Giles really has no weaknesses. He shouldn't hang his head on two straight losses to Dricus du Plessis and Michael Morales; those guys are now a combined 5-0 in UFC and have steamrolled everyone.
Giles' opponent, Louis Cosce, will bring the pace. He averages 5.36 FanDuel points per minute (excl. bonuses). Giles is the one with efficiency edges in striking accuracy (54%), striking defense (59%), and takedown defense (75%), though. This could be the veteran's best performance in an octagon thus far.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Daniel Zellhuber ($22) is absolutely an MVP contender as well, but he's a harder forecast against Trey Ogden, who has just one octagon appearance.
But it wasn't a good one. Against the inactive Jordan Leavitt, Ogden was battered. He had just a 34% striking defense. While Ogden is a solid grappler, Zellhuber has the offensive ceiling to actually make this fight viable in daily fantasy. He landed 7.67 significant strikes per minute on 52% accuracy during his Contender Series appearance.
A higher-floor option might be Loma Lookboonme ($21), but the former atomweight has just a 16.7% professional finishing rate. She's really too small to overwhelm opponents -- even a debutant like Denise Gomes ($9). Still, given the ladies post 5.64 significant strikes per minute as an average pace, it wouldn't surprise me to see a high amount of striking volume in their clash.
Tanner Boser ($19) is another option, and his 70% takedown defense will have to hold against a dangerous grappler, but if it does, I like his chances. The powerful Boser has outstruck his last five opponents, and he finished three of them. Rodrigo Nascimento's 38% striking defense is ripe for another knockout if he can hold his feet.
The cleanest analytical profile on the card belongs to England's Javid Basharat ($18). He averages 4.05 FanDuel points per minute (excl. bonuses) with plus marks in offensive and defensive efficiency. UFC veteran Tony Gravely is no slouch, but he's got a poor 47% striking defense. At this point, Basharat hasn't shown a single hole.
The co-main event is a dynamic middleweight pick 'em between Chidi Njokuani ($16) and Gregory Rodrigues. Their fight is -280 to see an early finish, so you won't want to stack their fight as much as picking your favorite. I prefer Njokuani. His 73% striking accuracy thus far has been absurd, and his 3.3% knockdown rate demonstrates spooky power.
I'd also peg Gillian Robertson ($17) as a favorite to target for a win bonus, but the grappler will likely need an early finish to make good on a FanDuel roster spot.
One of the best real fights on the card is between Bill Algeo ($15) and Andre Fili ($15). I'm not sure why this one got bumped down in salary; this fight is -215 to go the entire distance, and both average north of 3.30 FanDuel points per minute (excl. bonuses). It's not a fight that seems irrelevant in DFS.
The aforementioned Yadong is down here in this value range, and he's arguably the best option on the board. He's been finished once in 25 pro fights, and Sandhagen hasn't been knocking out other top contenders like Yan or Dillashaw. If I had to bet either to finish the main event, it would be the powerful underdog.
Two dogs are awesome picks to win outright -- Marc-Andre Barriault ($12) and Cameron VanCamp ($10).
Barriault's 68% takedown defense will need to hold against Anthony "Fluffy" Hernandez, but I think it can. At distance, the Canadian (5.79 significant strikes landed per minute) should dust Hernandez's 46% striking defense. I'm less worried about Hernandez finding a submission here after Barriault found his own offense in that category during the last bout.
As for VanCamp, his standing as the underdog here is pretty wild. Sure, he lost on short notice up 15 pounds in weight in his debut, but he still outstruck multi-time UFC winner Andre Fialho in that bout. Nikolas Motta lost to Jim Miller at this same weight class, and his offense (37% striking accuracy) was awful.
However, this one might not be decided on the feet. VanCamp has 9 of his 15 pro wins via submission, and Motta appears not comfortable in that domain. He's 0-1 professionally in fights decided by sub.
You can also take a stab at Damon Jackson ($10) finding a submission. He averages 2.1 attempts per 15 minutes. It'll just likely be a tough watch as he struggles underneath lay-and-pray specialist Pat Sabatini until it potentially happens.