UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Vegas 64

Daniel Rodriguez is always a daily fantasy candidate thanks to his pace and style. Who else should we seek to roster on Saturday?

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.

Let's break down UFC Vegas 64: Rodriguez vs. Lemos, taking place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday.

MVP Considerations

There's one near-perfect MVP candidate, and then we're settling and differentiating behind her.

Miranda Maverick ($23) is a whopping -670 favorite to defeat Shanna Young. It's because Maverick's wrestling (2.10 takedowns per 15 minutes on 61% accuracy) has been elite, and Young (60% takedown defense) has been mediocre -- at best -- defending that in her 1-3 career.

When straying from the inevitable, Mario Bautista ($22) and Jake Hadley ($21) are the best of the rest.

Bautista arguably sees a step down in competition for this one after submitting wily veteran Brian Kelleher in his last fight. Benito Lopez is 3-1, but his three wins have come against guys 7-12 in their other 19 fights when not facing him. Bautista's 4.13 FanDuel points per minute (excl. bonuses) is second-best on the card, so he's a guy who pours on volume if the fight is going his way.

Hadley is far more speculative. The English prospect was undefeated with six finishes in eight fights before falling to Charles Oliveira's lightweight prodigy, Allen Nascimento. Hadley's 71% striking defense in that fight was still a great building block, and Carlos Candelario (-0.93 striking success rate) has been mopped in three prior UFC-affiliated appearances -- one of which he won via poor decision.

Other High-Salaried Fighters

Marina Rodriguez ($22) isn't a terrible MVP candidate. Her fight has decent +106 odds to go the entire distance, and she's the sizable favorite. I just have concerns -- namely that Amanda Lemos ($16) can make a real run at winning that fight.

Lemos' 57% takedown accuracy shows the same wrestling and grappling ability that plagued her against Amanda Ribas. Ribas was knocked out in the second, and Lemos' 48% striking defense is concerning, but Rodriguez's 0.27% knockdown rate just isn't high enough to be really concerned about the finish.

I don't mind Johnny Munoz ($19) as a flex option. Liudvik Sholinian was flattened by Jack Shore for a -73 striking differential in a short-notice debut. Shore is tough, but he's also not some championship contender after just getting mauled by Ricky Simon. Munoz has flashed highlights of grappling (2.5 submission attempts per 15 minutes) to believe a finish is possible.

Polyana Viana ($17) should have higher moneyline odds if not for her own fight IQ. She'll pull guard and lose rounds intentionally hoping for a miracle submission off her back. Still, in what figures to be a striking match with Jinh-Yu Frey (-1.01 striking success rate), she's been the historically more efficient fighter (+0.66).

Tamires Vidal ($17), Chase Sherman ($16), and Neil Magny ($15) are three other short favorites who are decent win picks. Sherman is particularly interesting in a fight -260 to be stopped early.

Value Fighters

With a bout scheduled for 25 minutes, Lemos is clearly the best value play in a fight she can compete. She's seventh on this card in FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses (3.52), so she will keep a decent pace even in a losing effort.

However, we've got several saucy underdogs on this card. It's one of the best underdog cards of the entire year.

To me, it starts with Darrick Minner ($12). Behind a 64% striking accuracy and 72% takedown accuracy, he puts elite offense out there with show-stopping intentions. He's averaged 2.5 submission attempts per 15 minutes, and opponent Shayilan Nuedanbieke has been submitted in 6 of his 10 pro losses. I don't understand his standing as the 'dog.

It's also bizarre to me that Mark O. Madsen ($11) is an underdog. Yes, Grant Dawson looked sensational in a seven-takedown win over Jared Gordon in his first foray up from 145 pounds. Here's the issue: Gordon also is a 145'er in spirit, fighting there as recently as 2021. Madsen is a true lightweight, an Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman freestyle, and has dominated all four opponents with his own wrestling thus far.

In his first appearance at flyweight, Nate Maness ($11) is someone I am adding to this list. Maness covered the spread against Khabib-trained prospect Umar Nurmagomedov back in June, but at 125 pounds, Maness should be able to compete with Tagir Ulanbekov. Ulanbekov, with a +0.06 striking success rate and 61% takedown defense, has been arguably the weakest UFC prospect in Khabib's stable.

Even though I'd pick Magny, Daniel Rodriguez ($15) is viable down here, too. He's the card leader in significant strikes landed per minute (7.75) and FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses (4.79), so he could pay off in a loss due to his pace.