UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Vegas 70

Despite being the underdog in this weekend's main event, Ryan Spann has enough power and grappling prowess to believe he could post a huge FanDuel score if things break his way. Who else should we consider in daily fantasy?

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, my betting guide is excellent for finding value on Saturday's card. I also dove deeper into this card on this week's Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.

Let's break down UFC Vegas 70: Krylov vs. Spann, which takes place at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

MVP Considerations

It's always best for a DFS slate when MVP is a bit wide open, and I think you can easily justify five fighters at the spot this week.

To no one's surprise, Joe Solecki ($23) deserves attention at the top of the fighter pool. Interestingly, he's at a higher salary at his -590 moneyline than Tatiana Suarez ($22) despite Suarez's -800 odds to win. It's likely because Solecki is a not-too-distant +230 to win in the first round.

Solecki was an underdog to Benoit Saint-Denis, but Saint-Denis pulled out due to injury. Now, he's taking on regional veteran grappler Carl Deaton, who is just 1-1 against fighters with a UFC-affiliated appearance on their resume. Solecki's elite grappling is due for a win via submission. He averages 1.1 attempts per 15 minutes and has posted at least 20 minutes of control time in his last three fights. He'll find one soon.

Suarez, as such a heavy favorite, is an MVP candidate by default, but she's up 10 pounds in weight to end what's been a 43-month layoff due to neck injuries. As we'll touch on, I don't see her as the best fit.

The best MVP fit might actually be Charles Johnson ($17). Solecki, Suarez, and a bulk of the top favorites on this card are grapplers, but Johnson's preference to strike significantly increases the floor and ceiling of his fight. Johnson (+0.67 striking success rate [SSR]) has been a better distance striker than Ode Osbourne (-0.09 SSR) in a fight that profiles to happen exclusively at distance. Osbourne's also been knocked out in two of his past three.

Finally, Canada's Mike Malott ($21) deserves some love. He knocked out six-time UFC winner Mickey Gall in his debut with a 63% striking accuracy and 57% defense. That was a picture-perfect debut entering this bout with the less-credentialed Yohan Lainesse (1-1 UFC). Lainesse really struggled with confidence and pace in his last bout, landing just 23 significant strikes in 15 minutes. Yikes.

Other High-Salaried Fighters

I'm not putting the aforementioned Suarez on upset alert, but I've got DFS scoring concerns at what's sure to be immense popularity.

Her fight is -128 to go the full distance, which isn't ideal for DFS. Honestly, her best scoring opportunity might be exploiting Montana De La Rosa's wretched 42% striking defense, but Suarez has never committed to striking in UFC. The wrestling phenom averages 6.47 takedowns per 15 minutes. Facing a heavier, stronger foe off a layoff, Suarez doesn't look like a fighter we can bank on for an explosive score. She posted just 89.0 FanDuel points in her last fight.

Andre Muniz ($20) is another high-salaried favorite with a potential path to score. The grappling ace is +120 to win via submission, and it's only more likely he wrestles this one to a position to find one given Brendan Allen's 50% takedown defense.

Salaries are definitely funky on FanDuel this week. Three underdogs are salaried as favorites. I don't let salary dictate my process, so it was beyond odd that Jordan Leavitt ($16) and Don'Tale Mayes ($16) were tagged that way considering I like them both to win.

Leavitt's fight with Victor Martinez should produce an explosive result in one direction or another. Martinez leads the card in FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses (6.16), but as noted by ESPN's Laura Sanko during his fight on Dana White's Contender Series, he has almost no experience grappling. He's got no submission wins to two defeats. Leavitt is one of lightweight's best grapplers and has two wins via submission already.

As for Mayes, he'll carry a four-inch reach edge into his volatile fight with Augusto Sakai. Both big guys have striking defenses below 49%. While Sakai has been knocked out in four straight, the real issue is actually his wrestling defense (54%). Mayes landed six of eight takedowns on Josh Parisian last year, so he can do that, too.

Value Fighters

Game theory will be a huge deciding factor in tournaments this weekend in this area. Martinez, Sakai, and Gabriella Fernandes ($12) are salaried as underdogs with favored moneylines and will -- by default -- be the three most popular choices. I always recommend just projecting the fight outcomes and letting salary fall where it does.

As a debutant, Fernandes is the one I would get behind in her bout -- mostly due to her opponent, Jasmine Jasudavicius. Jasudavicius has topped out at 86.0 FanDuel points in three UFC-affiliated appearances, and as a ground fighter, she's never offered a submission attempt. There's a noted lack of upside, and it's not like her efficiency (-1.20 SSR) has been amazing to allow us to ignore those concerns.

In the main event, I love this position for Ryan Spann ($15) in what could be a second straight week with a value fighter emerging from the five-rounder. Spann's 3.34% knockdown rate is a massive factor considering Nikita Krylov's poor striking defense (44%). Plus, Krylov has been submitted in four of his past six defeats, and Spann (1.8 submission attempts per 15) has been aggressive in that area. Even with Spann priced as the 'dog, I'd be surprised if he didn't win.

Erick Gonzalez ($11) and Rafael Alves ($11) are the other two value plays I'd consider with Ailin Perez's fight canceled on Friday. Don't use her at $13 or Hailey Cowan at $19.

Alves has faced a brutal strength of schedule in UFC, amassing his 1-2 record against foes with a combined 24 UFC wins. Dropping to newcomer Nurullo Aliev will be a much different test. Given the brutal level of competition he's faced, Alves' plus marks in striking accuracy (50%) and striking defense (58%) make me inclined to buy low on the veteran.

Gonzalez is far more speculative but fits a similar formula. He's faced two foes with a combined 27 UFC wins, but the difference is he's done incredibly poorly in those bouts (card-worst -3.59 SSR). In this fight, I'd still give him his best shot thus far to get a win with the promotion. Debutant Trevor Peek (-1.44 SSR) was losing his fight on the Contender Series before a miraculous come-from-behind knockout, and Peek's 32% striking defense is horrid.