UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC 286

Fireworks have been a certainty when Justin Gaethje enters the UFC octagon, which he'll do Saturday against Rafael Fiziev. Who else is worth a FanDuel roster spot?

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 286: Edwards vs. Usman 3, taking place at The O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday.

MVP Considerations

This card is not short on heavy favorites, but navigating the FanDuel scoring concerns at the top is the real challenge.

I don't have too many scoring concerns with Jack Shore ($21). "Tank" makes his featherweight debut in the U.K. on Saturday, but it's a pretty soft landing so long as his solid takedown defense (80%) continues to hold. Shore has landed 58% of his significant strikes in UFC so far, and he might be the latest to abuse Makwan Amirkhani's -1.63 striking success rate (SSR).

It doesn't hurt the case for Jake Hadley ($20) that his opponent, Malcolm Gordon, was compromised enough to miss weight on Friday. Gordon also may have just come in heavier in a must-win fight because he needs to wrestle Hadley to have any shot. Hadley landed 90 significant strikes in just under eight minutes the last time out, and Gordon's striking defense (41%) is frighteningly poor.

My bronze medal likely won't be a popular pick at the multiplier, but Joanne Wood ($17) makes a ton of sense to me. With her opponent, Luana Carolina, never landing a UFC takedown, Wood's usual issue is gone. She's been submitted in five of eight UFC losses.

As a striker, JoJo pushes excellent pace (6.76 significant strikes landed per minute) with superb accuracy (50%). If Carolina doesn't shoot takedowns (and she never has), you can just about pencil Wood in for 100 significant strikes short of an unlikely finish in this fight.

Other High-Salaried Fighters

Kamaru Usman ($22) isn't an MVP candidate, but it's not for the reason you might think.

Yes, Usman was knocked out cold with mere seconds remaining in his fight last August with Leon Edwards, but I'm not actually too concerned about Usman losing the rematch. His +28 striking differential and +4 takedown differential were visible to all, and he controlled Edwards for over 10 minutes. However, if Usman survived the remaining seconds, he was only looking at 99.8 FanDuel points for a decision win. This isn't the best environment for DFS despite the extra rounds.

The next-best MVP candidate is actually Juliana Miller ($21). The native of San Diego is a bully as a wrestler, landing 4.30 takedowns per 15 minutes with 100% efficiency in her debut. Veronica Hardy (46% takedown defense) is a poor candidate to stop that. Without a ton of striking volume, though, her fantasy result could disappointing sans an early finish.

The same could be said for Gunnar Nelson ($20), but the Icelandic fighter has a similar matchup. He's great at getting takedowns (60% accuracy) and his opponent, Bryan Barberena, is terrible at defending them (54% takedown defense). Barberena was also just submitted for the first time in his UFC career. "Gunni" is -140 to make it two straight losses via finish for "Bam Bam."

Dusko Todorovic has badly struggled to defend significant strikes (47%) and takedowns (45%) in his tenure with UFC, and Todorovic's three wins have come over foes with a combined 3-14 record. Newcomer Christian Leroy Duncan ($18) is a large favorite to maintain his 100% pro finishing rate for a reason.

Finally, Ludovit Klein ($16) should -- at worst -- be able to fall back on his wrestling to defeat England's Jai Herbert (55% takedown defense). Klein also showed improved striking efficiency against Mason Jones last time out. So long as he dodges Herbert's top-shelf power (2.72% knockdown rate), he should dispatch him quite easily.

Value Fighters

Through two appearances on Dana White's Contender Series, Chris Duncan has proven to be a madman gunning for a knockout from the opening bell.

He shares the same salary as Omar Morales ($15) in their pick 'em fight, but I trust the veteran Morales to win what's likely to be a quick slugfest. Morales' 61% striking defense is a full 20 percentage points better than Duncan's (41%), so I'll take the experience edge with a guy who appears to protect himself much more responsibly.

Gabriel Santos ($14) is curiously short as a last-minute underdog to Lerone Murphy, who is 3-1 through four trips to the octagon. If he can wrestle at all, he should walk through Murphy's 36% takedown defense, which somehow hasn't bitten him too badly to this point. Murphy's volume (2.58 significant strikes per minute) is very low, so the undefeated Santos, in my opinion, is not in practical danger of being finished.

I have no idea how Justin Gaethje ($12) is the underdog in his fight with Rafael Fiziev ($18), but I'll take it. Beyond facing tougher competition so far, Gaethje lands more significant strikes per minute (7.46) on higher accuracy (60%) than Fiziev. Plus, his 55% striking defense is better. With two career takedowns combined here, I'll take the better striker in a sublime striking environment for DFS.

In my betting guide, I hypothesized Roman Dolidze ($12) might have the grappling skill to secure an early finish on Marvin Vettori. He averages 2.1 submission attempts per 15 minutes and stands as the only historical Vettori opponent that's north of 1.0. It's possible the Italian can't grapple in a fight profiling poor for fantasy anyway. It's -168 to go the full distance as a match without much striking.

Jennifer Maia ($14) and Jafel Filho ($8) are two other low-salaried darts you can plug in, but the fantasy outlook on both looks fairly bleak. Maia hasn't allowed north of 82 FanDuel points to an opponent yet in 10 career fights, so she's a formulaic underdog anytime she's at plus money.

Filho is just a fade on Mohamad Mokaev, whose tremendously low striking volume (1.00 landed per 15 minutes) is hard to justify at a $23 salary when Filho has been finished just once in 16 pro fights.