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Welcome to the JaguarDFS MMA Breakdown for today's UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till. Every week, Louis will be going over his top UFC DFS selections. The analysis and research done for this article is specifically geared towards daily fantasy success, not conventional gambling. For example, a fighter could be heavily favored but may not be in a position to reach daily fantasy point value. This Saturday (9/4) we have a nine-fight card. DraftKings has a $100,000 first-place prize for their $500,000 “MMA Throwdown” while FanDuel has $10,000 going to first place in their “UFC Octagon” GPP tournament. There’s no time to waste, let’s get started.
Dalcha Lungiambula DK: $7,800 FD: $11 (+130) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault DK: $8,400 FD: $96 (-165)
After a rough UFC start (0-3), Barriault will have one more shot to get his hand raised against Lungamula. Both fighters are very strong and will come out swinging. The X-factor questions for me here are. Who’s tougher? And who’s more durable. Oddsmakers have this fight at -210 for over 1.5 rounds. Determining which fighter fights better in the later rounds is the key to the bout. Give me Barriault simply because he is the more durable fighter with much more to fight for.
Julian Erosa DK: $7,300 FD: $10 (+150) vs. Charles Jourdain DK: $8,900 FD: $20 (-190)
Erosa has a horrible chin. He wants this fight on the mat and he will be looking for a submission. The problem is, I don’t think Erosa can get this fight to the mat without getting knocked out. If he can take down Jourdain, expect him to break the slate. With that said, it’s unlikely. Vegas has this fight at -195 to last under 2.5 rounds. The most likely fight outcome is Jourdain by TKO/KO (-110). Erosa’s odds to get this done on the mat through submission are +600. Give me Jourdain.
Jack Shore DK: $9,100 FD: $23 (-600) vs. Liudvik Sholinian DK: 7,100 FD: $8 (+410)
Jack Shore is a beast. He is the overall better fighter and has a superior ground game. You can’t knock out Shore and his sub/ground game is significantly better. Nothing here has me on Sholinian. Lock in Shore and move on.
Molly McCann DK: $8,000 FD: $15 (-112) vs. Ji Yeon Kim DK: $8,200 FD: $16 (-112)
DraftKings oddsmakers have this fight at -435 to last more than 2.5 rounds. Kim has a 10-inch reach advantage and better power but isn’t going to knock out Molly McCann. McCann has a massive advantage in the ground game and submitting Kim is a real possibility. My problem here is that both fighters are at risk of not scoring well daily fantasy-wise. McCann is averaging 56.1 DK FPPF and Kim is averaging 53.9 DK FPPF. There are better fights for scoring on this card. Give me McCann but ultimately a DFS fade in my opinion.
Paddy Pimblett DK: $8,300 FD: $18 (-167) vs. Luigi Vendramini DK: $7,900 FD: $12 (+135)
UFC debut here for Pimblett. Lot’s of hype around this kid. Pimblett wants this fight on the mat but the thing is Luigi is no slouch on the floor. Luigi is the more powerful fighter and I am expecting the 1st round KO. Yes, I said it. ODdsmakers have a 1st round KO/TKO for Luigi at +800. This might be my favorite long-shot prop of the day. Pimblett could be hesitant in his UFC debut and that could have repercussions, ie KO.
Modestas Bukauskas DK: $8,500 FD: $17 (-165) vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. DK: $7,700 FD: $13 (+130)
Modestas Bukauskas will take down Rountree. He could get knocked out as well. This is a fight that you will need a piece of one way or the other. Rountree will be headhunting but is capable of gasing out. If Rountree wins it will be by 1st Round KO. Unfortunately, he has not looked good recently losing back-to-back fights to Marcin Prachino and Ion Cutelaba. Oddsmakers have a 1st Round KO by Rountree at +500. Interesting, I’ll just say that. For DFS Purposes give me Bukauskas but don’t fade Rountree! A first-round KO puts him in the optimal lineup.
Alex Morono DK: $8,700 FD: $17 (-122) vs. David Zawada DK: $7,500 FD: $14 (-104)
Going with the underdog here but mainly by default. This is a low-volume fight, at risk of not scoring. I can't get myself to pay $8,700 for Morono considering he's averaging 5.05 significant strikes landed per minute at an accuracy rate of 46.96%. Morono averages just .43 takedowns per fight. Not enough going on here. Draftkings Sportbook has this fight at -150 to go the distance. DFS wise, stay away.
Tom Aspinall DK: $9,000 FD: $22 (-250) vs. Serghei Spivac DK: $7,200 FD: $9 (+195)
This fight is -300 to not go to a decision. Rarely in daily fantasy does a $9,000, heavily favored fighter have a chance at being lower owned than his opponent. But this is what we have here tonight. Many people will be looking towards Spivac for value and I have no problem with that because the man is a beast. But if you’re telling me that I can grab Tom Aspinall at lower projected ownership than he deserves, I’m all over it. Aspinall comes in with more volume averaging 7.43 significant strikes landed per minute. He averages 1.77 submissions and in my opinion, is the overall better fighter. People will see Spivac’s recent success along with his enticing salary but the truth is Tom Aspinall has the path and should pay off in a win. Also, with Shore in a similar price range, I am expecting Aspinall to be way undervalued and under rostered today. Lock him in!
Derek Brunson DK: $7,400 FD: $15 (+145) vs. Darren Till DK: $8,800 FD: $21 (-185)
The way lineup construction is playing out is interesting. If you want to roster elite $9,000 salary fighters like Shore and Aspinall you’re going to have to pay down somewhere (or you can choose to roster multiple mid-range fighters including Molly McCann). But for GPP tournament sake let’s assume you're going for the optimal lineup. Considering most DFS players will be paying down at Spivac, why not get different and invest in the $7,400 Main Event underdog in Derek Brunson. Brunson has won each of his last four fights, most recently defeating Kevin Holland in a five-rounder that went the distance. Give me Brunson to continue his hot streak at very reasonable salaries on Fanduel, DraftKings, and YahooFantasy.
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