UFC on ESPN 1 Daily Fantasy Picks

This weekend marks the first “official” ESPN UFC card, with the main card being aired on the worldwide leader in sports (as opposed to the online streaming platform of ESPN+). And who better to headline the card than the Cain Velasquez, the headliner of the first FOX card?

I use DraftKings for my UFC daily fantasy fix, so if you don’t have an account you can sign up here (and get a 50% bonus on your initial deposit). Also, you can check out the scoring criteria here. Now let’s get down to business.

Value Picks

  • Bryan Barberena ($6,800) is super cheap. His opponent, Vincente Luque, might actually be the better of the two fighters, but Barberena represents a very difficult style matchup. Not only is he insanely durable, but he has the skill set to grind Luque down and not allow him the openings to muster his own offense. Ride with the cheapest fighter on the card.
  • Francis Ngannou ($7,200) has one path to victory, a first round KO. He showed that he sill had it in his last fight against Curtis Blaydes, while Velasquez has not fought in 3 years. Could Velasquez look like the world beater he once was? Possibly, but I’m betting on his age and inactivity slowing him just enough, and giving Ngannou all the openings he needs to land that big shot.

Avoid

  • Kron Gracie ($9,300) certainly has a legendary MMA name, and the BJJ skills to match. However, the main question is does he have the corresponding wrestling skills to make those BJJ ones effective? From what I’ve seen, the answer is no. While Alex Caceres isn’t the most high level of opponents, and subject to his own share of brain farts, he is certainly skilled enough to turn away Gracie’s shot at his first UFC win.
  • I’m a Myles Jury ($8,800) fan, but this weekend is not the time to roster him in DFS. His fight against Andre Fili, should be fun, as their respective wrestling should cancel each other out. On the feet, the striking battle is relatively even. A fun fight that could go either way? Roster the cheaper fighter, not one of the more expensive fighters on the card.
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