When our Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) experts have important information or updates on individual players, injuries, match-ups, positions, or other specific aspects of a sport, they share it in a Spotlight. These articles provide in-depth analysis on how to reveal hidden value in the world of daily fantasy sports. This is where you will find key advantages that can launch your lineups to the top of your contests.
The matchup between Matthew Lopez (DK: $9,400) and Rani Yahya (DK: $10,000) presents great value on Wednesday night’s card. Lopez is nobody to omit with all of his first round wins, even though they aren’t against great performers. Just as Alvey, he holds both a two-inch reach advantage and southpaw fighting style. Thus being said, Lopez is still a risky play. Yahya has mediocre striking statistics, but really flies with his 2.99 average takedowns per 15 minutes. For this reason, we believe Lopez has been focusing on his takedown defense, while staying on his feet will be a priority. This will put him in a much better position to win. Even if the fight goes to the floor, half of Lopez’s wins have come by early submissions. He is our favorite value play and worth the risk that could put you in position to take down some GPPs. We encourage you to join us in rooting for the new guy.
This weekend’s card holds a big upset opportunity that can differentiate your lineup and make you a winner. Sam “Smile’n” Alvey goes up against the favorite Elias Theodorou “The Spartan”. Theodorou is favored by a vegas money line of -300 of which we thoroughly disagree with. Alvey holds the ability to turn the table and tack up another big point win for himself. Theodorou has been matched up against amateur fighters who haven’t impressed much to get the record he has today. Alvey is fighting in a southpaw stance where Theodorou is fighting as an orthodox. As we know, fighting in southpaw gives the fighter more angles to exploit making the opposite fighter vulnerable. We think Alvey’s ability to land big strikes to the head will take “The Spartan” down early to bring you big low owned points. Upset picks are far from a sure thing, but you’ll need a few in your lineup and we see Alvey as the most likely underdog to succeed on this slate.
This weekend’s main event holds opportunity to differentiate yourself from the crowd. Luke Rockhold (DK: $11,400) is by far the most favored fighter on the card, but in our, eyes we see it differently. Vegas is putting Michael Bisping (DK: $8,000) at a huge disadvantage, which should scare people away from believing in him. Bisping has comparable statistics and has shown that he can bring home some big wins. Fifty-four percent of his wins are knockouts. The only two losses Rockhold has are first round knockouts. If Bisping gets in close enough to land strikes, he can make it happen. The recent news of Rockhold’s Grade II MCL sprain only helps us more, even though our decision was made before this. Even though he is considered “okay” to fight, it will play a huge factor. We believe Bisping will exploit this opportunity by throwing kicks. Rockhold will be protective of it, which will reduce his aggressiveness. This could allow Bisping to back him down. Bisping in no way is a safe gamble, but he has a massive upside that can make your lineup a GPP killer.
Stipe Miocic (DK: $9,100): When looking for upside in a fighter, one of the first places to look should be the title fight. By having five rounds to rack up strikes, as well as gain submissions/knockout bonuses, a title fighter has more opportunities to score points. Because of his low $9,100 price tag, Miocic offers salary relief coupled with high upside. Miocic is nine pounds heavier and has a 3” longer reach than Fabricio Werdum. He also averages 1.5 more strikes per minute in addition to more takedowns per fight. The most important stat in his favor, however, is his takedown defense percentage (70%). Werdum is going to look to bring this fight to the ground and get a submission (which 50% of his fights end in). If Miocic can continue to keep his distance and guard against takedowns, then he has the potential to end the fight early. Miocic is a hard-hitting fighter who has knocked out 71% of his opponents. Look for Miocic to try to keep the fight upright and record a large number of significant strikes. The potential for five rounds of strikes, as well as his knockout strength, makes Miocic a good choice for high-risk/high-reward lineups and GPPs.
We believe the fight between Antonio Silva (DK: $9,500) and Stefan Struve (DK: $9,900) could go either way but it is likely to end rather quickly. We will definitely be having two lineups split with one of these fighters. Both of these guys have an average fight time of just around 7:30 minutes. These guys have massive reach advantages over most of their opponents with Silva having 80 inches and Struve with 84.5 inches. Silva lands and absorbs about 3 strikes per minute while Struve strikes and absorbs about 3.5 strikes per minute. Both of these fighters average less than 1 takedown per 15 minutes but when Struve takes down he submits quite a lot with 16 of his 26 wins coming by submission. If silva can keep this fight off the ground he could prove a lot but if he gets taken down it could be deadly for him. We highly suggest having one of these fighters in your lineups or making two lineups with each of them on your team as the winner will likely score a large amount of points.