This weekend, DraftKings has some really nice tournaments that center around UFC 202. This is a big night in MMA, and for those that love daily fantasy MMA leagues, DraftKings has the biggest money tournaments for the night. There are four major tournaments lined up for Saturday night, for a combined total of at least $250,000 in guaranteed payouts. The series is called the $250K Fight Card Series, and it’s probably the biggest fantasy MMA event of the weekend. The four tourneys are the $75K Axe Kick Special, the $125K Haymaker Special, the $20K Chokehold Special, and the $30K Knockout Special. These tournaments have various price tags for entering, ranging from $3 to $400, but entering all four of them puts you in contention to win the overall title. You can enter just one if you’d like, or any combination of the four.
Before you start drafting your fantasy roster, make sure that you know what to expect in some of the major fights, and make sure that you are looking at the fights not just from the perspective of a fan, but from the perspective of a fantasy manager. That means not just selecting winners, but selecting the fighters that will give you the highest fantasy point total possible. Here, we will take a look at a few of the fights and help you get started in your decision making process.
The main event of the night is Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz. McGregor is the big favorite here, and for good reason. He has averaged 92.7 fantasy points per fight, giving him a huge advantage over Diaz, who has averaged just 71.1. McGregor’s salary of $10,400 is pretty low considering how big of an advantage he has over Diaz, but the problem with this fight is that both fighters are pretty equal in talent—despite the perceived advantage that McGregor has. Yes, there’s a great chance that McGregor will win, but this is not likely to be the fight where he puts up over 90 fantasy points. In a fight like this, where there’s a clear favorite and obviously inflated fantasy averages, the fight is best to just avoid for fantasy purposes. Will you score points here? Yes, of course you will. However, there’s a good chance that you will score more points if you focus your efforts elsewhere. Because this is the main event for Saturday, most fantasy managers will be drafting a fighter from this match. If you can find someone who is likely to score more points than McGregor, he’s a better pick—even if he’s more expensive. Fantasy MMA is different from a sport like football or basketball because your choices are much more limited. Most people are going to be picking from the top card fights, and if you can find an underused fighter with more point potential, then you can pass the majority of others entered in the contest more easily.
The Randa Markos versus Cortney Casey fight is a much better choice. Both of these fighters have lower average fantasy scores per fight than either McGregor or Diaz, but there’s huge potential from this fight. For one, both fighters are priced at below average prices. Markos has a salary of $9,600 and Casey has a salary of $9,800. You can choose either fighter, and still be getting a discount on them. However, because Casey has the better fantasy history, she is the better choice here. She’s more expensive than her opponent, but still at a below average price. Next, look at the stats. She is far more likely to win the match by KO or TKO, giving her a better chance of a first round victory, and her reach and height are substantially better than Markos’s. She might not be a big name fighter, but Casey has a great chance of turning out 80 or more fantasy points in this fight—and you’ll be getting all of that at a below average price, allowing you to spend more on bigger names. That’s a great way to start out your daily fantasy MMA roster for UFC 202.