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MMA MMA DFS Strategy

UFC 250 DraftKings MMA Strategy and Cheat Sheet

UFC 250 DraftKings MMA Strategy and Cheat Sheet
DREWBY
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With DraftKings offering $1,000,000 to first place as part of their championship series, we are back with some more MMA DFS coverage at DailyRoto. In case you missed what I wrote last fight I will drop you with the cliffnotes:

  • I haven’t played much MMA DFS before but I don’t think MMA knowledge is particularly important for large field GPPs.
  • One of our macro strategies should be reducing the number of duplicate lineups.
  • Using a combination of a projected ownership cap and leaving salary on the table is or best path to creating unique lineups.

Reducing Duplicates in the Millionaire Maker

The DraftKings Millionaire Maker features 118,800 participants vying for the $1M first place prize and trip to the 2020 Super Bowl. Given the unique structure, it will be extremely hard to generate a unique lineup, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make an effort to learn from last week’s fight.

What We Learned

Last fight had 47,000 participants in the largest GPP and the best finishing unique lineup belonged to user ‘TommieNation’ who finished in 151st place. His lineup still had the 75% owned Rodriguez but was also one of the only users to roster both Chookagian (8.5% owned) and Gutierrez (10.4% owned) and also left $1000 of total salary on the table. The lineup contained popular players (210% total ownership) but was still unique in construction.

Meanwhile, other lineups were duplicated more than 250 times each.

LineupCount
F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Casey Kenney584
F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Casey Kenney383
F Gilbert Burns F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo383
F Tyron Woodley F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Klidson Abreu370
F Tyron Woodley F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Tim Elliott369
F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Brandon Royval F Casey Kenney355
F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Tim Elliott352
F Tyron Woodley F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Tim Elliott284
F Tyron Woodley F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo F Tim Elliott F Louis Smolka284
F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Jamahal Hill270
F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Tim Elliott264

These mega-popular lineups averaged a total of 49.99K in salary used and more than 270% total ownership. Lineups that were duped 10x or fewer? Those averaged 191% total ownership and $48600 of salary cap.

A full chart showing this is below.

Dupe BucketOwnershipSalary
Unique181%         48,427
2196%         48,813
3203%         48,953
4201%         49,085
5210%         49,205
6210%         49,155
7215%         49,108
8221%         49,187
9215%         49,254
10-25226%         49,331
25-50239%         49,538
50-100253%         49,488
100+264%         49,769

For me, the new MMA player who has no discernible skill in handicapping a fight or making projections, this is still an edge I can use. Something ranging at 215% ownership and $49,500 of total salary should create some differentiation on different rosters, or you could go even more aggressive.

It is worth noting that the last event also featured a 75% owned Daniel Rodriguez. Lineups with Rodriguez were owned on average 10.7x while without him were owned 2.8x. Of the 35,000 Rodriguez lineups, only 3.7% were unique while 21% of non-Rodriguez lineups were unique.

Combining total projected ownership with salary constraints can help us reduce dupes. On full salary cap lineups, you need to use less ownership, while as you leave more salary on the table you can roster chalkier fighters.

Slate Specific Strategy

The field for the millionaire maker is 2.5x as large as the last event, so getting unique will be a challenge again. Like last week, there will be at least one clear popular player.

Amanda Nunes is -670 to win the main event fight and the fight is -360 to be finished inside the distance. This means her implied odds are roughly 85% to win and the fight is 75% to be decided before a decision. Unlike last week, Nunes is at least priced up a bit at $9400 where she likely does need to win inside the distance to pay off her salary.

Regardless, Nunes could be 65% owned, and deciding how to handle lineups with her will be important. Last week, Rodriguez was cheap enough that he funneled ownership towards high priced favorites. This week, Nunes will funnel ownership towards value plays. Running a popular projection service through an optimizer (with volatility) helps you visualize who these plays could be on a build that gets 65% exposure to Nunez spits out some of these ownerships:

  • O’Malley 43%
  • Hooper 35%
  • Rocco Martin 33%
  • Sterling 32%
  • Meerschaert 32%
  • Kelleher 30%
  • Perez 28%
  • Pitolo 28%
  • Sandhagen 26%
  • Menifield 25%

Of these names, there is at least a bit of “bad chalk” to consider. Rocco Martin is +120 and the fight is -200 to go to decision. He may be 2-3x the ownership of Magny who is -150. If Sterling / Sandhagen were to fight slow, it could wipe half the field. Kelleher is +225 versus Stamann but gets owned at 1.5x the rate to jam in other top fights. Building a handful of lineups leveraging off of these values with Stamann, Cacares, Magny and Byrd would be a big differentiator.

UFC 250 Odds

The chart below shows the current odds for each fight, as well as the odds for whether or not the fight goes the distance. Given the DraftKings scoring setup, the best fighters to target are ones who have a high likelihood to win inside the distance, meaning a TKO, submission, etc, as they generate the most scoring in those scenarios.

Note: There was speculation Ian Heinisch would miss the fight, but as of now it is still on.

Fight #NameDK PriceMoney LineYesNo
1Amanda Nunes9400-670250-360
1Felicia Spencer6800475
2Cody Garbrandt8600-155115-155
2Raphael Assuncao7600125
3Aljamain Sterling8200-117-182135
3Cory Sandhagen8000-106
4Anthony Rocco Martin7500120-200147
4Neil Magny8700-150
5Eddie Wineland6900333151-200
5Sean O’Malley9300-455
6Alex Caceres7700143158-220
6Chase Hooper8500-180
7Gerald Meerschaert7800100-150110
7Ian Heinisch8400-125
8Brian Kelleher7100225-215155
8Cody Stamann9100-286
9Charles Byrd8800-177130-177
9Maki Pitolo7400140
10Alex Perez8300-143-205150
10Jussier Formiga7900115
11Alonzo Menifield9000-240198-278
11Devin Clark7200185
12Evan Dunham7300190129-177
12Herbert Burns8900-240

MMA MMA DFS Strategy

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