UFC 250 DraftKings MMA Strategy and Cheat Sheet
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.
|F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Casey Kenney||584|
|F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Casey Kenney||383|
|F Gilbert Burns F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo||383|
|F Tyron Woodley F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Klidson Abreu||370|
|F Tyron Woodley F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Tim Elliott||369|
|F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Brandon Royval F Casey Kenney||355|
|F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo F Jamahal Hill F Tim Elliott||352|
|F Tyron Woodley F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Tim Elliott||284|
|F Tyron Woodley F Daniel Rodriguez F Mackenzie Dern F Billy Quarantillo F Tim Elliott F Louis Smolka||284|
|F Augusto Sakai F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Jamahal Hill||270|
|F Gilbert Burns F Daniel Rodriguez F Roosevelt Roberts F Mackenzie Dern F Spike Carlyle F Tim Elliott||264|
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.
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 #||Name||DK Price||Money Line||Yes||No|
|4||Anthony Rocco Martin||7500||120||-200||147|