I want to start this week by reminding you that there was one person recommending fading Israel Adesanya even in cash games last week. Spoiler, that guy was me. Unfortunately it was not because I thought Sean Strickland was going to win, so it was the right decision but wrong reasoning. Aside from that I missed Justin Tafa and he was the only 9k or more fighter to make optimal. Ulberg and Kape were ok plays in the contests I play, but would be big misses everywhere else despite their wins.
This week we are taking a look at Noche UFC, which is showcasing a plethora of Mexican fighters for Mexican Independence Day in (checks notes) T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The math doesn’t really math there, but it shouldn’t affect the quality of the event obviously. Let’s jump into Noche UFC and see what it has in store for us.
For anyone that hasn’t read this article before, The Chalk Board is a DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports article where I attempt to navigate the $9000+ salary range by offering you insight into who I will be using, considering, or fading from my personal lineups. In turn, this can help navigate the lower salary range as well by design. If you choose to alter your lineups based on my statements in this article, please understand that I am not a professional gambler or DFS player, so that decision is yours. Live with the results YOU get from the decisions YOU make.
$9600 – RAUL ROSAS JR. (-800)
This fight is clearly an opportunity for Raul Rosas Jr. to get his mojo back after gassing out and falling short against Christian Rodriguez that brought many Rosas kool-aid drinkers back to reality, including myself. This time around he is fighting Terrence Mitchell, who has had a rough run in the UFC so far himself, losing his debut to Cameron Saaiman by first round knockout.
Raul Rosas Jr. is purely a wrestler/grappler who lives by taking his opponents down to the ground and backpacking them with an impressive level of control until he can find a submission. Raul is said to have decent striking by many, and I have to admit that I bought into it for a bit as well after tape of him hitting pads surfaced. The reality though is that he has nearly zero striking and is going to be reliant solely on his ability to submit people for now while he develops the stand up portion of his game.
His opponent in this fight, Terrence Mitchell, is one that will likely allow Rosas to get by without any striking as primarily a grappler himself. Mitchell may be able to survive long enough on the ground as well to get Rosas back into deep water as well in my opinion. I would say that Mitchell’s survival is a long shot, but it is definitely in the pool of potential outcomes.
To play or not to play Raul Rosas Jr. this week will make or break many DFS entries. Everything in my soul wants to believe that Mitchell is capable enough on the ground to avoid being submitted long enough to make Rosas work and get tired. The unfortunate reality is Rosas has such a high ceiling and will command so much ownership that you will essentially be forced to play him in cash contests. When it comes to tournaments I will probably be rolling the dice on leaving Raul Rosas Jr. out of my lineups, but there is a monster sized level of risk involved with that decision, don’t make it lightly.
$9500 – JOSEFINE KNUTSSON (-750)
The next fighter down the slate is Josefine Knutsson, who is making her official UFC debut against another fighter making her official debut in Marnic Mann. This fight has a line that is exceptionally wide in my opinion. I could just be not familiar with the body of work that Josefine Knutsson has produced, but it is my sincere belief that there are very few female MMA fighters worthy of a -750 betting line due to the increased probability of the fight seeing the scorecards and bettors relying on a decision.
Josefine Knutsson is a kickboxer who generally fights with heavy forward pressure. She doesn’t have much to offer in the wrestling or grappling department, but does have the ability to get slick trips to get her opponents to the mat, and is capable of keeping them there if she finds the position. Her output in her Road To UFC fight, and DWCS fight were abysmal however, and for the life of me I cannot understand why she is sitting at -750. Her opponent, Marnic Mann, is another underwhelming fighter however, who actually lost her DWCS fight to Bruna Brasil. Mann is a well-rounded fighter, but isn’t really exceptional anywhere. She does have solid wrestling and grappling however, so if this fight finds the mat there could be some fireworks. If the fight stays standing I cannot see a world where this fight produces the type of number it needs at $9500 to be worth the effort on the Knutsson side.
I would sooner raise my hand for the hunger games draft than play Knutsson at $9500 for the contests I play. I can see some merit on the other side to save salary, especially if I wanted to avoid the contrarian play on Mitchell that I suggested earlier with something a bit more reasonable. Aside from that however, I will most likely stay far away here.
$9400 – LUPITA GODINEZ (-500)
Lupita Godinez is the gift that keeps on giving for most of us. All of the dominant talent in the world, but she just refuses to use it in most of her fights. We have all said “never again” more times than we can count when it comes to Loopy, and here we are again. This time around she is fighting Elise Reed.
This fight was hodge podged together after several fights on this slate fell through, but Loopy has come out of the dust with an opponent that could assist her in looking like the greatest female fighter alive, or absolutely beat her face in, and it all depends on how Loopy chooses to fight this time out. Godinez is a very impressive wrestler, but she seems to have fallen in love with her boxing, and to be perfectly honest it has been a detriment to her career. Loopy is a solid boxer for sure, no mistaking that, but she seems to lack true power and when fighting an opponent like Elise Reed, standing and boxing could be the quickest path to losing a decision for Loopy here. On the contrary, Elise Reed is terrible on the ground and would be made short work of in my opinion if Loopy fights smart.
Any cash plays for Loopy would be strictly ownership dependent. If she is projected at an ownership anywhere around 30% then I would take her in cash games. I doubt she sees that much ownership however, which would make her a tournament-only piece on this slate as far as I am concerned. I will likely be taking that chance on her in tournaments, because I just can’t let go of what the score she would produce would be if she wrestles.
$9300 – CHARLIE CAMPBELL (-500)
This might be the free square of the slate. Here we have Charlie Campbell, who lost his DWCS appearance to Chris Duncan, fighting on short notice against Alex Reyes. If you read the name Alex Reyes and don’t remember him, that is because we haven’t seen him in the UFC since 2017 when he lost to Mike Perry.
Alex Reyes was being fed to Natan Levy originally in this spot, and then Levy found out he had some type of blood issue that prevented him from fighting. Short notice replacement activated…Charlie Campbell. Campbell is a pressure striker with pretty solid takedown defense. He throws in combinations and is a much better fighter than his DWCS loss would have you believe. On the other side of the octagon is Alex Reyes, the younger brother of Dominic Reyes, who is primarily a grappler making his return to the UFC after a long time away due to health issues.
I find it very difficult to believe that Alex Reyes is going to come in after what is about a five year layoff and perform well, even with Campbell taking this on short notice. That being said, playing Campbell in cash games would be very ownership dependent for me as people may be a bit leery of this fight all together, and I wouldn’t want to be on an island in cash with Charlie Campbell. For small-field single-entry tournaments though, this could potentially be a great spot to find a big score.
$9100 – ROMAN KOPYLOV (-405)
As for the last fighter in the 9k range, we have Roman Kopylov. Kopylov is riding a three fight finish streak and is looking amazing as of late in the cage. His opponent here is Josh Fremd, who is probably best described as middle of the road. Fremd has had some highs in the UFC, but they have mostly come against poor competition, which Kopylov is not.
Kopylov is a striker with very solid takedown defense and good power. This fight should remain standing for as long as it lasts, and that plays heavily into the favor of Kopylov. While Fremd is well-rounded, his striking is not exactly on the same level as Kopylov and it should become apparent very quickly.
Kopylov should be a solid play on this slate for any contest type. Ownership will obviously tell the final story, but at this time I am expecting to use Kopylov in everything as I have way more confidence in him to get the win than I do anyone else in this range. The only reservation I have is that I do believe there is a chance this is a decision win for him, which obviously isn’t likely to score that great for tournaments.
To be perfectly honest with you, I am starting to feel the burn from not having a week off of this for a very long time. So my final thought is that I am going to do my best to enjoy a somewhat lackluster event, and continue to look forward to the upcoming break where I can breathe for a bit and decompress from being in constant analysis mode.
Hopefully, this Chalk Board article has helped you at least reduce the number of options in the upper salary range, and in turn isolate a few dogs you feel good about. I would like to take this time to again remind you to make YOUR OWN decisions. Don’t buy into anything I say unless it makes sense to you as well.
Good luck this week! If you need any help with your DraftKings entries you can join the free Discord server which has loads of very capable DFS players and I am sure you will find an opinion that will give you the confirmation bias that most people seek. If you need additional help then reach out to @WeWantPicks on Twitter, or you can shoot me questions as well if you like @WebGuyWWP. Thanks for reading, see you guys next week.