DraftKings Chalk Board: UFC 295
Mackenzie Dern

The UFC Sao Paulo event was a weird one. I went in heavy on Bonfim and Fakhretdinov, which proved to be a big mistake, but thankfully it was a mistake that many made. My cash entries managed to finish in the green with only two wins, which was the most surprising thing ever. All things considered, I made money on UFC Sao Paulo, but it feels kind of dirty because I certainly should not have. 

This time around we are heading into UFC 295, which isn’t quite what I was looking forward to now that Jon Jones isn’t being featured. Instead we have the previous co-main event between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira moving into the main event spot. The co-main event became a fight for the interim heavyweight title between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall. There are a couple other exciting fights to round out the event, and thankfully the 9k range seems pretty straight forward for UFC 295. 

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.



Mateusz Rebecki was originally supposed to fight Nurullo Aliev, but instead will now be fighting veteran Roosevelt Roberts on short notice. Just looking at the line here it should be clear that this is the top tier cash play on the slate. Rebecki works for takedowns when he sees fit, and is very sound from a defensive striking perspective. Roberts is none of that, and only comes in with a 58% takedown defense.

For me this is the no-brainer play of the week. I will likely be using Rebecki in both cash and tournament plays this week unless his ownership comes in surprisingly low. You might see some benefit moving off of him to find leverage in larger tournaments, but I think the underdogs on this slate might be strong enough so you don’t have to.



JAMALL EMMERS – $9400 (-260)

Jamall Emmers is set to fight Dennis Buzukja and while I am beyond excited to see Emmers, who I believe to be criminally underrated, this isn’t really an appealing spot to play him in my opinion on DraftKings. I do believe that Emmers wins the fight, but I expect it to be a decision and that makes Emmers possibly the worst play in the salary range.

While I find it difficult for me to get to playing Emmers here, I am kicking around the idea of punting with Buzukja at only $6800, because I do strongly believe that this fight goes the distance. Dog or pass for me, but if you are a believer in one direction or the other please don’t let me influence you.


JOSHUA VAN – $9200 (-220)

Everyone that I have spoken to so far this week about UFC has mentioned being excited to see Joshua Van in action again. At UFC 295 he will be fighting Kevin Borjas who is coming off a decision win in the Contender Series. During that fight Borjas was taken down five times, but managed to double his opponent’s strikes and win a unanimous decision. Van is a striker himself who is coming off a war with Zhalgas, and this has to be a step down in competition in my opinion.

That being said, this fight is not for me I don’t think. I don’t think Van will exploit the poor takedown defense and instead this will be an active striking affair, and I just don’t have a good read on whether it will end inside the distance or not. I might consider taking a shot on Van here in tournaments on a whim, but beyond that I will be staying away for the sole fact that I have no idea how this fight plays out.


BENOIT SAINT-DENIS – $9100 (-225)

Benoit Saint-Denis is coming off monster wins against Ismael Bonfim and Thiago Moises. He is proven that is a force in this division, and that he is a very tough guy right from his very first fight. Against Bonfim he used his wrestling and grappling to establish dominance, and then managed to knockout Thiago Moises after dominating in the wrestling/grappling department there as well. This time he is fighting Matt Frevola, who is a wrestler in his own right, and has impressive power in his hands. The one knock on Frevola may be how long his cardio will keep him in a fight.

This fight is likely to be a tournament play only. I will be reserving any decisions on cash contests until I see ownership, but I am leaning towards ignoring it for cash, and using one of them in tournaments. If you had to twist my arm, I think it probably would be much safer to be on Benoit Saint-Denis side, but Matt Frevola is the side I will be rooting for and he would certainly put up a good score in a win at his salary.


MACKENZIE DERN – $9000 (-204)

I have seen numerous people say that they can’t get to Dern at $9000. If any of your favorite analysts for DFS have said that you should instantly be aware that they don’t know what they are talking about. In this fight she is fighting Jessica Andrade, who has shown that she is absolutely terrible at staying on her feet and even more terrible at getting back to them once she is on her back. Add in the fact that Mackenzie Dern is actually $100 less than she was in her last two fights where she put up 153.4 in a win, and an amazing 93.8 in a loss. That is what is called positive regression in the fantasy sports world. That makes her an amazing tournament selection right from the jump, with no other context.

I will be using Dern in cash myself assuming she comes in around 30% ownership. If her ownership is low then I may reconsider, but with the way she looked in her last fight I can’t just not play her myself. I would use her for everything as long as she is decently owned to the point that I wasn’t on an island in the contests that I play.



UFC 295 should be a good watch, I know I am personally excited for it. After Sao Paulo really anything should be an improvement. Not that the name value in Sao Paulo was bad, because it wasn’t, but the fights were some of the most lackluster of the year in my opinion.

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.

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