Last week didn’t turn out to be the return to success I was hoping for. Obviously the Grant Dawson miss hurt, but in most of my cash contests he was over 70% owned, so it wasn’t the death blow. The really hurtful outcome was also having Lins in my cash lineup who was scratched before the event even started…but the UFC didn’t even let us know until after the slate locked. That shit should honestly be illegal. Beyond the two zeros in my cash lineup last week, I had also gone with Murata who didn’t score very well. Really the only bright spot was recognizing that people were on Mendonca for nothing but hopes and dreams. This week I will need to be better.
This week we are once again in the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Vegas 81. Our main event features up and comer “Super” Sodiq Yusuff and veteran Edson Barbosa. From there the card falls off a cliff to a degree, which is somewhat brutal since that main event is really a prelim feature fight at best. Regardless, we press on. Whether or not the card is great, there is still a 9k range on DraftKings that needs navigating.
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.
$9500 – TERRANCE MCKINNEY (-525)
I sincerely hope that you audibly gasped when you just read that Terrance McKinney is a -525 favorite, but nevertheless here he is. McKinney is an exciting fighter that I always enjoy watching, but the unfortunate truth is that he is very much boom or bust. This time around he is fighting Brandon Marotte making his UFC debut on short notice. Marotte is replacing Chris Duncan who would have likely closed a decent sized favorite against McKinney.
Terrance McKinney is an exciting fighter, and that is why the fans love him. McKinney will come in and push a pace looking to land a big power shot in between his solid wrestling and grappling skills. The glaring weakness with McKinney is the same story that it always has been, which is lack of cardio. McKinney has about a solid two minutes in the cage before things spiral out of his favor quickly. Those first couple minutes present a very dangerous McKinney to his opponent though.
That opponent, Brandon Marotte, is a fairly well rounded fighter – but does tend to lean heavily on his striking and only use wrestling/grappling as more of a desperation tactic when the striking doesn’t go his way. He is a tough guy, and that might end up being his most useful path here. If he can manage to outlast the barrage that will be thrown his way at the start by McKinney, then McKinney could possibly beat himself with his lack of cardio. Those first two minutes will surely be a trial by fire however.
Both of these fighters are very useful in my opinion in one way or another when it comes to daily fantasy. Both of their uses however are more tournament related in my opinion than anything I would consider for cash games. Surely the betting line is there for McKinney, and I would bet that the ownership will be also…but the safe floor is non-existent as far as I am concerned. So that is a risk I would only feel good about taking in tournament entries.
$9400 – TAINARA LISBOA (-320)
Tainara Lisboa is back after her impressive UFC debut against Jessica Rose-Clark where she was able to secure a third round submission. Her opponent this time around will be a girl making her own UFC debut in Ravena Oliveira. Oliveira is a short notice replacement for another UFC debutant that withdrew from the fight.
Tainara Lisboa is a Muay Thai style striker, appropriately nicknamed the Thai Panther, who likes to use speed and power to close distance into clinch exchanges. Once in the clinch she likes to use elbows and knees to wear on her opponent. She doesn’t really wrestle or look for her own takedowns often, but once on the ground she does have pretty solid jiu-jitsu. As far as any negatives go, Lisboa doesn’t have the best head movement, often leaving her head on the centerline to be hit. Lisboa also doesn’t have the best volume, which is a problem at this price tag unless she is able to secure an early knockout. Ravena Oliveira is pretty well rounded, has great cardio, and in the world of WMMA seems like she should be about on par with Lisboa in most areas.
Aside from the red flags that I mentioned above, there is also the betting line for Lisboa which is a clear stay away at this tag. Everyone else priced lower than Lisboa in the 9K range has a more favorable betting line. Lisboa is only useful as a leverage play for people playing larger tournaments in my opinion. Beyond that the only side I could play here is Oliveira as a punt and then I would just hope she finds the scorecards.
$9300 – EMILY DUCOTE (-350)
While we are on the topic of fighters that I will not be playing this week. Next up is Emily Ducote. Emily is coming off of her second loss in a row to Loopy Godinez following her loss to Angela Hill previously. The silver lining for Ducote here is that her opponent, Ashley Yoder, is a step down in competition and could be her path back to the win column if she can manage to get her shit together.
Emily Ducote is a very solid boxer with impeccable takedown defense. She has been said to have power in her hands as well, but I don’t personally buy into that too much. Her ability to stay standing will be the key skill that she needs in this fight as Ashley Yoder shouldn’t be able to stand and strike with Ducote. If Yoder can find the takedowns, which will be tough against Ducote’s 90% takedown defense, she can possibly get the win here. The only other path would be to outstrike Ducote, which isn’t exactly Yoder’s strength.
Like I said in paragraph one. This entire fight is on my fade list. I could see some merit for the leverage in large multiple entry tournaments for Ducote just to protect against a fluke finish, but aside from that this fight is all but destined to score terribly on both sides. I will be ignoring it for the contests I play completely.
$9200 – EDGAR CHAIREZ (-340)
This fight is rebooked from the fiasco that took place just two events ago. You probably remember, Daniel Lacerda went to sleep in the cage but because he wasn’t conscious enough to tap they reversed the call of the referee on the spot and ruled the fight a no-contest. The only people clamoring for the ref “needing to do his job better” were Lacerda bettors because anyone with half a brain cell understands that he went night night in the cage and the ref stopped the fight with near perfect timing. The new betting line reflects that exact stance as Chairez is now more favored than he was a couple weeks ago.
Edgar Chairez is a cardio machine who is very well rounded in nearly every aspect of MMA, except for maybe wrestling, but even then the takedowns are still pretty good. Chairez was getting his leg chewed up a bit in the first meeting between these two, but shortly after found the submission that was never meant to be. His opponent, Daniel Lacerda, is very dangerous for about three minutes of the first round and then he is spent. That may have changed for him however, as he did seem to be a bit more patient in the last fight between these two prior to being choked unconscious in the standing position.
As you can probably tell, I am on the Chairez side of this one myself. That being said, both of these guys have merit for tournament lineups. Chairez is favored and will at worst likely secure a second round finish should he win. Lacerda is dangerous early and should he win it would almost surely be a first round finish. Can’t go wrong either way there. I will be ignoring both for cash, but will be playing Chairez for tournaments.
$9000 – CHRIS GUTIERREZ (-450)
This line has absolutely exploded, and to be honest I am not really sure why. Regardless of the reason though, this is your value spot. You are getting a significant discount on similar implied probability of a win that you would be getting at the $9500 price point – but with a much safer floor in my opinion. Chris Gutierrez was supposed to fight last week but Montel Jackson withdrew shortly before the event leaving the UFC no option but to kick the can (no pun intended) down the road. Now Gutierrez will fight Alatengheili who had his original opponent pull out a couple months back.
Chris Gutierrez is a solid striker with amazing cardio and solid forward pressure. He defends takedowns moderately well also, which could help him greatly here. He did get dropped in his last fight against Pedro Munhoz, but was able to avoid the finish and ultimately lost a decision instead. Alatengheili is more of a grinder who will look to wrestle and control his opponent against the cage. His volume is a bit concerning however, and if he ends up fighting on his back foot he could be a world of trouble in this matchup.
I started the week on the Alatengheili side of this fight, but with the recent line movement providing such a value on Gutierrez I think I nearly have to lock him in for cash games assuming his ownership comes in near 30% projected ownership. I could see value in either direction for tournaments however, so that will be a fight day decision.
This card is once again a hold over for the big action coming our way on the pay-per-view events that are closing out the year. That being said, I am still interested in watching it, but if it plays out like last weeks slate, then I may have to find something else to do with my saturday. The first few fights last week nearly put me to sleep and I don’t really want to experience that again. I also need the bounce back from last week, which was the first week in a while where I didn’t win my cash entries.
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.