DraftKings Chalkboard: UFC 299
Mateusz Gamrot

I would like to start this article this week with an apology for it being late, I am currently working on a refresh of the design here at We Want Picks and time got away from me yesterday. When it comes to this past week at UFC Vegas 87, my night can be summed up by one statement. I moved off the wrong Russian. The decision to use Mokaev heavily in everything didn’t work out well as he delivered a terribly slow performance. When it came to cash he was around 70% owned in my cash games, so it didn’t hurt much there, but for tournaments the Umar and Klein stack was needed.

This week we are going to Miami for UFC 299 and being treated to the best card of the year to this point, a card that some consider better than UFC 300 which is coming next month. The main event has superstar (maybe not so much according to some) Sean O’Malley looking to avenge his only professional loss against Marlon Vera. The rest of the card is basically loaded from top to bottom once you get past the curtain jerker. Let’s dive in.

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.

The article is written for cash games and single entry tournaments, however you may see a large field or MME reference from time to time. It is split into three very distinctive sections. The first is the “Lock Them In” section which features the fighters in the salary range that I think will make a perfect addition to cash and small-field single entry lineups. The second section of the article is “Roll The Dice” which provides information on fighters that could be great for your lineup but come with added risk that make them more comfortable for GPP lineups than cash lineups. The third and final section of the article is “Stay Away” and that is exactly what it sounds like, these fighters should be avoided at all cost for single entry tournaments and cash games. You may still want to use them for larger tournaments however, and potentially for mass multiple entry contests as well where complete fades are less frequent.



ASSU ALMABAEV – $9500 (-575)

This slate is pretty straight forward this week when it comes to the top salaries, or at least I think it is. Both of the highest priced fighters on the slate have the widest betting lines in their favor, and both have quite a bit of grappling upside. When it comes to the ceiling score however, Almabaev has a slightly better inside the distance line than Gamrot so that makes him a slightly better tournament play in my opinion. The two fighters are basically interchangeable though, and picking which one is better than the other for DraftKings is basically a coin flip.

MATEUSZ GAMROT – $9400 (-455)

Gamrot is one of those fighters that can be relied upon to force the wrestling and grappling. For DraftKings that makes me all warm and tingly inside. Gamrot is fighting veteran Rafael dos Anjos, who has miserable takedown defense – despite being a tremendous offensive wrestler. Gamrot on the other hand does not have that issue, with incredible takedown defense and likely the striking advantage as well which is a rarity for his matchups. I will be making Gamrot a primary building block in my lineups this week when it comes to cash contests, and likely even pairing him with Almabaev due to the questionable nature of the rest of the 9K range and general weakness of the 8k range.




ROBELIS DESPAIGNE – $9300 (-330)

I really want Robelis Despaigne to be everything that they say he is, but I really fear that he won’t be. His opponent in his UFC debut is Josh Parisian, and I understand the trendy thing is to shit on heavyweight like the Josh Parisian’s, Jared Collier’s, or Chase Sherman’s of the world – but what do we really know about Despaigne in an MMA setting? Three of Robelis’ professional MMA fights ended inside the first minute, so you almost have to have exposure to him just in case he achieves what would be a quick win bonus, but while using him is a must, I don’t think a healthy dose of Josh Parisian is a bad idea either. 

MARYNA MOROZ – $9000 (-230)

Maryna Moroz is fighting Joanne Wood for the second time in her career, the first meeting coming several years back and ending by Moroz getting a submission. For the most part I consider this fight to be one worth staying away from, but Wood has 5 of her 8 professional losses by submission and Moroz is a pretty solid grappler if she can manage to get the fight into that realm. I don’t think that I will personally get to Moroz in the contests that I play, but I think she has some merit and that merit improves as the size of the tournament improves. Certainly shouldn’t be a complete fade.




SEAN O’MALLEY – $9200 (-260)

This hurts me to put Suga’s name in this spot, but it must be done. First and foremost, unless he gets a first round knockout on one of the most durable guys in the weight class he doesn’t pay off this salary. I suppose he could win an incredibly active five round decision and meet value as well, but my idea for how this fight goes stops me from even considering that as an option.

I love Sean O’Malley, he is one of my favorite current fighters. His opponent this week, Marlon Vera, is a bad matchup for him. I am not even considering their first fight in this assessment. Sean’s foot went dead and Chito got a cheap stoppage in the first round when Sean couldn’t stand up anymore. 

What I am considering is what I have seen Sean look like in three round fights in that third round. If you look back to the Kris Muotinho fight, even though Sean got the finish in the third round, he looked much more labored than he did in the first two rounds. In his decision win over Yan if you go back and look at the third round Sean is moving forward with his hands low, and not in the flashy striker way that he holds them early in fights, he is sucking air and getting hit ALOT. Sean fades bottom line. It isn’t like a death gas fade like some fighter with cardio issues, but he gets slower and his movement changes as the fight goes on. That is a problem against a guy like Vera who gets stronger as the fight goes on, and does his best work late in fights.

I will be playing zero Sean O’Malley this week, and loading up on Chito at only $7000 because I think he can win a decision, I think he can win with a late finish, and I think he has the advantage on the ground as well with his aggressive ground and pound should the fight find its way there.

KYLER PHILLIPS – $9100 (-204)

Kyler could definitely win this fight, however so can his opponent, Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz is tough, which I believe will eliminate any chance of an early finish for Phillips, and Phillips has never eclipsed 100 points on DraftKings. For those two simple reasons I will be avoiding Phillips and likely loading up on Munhoz in the contests I play because I consider him to be a fairly safe underdog that actually has a chance to pull a decision win.  




This is going to be an exciting event, and I can’t wait to kick back and watch the magic happen. I think that the 9k range is pretty straight forward for the most part, and the 8k range is pretty similar. The night for me will basically hinge on the decision to fade Sean O’Malley, because of him being the main event favorite he should pull a considerable amount of ownership, but only a quick win bonus would end my night due to that decision I believe.

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. Thanks for reading, see you guys next week.