DraftKings Chalkboard: UFC Vegas 89
Rose Namajunas

Kennedy Nzechukwu dropping the ball obviously wasn’t ideal last week, but he was over 70% owned in my cash contests so that wasn’t the source of the downfall. We have Tai Tuivasa to blame for that, and more so the amazing score that Tybura was allowed to put up. We don’t cover the 8k range in this article though, so the only real miss here was Kennedy. The explanation around Macy Chiasson was fairly decent as well, hopefully some of you playing large tournaments were able to actualize that leverage. Who would have thought Pannie would have taken herself down for Macy?

This week it is a return to everyone’s favorite place where MMA goes to die…The Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event features Jacob’s obsession Amanda Ribas fighting Rose Namajunas in her second fight at 125lbs. The undercard has about two fights that I am looking forward to, but is surrounded by plenty of filler which could present a problem for anyone expecting to be blown away by the name value of the slate. Let’s dive into this treasure trove of excitement!

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.



ROSE NAMAJUNAS – $9200 (-210)

Rose is one of the most favored fighters on the entire slate, and since we learned our lesson from the O’Malley fade a few weeks ago, I believe that Rose should be a lock for cash games. When it comes to tournaments you could go in either direction, but Rose is the cash side should you decide against a main event stack.

As far as my personal input on the fight script goes, I think Rose is mostly over this life. If you have seen videos of her in her country home with Pat Berry, it's pretty clear that Rose has one foot out of the door at least. Ribas is a tough fighter who is as game as they come. I will be rolling more heavily with Ribas in tournaments, because I believe she is going to push a pace on Rose and take advantage of what I perceive to be a mentally weak fighter. Opinions mean nothing in DFS though, and Rose is a viable side in all contests this week as well. 



KARL WILLIAMS – $9300 (-190)

I am actually on the side of Williams’ opponent, Justin Tafa. I feel for Williams actually. He had a layup when his opponent was Junior Tafa, and now he has to worry about whether or not he can get wide load Justin Tafa to the ground which is a significantly more difficult task. Williams' win condition relies on that grounding of Tafa in my opinion though, which makes him a solid shot to take in tournaments because his score would likely be large in a win. I think you will probably find quite a bit of leverage on Williams as well due to the popularity of Tafa as a dog this week.

EDMEN SHAHBAZYAN – $9100 (-200)

I have some reservations about Shahbazyan personally. I don’t love the guy, and I think that Edmen’s opponent, AJ Dobson, is one of those underachievers that could be so good if he ever found his stride. Does he find that potential this week? Maybe, and that has me believing that being under the field on Shahbazyan is the correct way to play him, but when he wins he scores pretty big usually, so completely fading him in tournaments seems like a bad idea. I will be staying away in cash though. 

ANDRE LIMA – $9000 (-180)

I think that the dog side of this fight, Igor Severino, is a better DFS play, but the favorite side should get at least a minimal amount of consideration as well. If Servino isn’t able to get this fight over in the first round then things will get rather interesting. Lima has the more technical approach and is the cleaner striker in my opinion, but whether or not simply out lasting someone with cardio question marks can produce enough of a score to matter at this price point is questionable. I would take a few shots on Lima here and there, but most of my exposure to this fight will be on the Severino side.



STEVE NGUYEN – $9400 (-164)

Steve Nguyen likely wins this fight against Jarno Errens. The problem is the price tag coupled with Nguyen not being super dangerous, and Errens being fairly hard to get out of there. At this salary we would need either tons of grappling, massive activity in the striking, or an early finish – and I just believe that the likelihood of any of that is slim in this fight. I would rather punt with Errens than play Nguyen.



I am not super interested in this event. In fact I am probably more interested to see whatever video Jacob makes on attending it than I am the fights themselves. It is a fight night though, and as a fight fan, I will be watching. In a perfect world,  it can be a good night of fights and loaded up with DFS success.

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.