I have now been writing this article for five weeks. If you have been reading it and still don’t get the concepts that I am trying to get across I don’t think writing it for another five weeks would do anything to help you. For that reason, I will be discontinuing this article after this week. For the five weeks it existed we were able to demonstrate how easy it would have been to get to five winning cash lineups – or at least four of them depending how this week went. This is a method that works, and is consistent. The only way to beat the variance of MMA, especially on DraftKings which has its own level of variance built into the scoring system, is to follow a proven process along with responsible bankroll management. My articles and focus is always on cash and small-field single-entry contests, but you could play multiple-entry contests in a profitable way as long as you follow the proven processes for that contest type as well. Let’s get into this slate.
As lame as this card appeared to be on paper, the crowd was absolutely epic for UFC Paris. This is the second time I recall seeing a Paris event, and both times the crowd was absolutely spectacular. Imagine how crazy that energy would be if they provided an entire card of heat, insanity. The slate delivered in Paris to a level far greater than we could have expected with the exception of just a few fights that were a touch on the boring side. With so many high DraftKings scores being produced, the question remains if a solid cash lineup was attainable through the “chalkiest lineup” method that I have been preaching.
Below you will find the most owned lineup you could possibly afford on the UFC Paris DraftKings slate. I calculate the total projected ownership, total salary, and the total score of the chalkiest lineup possible, and then move on to discuss where changes could have been made. Hindsight is always 20/20, but when you are simply using ownership numbers and the concept of a “safe floor” for your cash contest selections you should win more than you lose when it comes to cash.
The purpose of the DraftKings Rewind article will be to take a look back on cash lineups and single-entry tournament lineups, specifically small-field contests because they play nearly identically to cash games. By doing this I believe that it will be easier to demonstrate how experienced DraftKings players use ownership to make decisions that open the door to long-term profitability.
THE CASH LINE
Before we can jump into retrospective lineup construction for cash games, we need to know what the cash line is. For those that don’t know what I am talking about when I say “cash line,” this means the lowest score possible in your cash contests where you could have won money. In double-ups, this is the top 45% of the field, and in 50/50 it is the top 50%. You do not get a bonus for finishing near the top in these contests so the cash line is all that matters. You can look at each one of your specific contests to see what your cash line score needed to have been.
For the purposes of staying consistent, we will be using the chalkiest lineup possible as our cash line. I did not play this week, so I truthfully have no idea what the actual cash line was for this event in most cash contests. My son had a football game and that was followed up by a family member’s birthday. I did manage to see most of the fights on the card thankfully.
UFC Paris Chalk Lineup
As you can see, if you used the six chalkiest fighters you could possibly cram into a lineup for this weekend, you would have scored 451.27 points. I highly doubt that would have been over the cash line this week. The good news is that we always want to make a couple tweaks, so let’s get to tweaking and see where that score could have boosted.
For me the two problem points in this lineup would have been Bogdan Guskov and the doubling up on the main event. I wrote up this week in the FanDuel premium section that I was on Ciryl Gane, and that whichever way that fight went the winner would look like they were -800. So my strategy there would have been to play the side I was confident in for cash games, and then play the insurance in my tournament lineup. As far as Guskov goes, I was on the Oezdemir side as he was in my premium FanDuel GPP lineup, but in the interest of complete honesty – I wasn’t confident enough in either side of that fight to play it for tournaments.
Below I have compiled all of the available fighters that I would have had to choose from based on my assessment of the chalkiest lineup possible. The fights below all fit the criteria of being over 20% projected ownership, all have a fairly safe floor, and are not competing with any of the fighters that I am leaving in my lineup.
From that list, the fight that was very appealing to me was the Joselyn Edwards and Nora Cornolle fight because I didn’t really expect either woman to get a finish and expected the winner to be around 80 points. If you look at the ownership numbers it should be clear which side you should be playing in cash for that fight – higher ownership and lower salary means you have the safer side to be on. So, Nora Cornolle is the obvious choice. I was on the Joselyn Edwards side of that fight, but who you think wins means nothing in DraftKings. You should be playing numbers, not names. That left us with enough money to grab either Rhys McKee or Rose Namajunas. I was on the other side of both of those fights, but in my opinion Rose was the safer play. Hindsight makes me wrong there, but that is what it is.
So with that in mind. Let’s take a look at where a reasonable cash lineup could have gone using Nora Cornolle and Rose Namajunas. I believe this would have been a pretty reasonable place to end up based on the information above.
UFC Paris Reasonable Cash Lineup
As I stated above, I didn’t play this slate and I haven’t seen where anyone’s cash contests have ended up, so you will have to check your contests to see if this was a winner or not. The score here ended up 541.89. I think that would have been enough to get you in the top 45%-50% of your cash contests, but I could be totally off base with the high scores that were produced this week.
As discussed above, my strategy with the main event this week would have been to split it with my pick in cash and the opponent in tournaments. That would have left me playing Spivac in tournaments, which obviously would have been brutal to come back from, but let’s take a look and see what would’ve happened. The two fighters both myself and everyone at WWP was high on this week were Farid Basharat and Ange Loosa, so I am going to put them into this lineup. The negative aspect of my pivots for small-field single-entry tournaments would have been that I was very high on rolling the dice on Yanis Ghemmouri to save money this week in a fight that I expected to be very boring and close, hoping to snake a decision at a low salary.
UFC Paris SE Lineup
I doubt this would have won money in any tournaments unfortunately, but that comes with the territory when playing like this. You might have had a better read than me on the main event to the point where you didn’t split it, and you might have also hated the idea of playing Yanis Ghemmouri which turned out to be a poor stance to take in hindsight. Either way, I do believe that cash would have brought back a win in most contests, and that is the name of the game. Your cash lineups should be consistently winning to keep your bankroll in the green in between tournament wins.
That concludes what will be the final DraftKings rewind article. Five weeks broken down with ownership numbers, and for five weeks I have shown you how this method should get you in the green when it comes to your cash games and at least provide a fighting chance to finish in the money for your small-field single-entry tournaments. At this point we are living the “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink” saying. Hopefully I have helped at least a couple of you make the decision to drink the concept of using ownership to stay safe in cash and small tournaments.
Going forward we will be building out additional aspects to our DraftKings offering behind the paywall, so if you would like to unlock everything that We Want Picks has to offer just click “become a member” at the top and get started today. Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to read this article at one point or another.