FanDuel Fights To Target For UFC 297
Dricus Du Plessis

The first PPV event of 2024 is here. UFC 297 will take place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Scotiabank Arena. While the main event is a highly anticipated clash between  current middleweight champ Sean Strickland and rising contender Dricus Du Plessis, this card has a lot to offer from the early prelims right through to the main event.

As mentioned UFC 297 will see the middleweight championship up for grabs to close out the show, but there is also a women’s bantamweight championship fight between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva. So, with two titles on the line and a plethora of exciting young fighters, let’s take a look at 3 fights that standout from a FanDuel DFS perspective.

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Yohan Lainesse has a reputation for being a knockout artist, which adds an unpredictable element to this fight. Lainesse is known for his powerful, less technical striking, and his ability to finish fights with a single punch makes him an excellent competitor. Despite his tendency to brawl and his slower fighting style, he brings a surprising grappling skill set to the table. His strategy frequently includes heavy, forward-charging punches followed by quick takedown attempts, showing a combination of striking and grappling. However, his recent submission loss to Mike Malott reveals a potential weakness, especially when facing a technically sound opponent such as Sam Patterson.

Sam Patterson, on the other hand, presents a unique challenge due to his exceptional reach and height at 6'4″. While his striking is more precise than brute force, he compensates with the ability to generate power from his long frame. Patterson's ground game is particularly impressive, as he uses his long limbs to make effective submission attempts. Despite needing to work on his takedown defense, he has effective ground control and submission skills. His recent knockout loss to Yanal Ashmouz, in which he was heavily favored, raises concerns about his chin and ability to handle power strikers like Lainesse, adding another layer of complexity to this fight.

This fight features a compelling clash of styles, with Lainesse's knockout power and grappling meeting Patterson's technical striking and ground prowess. While Lainesse is the slight favorite due to his UFC experience and all-around ability, the fight's outcome remains uncertain. Patterson's ability to exploit Lainesse's weaknesses, particularly if he can withstand the initial onslaught and take the fight to the ground, makes this a close contest. Both fighters are only $15 on FanDuel which makes this an appealing fight to target.





In an unpredictable UFC matchup, Malcolm Gordon and Jimmy Flick bring notable flaws to the ring. Gordon, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with decent striking, suffers from a significant flaw which is a 9% takedown defense, which has contributed to all four of his UFC losses, often by finish. His tendency to tire as fights progress complicates his chances. Flick, on the other hand, is a risk-taking grappler who has proven to be successful both early and late in fights. Despite the low overall quality of this bout, its unpredictable nature makes it a necessary consideration in DFS lineups.

Both fighters appear mismatched for the elite level. Gordon, while a capable striker, is limited by a fragile chin, and Flick, once a superior wrestler, has not returned to his pre-retirement form. The fight is unpredictable, with Flick potentially having a slight edge due to his grappling advantage, especially if he can exploit Gordon's weak takedown defense.

This bout for both fighters depends on whether Flick can overcome Gordon's initial striking to use his grappling. Gordon's aggressive striking style exposes him to Flick's grappling tactics, but his ground game remains strong. Flick, while less impressive post-hiatus, still has dangerous grappling abilities. As a fan I do not love this fight at all, but it still warrants some attention when it comes to building out GPP lineups.




Sean Strickland's rise to the middleweight championship ranks exemplifies the essence of a blue-collar striker. His strategy is simple but effective: march forward, bombarding opponents with a constant barrage of strikes. Strickland's strength is not raw power or blistering speed, but rather sheer volume and exceptional takedown defense (84%). His recent victory over Israel Adesanya, in which he dropped the former champion early and maintained a punishing pace, exemplifies his unassuming but imposing style. His endurance and striking efficiency are valuable assets, particularly in a title fight where stamina and consistency are essential.

On the other hand, Dricus Du Plessis has a dynamic and explosive fighting style that combines powerful striking with the ability to execute takedowns. His fights are a display of aggression, with devastating leg kicks and a constant search for submissions. Although his grappling abilities are commendable, his takedown defense requires improvement. Du Plessis' recent victory over Robert Whittaker demonstrated his raw talent, overcoming technical challenges with sheer willpower and cardiovascular resilience. Despite some flaws in his technique, Du Plessis remains a dangerous opponent, particularly given his ability to finish his opponents to secure victories.

This matchup promises to be an all-out war, making it ideal for DFS lineups. Strickland faces a challenge to Du Plessis' explosive nature, which could be neutralized by Strickland's unwavering stamina. Du Plessis, needing a knockout to win, must break through Strickland's stout defense. This clash of styles makes it tricky to pick a winner. However, given the unpredictable nature of this bout, it is smart to have significant exposure to both fighters. The winner of this high-stakes matchup is almost certainly going to be a key component in any optimal lineup, making it a top target for DFS players.




Good look to all heading into this event. If you are watching it at home, follow along with @WeWantPicks on YouTube for live bets on the fight companion. Also, tweet your winning lineups at us and we will do our best to recognize your greatness. 

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