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UFC 208 Fantasy MMA DFS Preview

MMA DFS Expert Casey Olson is hooking you up with the best DraftKings advice for UFC 208!

The Barclays Center in Brooklyn helps us crown a new weight class champion Saturday night, as it hosts UFC 208: Holm vs. de Randamie.  The night’s main event has former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-2) taking on Germaine de Randamie (7-3) for the inaugural women’s featherweight title.  If Holm pulls this off, she will become the fourth fighter in UFC history to hold belts in two different weight classes.  Also on the card, the co-main event has arguably one of the best p4p MMA fighters ever, as Anderson Silva (33-8) takes on Derek Brunson (16-4).

Some quick notes about the main card.

Holm (+120) vs. De Randamie (-130):

  • Holm has outstruck her opponent in four of her five UFC fights.
  • Holm has landed 98.8% of her significant strikes standing up.  (only three strikes from the ground.
  • Holm has a 77% takedown defense across all fights in her UFC career
  • De Randamie’s three UFC wins have been against opponents with a combined record of 0-6 in the UFC.
  • Both of De Randamie’s UFC wins have come by way of stoppage.

Silva (+135) vs Brunson (-155):

  • Silva hasn’t won since October 2012. (Five fights since his last win)
  • Silva at 41, is the oldest of the 24 fighters scheduled compete Saturday night.
  • Silva has landed 61.8% of his significant strike attempts in the UFC, the highest rate in the middleweight division’s history.
  • Silva’s 18 knockdowns landed in the UFC are the most in history.
  • Brunson’s five 1st round stoppage victories in UFC middleweight competition are tied for most in division history with Chris Leben.
  • Brunson is coming off a KO loss against Robert Whittaker, which took place only two months ago.

Souza (-550) vs. Boetsch (+425):

  • Souza has earned 19 of his 23 career victories by stoppage.  16 of those came in round 1.
  • Souza has earned five of his six UFC wins by stoppage.
  • Boetsch is 2-0 since returning to the middleweight division.
  • Boetsch is on his first two-fight winning streak since 2012.

Teixeira (-215) vs Cannonier (+178):

  • Teixeira has landed 88 percent of his significant strikes to his opponent’s head.
  • Teixeira has won seven of his eight UFC victories by stoppage.
  • This will be Cannonier’s second consecutive light heavyweight fight in the UFC, after fighting at heavyweight prior.
  • Cannonier has won fight of the night, and performance of the night bonuses in his last two fights, which both were victories.

Poirier (-400) vs Miller (+355):

  • Poirier has earned eight of his 12 UFC victories by stoppage.
  • Poirier is 4-1 since returning to the lightweight division.
  • Miller enters the match on a three fight winning streak, his longest since 2011.
  • Miller’s 36 submission attempts in UFC competition are the most in company history.

Let’s review how the DraftKings scoring is set for these tourneys:

Before we get started with breakdowns, here’s my tips to consider as you build your lineup.

Breakdown Time

As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC 208.  As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups here in just a few. 

Now, two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents, watch your points rack up quick.  Here’s my Offensive Output Meter for UFC 208. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday night. 

Round notes to consider for points and finishes:

  • Holm (+120) vs. de Randamie (-130) is scheduled for five rounds (rack up some points)
  • O/U’s set at 1.5 rounds (odds makers see potential for fight finishes)
  • Silva (+135) vs. Brunson (-155)
  • Souza (-550) vs. Boetsch (+425) **Souza by submission is -105**
  • Teixeira (-215) vs. Cannonier (+178)

Match-up time. Let’s roll.

De Randamie ($8200) vs. Holm ($8000)

What an interesting turn of events here.  Holm is coming off of a two fight losing streak, yet jumps right into the inaugural title fight?  How badly does UFC want Holm to win here?  It’s obvious.  As Rousey fades away, UFC is clearly going all in on what they hope will be the next face for their women’s MMA.  Now GDR is the favorite, and will look to leverage her kickboxing with Holm which is obvious, but I see Holm’s in and out, high output, winning the cards regardless here.  I’ve see some footage showing Holm training subs and some wrestling during this camp, so I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point it goes to the ground as well.  Don’t lose sight that of Holm’s two straight losses, she actually was beating Tate until she got caught in the hail mary choke in the fifth and final round.  

See below: (Holm red, Tate blue)

Output, output, output. Points points points.  Also, how about a crack at a finish?  By leg kick.  Holm has knocked out seven opponents at bantamweight, and six of those ended via a kick.  Remember this?

Now for de Randamie.  As I said earlier, GDR has three wins in the UFC, but when you dig deeper, she’s never defeated someone who has earned a win themselves under the banner.  Matter of fact, the three fighters she beat, they’ve retired if I’m not mistaken.  Tomato cans.

Additionally, alot of folks have brought back the fact that de Randamie has knocked out a dude, so she’s absolutely the play.


As you see, TV host Tom Waes got stretched, but hold the phone.  This was a number of years ago, but the fact that GDR, a world kickboxing champ, took a while to beat a Belgian actor who only trained for three months, actually doesn’t play in her favor.  (This fight is way longer than the clip we watch here)

I’m not getting sucked into the hype.  A lot of bettors have though.  GDR opened at +100 and as of Friday afternoon, she got bet down to -140.  Within 12 hours though, the line has moved back up to -125.  I foresee Holm money continuing to come in up until the bell rings.  My tickets are already in, and she will make one of my DFS rosters as well at the $8K pricetag.

Brunson ($8300) vs. Silva ($7900)


Now if you’ve ever read my stuff, you already know I can’t stand Brunson.  The guy messaged me on Twitter asking me to promote him twice a day and he’d follow me in return.  That alone, using has me locking in a play on his opponent every fight.  His last fight about two months ago, it really paid off, as he was KO’d fast.  Returning only two months after getting tucked in and put to sleep seems very fast, but when you get the call to fight a legend, you sign away.  Brunson is a great athlete, once a male cheerleader, to now fighting for the best promotion MMA has to offer.  His athleticism has scored him some really nice wins, and he could potentially have the highlight of his career Saturday night, against the 41 year-old legend, who hasn’t had an official victory since 2012.   Brunson will absolutely go for takedowns, and if he’s successful, by all means he can grind a W.  The guy loves to charge forward, chin up though, and flails around like a bird trying to fly with clipped wings.  This is a perfect matchup in that sense for Silva and his counterstriking, even if he’s getting that senior discount at the casino buffet.   As long as he doesn’t get grazed by a lucky shot, Silva will land something that gives Brunson flashbacks from two months ago.  Its clear too if you’ve watch the prefight presser or weigh ins, Brunson is legit star-struck.  Mental advantage to Silva.

Aside from my biased opinion, if history tells us anything, (See BJ Penn vs Yair Rodriguez) this is Brunson’s fight.  

Souza ($9500) vs Boetsch ($6700)

See above.  70% of his 23 victories by submission.  3.48 takedowns average every 15 minutes.  Boetsch has a 58% takedown defense.  This has Souza by submission (and quick) written already.  This just seems way too easy.  Souza will most likely be the most chalkiest play of the night.

Teixeira ($8700) vs. Cannonier ($7500)

Cannonier has been a sexy pick for many this week.  He can cause some issues early on for Teixeira in the stand-up, but at the end of the day, he has yet to commit full time to fighting fully and continues to work a regular day job.  He believes this will be a stand-up war, but after Glover got brutally knocked out by Rumble Johnson in his last fight, I see him taking advantage of his grappling, and taking Cannonier down at some point.  Let Cannonier think this will stay standing, then swoop in and expose that 40% takedown defense Glover! Teixeira via SUB or TKO for me.

Poirier ($9300) vs. Miller ($6900)

Poirier is by far the better striker.  See the striking breakdown above.  Miller’s only chance here is turning this into a wrestling match.  Poirier has had issues with striking defense against fellow southpaws, but that was against strikers that had him beat with speed and reach.  Not the case here with Miller.  It has been found as well that Miller just doesn’t wrestle as well against lefties either.  Miller’s only been KO’d once in 36 fights, so at $9300, the Diamond isn’t my favorite play, but I see him winning eventually across the three rounds.

Brown ($8400) vs. Muhammad ($7800)

Muhammad is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Vicente Luque from back in November.  Before that, he’s seen the 3 round in his eight previous fights before.  The guy isn’t a finisher, to say the least.  Brown on the other hand is.  He’s won via stoppage in eight of his nine victories, most recently coming off a TKO win against Brian Camozzi in December.  His only loss was against Michael Graves, who is a machine on the ground.  Muhammad is not that.  I like the bigger, more powerful guy here with the hometown crowd behind him.  (Jamaican, hailing from Queens)

Reis ($9600) vs. Sasaki ($6600)

Reis is the most expensive fighter on the card.  He’s opened at -350 and got drilled up to -600 immediately.  He should win via submission at some point and will score points with takedowns whenever he wants.  The size difference is something, though.  Some freak knee to the chin or something would be a DFS game changer.  Casual players will see his price and click.

Makhachev ($8800) vs. Lentz ($7400)

Lentz had a tough weight cut.  He had to go with the towel, and after Marc Ratner accidentally dropped it while he was on the scale, he did make weight. (Towel dropping…that’s some serious research right there) Lentz typically out grapples opponents to decision victories, but Makhachev will be a serious test in that aspect here.  Given the weight cut issues and the grappling skills Makhachev brings, I see him cruising to victory, just as he did against Chris Wade. 

McCall ($8100) vs. Brooks ($8100)

I am shocked McCall didn’t call out sick before this fight.  He still has time.  McCall will have the footwork and speed, or at least should, but I see the newcomer Brooks closing the distance and grinding him down.  I could see McCall throwing his hands up in frustration as Brooks pins him down into positions he can’t escape.   I like Brooks’ confidence coming in for his debut, and I hope he backs up his trash talking meme game.

Glenn ($8900) vs. Nover ($7300)


Nover is a gritty dude, and one of the toughest to finish, but his output is just all over the place.  1.49 SLpM is horrible.  Glenn should just wear him out with offense.  Decision win here is the play.

Laflare ($9000) vs. Carneiro ($7200)

Carneiro’s has good grappling, but so does LaFlare.  Carneiro doesn’t have good striking, but LaFlare does.  LaFlare in his backyard, Carneiro not so much.  Another LaFlare decision win for me.

** The Marcin Tybura vs. Justin Willis fight has been scrapped and Marcin Tybura will receive his show money.  Justin Willis has been deemed medically unfit to compete.  Willis himself address fans stating that his body shut down during the weight cut and the UFC doctors wouldn’t clear him to fight.  I wondered if this may happen…

Alright, from a DFS perspective, we have a handful of favorites on this card.  I recommend grabbing a core 3 and building around.  If you can fit Souza, Teixeira, Poirier, or Brown in there, I wouldn’t be mad.  Knowing you are going to have to spend a couple of guys, we are going to have to take some shots at the low end.  Review and consider those that have the closest shots and pulling off the win, not necessarily the finish.

Nover is +164, Cannonier is +178, and Lentz is +255.   

Next, comes Carneiro at +290, Miller at +355, Boetsch at +425, and Sasaki at +505.

Hit me up if you have any questions or want some added thoughts. @Y2CASEY on Twitter. Cash em #ScoutArmy. 

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