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DFS 101

MMA DFS – DraftKings vs FanDuel

DraftKings has featured MMA DFS for quite some time. FanDuel recently added the sport to their site. The overall premise of MMA DFS is similar, but there are plenty of differences between the two sites. This article will outline a few of the major differences in MMA DFS between DraftKings and FanDuel. 


Fighter Selection

The fighter selection is similar on both sites. Each site utilizes a six fighter roster. There is one major difference, though. Each of the six fighters have the same scoring on DraftKings, while FanDuel utilizes a captain slot. 

The captain slot receives 1.5x fantasy points on FanDuel. DraftKings has offered specific contests that also utilizes a captain slot, but that isn’t their normal contests like FanDuel. Using the captain slot creates less ties in MMA DFS, which generally features quite a bit with DraftKings roster construction, especially in cash games. 


Fighter Pricing

DraftKings utilizes a fixed pricing system based on Vegas odds at the time the prices are released. A fight with even odds prices both fighters at $8.1K. The total of each individual matchup costs $16.2K. For example, if Fighter A costs $8.9K, Fighter B would cost $7.3K. DraftKings doesn’t take finishing potential or upside into account. They simply utilize Vegas odds on a fixed pricing scale. 

FanDuel seemingly uses multiple factors when creating their prices. Opponents don’t simply total a specific amount. Keep in mind, FanDuel’s MMA DFS is new, meaning they could transition to a fixed pricing system similar to DraftKings in the future. 



DraftKings Scoring


FanDuel Scoring



DraftKings and FanDuel have similar scoring in terms of averages for what is available in the “moves” category. A significant strike garners 0.5 fantasy points on DraftKings, while it’s worth 0.6 fantasy points on FanDuel. On both sites, a takedown is worth 10x a significant strike, while a knockdown is worth 20x a significant strike. 

FanDuel solely offering fantasy points on significant strikes, takedowns, and knockdowns puts a massive spotlight on striking. Knockdowns can only come from exchanges on the feet. Furthermore, significant strikes are generally scored at a lower rate when an opponent is grounded. On FanDuel, once a fighter secures a takedown, it’s significantly more difficult for them to score fantasy points than in striking exchanges. 

DraftKings combats that by adding advances and reversals/sweeps to their scoring system. These moves take place in grappling exchanges, allowing fighters to continue to score points after a takedown is completed. Opposite of FanDuel, this puts an emphasis on grappling on DraftKings. 

Essentially, when rostering fighters, strikers are most valuable on FanDuel, while grapplers are most valuable on DraftKings. 


Fight Conclusion Bonus

Fight conclusion bonuses are arguably the most important aspect of MMA DFS. Some fighters boast elite upside in decision wins because of their pace, but winning fights in the first [or second] round is a near must to win tournaments. 

A pure striker would need to land 120 significant strikes (8 SS per minute) in a decision victory to match a first round win (excluding all fantasy points for moves) on DraftKings. They would need to land 133 (8.9 SS per minute) in a decision victory on FanDuel to match a first round win. 

The fight conclusion bonuses on FanDuel are significantly more important than on DraftKings, as well. A first round victory is worth 1.29x a second round victory, 2x a third round victory, 2.25x a fourth or fifth round victory, and 3x a decision victory on DraftKings. Those numbers increase exponentially on FanDuel. A first round win is worth 1.33x a second round win, 2x a third round win, 2.86x a fourth round win, 4x a fifth round win, and 5x a decision win on FanDuel. 

This holds true for comparing a first round victory to the amount of fantasy points given for moves, as well, because of FanDuel’s lack of grappling statistics. Overall, DraftKings is a site to target grapplers, while FanDuel is a site to target strikers. It is also of the utmost importance to find finishes on FanDuel, while you can potentially score well without them on DraftKings.

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