My favorite picks in the top range are Demetrious Johnson, Thiago Santos, and Polyana Viana. My favorite options for cash games across the slate are Demetrious Johnson, Thiago Santos, Jose Torres, and Henry Cejudo. I do think you can stack the Johnson/Cejudo and Dillashaw/Garbrandt fights in cash for this event. Lastly, my low-cost top tournament plays are Brett Johns and Henry Cejudo.
DraftKings contests for this event will lock on Saturday, August 4, at 3:30 PM PST/ 6:30 PM EST so make sure you have your lineups set before then.
Top Tier Fighter
Thiago Santos ($9,200)
Thiago Santos has a great opportunity to return value at UFC 227 when he takes on Kevin Holland. Santos has seen the judges scorecards once in the past ten fights with eight of those ending by way of KO/TKO. He’s been on the winning side six of those eight fights having dropped the two against David Branch and Gegard Mousasi.
Holland has 12 professional victories in his career with 11 of those ending by way of submission or KO/TKO. He hasn’t fought the type of talent that Santos has which is why Vegas has him as a +295 underdog. Typically Santos comes with a bit of risk but I don’t there is enough there to prevent you from using him in cash games.
Since Santos will be very popular across contests, I think Holland makes for an interesting play given his salary and low ownership. Santos can be reckless during exchanges and it may not be a bad punt play to have a slight amount of exposure to Holland in GPPs. (Cash & GPP)
Also, consider Demetrious Johnson ($9,400) for cash or you can pivot and use Polyana Viana in cash or GPPs.
Mid Tier Fighter
TJ Dillashaw ($8,200) OR Cody Garbrandt ($8,300
I’m not going to try and talk you into using either of these fighters outside of the fact that you need at least use one of them. When you get two fighters like this who are going to walk into the cage and literally throw everything they have at each other, the finish is imminent.
My concern for this one is if it goes the full five and the fighter you pick doesn’t return a ton of points. These two don’t throw at high volumes and when they do throw they’re going for the kill. I prefer stacking the DJ/Cejudo fight in cash because the chances it goes the five and both return value is higher in my opinion.
Personally, I prefer Garbrandt over Dillashaw if you’re only picking one for your single lineup build. Since this one is a coin flip fight you can’t overlook in lineup builds, I like Cody’s price versus potential return of value given the fact that he nearly stopped TJ in the first round of the first fight. (Cash & GPP)
Also, consider Ricky Simon ($8,500) who’s value will depend on his ability to land takedowns and Jose Torres ($7,800). (Simon for Cash, Torres for GPP)
Low Tier Fighter
Henry Cejudo ($6,800)
Take Cejudo, accept the loss, and if you fade Johnson, pray it goes the full five rounds with Cejudo getting some takedowns. I know that DJ is the goat. So my expectation with this pick is that you take a L with incredible upside. If Cejudo can spit out forty plus points I think he’s still worth it at his price.
Cejudo’s DK price was $9K plus in both of his last fights. You’re getting a value with him being sub $7K even though he’s fighting Johnson. (Cash or GPP)
Also, consider Brett Johns ($7,400) who’s a bit underpriced in my opinion and Ho Kang ($7,600) who’s got a great size advantage over Ramos or Montel Jackson ($7,700) if you prefer going with the odds value. (Johns and Jackson for cash and Kang for GPP).