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Fantasy MMA – UFC DraftKings Picks – UFC on ESPN 13

High Priced

Jack Shore

Jack Shore looked outstanding in his UFC debut, submitting Nohelin Hernandez in the third round. He has adequate striking with solid power. Shore’s best path to victory is through his grappling, though. He has found tremendous success getting his fights to the ground, and possesses elite top control once there. Shore advances at an elite rate, consistently looking for a finish. He often uses his ground-and-pound to set up a submission but can finish a fight either way. 

Aaron Phillips will return to the UFC after going 0-2 in a short stint in 2014. He retired from fighting before returning to win five consecutive fights. Phillips holds power in his hands, but there are major questions surrounding his takedown defense. His only chance of winning this fight is if he can keep it standing, although Shore possesses the striking to win on the feet, as well. 

Shore is the biggest favorite on the card at -700. He boasts -235 odds to finish this fight inside the distance, as well. Shore is likely to find a takedown early in this fight, dominating the grappling exchanges. His ground-and-pound will open a submission, making him the best cash game option on the slate. Shore also posted 121 fantasy points in his first fight, suggesting he boasts elite upside because of his activity, even if he doesn’t find an early finish. 

 

Mid-Priced

Tim Elliott

Tim Elliott continues to collect a paycheck and I continue to take the bait of his fantasy potential. Elliott is an awkward, non-stop fighter that can score fantasy points in a hurry. He’s a solid wrestler with excellent scrambling. He floats on top of his opponents, scoring advances while also putting himself in bad positions at times. That doesn’t matter much, though, as Elliott generally finds his way out of them as long as he has the cardio. The issue with Elliott is that his fighting style is so wild that it’s difficult to use over an entire fight. Generally, he wins early then fades late and gives his opponents opportunities to take over. 

I haven’t been impressed with Ryan Benoit in the UFC, possessing a 3-4 record with his best win coming against Sergio Pettis in 2015. He isn’t an overly active fighter, relying heavily on power in his striking. Benoit has a 64% takedown defense but has virtually no way of keeping up with Elliott’s activity for a decision win. 

This fight has a few ways it can play out. Elliott will win rounds with his activity, but he has submission upside, as well. Benoit, on the other hand, will likely need a knockout to find a win. As always, Elliott’s cardio could leave him open to struggling in the second half of the fight, but hopefully, his team has convinced him to settle down so he can fight more than one round at a high level. Elliott is currently a -125 favorite, but his 100+ fantasy point upside is what makes him so intriguing in tournaments this weekend. 

 

Low Priced

Chris Fishgold

Chris Fishgold is an interesting fighter who should have a clear gameplan entering this fight. He’s a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who lands 8.7 takedowns per 15 minutes in the UFC. He also has an outstanding 50% takedown accuracy while averaging 2.9 submissions per 15 minutes. He isn’t going to be able to strike with Jared Gordon, although the latter has been knocked out in three of his last four fights. Fishgold’s best chance at winning is through his grappling and submissions. 

Gordon is an active striker, landing 7.48 significant strikes per minute in the UFC. He has solid grappling credentials, as well, but will likely use this defensively to keep the fight standing. Gordon’s non-stop striking gives him a clear edge on the feet, while Fishgold will need to control the grappling for a win. Keep in mind, Gordon owns a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so his submission defensive is far from flawed. 

Fishgold is currently a +125 underdog with +170 odds to finish this fight inside the distance. He has knockout potential because of Gordon’s questionable chin, but his best chance of finishing his opponent is with a submission this weekend. Gordon will likely control and win the striking exchanges, while Fishgold will need to control with his grappling. That adds to his upside, as DraftKings rewards grappling. Fishgold is an underdog that has a very real chance of finding a finish on this slate.

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