Top DFS UFC 238 Picks in Each Price Range - DFS Karma
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Top DFS UFC 238 Picks in Each Price Range

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High Priced

Justin’s Pick: Bevon Lewis

I’m going with upside over safety in my high-priced option on this slate. Valentina Shevchenko and Petr Yan are both significantly safer, but I could potentially get the same score from Bevon Lewis, who is priced down quite a bit from them. Lewis is a high-level prospect, who was 6-0 entering the UFC before losing via knockout to Uriah Hall in his UFC debut. While he picked up the loss, Lewis was easily winning that fight had Hall not finished him in the third round. The UFC is not setting up Lewis against another striker in Darren Stewart, although this is a massive step down in competition. Stewart was on his way out of the UFC before pulling off two unlikely wins against Eric Spicely and Charles Byrd. He’s coming off of a split decision loss against Edmen Shahbazyan, and Lewis will be a step up in competition for him. My major concern in this fight is that Stewart has virtually no submission defense, but this fight is highly unlikely to turn into a grappling match. He has found ways to win fights that stay standing, even though Lewis should have a rather distinct striking advantage. The odds are surprisingly close, as Stewart’s only real way of winning is via (T)KO. Imagine this Vegas line if Lewis would have won that decision against Hall in his last fight. We’re simply getting him at a discount because of one punch.

Jason’s Reaction: Lewis does not have the same kind of upside as Shevchenko, but he is not priced nearly as high. He was on his way to around a 70-80 fantasy point performance against a good defensive striker in Uriah Hall. This week, he should have much more success on his feet, and his inside distance odds are close. Nice recommendation.

Jason’s Pick: Tatiana Suarez

Apologies go out to Justin, who probably wanted to write-up Tatiana Suarez, but the early bird gets the worm, right? In four consecutive fights, Suarez posted over 100 fantasy points, and in her last fight, she posted 173 fantasy points in 3 rounds with 82 significant strikes, 9 takedowns, and a knockout. Her price tag is high, but her upside is unbelievable. Nina Ansaroff most famously trains with Amanda Nunes, who currently holds both the UFC Women’s Bantamweight and Featherweight championships. She is a third-degree Taekwondo black belt and a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, but Suarez is on another level. Suarez is a two-time bronze medalist in the world championship of freestyle wrestling, and were it not for a brutal neck injury, she likely would have gone to the Olympics. As has been shown consistently over the last two years, wrestling wins out in most matchups in the UFC. Suarez should be able to effectively use her wrestling to thwart any Ansaroff offense, and Ansaroff is durable enough to endure a lot of damage, making Suarez’s high price tag worth it in both cash games and tournaments.

Justin’s Reaction: Suarez’s Olympic dreams were also taken away due to cancer that was found because of her neck injury. I stated last year that she would end 2019 as the UFC Strawweight champion, and I’m not changing my tune. This is a number one contender fight, and Suarez will go undefeated until someone can even come relatively close to her wrestling. I don’t see that happening anytime soon, and she’s my favorite play on this card.



Justin’s Pick: Marlon Moraes

Jason will talk about recency bias below when discussing Donald Cerrone, but he won’t touch on recency bias when outlining Henry Cejudo. In my opinion, you have to. He won a split decision against Demetrious Johnson, who many, including myself and Jason, believed he lost at the time. He then knocked out T.J. Dillashaw roughly 30 seconds into the fight. That didn’t give us nearly enough time to see either fighter showcase their skill set, though. There’s also one major difference between that fight and this one – the weight class. Dillashaw depleted his body to reach 125 lbs., while Cejudo, who is heavy for a flyweight, will be facing a much larger Marlon Moraes. This has all the makings of a striker vs. grappler fight. That isn’t to say either fighter is bad at the other trade, but I feel each has a relatively distinct advantage. Cejudo is an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, while Moraes is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. While Moraes will be dangerous off of his back, Cejudo will be able to control the grappling, and score with the judge’s, if that’s the route he chooses. Meanwhile, Cejudo’s striking has consistently improved throughout his UFC career, but Moraes is on a different level, and the latter comes with elite power for a bantamweight. Similarly to my Suarez prediction, I wrote that Moraes would end 2019 as the UFC Bantamweight champion. I didn’t think he’d have to go through Cejudo to get it, but I’m not shying away from my prediction. Moraes is the more dangerous fighter regardless of where this goes, as well, making him a strong option for his current price tag on DraftKings.

Jason’s Reaction: I think Henry Cejudo has shown massive improvements to his game that Donald Cerrone has not. That isn’t recency bias. That is an improved skill set. Either way, Moraes is worth a shot in tournaments.

Jason’s Pick: Tony Ferguson

Tony Ferguson is the best value option on DraftKings this weekend. In his last four fights, he has over 100 fantasy points in three of them, winning via submission in two and finishing via (T)KO once. In a decision win against Rafael dos Anjos, he posted 130 fantasy points, showing his impressive output. Donald Cerrone is a formidable opponent with +261 odds to finish inside distance, but that may be a little bit of recency bias. Ferguson is still +192 to finish inside distance, and he hasn’t stepped foot in an octagon since October of 2018. He only has three fights since November of 2016. Cerrone, on the other hand, has been on an active (and impressive) winning streak. He has three wins against high-level opponents since November of 2018. Most notably, he pieced up Al Iaquinta for five consecutive rounds. However, Ferguson would do the same to Iaquinta. Ferguson is a black belt in 10th Planet jiu-jitsu, a three-time All-State selection in wrestling back in high school, a National Collegiate Wrestling Association national champion in college, and a very talented boxer. He has insanely good cardio, and he will test Cerrone on his. Cerrone also has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (under Eliot Marshall), and he also owns a black belt in gaidojutsu. Overall, Ferguson will provide too much pressure, using his granite chin to press forward despite taking damage, and if this fight does play out on the ground, Ferguson is versatile enough to reverse and find submission offense. Ferguson should be closer to $9K on DraftKings.

Justin’s Reaction: I absolutely love Cerrone, but I completely agree here. Ferguson may be on another level, and he’s too cheap this weekend. Part of me wants to see Cerrone win so he can potentially get another title fight, but I’d rather see Khabib against Ferguson finally happen. I expect Ferguson to win this fight, although if you’re entering multiple lineups, I’d be fine using some Cerrone, as well.


Low Priced

Justin’s Pick: Ricardo Lamas

This line is a bit crazy to me, and I’d expect it to close as the fight draws closer. Ricardo Lamas is a high-level featherweight, who fell on hard times recently in his career. Since 2015, Lamas owns a 4-4 record, losing only to Chad Mendes, Max Holloway, Josh Emmett, and Mirsad Bektic. Emmett came into that fight on short notice and overweight, so it’s difficult to count that loss as “fair.” After his last loss, Lamas was labeled ‘washed up’ before knocking out Darren Elkins in an impressive victory. Others, including Jason Knight and Charles Oliveira, have tried to steal Lamas’ ranking, but have failed. We simply need to decide whether we believe Calvin Kattar is an elite fighter. He owns a 3-1 record in the UFC, losing only to Renato Moicano. He’s a very straight forward type of fighter, relying almost exclusively on his striking. Lamas has the striking to keep this fight competitive, but he also owns a back belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, if this fight hits the mat. Lamas’ age and wear-and-tear throughout his career could be his downfall in this fight, but for his extremely low price tag and multiple ways to finish his opponents, I’m willing to take that risk.

Jason’s Reaction: This is a good, calculated risk. Lamas is a great tournament option at his price tag.

Jason’s Pick: Henry Cejudo

Apologies go out to Justin (again), who absolutely hates that Henry Cejudo is going to win this weekend. Seriously, though, we disagree on this fight, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt. Cejudo is +321 to win inside distance, compared to Marlon Moraes at +137, so there is some tournament upside on Moraes. However, Cejudo has shown massive improvements in his striking over the last two years, and his wrestling is obviously elite. After a split decision victory over Demetrious Johnson and an impressive knockout victory over T.J. Dillashaw, no one questions the power and durability of Cejudo anymore, but some are forgetting his wrestling credentials. He did not use them often against “Mighty Mouse” or “The Snake,” but he is still a freestyle wrestling Olympic gold medalist. Moraes is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Ricardo Almeida and a black pra jiad in muay thai. This could complicate Cejudo’s path to victory, but freestyle wrestling does not necessitate falling victim to BJJ submission attempts. Cejudo could ground Moraes without diving into his guard. That said, he has shown the striking skills necessary to beat Moraes for five rounds on the feet. Moraes’s power is the problem, and that is where his upside comes into play. Luckily, Cejudo can instinctively wrestle, if he gets caught. This fight is close, but Cejudo has a slight edge, and he is priced as an underdog.

Justin’s Reaction: You talk about recency bias with Cerrone, but fail to mention that with Cejudo. I feel fine splitting this fight if you’re running multiple lineups and taking both fighters in cash. That said, if you are going one fighter, Moraes is my pick, as you can see above.

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