UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Austin
The Ultimate Fighting Championship holds no short of a dozen mixed martial arts bouts nearly every Saturday with no real offseason. As one of the most unique DFS sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is live on FanDuel.
The strategy behind this fantasy sport is intriguing. Given that two fighters face off against each other, and some fights end in seconds, choosing which side to back is crucial, and there is a wide range of outcomes. However, getting the winner fighter isn't all that matters. They've also got to land enough strikes, takedowns, or submission attempts to score points, too!
numberFire is always the best spot to get you ready for any UFC card. If you would rather bet on the fights, our betting guide is a great place to find value on Saturday's card. In addition to this primer, I also dove deeper into the slate on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC Austin: Kattar vs. Emmett, taking place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas this weekend.
Adrian Yanez ($22): The Houston native would get several votes for bantamweight's brightest prospects. He's dominated his first four fights inside the octagon, and he's put up significant damage. His 6.35 significant strikes landed per minute are tops on the card, and he's done well to stay safe with a 60% striking defense. Yanez should tee off on Tony Kelley's 45% striking defense early and often; Kelley's path to victory in UFC has been tiring opponents out by blocking punches with his face. This fight should have plenty of volume on both sides, but don't write off Yanez finishing it before the final bell. He's +145 to win by knockout.
Calvin Kattar ($21): The main event on Saturday should be a thriller. Just a single top-10 featherweight bout has been stopped inside the full distance since the start of 2019. It was champion Alexander Volkanovski's mismatched title fight against Chan Sung Jung. Calvin Kattar's iron chin is one side nearly guaranteed to be around to the end; he's never been knocked down in 1,120 significant strikes absorbed inside the octagon. At 5.19 significant strikes landed per minute, Kattar's pace is higher than Josh Emmett's (4.28) if these two sluggers duel for 25 minutes as expected.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
Cody Stamann ($23): Yanez and Kattar could both lose, but Cody Stamann is the best win bet on the board. He's a -590 favorite over 37-year-old Eddie Wineland after dropping three straight bouts to ranked -- or near-ranked -- bantamweights. Stamann's a capable striker (+0.63 striking success rate), but he really makes his mark wrestling. "The Spartan" has posted 2.78 takedowns per 15 minutes on solid 42% accuracy. Wineland's 86% takedown defense might actually force Stamann to fight on the feet where he can score more points, but Stamann is absolutely capable here of the same outcome as Wineland's last two foes -- a first-round finish.
Phil Hawes ($20): "Megatron" will be the latest to tackle the challenging puzzle of Deron Winn at middleweight. At 5'6" tall, most middleweights tower over Winn, and Hawes will be no exception with a six-inch edge in height and seven-inch edge in reach. Winn's success has come exclusively in wrestling, holding a -0.43 striking success rate otherwise. Considering Hawes' takedown defense is perfect (100%) thus far, this fight profiles to be the more powerful, longer puncher jabbing Winn in the face before finding a finish. That recipe was used by a guy with a similar build and skillset, Gerald Meerschaert.
Others to Consider: Ricardo Ramos ($22), Gloria de Paula ($19), Josh Emmett ($16)
Joaquin Buckley ($13): Oddsmakers love them some Albert Duraev. The UFC newcomer was a -345 favorite in his uninspiring debut win over Roman Kopylov, and he's a -245 favorite here over four-time UFC winner Joaquin Buckley. Buckley's profile isn't perfect (especially weighed down by a 36% striking accuracy), but his 4 UFC wins have 11 wins of their own. He's beaten bonafide UFC winners, and Duraev just can't say the same. Duarev's pedestrian 56% striking defense and 50% takedown defense -- against outright non-UFC-caliber competition -- should leave just enough of an opening for Buckley, who is coming off a five-takedown win by decision after three straight wins prior via knockout.
Tim Means ($10): As a lover of all things Kevin Holland, this line (and salary) are just too disrespectful towards Means. Means has been knocked out just once in his 23-fight UFC career, so the idea Holland waltzes in and starches him is a bit farfetched. In fact, in this battle of strikers, it's "The Dirty Bird" that has key advantages over Holland in terms of striking success rate (+1.48), striking defense (61%), and significant strikes landed per minute (5.06). There is knockout risk here due to Holland's sensational power, but if it doesn't happen, Means should hang around to pile up points at his usual brisk pace.
Others to Consider: Court McGee ($15), Damir Ismagulov ($15), Joe Lauzon ($14), Julian Marquez ($14), Tony Kelley ($9)