UFC DFS Model & Picks for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns

UFC DFS Model & Picks for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns article feature image

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: (L-R) Opponents Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns.

UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Burns takes place on Saturday and DFS lineups will lock at 6 p.m. ET.

If you are unaware, we have built out a full player-projection model to help us try and put together some winning lineups in UFC DFS.

The model, created by my colleague Sean Koerner, is based on 10,000 simulations of all 11 fights. He then pulled the DraftKings score from each fight to create floor, median and ceiling projections for every fighter. Here is how he defined each projection:

  • Floor: Fighter has an 80% chance of going over this score, 20% chance of going under
  • Median: Fighter has a 50% chance of going over this score, 50% chance of going under
  • Ceiling: Fighter has a 20% chance of going over this score, 80% chance of going under

These should give us a better sense as to what fighters we should target based upon the game type — maximizing ceiling in GPPs, for example.

Another tool that you can use, to make it easier to identify which fighters to use in the big tournaments is Perfect%.

Perfect% is the percentage of the time that fighter finishes in the ‘perfect/optimal lineup’ based on my simulations. It’s worth noting that this is factoring in the “perfect lineup” that meets the DraftKings budget of $50,000 or less. Therefore this really is the perfect metric to use when trying to figure out the ideal fighters to use in the MMA Million.

Check out Sean Koerner’s full DFS projections for Saturday’s UFC card:


How am I building my lineups, based upon these projections and my overall handicapping of the card?

The Free Square

Daniel Rodriguez ($7,300) 

Rodriguez was initially an underdog to Kevin Holland, who dropped out late due to injury, and now Rodriguez is one of the more significant favorites on the evening against late replacement Gabriel Green. As a result, “D-rod” is completely mispriced for tonight’s card; listed – at -167 (implied 62.5%) in the betting market to win by KO/TKO.

He has a 70% chance of being in the optimal lineup and is also my preferred fighter to use tonight in parlays.

Additionally, Rodriguez has the second-highest floor (52 points) of any fighter on the card. I’ll include him in every lineup.

The Easy Chalk

Roosevelt Roberts ($9,200) 

Roberts is the second-most expensive play on Saturday’s card, but I think that he’s highly likely to get a stoppage against Brok Weaver — the only fighter to miss weight on Friday. Roberts is useful in both cash games and GPPs, with Weaver’s aggressive style likely leading to an early stoppage or a high-paced fight.

Mackenzie Dern ($9,300) 

Dern is the most expensive fighter on the slate, and also the heaviest favorite, north of -400. But she’s 44% likely to be in the perfect lineup and she has a clear stylistic advantage over Hannah Cifers, who she should control for 15 minutes on the ground unless she wins by submission in a fight that is -245 to finish inside the distance.

The Swing Fights

Billy Quarantillo ($8,600) vs. Spike Carlyle ($7,600) 

Carlyle’s ceiling rating (93.5) and perfect rating (36.6%) should stick out like a sore thumb. He has stamina issues, but he’s more than capable of scoring a first-round knockout against Qurantillo, and I did bet the underdog in this fight.

Quarantillo’s median projection is significantly higher, as he should begin to control the bout in the second and third rounds if he can get there. But this will likely be a fight of the night candidate, and choosing wisely between the pair could swing your night, with the winner seeming likely to end up in the optimal lineup.

Tim Elliott ($8,700) vs. Brandon Royval

The other fight of the night candidate puts Elliot, who has scored as many as 175 DraftKings points, in a solid matchup against Brandon Royval, who isn’t a particularly strong wrestler.

Royval does have a 28.8% chance of getting into the perfect lineup, but Elliot’s ceiling and perfect projection are the highest on the slate. Based upon betting odds, I would recommend using Elliot in roughly 65% of your lineups, with Royval deployed in the remainder.

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