Duke’s GPP Plays and DFS advice for UFC 254: Khabib vs. Gaethje!
Let’s address the little elephant in the room over there. Someone else wrote this article last week and they are no longer here. We demand the best and it simply wasn’t up to our standards. It also makes sense to have a consistent voice so we aren’t creating confusion. Moving forward, I’ll either write this article week-to-week or I’ll roll it up into my main article for the smaller cards. We haven’t decided that just yet but it’s in the hopper. Any feedback is welcome!
So, what can you expect? Let’s talk a little game theory. Let’s talk about potential paths to victory. Let’s talk about the proper tournaments that you should be entering. Most importantly, understand that this isn’t covering all my bases. This article is meant to complement the fight-by-fight breakdown article that’s posted each WED of fight week. Let’s get into it!
UFC 254 CARD THOUGHTS
There are so many close fights and I don’t have a clear CASH lineup at the moment. Certainly, we’ll know more after weigh-ins, but if you read the WED article, you’ll see that we have several live dogs on the card. This will be a heavy GPP card for me, and personally, I’ll be sticking to the single entry, 3 max and 20 max tournaments.
My usual breakdown is around 60/40 – cash/GPP
This card will likely be 30/70 – cash/GPP
- $20k Flying Knee – $12 Single entry. Under 2k entrants, under 15% rake. We won’t see any overlay but the payout structure is alright and fits any budget.
- $60k Haymaker (20 entry max) – 15.9% rake. 24.18% Payout. Min cash only 1.67 but $6k 1st prize with a relatively flat structure.
- If you have the funds, I always like the $25k Contender (Single Entry) $100 tournament. 277 entrants. The payout structure is not as flat as I’d prefer but it pays slightly over 20% of the field with 25% going to first. The rake is below 10% which is nice.
- $5k Sprawl (3 entry max) – 15.88% rake. Pays 22.27%. Min cash = 2x. 1st = 10% of the prize pool.
OPTO SETTINGS (Assuming Max build is 20 entries)
- Unique Players per Lineup – 2
- $43000 Min Salary
- 90% Max Global Exposure – hit change all players
- 10% Randomness – hit change all players.
- Allow fighters from the same fight – Khabib v Gaethje (You’ll have to change projections or limit ownership with Gaethje)
This is a starting point. You should play with your own settings to adjust ownership that you want to achieve.
Note: these might change after weigh-ins but the premise is the same.
DOGS – AT MOST 3
Harris, Shakirova, Rakhmonov, Wood, Yakovlev, Jojua, Cutelaba
My current ownership with my initial crunch.
My initial thoughts:
These won’t stick. That’s a lot of Khabib. Not enough Cannonier. Not enough Shakirova. Too much Rakhmonov. I’ll either manually go back and adjust max ownership or play around with groups until I end up where I’d like to be.
Khabib will rightfully have a ton of ownership but Gaethje is a freak. I’ll likely lower Khabib’s ownership and increase Gaethje’s a touch. Both are great options in a fight we don’t have projected to end early and are scheduled for five rounds. Gaethje at $7k is insulting. In his wars with Alvarez and Poirier, he still picked up 58 and 61 points. Add in another two rounds potentially, and it’s feasible to get to 8-10x in a loss. Now, we’ve seen Khabib just wrap people up for 25 minutes, so I can’t justify grabbing more than 30-50% Gaethje unless you really have him winning. At +255, his implied odds of winning are around 29%.
Kenney/Wood seems like it could go to the judges. Obviously, we are looking for big finishes and high scores. Wood has eclipsed 100 in his last three wins and 90 in the other. Wood can get some takedowns here and at $7.5k, he’s looking at around 10x with a win. I have Kenney winning the fight, but Wood is a good GPP option with upside.
Jung v Alvey has an over/under of 1.5 rounds and is -235 to go the distance. Alvey has looked better of late, but Jung should get the finish inside the distance. We need an early finish to justify the $9.4k price for Jung. I’ll have some but likely less than the field.
Oliveira v Rakhmonov could certainly head to the judges’ scorecard. This is a very close fight, and without a finish, I’m not sure I’m flying to put either in my lineups, so I’ll likely lower his shares in my initial crunch. I’d rather be closer to 25-30% max.
Tia Tuivasa isn’t winning a decision here so if he wins, it will be inside the distance. The floor is damn near zero but the ceiling is in the triple digits at under $8k. This is a perfect GPP play. Struve needs a finish to hit value so I’m likely off him.
I’m going to have 10%+ Cutelaba when it’s all said and done. The stoppage was bizarre, to say the least, and we know he’ll be throwing big haymakers. I have this finishing early so I’ll have some of both, more of Ankalaev but Curelaba is so cheap and his upside is so high that I almost want to have 0 Cutelaba or being way overweight on the field. I have him winning this fight just 15% of the time so the value is on Ankalaev. Stay tuned here since I’ve talked myself in circles!
If Laura Murphy gets 4+ takedowns she might hit value but I have her losing and not getting a finish here. I can’t play her at this price. I’m not going all-in on Shakirova. It’s her first fight in the UFC and she’s not a lock to win. Her volume of strikes intrigues me and she does look for the finish. Murphy is heavy on top. She’s tough as nails. I don’t know that Shakirova can get the finish but $7.4k she can hit value without one. Much more Shakirova than Murphy.
Hawes v Malkoun is -235 to NOT go the distance. I have Hawes winning but I haven’t seen anyone talking about Malkoun. He’s not a tomato can, and at min price, he’s right in range with Cutelaba for me. I’m more nervous about Hawes not hitting value than I am about a min priced fighter potentially killing my lineup.
Harris has a puncher’s chance and Volkov doesn’t put out a ton of output. Volkov is more cash and Harris is more GPP. I won’t have much of either.
Cannonier v Whittaker is a crapshoot, and I’m taking the dog, who’s now maybe turning into a favorite. The price is right for a big night if Cannonier can get a finish at $8.2k. In his last three stoppages, he’s gone for over 10x. I expect the same.
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