UFC 185 Draft Kings advice and recommended lineup

With UFC 185 taking place later tonight, plenty of daily fantasy MMA players will be submitting their Draft Kings lineups, and for those that aren’t completely confident in their picks, here’s my recommended lineup for today’s event.UFC 185

(For those that are unfamiliar with the Draft Kings format of daily MMA betting: with a cap of $50,000, the objective is to select 5 fighters – who have been allotted prices – to produce as many points as possible. The rules on how points are scored by a particular fighter can be found on the bottom of this article.)

Chris Cariaso ($7,100) vs. Henry Cejudo
The biggest value at UFC 185 has to be Chris Cariaso. While he’s a major underdog on both Draft Kings and betting lines, I’m not entirely sold on Cejudo because of his ability to make a clean weight-cut at bantamweight and the diversity of his skill-set. Cariaso and Cejudo are polar opposites when it comes to experience against high-level competition, and as long as Cariaso can neutralize the constant takedown attempts from Cejudo, I like placing him in the lineup.

Carla Esparza ($10,500) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
This pick is a case of selling high on Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Joanna wildly outperformed my expectations against Claudia Gadelha at UFCon FOX 13, but I expect that she’ll struggle against Esparza. The strawweight champion should be able to control where the fight goes and potentially piece together a finish in latter portion of the bout.

Roy Nelson ($8,400) vs. Alistair Overeem
Taking either Roy Nelson or Alistair Overeem at this point in their respective careers shouldn’t inspire confidence. It wouldn’t be surprising to see either heavyweight look listless and be put away early. Which is why I like the play on the underdog in this fight, especially an underdog with the punching power that Nelson possesses.

Johnny Hendricks ($11,700) and Anthony Pettis ($12,200)
My first three picks allow me to go chalk with the top two fights. Sure, you can’t ever count out an uber-aggressive Matt Brown or an ever-improving Rafael Dos Anjos, but Hendricks and Pettis are significant favorites to win their bouts. Hendricks could get a finish in a flurry against Brown, and Pettis hasn’t gone to the judges since 2011.

Draft King’s MMA Scoring System
1st Round Win: 100 points
2nd Round Win: 70 points
3rd Round Win: 50 points
4th Round Win: 40 points
5th Round Win: 40 points
Decision Win: 25 points

Significant Strikes: 0.5 points
Advances: 1 point
Takedowns: 2 points
Reversal/Sweeps: 2 points
Knockdowns: 3 points

Draft Kings is doing a free league tonight for UFC 185 and the 1st place prize is a signed glove by Anthony Pettis. Click the image below to enter the contest.