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UFC 283 Picks: Top DraftKings DFS Fantasy MMA Targets, Values

Tim Finnegan gives UFC 283 picks for Saturday’s DraftKings UFC slate.

UFC Fight Night: Almeida v Porter Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC 283 is taking place on Saturday from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the event features two title fights at the top of the card. The main event is between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill for the vacant light heavyweight championship. Jiri Prochazka beat Teixeira for the title last June, but Prochazka was forced to vacate the title due to a shoulder injury. A draw between Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 282 resulted in the title remaining vacant.

The co-main event is between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno for the UFC flyweight championship. This will be the fourth fight between the two, and Figueiredo and Moreno are 1-1-1 against each other in three previous fights.

DraftKings is hosting a huge UFC 283 fantasy MMA tournament that pays out $500,000 in total prizes, including $100,000 to first place. Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: UFC $500K UFC 283 Special [$100K to 1st].


Jailton Almeida ($9,700)

Almeida is a massive favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook for his fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov, carrying a moneyline of about -900, which makes him easily the biggest favorite on the card. Abdurakhimov is 41 years old and has been prone to getting finished lately, losing each of his last three fights by KO/TKO. Abdurakhimov has poor takedown defense on a rate basis, stopping just 47% of opponent takedown attempts in the UFC. Abdurakhimov’s striking metrics are also weak, landing under three significant strikes per minute while absorbing slightly more strikes than he has landed.

Almeida has excellent metrics, absorbing under one significant strike per minute in part due to strong offensive grappling. Almeida has recorded over seven takedowns per 15 minutes, a massive number, and has finished all three of his UFC fights in the first round. Almeida has recorded strong control time in each of his three UFC wins, which has contributed to strong fantasy scores. Almeida is averaging 118 DraftKings fantasy points per fight, the highest on this slate, and is positioned well to generate takedowns, control time and a first-round finish in this matchup. Almeida is from Brazil and has been booked to shine in this soft matchup in front of the Brazilian crowd.

Value Play

Glover Teixeira ($7,800)

Teixeira’s style generally makes him a good fantasy scorer. Teixeira blends striking and grappling together and registers a lot of control time, which gives him multiple pathways to produce fantasy points. Teixeira has scored over 100 DraftKings fantasy points in each of his last four fights.

Teixeira’s affordable price tag of $7,800 makes him appealing in a winnable matchup against Jamahal Hill, who may struggle to fend off Teixeira’s grappling. Hill does not have a big wrestling or grappling background and has been susceptible to being taken down, most recently getting taken down six times in his last fight against Thiago Santos.

If Teixeira can fight inside on the feet to negate the reach disadvantage and drag this fight to the ground, he will be in position to capitalize with his superior ground game. Teixeira is a BJJ black belt and four of his last six wins are by submission. Hill has also been vulnerable to submissions on the ground, which was most notable in his fight against Paul Craig where a tight armbar/triangle caused a referee stoppage due to a dislocated elbow. The fight is officially listed as a TKO loss, but only because Hill did not tap.

Teixeira’s fight is also a five-round fight, which potentially creates 10 extra minutes to generate fantasy scoring.


Deiveson Figueiredo ($8,200)

Figueiredo possesses some of the most potent power punching and finishing skills in the flyweight division. Figueiredo has recorded the most knockdowns in the history of the flyweight division with 11 and ranks fourth in knockdowns on a time-adjusted basis. Figueiredo also actively hunts submissions and has a very dangerous submission game. Figueiredo has attempted 18 submissions in the UFC, tied for the most among all flyweights, and ranks third in finishing submissions on a time-adjusted basis. Figueiredo is confident in his guard and scrambling, which allows him to aggressively attack submissions because he does not fear being on his back.

Despite Figueiredo showcasing explosive fight-finishing skills against most of the flyweight division, Brandon Moreno’s iron chin and incredible toughness have resulted in two of their three fights going the distance over 25 minutes. Figueiredo is very close to being 2-1 vs. Moreno, as a point deduction from a groin strike resulted in a draw in their first fight rather than a decision win. Figueiredo blamed a poor weight cut as the reason for his subpar performance in his loss vs. Moreno in their second fight.

In their most recent fight, Figueiredo finally wobbled Moreno’s iron chin, officially knocking Moreno down three times. The biggest blow of the fight came in the final seconds of Round 3, where Figueiredo landed a hard right straight to knock Moreno down and was working on a front choke as the clock ran out. Moreno may have been saved by the bell, as more time on the clock could have resulted in a finish given Figueiredo’s potent submission game.

Figueiredo also was much more aggressive with offensive wrestling in their third fight, attempting 11 takedowns, easily the most takedown attempts he’s recorded in a fight in the UFC. Figueiredo’s power punching ultimately helped him win a decision despite being out-struck 105 to 86 in total significant strikes. Moreno out-struck Figueiredo in both total head strikes (71 to 40) and total distance strikes (100 to 80), but Figueiredo’s strikes to the head were more impactful and did more damage.

The fourth fight could have a similar theme to the third fight: a prolonged bout over the course of 25 minutes that ends up in favor of Figueiredo due to his advantage in power punching. Figueiredo recorded 110 DraftKings fantasy points in his most recent decision win over Moreno. This fight is also a five-round fight, which potentially creates 10 extra minutes to generate fantasy scoring.

Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: UFC $500K UFC 283 Special [$100K to 1st].

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests. The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups.