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Fantasy MMA DFS Picks: UFC on ESPN+ 14 – Jessica Andrade vs. Weili Zhang

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[c] Jessica Andrade (-165) vs. [#6] Weili Zhang (+155)

What a way to make your first title defense. Andrade is in the cage for the first time since finishing former champ Rose Namajunas in the second round back in May. She’s won four straight (all four over 100 FP) since her decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in May 2017. Andrade puts on a hell of a pace. She’s landed 6.6 significant strikes per minute in her UFC career while landing a takedown per round. Her opponent, Weili Zhang, is certainly a game challenger, although she’s only getting this fight because of the location of the card. Zhang took out Tecia Torres by decision in March, which pushed her to 2-0 in the UFC. Zhang will be pushing the pace as well, landing 5.5 SSpM thus far in her UFC career.

It’s pretty hard to not love Andrade in both cash and GPPs. She’s going to throw a ton, and she has a 39% chance to win this fight inside of distance, which is the third highest mark on the card. I expect her to be one of my most owned fighters. Zhang is a live dog, particularly for cash games. She doesn’t have much of a chance to finish the fight, but I expect her score to be viable in cash if it goes the distance. She’ll easily pay of her salary if she can grab a decision win and the belt.

[#14] Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos vs. Li Jingliang

Dos Santos is the third most expensive fighter on the card. He has the third best chance at victory, and the second highest odds of a finish. Since dropping a split decision to Nicolas Dalby in his UFC debut, he’s been on a bit of a tear (7-0) with the last three fights being finishes. He’ll be knocking on the door of the top-10 at welterweight with a win. Jingliang has won six of seven, with his only defeat coming in a decision loss to Jake Matthews in February of 2018.

The odds say that Dos Santos slaughters Jingliang, and I don’t disagree at all. I actually expect him to get the finish by submission, although strikes will likely lead him there. Dos Santos is obviously in play for cash, particularly with such low finish odds from Jingliang. I think he’s the best dollar for dollar fighter on the slate. I will be playing next to zero Jingliang. I just don’t see any upside in the play.

Other Fighters

I’m not going to lie, there are a ton of fighters on this card that are complete unknowns to me. Using betting lines will be incredible valuable for this card, particularly with a 3AM EST lock time. You’ll need to be locked and loaded before bed time tonight, or you’re just a savage staying up to catch 70% of an international Ultimate Fighter-type card. On the prelims, only Andre Soukhamthath has a Wikipedia page.

Mosvar Evloev had the highest odds of victory, along with the fourth highest mark for obtaining a finish, but the fight has been scrapped due to Zhenhong Lu suffering a cut in training. I’ll be focusing my main exposures on Khadis Ibragimov, Mizuki Inoue and Kai Kara-France. I think those three, plus Dos Santos and the two main eventers, make for an excellent core.

Josh is the Director of Content for Awesemo.com where he hosts video and writes content regularly across the primary sports of MLB, NBA, and NFL as well as contributing to the development of models and projections across all sports. He originally started producing projections & articles for Reddit's r/DFSports in 2014 where he built a loyal following that brought him to where he is today. Josh is most known for his elaborate Excel spreadsheets, which he shares in all of his video content. You can find him on Twitter or hanging out in Awesemo's Premium Slack. You can contact Josh by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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