MMA Fantasy Picks for UFC 249
One of the few sporting events going on this spring, the UFC will return with UFC 249 on Saturday, May 9.
Fantasy sites have been quick to embrace the event, rolling out plenty of contests to give you your fantasy sports fix in the absence of other events.
How to Play Fantasy UFC
Like many fantasy sports, you put together a lineup of athletes while staying under the salary cap that the fantasy sports site sets. In fantasy MMA, you're looking first and foremost for fighters that are going to win, while winning the fight early and racking up a high number of strikes and takedowns are both also important.
For a more in-depth overview, we outlined more in our last MMA fantasy picks story.
UFC 249 Fantasy Picks
Justin Gaethje (vs. Tony Ferguson)
Because title fights are five rounds (instead of three), you'll almost always want to have one side of each title fight in your lineup. Fantasy pricing also means you'll need to roster at least one underdog, and Justin Gaethje is the perfect choice. He holds the all-time UFC record for most significant strikes landed per minute (8.57), and he should rack up a ton against Ferguson. Whether he finishes this fight early or goes a full five rounds, Gaethje should be one of the week's highest fantasy scorers if he wins this one.
Henry Cejudo (vs. Dominick Cruz)
In the other five-round fight on the card, Henry Cejudo is a sizable -215 favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook. He showed no ill effects of moving up a weight class when he finished Marlon Moraes in his last outing, and while Dominick Cruz is an all-time great in the division, he hasn't fought since 2016. That kind of a long layoff is bad news, especially for a 35-year-old fighter, and there's good reason for Cejudo being such a big favorite.
Vicente Luque (vs. Niko Price)
FanDuel gives Vicente Luque +170 odds to win this fight in Round 1, which are the best odds for anyone on the card (better even than Francisco Ngannou, at +180). Early finishes are gold for fantasy scoring, and that makes Luque very valuable. Niko Price has a poor 51 percent significant striking defense rate, and 53 percent of Luque's pro wins have come by KO or TKO. That's a great combination for fantasy players picking Luque.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.