MMA Fantasy Picks for UFC 253

Jason Schandl
UFC 253 fantasy picks, including Paulo Costa.
UFC 253 fantasy picks, including Paulo Costa. / Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

It's been over a month since the last big UFC card, but they return with a bang on Saturday night. UFC 253 will be headlined by a pair of title fights, including Israel Adesanya vs Paulo Costa and Dominick Reyes vs Jan Blachowicz.

A big UFC event means big prize pools for daily fantasy UFC contests, so let's look at who this week's best plays are.

UFC 253 Fantasy Picks

1. Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa is an underdog in this week's Middleweight title fight, but his style gives him massive fantasy upside if he can pull off the upset. Costa's 8.43 significant strikes landed per minute are the most for any fighter (min. 5 bouts) in UFC history, and he just landed 118 in a three-round fight in his last outing. He has scored 12 of his 13 wins by KO/TKO or submission, and with his elite striking pace in a five-round fight, even a decision could leave him posting the week's highest fantasy score if he pulls off an upset. Costa isn't an overly safe play, but his upside is through the roof.

2. Jake Matthews

FanDuel Sportsbook has Jake Matthews as the week's biggest favorite by a massive margin, at -750. That makes him easily the safest fantasy play on the card. He doesn't come without upside, either, as Matthew by KO/TKO or Submission is available at +140, suggesting he has a reasonable chance of adding a bonus for finishing the fight.

3. Ketlen Vieira

Ketlen Vieira is priced like an underdog on FanDuel, with the seventh-lowest salary on the card. She is a -188 favorite, however, making her an immediate value. Her style also matches up with Eubanks. Vieira has an elite 57 percent takedown accuracy rate in the UFC, and Eubanks sports just a 61 percent takedown defense rate.

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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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.