The Duel

MMA Fantasy Picks for UFC Fight Night 170

Jason Schandl
Top MMA fantasy picks for UFC Fight Night 170 include Kevin Lee in the main event.
Top MMA fantasy picks for UFC Fight Night 170 include Kevin Lee in the main event. / Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

One of the few sporting events remaining this weekend, UFC Fight Night 170 will be live from Brasilia, Brazil on Saturday afternoon.

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 other fantasy sports, you're building a lineup under a salary cap, with the option to select any fighters in the player pool. There are a few simple keys that are important to keep in mind:

- Ideally you want all of your fighters to win. This means it's rare that you'll want to include two fighter facing off against each other in the same lineup, as this guarantees you one loss to start with.
- The scoring differs between sites, but outside of just winning fights, the two main things to weigh heavily are ending the fight in the early rounds and landing a high volume of stats (takedowns and significant strikes).
- Because of the volatile nature of a UFC fight, scoring can be incredibly unpredictable. If an underdog wins by knockout in the first round, the highest-priced fighter on a slate could score close to 0 while the cheapest could post the highest score. That's not the kind of thing you see in most fantasy sports.
- Given that main events and championship fights are 5 rounds instead of 3 for other bouts, you almost always want to include one fighter from the main event in your lineup, as even if they don't win in the early rounds, they're afforded an extra 10 minutes to accumulate takedowns and significant strikes.

UFC Fight Night 170 Fantasy Picks

1. Renato Moicano (vs Damir Hadzovic)

With -360 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, Renato Moicano is tied as the biggest favorite on the card. He also gets +155 odds to win by either KO/TKO or by submission, while the other biggest favorite (Amanda Ribas) is only +280 on that prop. With the emphasis on winning in early rounds, that makes Moicano much more valuable, and he also adds some impressive striking pace as a bonus, averaging 5.53 significant strikes landed per minute over his UFC career.

2. Kevin Lee (vs Charles Oliveira)

As mentioned above, targeting fighters in the main event is crucial. Kevin Lee is the favorite, at -156, and he also has better odds to win by KO/TKO or submission than Charles Oliveira (-105 vs. +145). A highly aggressive grappler, Lee averages 3.23 takedowns landed per 15 minutes, while also adding 3.90 significant strikes per minute. Both of those marks are higher than Oliveira's averages, meaning he's likely to score higher in a decision win than Oliveira would, while the odds suggest he's also more likely to win in the early rounds.

3. Aleksei Kunchenko (vs Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos)

You'll almost always have to include some underdogs in your lineup, given the settings in fantasy UFC contests. At just +114, Kunchenko is only a slight underdog, with every other 'dog on the televised portion of this week's event being at least +130. His +380 odds to win by KO/TKO aren't terrible for an underdog (third-best in the group), and he's landed at least 44 significant strikes in all three of his UFC fights.

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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.