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Daily Fantasy MMA Picks for UFC on ESPN 27

| July 23, 2021 10:03 am PDT

I’m back after a week off. The last big event was a letdown, as Conor McGregor broke his ankle and sank my best MMA DFS lineups. The rest of my daily fantasy MMA picks largely worked out, though, so there will be no heads hung low.

It’s onward and upward going into UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw, which gives us a fantastic main event. This card does struggle a bit from there, but Darren Elkins, Darrick Minner, and Ian Heinisch are some pretty big names to track.

Wondering which fighters should be in your MMA DFS lineups? I’ve got you covered. Let’s first go over my three core MMA DFS picks for this weekend and round out my favorite lineup for UFC on ESPN 27.

Adrian Yanez ($9k)

One of my favorite fighters for UFC on ESPN 27 is Yanez. He actually has a tougher than expected challenge against the explosive Randy Costa, but he’s simply the better talent in this fight.

Some are even comparing him to Jorge Masvidal, and he isn’t shying away from that.

You have to pay for his reliability, but Yanez is a terrific striker that supplies plenty of power. He’s scored 8 KO wins in his career and has yet to be finished.

That’s encouraging in a bout against Costa, who has six KO wins in seven fights. He’s dangerous, as evidenced by his vicious head kick to Journey Newson in his last fight.

Believe me, I have interest in Costa if I am doing 100+ lineups. He’s a cold-blooded striker with major upside. He also provides salary relief at his $7.2k price.

This fight is ending early, too. I just think you’ll have to pay to get the winner.

The top MMA betting sites list the more skilled Yanez as a sizable -224 favorite. He’s on quite the tear, having won six straight fights (five by KO/TKO), and he just offers a compact approach with insane power.

I think there is risk here when you note Costa’s own power, but Yanez is the favorite for a reason, and he has the fourth-best fantasy projection at RotoGrinders.com.

Darrick Minner ($8.6k)

Every single fighter is risky these days, but I really like how this fight sets up for Minner. My goal is obviously to get a winner every time out, but I also want some upside.

You need early finishes to get that, and a guy with 22 submission wins in his career can get you that.

That’s even more so the case in a bout that is going to be geared towards the ground. At 37 years old, Elkins just isn’t as scary as he once was, and he’s naturally trending in the wrong direction with a 1-4 record over his last five fights.

Minner offers nothing in terms of striking and KO power, but he’s a maestro in terms of grappling and finishing on the ground.

Minner is also a grinder, and he can last until the end. I think he’s in play for the submission here, but 111+ fantasy points in his last two fights illustrates his safe floor if he can get the win.

With both fighters going that route, I like Minner to have the edge, and BetOnline agrees by listing him as a -150-betting favorite.

T.J. Dillashaw ($7.4k)

I really like Costa’s price and upside, but I don’t think he’s a good bet to actually take out Yanez.

You do need to find some value somewhere on this slate, of course, and where better than the return of T.J. Dillashaw. To be fair, there is a lot of reason to go against him.

  • He hasn’t fought since 2019.
  • He got owned by Henry Cejudo.
  • He also got swept up in a doping scandal.

None of that is great, and now he’s trying to work his way back at age 35. The rust, the bad image, and the recent form all seems bad, and that’s before he has to try to take out Cory Sandhagen.

All that said, Dillashaw’s only loss since 2016 came against a nasty fighter, he has the redemption narrative backing him, and he really has very little to lose.

Dillashaw has terrific takedown defense, and we know he can take punishment, and he clearly can dish it out. The guy has nothing to lose at this stage of his career, yet he has everything to gain.

Despite all the negativity, he projects for the second most fantasy points, you get the potential of five rounds, and you know he can end the fight early.

To top it off, Dillashaw is just too cheap given his talent and upside.

Sandhagen is in way better form and he’s probably the better fighter at this point, but Dillashaw is the better value.

Top MMA DFS Lineup for July 24

  • Adrian Yanez ($9k)
  • Darrick Minner ($8.6k)
  • J. Dillashaw ($7.4k)
  • Brendan Allen ($8k)
  • Miranda Maverick ($8.4k)
  • Ian Heinisch ($8.5k)

I love Yanez for UFC Fight Night, Minner feels like a great play in a comfortable spot, and Dillashaw is my favorite value pick.

The one pivot I’d consider is going from Yanez to Sandhagen and using Costa over TJ for value, especially if you’re rolling out a ton of MMA DFS lineups.

That said, I think Dillashaw is going to come it at lower ownership and I’m taking advantage of the KO upside and extra rounds.

Elsewhere, I really like Brendan Allen and Miranda Maverick. Allen is an immensely skilled fighter that can win in several ways, and he’s been getting wins consistently with an 8-1 run over his last nine bouts.

He has a tough task in Punahele Soriano this weekend, but I think he’s the more skilled fighter. To be fair, this fight is being called close to the chest (-110 for both fighters), but I favor Allen and love his price.

Maverick also stands out at her salary, as she feels like a great bet to get a win at UFC Fight Night. She enters the weekend as a solid -145 favorite, and she is red hot with five consecutive victories.

She also has gone 2-0 in the UFC so far, earning a TKO win in her debut, and then grinding out a win against Gillian Robertson. Her opponent is going in the wrong direction with two losses in her last two fights.

Maverick’s toughness, pace, and striking give her the edge for me here.

I’ll wrap things up with Heinich, who is another solid value going into this slate. The 32-year-old has slid as of late, but his last three defeats were all Decision drops against good fighters in Kelvin Gastelum, Omari Akhmedov, and Derek Brunson.

Somewhere in there he TKO’d Gerald Meerschaert, too. That reminded everyone of his vicious upside.

He gets Nassourdine Imavov this weekend, but the toughness factor leans toward Heinisch. Not only can he withstand a lot of punishment, but he also has plenty of power, and I don’t know if Imavov will be able to handle it.

Betting Advice for UFC Fight Night: Sandhagen vs. Dillashaw

Betting on the UFC is not the same as compiling MMA DFS picks and building out a lineup. Think of daily fantasy MMA more as a parlay, and you really need to get a winner with every fighter you use.

On top of that, they probably need to win in convincing fashion, and usually need to do so relatively early. I think I have six winners for this weekend, but MMA is crazy.

Because of that, I think Dillashaw is a fun DFS play, and perhaps an even more thrilling bet as a +157 underdog.

That’s a risky play, so I’d tack on Yanez and Maverick if you’re doing a parlay.

Those three bets look good individually, too, and I also like Minner and Heinisch. Allen also looks good in a virtual pick’em.

If you’re not down with my lineup, make some pivots, or just take some of my picks and translate them to UFC betting.

Of course, I’m not the only voice to lean on when it comes to betting on the UFC. In-house MMA betting guru Adam Haynes typically breaks down the key fights, and also hands out his best bets for major UFC events.

For his latest picks and predictions, bookmark and revisit our UFC betting picks section.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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