Top Daily Fantasy MMA Picks for UFC 257

| January 22, 2021 4:43 am PST
Daily Fantasy MMA Picks for UFC 257

The UFC returned with another UFC Fight Night event on Wednesday, but that was just a blip on the MMA radar.

Even last weekend’s UFC Fight Night event (a great event, by the way) doesn’t really hold a candle to what UFC fans are about to embark on.

UFC 257 arrives this weekend, and it gives us the return of Conor McGregor, as well as one of the biggest fights of the year.

Conor McGregor will take on Dustin Poirier in a tense rematch, and it will definitely be a fight you want to tune into. The question, of course, is which of these guys belong in your MMA DFS lineups this week?

Let’s walk through my favorite MMA DFS picks and top lineup for UFC 257.

Conor McGregor ($9.1k)

The money lies with Dustin Poirier, and if you ask Adam Haynes, that’s the way you should lean if you’re betting on this fight.

Just take a look at his McGregor vs. Poirier betting pick. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say we’re not in agreement as to how the headlining act at UFC 257 goes down.

The reality of the situation is that the man known as Notorious has bigger fish to fry. He’s also already beaten Poirier, and he’s one of the best strikers the UFC has ever seen.

Notorious has also never been KO’d, and he’s reminded everyone of his power with two wins by stoppage in his last three bouts.

McGregor isn’t cheap, and Poirier is no slouch. The latter’s only loss in his last eight fights is a shared foe, as he also got choked out by the great Khabib Nurmagomedov.

His list of corpses left along the way include some greats in Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway.

McGregor has eaten most of them up and spit them out, too. And if you weren’t already aware, it’s on.

Poirier has tasted defeat via fists, and in going up against the biggest star the UFC has to offer, he’s taking on considerable risk.

I do think Notorious needs to be mindful of Poirier’s submission skills, but McGregor also knows he’ll need to end this thing early. He is well known for doing just that, and a first or second-round KO would bring back an ideal score.

Paying for that at DraftKings makes sense on a slate that is otherwise filled with uncertainty.

Amir Albazi ($7.9k)

There are a few MMA DFS value picks to get excited about (or at least consider using) this weekend.

This slate is full of volatility, so there will absolutely be some wiggle room in terms of rostering underdogs that can pay off in a big way.

Needless to say, it could pay to look at some UFC 257 sleepers if you plan on betting on this weekend’s event.

And as luck would have it, Albazi registers as one of them.

Albazi is the narrowest of underdogs (-104 at BetOnline ), but he’s a pretty good price at DraftKings. He also offers as much upside as anyone, as he’s 13-1 and his lone UFC fight ended in a first-round submission win, producing 107 fantasy points.

This is the type of upside you’ll want to target, especially since the guy finishes fights regularly (12 of 13 wins by stoppage). His lone defeat came via Decision, too, and he matches up quite well with Zhalgas Zhumafulov, who has had all Decisions in his last six fights.

Look for Albazi to end this thing early and crush this price tag.

Ottman Azaitar ($8.8k)

This isn’t the best UFC fight card in terms of name recognition, but it actually has a slew of fantastic fighters.

Azaitar is one of them. He enters as a solid -156 favorite at most UFC betting sites, and it certainly does feel like he’ll be the aggressor in his matchup with Matt Frevola.

Frevola can grind fights out, but he is not a big finisher, and I think he’s in some trouble in this spot.

I mean, Azaitar is just brutal.

Azaitar is doing nothing but climbing the UFC ladder, as he’s won via stoppage in both of his UFC fights and has done so in his last five bouts, overall.

For his career, Azaitar is 13-0 with 10 KOs, and just one of his fights has ever gone the distance.

He’s probably going to be far too much for Frevola in this one, and while the price is a bit high, I will gladly eat it for what should be a fairly “safe” pick.

Top MMA DFS Lineup for January 23rd

  • Conor McGregor ($9.1k)
  • Amir Albazi ($7.9k)
  • Ottman Azaitar ($8.8k)
  • Michael Chandler ($7.7k)
  • Antonio Carlos Jr. ($7.5k)
  • Makhmud Muradov ($8.6k)

This is a pretty stellar MMA DFS lineup, at first glance. It never hurts to toss McGregor onto the pile, and he’s a great way to get things started.

When piecing together my top MMA DFS picks, I always want wins, but I also want as much upside as I can roster. You can slide in a Decision win here or there, but for the most part, you want early finishes.

McGregor has a tough assignment, but he’s much more likely to score the KO than Poirier, and he feels like one of the best tries for a knockout. The same goes for Azaitar, while Albazi also has a terrific chance at an early finish.

Those are my core MMA DFS picks for UFC 257, but they’re also kind of just the beginning.

I’m interested in Dan Hooker, but he’s $800 more than Michael Chandler and hasn’t finished anyone in his last three fights. Chandler makes his UFC debut after dominating in Bellator, and he is filled with upside in this spot.

Both of these guys can be taken out or inflict punishment. I’ll take the cheaper option who has a bit more to prove and will be hard-pressed to get a win in his UFC debut.

More savings can be had with Carlos, who is a submission guru. He will admittedly have a tough time if this fight stays off the ground, and it’s worth noting that Brad Tavares is the superior striker and has literally never been submitted.

It’s a dice roll, but this is a contrast of styles. Carlos has the ability to hand Tavares that first loss on the canvas, and at $7.5k, I’ll take the chance to make this roster work.

Wrapping up my UFC 257 DFS picks will be Muradov, who I can afford after saving a little cash with those previous two plays.

Muradov is a total beast. That sounds like hyperbole, as so many MMA fighters are obviously nasty fighters, but this dude is basically unbeatable right now.

Well, literally, as he hasn’t lost since 2016. That’s 13 straight wins, with 10 coming by stoppage.

Andrew Sanchez is no slouch, but Muradov just feels like the stronger, more explosive fighter. He also has the size and reach edge, and I think a KO could be in the cards.

There’s so much to consider going into UFC 257. If you want to do more than build a daily fantasy MMA lineup, take a look at Adam Haynes’ UFC 257 betting guide below.

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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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