MMA DFS Picks and Lineup for UFC Vegas 38 – Saturday, October 2, 2021

| October 1, 2021 11:15 am PDT

Daily fantasy MMA continues to be a grind: you need to get a winner from every fight you pick from, you need as many points as possible, and you better not tie with someone else.

If all of that goes right, you still may be sharing winnings with someone at the top of a tournament. If any of it goes wrong, it’s another sad Saturday of losing.

Every week, my goal with my MMA DFS picks is to produce a winning lineup and point you to some bets that can win you some cash.

Two of my core plays scored KO wins, while three of my six UFC DFS picks panned out. As far as the betting realm, I whiffed on a couple of picks, but Jessica Andrade to win in round one by KO (+700!) delivered.

Let’s see what my favorite squad is for UFC Vegas 38, starting with my top three fighters to get in your MMA DFS lineups.

Top MMA DFS Picks for October 2, 2021

Each week, I point to my favorite UFC DraftKings picks, highlighting three fighters to consider starting your UFC DFS lineups with.

Usually, at least two of them are on the safer side, all of them tend to offer upside, and one should help with salary relief.

Last week my core DFS MMA picks went 2-for-3, so let’s try to make it a clean sweep going into UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Walker.

Johnny Walker ($7.4k)

I have a history of going against the grain in the main events. It didn’t work out with Brian Ortega last week, but there is merit to your approach.

Here are a few things to consider.

  • Both fighters are usually elite
  • You get up to 5 rounds
  • It might be contrarian

In this case, Walker is not the talent Santos is, but he might last up to five rounds, be low-owned, and offer KO upside.

I’m really focusing on the latter, though. Walker is going to get roasted if he gets too close to Santos, but he has the striking to shock everyone.

To be fair, Thiago Santos has seen it all.

He KO’d Jan Blachowicz back in 2019, and even though he hasn’t won since then, he’s gone head to head with massive names lately – one of which is one the greatest MMA fighters of all time in Jon Jones.

He’s also 37, and he hasn’t been able to put any of these bad dudes away. Walker is eight years younger, and he has a whopping 15 KOs to his name.

Ryan Spann knows that better than anyone.

But before he took Spann out, Walker still gutted out a Decision loss to Nikita Krylov, and he also topped Misha Cirkunov.

His resume isn’t as daunting as his opponent’s, but the price, talent, and upside are all there for the taking for a fighter on the rise.

Kevin Holland ($8.5k)

Kevin Holland is one of my favorite MMA DraftKings picks this week, as he’s just too cheap in this spot against Kyle Daukaus. He’s also a -170 betting favorite at the best MMA betting sites.

I am holding out hope that he’ll be somewhat contrarian, as he’s lost two fights in a row.

We shouldn’t slam him for it, though, as Holland lost to two very good fighters in Marvin Vettori and Derek Brunson. He got those fights to the end in Decision defeats, as well.

Holland is the better fighter here, but it’s really just about controlling things. Sure, if Daukaus gets to the ground and is the aggressor, Holland is at risk of being submitted.

However, Holland is a far more balanced talent. He can also finish this thing on the ground, and he will win all day if this fight stays on the feet.

I just think he’s the more explosive fighter, and he can win in more ways. Daukaus shouldn’t be overlooked due to his canvas skills, but I think his first career KO could be coming.

Devonte Smith ($8.7k)

I love Smith here as one of the best UFC Fight Night DFS picks, too. He is not a guy that is afraid to stand and trade, so there is some risk against Jamie Mullarkey, who offers just as much KO upside.

Smith is just the better fighter. He’s super aggressive, he has lethal combos, and he never fights scared.

In a toss-up that feels destined to end via early stoppage, I’ll take him all day.

He’s been on quite the tear, too. He did drop an odd TKO loss to his buddy Khama Worthy, but he’s won his other seven bouts out of his last eight.

Oh, and they’ve all been via stoppage, with four of his last five wins coming in round one. Mullarkey also brings power to the table – and he actually beat the last guy to take out Smith – but I think Smith is more well-rounded and gets the win.

My Top UFC Vegas 38 Lineup

  • Johnny Walker ($7.4k)
  • Kevin Holland ($8.5k)
  • DeVonte Smith ($8.7k)
  • Casey O’Neill ($9k)
  • Macy Chiasson ($7.3k)
  • Alejandro Perez ($9.1k)

Johnny Walker is a roll of the dice, to be sure. However, his KO upside is amazing, and Santos hasn’t been finishing people lately, and he’s been knocked out three times before.

I think it’s a shot worth taking, especially since main events are so unpredictable. Holland feels significantly safer, while Smith is in that same boat as Walker, although I think he also happens to be the better fighter in his bout.

You can go whichever way you want with your remaining three DFS UFC picks, but I’ll wrap things up with Casey O’Neill, Macy Chiasson, and Alejandro Perez.

Perez should be able to out-wit the aged Johnny Eduardo, Casey O’Neill is too good on the ground, and Chiasson is a nice punt against Aspen Ladd.

Ladd would have the clear edge on the mat, but Chiasson is the better striker. It’s a risk, but that’s baked into the salary.

Hopefully, my UFC Fight Night DFS picks work out for you, but if you disagree with any, just make pivots as you see fit.

UFC Vegas 38 Betting Advice

This post is all about my top DFS MMA picks for UFC Vegas 38, but I also like to hand out my top UFC bets for the week.

You can get some more details on how to bet with Adam Haynes, and you can just hit up our free UFC picks page for all of his analysis and predictions.

As I’ve said in the past, UFC DFS picks, and UFC betting picks don’t always align. For example, I love Aleandro Perez as a safe pick for my MMA DFS lineups, but he’s a -230 favorite.

That price isn’t atrocious, but it’s not one that really pulls you in. All things considered, here are some of my favorite bets for UFC Vegas 38.

Kevin Holland-170
Johnny Walker+138
Devonte Smith-145

I also like Casey O’Neill and Perez, but you can decide if you want to go that hard at -200 MLs this week.

Hopefully, my UFC Fight Night DFS picks and top bets serve you well. For more daily fantasy sports content for this week, check out the posts below.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at 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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