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UFC Fight Night 82 DFS Playbook: value picks, who to avoid

Another week, another UFC fight card, this time coming from Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Fight Night 82 is headlined by a welterweight bout between Johny Hendricks and Stephen Thompson, and below are our studs, value plays and fighters to avoid when making your DraftKings line-up for the event.

STUDS

Mickey Gall ($10,900)

It seems odd that putting a fighter with a 1-0 record making his UFC debut as a top play for fantasy, but Mickey Gall is a top play on this card. He's fighting Mike Jackson, who is making his professional debut and hasn't had an amateur MMA fight in some time (he has done boxing and kickboxing bouts though). Gall has a date set against C.M. Punk should he get past Jackson, and he should. Gall doesn't have the technical skills that make him ready for UFC competition, which is why he gets a debut opponent. This fight is set up for Gall to get a win and move onto Punk, and he probably score a finish as well. Gall is a solid play on the day.

Ovince Saint Preux ($10,700)

Ovince Saint Preux is looking to rebound from a disappointing loss to Glover Teixeira in August, and he has a perfect match-up against Rafael Cavalcante on Saturday night. Cavalcante has seemed to regress over the years due to drug suspensions and injuries, and he either knocks his opponent out or gets knocked out. Saint Preux hasn't suffered a knockout loss in over six years, and he's much more talented now. Saint Preux is a finisher, winning his last five fights by finish, and he's got the reach, height and overall advantage over Cavalcante. He likely finishes him inside of two rounds, so he is a very good play on the night.

VALUE PLAYS

Stephen Thompson ($9,000)

Stephen Thompson is rising in the welterweight division, winning five straight fights and looking very impressive in them. He gets the biggest test of his career against Johny Hendricks in the main event, and he has some good value at his salary. That has to do with the bout going five rounds, and I see it going the full 25 minutes. Whether he can win is the big question as Hendricks will likely do enough on the feet and get takedowns to win. Thompson can win the fight if he can keep it on the feet, but that's a question. I see him as a risk, but he has excellent value in a fight that can go 25 minutes.

Justin Scoggins ($8,900)

Justin Scoggins has a tough fight against Ray Borg, but both are solid prospects in the flyweight division who have exciting fights. Scoggins has been a finisher in his career, scoring seven of his ten wins by finish. He only has one UFC win by finish, and Borg is a tough fighter to finish. The difference in salaries between the two seems a little long, but Borg has been on a solid streak lately while Scoggins is just 1-2 in his last three. His salary makes him a good value pick as he has a good chance at scoring an upset over Borg and it will allow you to spend bigger for your roster.

FIGHTERS TO AVOID

Artem Lobov ($9,800)

Artem Lobov scored a whopping one point in his UFC debut against Ryan Hall. Over the course of 15 minutes, he landed two significant strikes. That is it. He is not a UFC caliber fighter, but he gets a second chance against Alex White. It is less than two months after the bout against Hall and in a lower weight class. White is just 1-2 in the UFC, but won his first ten career fights and nine came by stoppage. Lobov is durable and likely won't be finished, but I don't see much upside in him or him even getting the win. I recommend avoiding him at all costs.

Mike Pyle ($9,400)

Mike Pyle is a veteran fighter, but as he has just turned 40-years-old, it is likely that his career has seen better days. He has lost three of his last four fights, and he was finished quickly in two of those losses. He faces Sean Spencer on Saturday night, and Spencer is a grinder type fighter who can be a sneaky finisher. He hasn't finished anyone inside the Octagon yet, though, but Pyle's chin may not be what is used to be. At worst, it will be a grinding affair and Spencer will have the advantage if it goes to the scorecards. Pyle will be a fighter we will be avoiding in our line-ups.

OUR LINE-UPS

RYAN FREDERICK- Mickey Gall ($10,900), Ovince Saint Preux ($10,700), Johny Hendricks ($10,400), K.J. Noons ($9,300), Zach Makovsky ($8,600)

I'm going with Mickey Gall to finish Mike Jackson. There isn't a lot of research you can do one a guy with one professional bout and two amateur bouts, but the fight is what it is, and I think he gets the finish of Jackson. Ovince Saint Preux has huge upside in his fight against Rafael Cavalcante. Saint Preux is a finisher and he should get one against a fading opponent. Johny Hendricks was a tough choice, but I think the main event goes the distance and he gets the decision on a lot of takedowns, and those score points. K.J. Noons hits hard and with a lot of volume, and Josh Burkman has been a huge disappointment in his UFC return. Noons has a very good chance of getting a finish of Burkman, who has been finished in his last two fights. With my remaining salary, I'm going with Zach Makovsky. Honestly, I don't think he will beat Joseph Benavidez, but I don't see him getting finished, which says a lot about the rest of the fighters left with the remaining salary I had. Just going 15 minutes, however the fight goes, should get me more than the rest of the bunch.

PAUL FONTAINE- Ray Borg ($10,500), Johny Hendricks ($10,400), Damian Grabowski ($9,700), Artem Lobov ($9,800), KJ Noons ($9,300)

If last week is any indication, your best bet is probably to pick the opponents of everyone on my team. That said, it’s a new week so let’s try this again. Hendricks has lost two fights in the last 5 years and both of those were questionable. He’s a lock in my book to either score an early KO or win a grinding decision in which he lands a lot of strikes.  Grabowski is making his UFC debut but is very experienced and a submission expert. I like him to score a quick stoppage win over Derrick Lewis. Ray Borg has finishing ability at 125, rare for the division. At just 22, he’s a future title challenger and this could be his coming out party. Lobov has a lot of power for the featherweight division and his opponent, Alex White, is susceptible to the KO. After his embarrassing performance at the TUF finale, I like Lobov to rebound here. Noons is a KO specialist and I think the weight cut is going to affect his opponent Josh Burkman more. Burkman hasn’t won since returning to UFC and I don’t think that will change here. 

PEACH MACHINE- Ovince Saint Preux ($10,700), Johny Hendricks ($10,400), Artem Lobov ($9,800), Derrick Lewis ($9,700), Jared Rosholt ($9,200)

Another 4-1 week last week. I like my picks again, but this time I went with a couple of heavyweights from which I usually shy away. Derrick Lewis is a monster and I'm banking on an early KO... Same thing with Rosholt. Nelson has lost three in a row and while his heart will still be there, his chin won't... OSP should be able to take Cavalcante down and beat him that way. That's the template to win. Should OSP decide to make this a stand up battle, that's trouble for him... Hendricks better be on his game or he's done at 170. I'm thinking he'll get inside and touch Thompson's chin and get the finish at some point in five rounds... The template to beat Lobov is Ryan Hall. Alex White is not Ryan Hall. Lobov by KO.