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UFC Fight Night 83 DFS Playbook: value picks, who to avoid

The Octagon returns this weekend with an event on Sunday night, as UFC Fight Night 83 culminates from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The card is headlined by a welterweight bout as Donald Cerrone takes on Alex Oliveira. Below are our studs, value plays and fighters to avoid when setting your fantasy line-ups for this weekend's event.


Derek Brunson ($11,100)

Derek Brunson has the highest salary of the 26 fighters on the card and for good reason. He is a rising contender in the middleweight division, has won three straight fights and five of six in the UFC, with his lone loss coming to Yoel Romero. He has won his last two fights by first-round knockout, and he just keeps getting better each time he steps inside the Octagon. When he steps inside that Octagon on Sunday night in the co-main event, it will be opposite of Roan Carneiro, who hasn't fought in nearly a year. Carneiro has won six straight fights and is in the midst of a career resurgence, but he sported a 12-8 record at one point before his recent 9-1 run. Brunson is a tough opponent for someone returning from a year-long layoff, and Carneiro has been finished in six of his nine losses. Brunson is the top play of the weekend.

Donald Cerrone ($10,600)

Donald Cerrone headlines this event against the other fighter known as "Cowboy" in Alex Oliveira, and he is making his debut at 170 pounds to top it off. Gone are the big weight cuts that Cerrone makes, though he never has really shown any ill-effects from them. Oliveira is a replacement for the pulled Tim Means, taking the fight on short notice. Oliveira has taken most of his UFC bouts on short notice, and he has looked good during his UFC tenure. Cerrone is the best fighter he has ever fought, though, and Cerrone eats opponents like Oliveira up. He seems to falter against the best, and Oliveira is yet to be anywhere near that class. Cerrone is a violent finisher, and he has an excellent chance of finishing a short-notice opponent. Cerrone will be an excellent play this weekend.


Leonardo Augusto ($9,200)

Leonardo Augusto Guimaraes is making his UFC debut on Sunday, having scored 11 wins in 13 professional fights. He has nine wins by stoppage, and he gets a short-notice replacement in Anthony Smith, who took the fight just this week after Trevor Smith pulled out due to a hand injury. Smith has won seven straight fights outside of the UFC, but last fought less than a month ago and is taking the fight the week of the event. He likely kept himself in shape but fighting on just a few days' notice can be a tough challenge. That makes Augusto a solid play at his salary if you are looking to spend up for your roster.

Tatsuya Kawajiri ($8,600)

Tatsuya Kawajiri is an interesting play at his salary. Only three fighters have a lower salary than him, and it's interesting that he's a big underdog to Dennis Bermudez, who has lost two straight fights by finish. Bermudez was on the cusp of a title shot but now has his back against the wall, while Kawajiri is rising as he gets more adjusted to fighting inside the Octagon. He is 3-1 in the UFC, and he is primed for an upset win. He might not be able to finish Bermudez, but is a good candidate to score a decision win. Having him on your roster also allows for more spending on higher-end fighters. Kawajiri is an excellent value play at his salary.


Daniel Sarafian ($10,400)

Daniel Sarafian has been a big disappointment during his UFC tenure. He is just 2-3 inside the Octagon, and both wins have come to opponents who are no longer on the UFC roster. He hasn't fought since a win in December 2014, which came due to a finger injury to his opponent. He has bounced between weight classes and gyms, and it will be interesting to see how all of this, and being out of action for 14 months, affects him. He has a tough match-up against Oluwale Bamgbose, who is a knockout artist getting a full training camp. I recommend avoiding Sarafian on this card as his salary doesn't justify his performances, and Bamgbose is a solid bet to score an upset victory.

Joe Riggs ($8,900)

Joe Riggs has been around a long time and has a lot of mileage under him. Sunday will mark his 59th career fight. He is coming off a win in his last bout, which was his first UFC win since August 2006. However, the win came due to disqualification from an illegal upkick by Ron Stallings in a fight Riggs was losing. He hasn't looked too good during this UFC run, one that could come to an end on Sunday night. He takes on Chris Camozzi, who is in his own third stint with the UFC. Camozzi is coming off a solid win and should be in line to get another win over Riggs. I don't see Riggs being able to top Camozzi, so I would be avoiding him on Sunday.


RYAN FREDERICK- Derek Brunson ($11,100), Donald Cerrone ($10,600), Marion Reneau ($10,300), Oluwale Bamgbose ($9,000), Tatsuya Kawajiri ($8,600)

I have Derek Brunson and Donald Cerrone as my top two plays, thus I will be having them on my roster. Brunson has been super impressive in recent bouts, with two straight first-round knockout wins. He has a favorable fight against Roan Carneiro and I expect another quick finish. Donald Cerrone has a short-notice opponent in Alex Oliveira and he finishes fights where he's the big favorite. I like him finishing Oliveira. Marion Reneau is looking to rebound from a loss to Holly Holm, and she has a good match-up with Ashlee Evans-Smith, who was choked unconscious in her last fight. I see that happening again. Oluwale Bamgbose is an underdog with a solid chance at winning by finish with his knockout power, and Daniel Sarafian has been disappointing. My last fighter on my roster is Tatsuya Kawajiri. He has good value and is a good pick for an upset win over Dennis Bermudez. I like his chances.

PAUL FONTAINE- Derek Brunson ($11,100), Jonavin Webb ($10,700), James Krause ($10,100), Leonardo Augusto ($9,200), Alex Oliveira ($8,800)

Both Cowboys are moving up a weight class for their main event 5 round fight and I think the difference could be that Alex Oliveira has fought most of his career at 170 and should be much more comfortable with the extra weight. He's looked great since losing his UFC debut and even looked good in that fight before succumbing to a late submission. Cerrone also had a brutal KO loss in his last fight and that can be hard to come back from. Derek Brunson is a powerhouse at 185 and I look for him to finish Carneiro quickly and get me those first round stoppage bonus points. James Krause has the experience edge over his opponent Campbell and he looked awesome in his first round finish of Daron Cruickshank last time out. He hasn't had a win that went to the judges in UFC and Sunday will be no different, in my opinion. Augusto is a bit of an unknown but his opponent is taking the fight on less than a week's notice and just fought 3 weeks ago against a tough veteran in Josh Neer. I like him to continue his impressive non-UFC run with an early finish. Last for me is Jonavin Webb, who was robbed of a win in his UFC debut against Kyle Noke. That's the only loss of his career and I look for him to rebound in a big way against journeyman Nathan Coy.

PEACH MACHINE- Donald Cerrone ($10,600), James Krause ($10,100), Sean Strickland ($9,900), Oluwale Bamgbose ($9,000), Augusto Mendes ($8,400)

I LOVE Mendes, aka Tanquinho, in this fight. He will submit Garbrandt... Bamgbose is scary and is going to be a player someday and I expect him to easily handle Sarafian... Cerrone needs to rebound and look good here. He will... Krause is a savage. He's 29 and has already had 29 fights (22-7)... I like Strickland. He's lanky and tough and 13-1, and 4-1 in UFC. I don't think Garcia will be able to stop him... My picks have been pretty solid so far this year, and I like my picks this card. If I didn't live in America's urethra, aka Tennessee, I'd probably play this line-up, but you know, I can't because jesus hates gambling, I guess. Not the lottery though, he's cool with that.