Shark Autopsy Report – Analyzing MMA GPP Lineups to Make You a Better Player

Welcome back to the Shark Autopsy Report!  If this is your first time reading the Shark Autopsy Report, Welcome!  Over the course of the MMA season this article will deconstruct winning DraftKings lineups in contests where the dark waters of Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) contests that are ripe with sharks.  Navigating these waters where the sharks smell blood in the water is not easy, but the DFSArmy has you covered, providing you with the essential daily tools to help our VIPs turn into sharks!

Follow me on Twitter and if you are a VIP I will see you in the MMA channels.  I enjoy seeing and hearing from all of the VIPs when things go well.  If you aren’t a VIP member, there’s an easy way to get a free month to test the Army out.  The Army has all of the content, tools, second-to-none Domination Station Optimizer, and the most accessible MMA staff and coaches in the industry to guide you in your journey of becoming a better DFS player.

Little Bit about the DFSArmy

For those of you who are new to Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and are looking for a top notch, second to none DFS site that can provide you with the tools to construct quality DFS lineups like the pros use, then look no further, the DFSArmy has you covered.  At DFSArmy, we don’t just focus on the major sports, we also look at the niche sports and place as much of a focus on dominating the competition as the major sports.  DFSArmy’s coaches are truly amazing at their crafts, and the MMA coaches are no different, with each coach spending hours upon hours researching each fight card to the nth degree.  DFSArmy prides ourselves on the ability of our coaches to teach and provide our members with the methodologies, processes, tools and thought processes to become an equitable DFS player, who can grow their bankroll with proper bankroll management and turn your everyday DFS Joe into a DFS Pro.  DFSArmy covers all of the DFS sports from the main 4 (MLB, NBA, NFL & NHL) to PGA, MMA, Soccer and College FB and BB.  Additionally, DFSArmy has its own Sportsbook team to help you with sports betting.  The DFSArmy is an all-in one Fantasy Sports and Sportsbook site that you can’t afford to not be a member!  Our members get the opportunity to learn from the top MMA DFS players that are all highly ranked by RotoGrinders.

Synopsis of the Shark Autopsy Report

The Shark Autopsy Report is different from the other DFS site’s lineup breakdown articles that you can read online, as there are a multitude of these types of articles.  The Shark Autopsy Report provides you with a breakdown of the top ranked DFS pros lineups construction, from the total number of lineups they utilized each fighter in the Throwdown contest, their percentage of that fighter drafted overall in the Throwdown contest, the percentage the tourney field drafted the fighter, and the variance between the DFS Pros’ percentage drafted of a particular fighter as compared with the tourney field.  Note: with the Shark Autopsy Report, you will see negative and positive variance percentages.  The positive variance values showcase the DFS Pros were overweight on a particular fighter as compared to the tourney field and negative variance values showcase the DFS Pros were underweight on a particular fighter as compared to the tourney field.

Are You Performing Weekly Lineup Deconstruction?

No matter the sport you determine to invest your bankroll, you should as a DFS player be analyzing the contests you enter winning lineups and the DFS Pros’ lineups within those contests.  Don’t just look at the lineup of who won the contests you entered, but familiarize yourself with how the top 20 constructed their lineup and the DFS Pros’ lineups.  If you are new to Daily Fantasy Sports and are not familiar with the DFS Pros that compete (not participate) in the respective sport you are playing, then go to RotoGrinders Leaderboards and look at each sport’s leaderboards.  The top guys are there and familiarize yourself with their screen names.  Lineup deconstruction in some way, shape or form should be part of your repertoire as a DFS player to revisit the prior week’s winning lineups, not just for the top heavy payout contests (think NFL Milly Maker, MMA Throwdown), but all of the contests you entered to see how the winning lineups were constructed.  Additionally, you should be looking at your own lineups to determine WHY certain plays in your lineups went off and WHY other plays did not.  This will ultimately make you a better player, but it will help you determine lineup construction trends you may not have otherwise noticed if you were not reviewing over past week’s lineups.  If you don’t think that lineup construction is as much an art as it is a science, then you are simply kidding yourself and you need to rethink your methodology of lineup construction.

DraftKings $150K Throwdown Contest – May 11th UFC 237 Slate

Unlike the NFL Milly Maker contest with top prize of $1M, MMA doesn’t offer tourney top prize payouts that the casual DFS players will flock to.  In fact, similar to other niche sports, MMA has smaller contest pools and smaller contest payouts, though the payouts in the Throwdown are really good.  As compared to the NFL, the Throwdown is MMA’s equivalent to the Milly Maker.  Like any other sport you intend to enter lineups, make sure that you are researching the contests and strategizing the right contests to enter for you and know that not every contest is created equal to another.

Was the Throwdown Tourney Top Scoring Lineup “Da Nutz”?

The top 20 was actually the top 35 in the UFC 237 Throwdown contest, as 35 player’s entries tied for 1st place with the same lineup:

But was the top scoring Throwdown lineup “Da Nutz”Nope, in fact is was not Da Nutz lineup.  The Throwdown’s top scoring lineup in fact used greater amount of salary by $100 and scored 3.5 DK FPTS lower.  One could actually have swapped out Luana Carolina for Jared Cannonier with the $200 overall salary savings and achieved the same exact resulting total scoring lineup of 622 DK FPTS!  In DFS, there are many ways to Da Nutz lineup.

There’s been conversations and research performed on the Throwdown contest and achieving the top scoring non-tying lineup and the remaining salary parameters it takes to achieve that sole ownership of first place in the Throwdown.  For that type of analysis, you really need to invest wisely and become a VIP member of the DFSArmy!  That’s not part of #Freebies!

In “Da Nutz” lineup, four fighters had ownership in the teens or lower, and one fighter who was over 50% owned in the Throwdown contest.  So what was the total average ownership of the top scoring Throwdown lineup as compared to the Da Nutz lineup? Well that’s easy, Da Nutz lineup’s average field ownership was 24.56%, and the top scoring lineup was 38.59%!  So to answer your question of what does it take to win a big GPP contest on DraftKings?  Well that depends on the slate, but holistically, pick one or two spots in your lineup(s) that you have a contrarian play or two that if the player or fighter performs to your expectations and the ownership is extremely low or a low owned play you will hit that top scoring lineup.

We see a very similar dynamic across all DFS sports, no matter which sport it is, that picking your spots on one or two players or fighters to be contrarian on is THE most optimal lineup construction methodology.  Research has proven in the top heavy GPP contests, going full contrarian at more than one or two lineup spots will lead to the least optimal lineup construction.  If you read my NFL Shark Autopsy Report articles, you were able to see over the course of the 2018 – 2019 NFL season that this ideology held true at a very high percentage of the time within the top 10 scoring lineups in the Milly Maker contest.

Tourney Winner’s Total Number of Lineups

It never ceases to amaze me that many casual players across the DFS industry believe that the only way to win the top prize in the big GPP tournaments is to max enter the contests with the hope that one of those lineups will hit “Da Nutz”.  I am here, as I was during the NFL season to tell you, you are DEAD WRONG!  Of the 35 DFS players that tied for first place for the top scoring lineup, 25.71% max entered the contest.  In fact of the 35 tying lineups, 74.28% of them did not max enter the contest. 40% of 35 tying first place lineups entered less than 20 lineups.  So…, if you want to keep saying that you have to max enter the GPP contest to win or place high in these top heavy huge payout and field contests, you’d just be wrong time and time again!

Now does max entering the big tournaments lower your overall variance amongst the field and set you up in a position for one of the 150 lineups to hit “Da Nutz”, absolutely, but that is the mathematics of it isn’t it!

Analyzing DFS Pros Fighter Usage

The field was overweight on the following fighters: Raoni Barcelos at 63.24%, Jessica Andrade at 52.76%, and Alexander Volkanovski at 50.25%.  So did the DFS Pros’ go overweight or underweight with their ownerships of the three highest owned fighters?  How did their fighter usage stack up?  The Shark Autopsy Report analyzes some of the top DFS Pros in the MMA ranks to determine where the spots (fighters) they placed their highest amount of ownership upon and the fighters they faded (minimal to no usage).  Of the DFS Pros’ lineups we’ll be looking at are BDHolla89 and Moklovin.  BDHolla89 is the number 1 ranked overall MMA player per RotoGrinders and Moklovin is 2nd ranked overall MMA player.  Additionally, we’ll be looking at ChiefST and BigMarley3 lineups.  ChiefST is currently ranked 8th overall per RotoGrinders MMA rankings and BigMarley3 is currently ranked 15th overall per RotoGrinders MMA rankings.  Additional notes about ChiefST and BigMarley3, they are MMA coaches for the DFSArmy and when you become a DFSArmy VIP Member, you will have access to them as MMA coaches for valuable lineup construction and fighter information that you would not get anywhere else in the industry!  Additionally, BigMarley3 is MMA Expert for CBS Sports and SportsLine, winner of the coveted MMA ToutMaster, and is one of, if not, the top MMA bettor in the industry.  ChiefST and BigMarley3 have qualified for the coveted DraftKings Knockout King Qualifier contest and have multiple first place large field GPP contest wins.  It pays to have coaches like these paving the way for you!

Looking at BDHolla89 and Moklovin fighter usage and lineups, we can get an idea of the fighters they used as shown below.  Let’s see their ownership of the Throwdown field’s highest owned fighters (Raoni Barcelos, Jessica Andrade, and Alexander Volkanovski) to get a sense of how much valuation they place on these fighters.

As you can see in the above diagrams, BDHolla89 was underweight as compared to the field by 2.84% with respect to his ownership of Raoni Barcelos, utilizing Barcelos in 60% of his lineups.  BDHolla89 was overweight on the field by 18% in his utilization of Jessica Andrade in 70% of his lineups.  BDHolla89 was overweight on the field by 9% in his utilization of Alexander Volkanovski in 60% of his lineups.  The fighters BDHolla89 placed significant ownership importance on outside of the top 3 owned fighters as detailed above, were Laureano Staropoli at 58.39% owned, Irene Aldana at 55.03% owned, Kurt Holobaugh at 51.68% owned, and Sergio Moraes at 45.64% owned.  BDHolla89’s high ownership in Staropoli, Holobaugh, and Moraes didn’t work out for him on this UFC slate.

Moklovin was significantly underweight to the field in his ownership of Raoni Barcelos by 21%.  Moklovin was underweight to the field in his ownership of Jessica Andrade by 11%.  Moklovin’s under valuation of how the Barcelos and Andrade fights would play out, ultimately led to him not placing as high in the Throwdown.  Moklovin was slightly underweight to the field in his ownership of Alexander Volkanovski by 2%.

It’s talked about at great lengths in the industry that to win a large field GPP contest, you must take stands on certain players or fighters on a slate.  BDHolla89 and Moklovin took the stand of lowering their ownership of these fighters with the hopes that the fighters they were heavier on would lead them to taking down the tourney.

Side-by-Side Comparison of DFS Pros Fighter Usage

Moklovin’s ownership was more flat as compared to BDHolla89, as he faded only 3 fighters (0-3 total lineups where a fighter was used), as compared with BDHolla89’s 5 fighters.  If you were to expand the ownership viewpoint and look at 10 lineups or less with a respective fighter owned, it further proves the point that Moklovin distributes his ownership on fighters more evenly as compared to BDHolla89.  BDHolla89 took more stands in his lineup construction than Moklovin on the slate.

DFSArmy’s Coaches Fighter Usage

ChiefST placed massive significance in his ownership of Jessica Andrade and Clay Guida, owning these fighters in over 60% of his lineups.  ChiefST full faded 4 fighters on the card, and nearly fade a fifth.  ChiefST loved him some Barcelos and Guida, the highest salaried fighters on the card, and his love for Guida kept those 63.11% of his lineups out of the running for first place, but those lineups were practically throw-aways when MME’ing the contest.

On the slate, BigMarley3 rode the Rose Namajunas train at 79.03% ownership that was derailed by Jessica Andrade.  He scored big with is 74.19% ownership in Raoni Barcelos.  He was also very heavy in his ownership of Alexander Volkanovski, outpacing the field by 15.88% ownership.  Like ChiefST, BigMarley3 full faded Carolina.  The DFS Pros’ BDHolla89 and Moklovin placed more ownership into Carolina than the DFSArmy Coaches.

To conclude this installment of the Shark Autopsy Report, the DFS Army was started based on the concept that brings high-level tools, projections, and information to average players would allow them to compete on a level playing field with the DFS pros that have been dominating the industry for years. Check out our full Wall of Wins to see countless other screenshots from regular players utilizing DFS Army tools and advice to take down 6 figure prizes on a regular basis. Sign up as a DFS Army VIP today to take your game to the next level and start competing like a pro.