It’s big UFC pay-per-view time of the year again, as the UFC makes its yearly November trip to Madison Square Garden this Saturday. UFC 281 has two title fights at the top and legit matchups throughout. Here is a winning UFC 281 DraftKings lineup to get you in the money this weekend.
UFC 281 DraftKings Picks, Fantasy UFC
Erin Blanchfield – $9,500
We kick things off with phenom Erin Blanchfield. The 23-year-old is a grappling wiz, who has proven that her mat skills are very transferable to the cage. She averages an event-high 112 fantasy points per fight through her three UFC fights, including 126 in her debut. Molly McCann is the toughest opponent she’s faced thus far, but she can’t wrestle or grapple on Blanchfield’s level.
Zhang Weili – $9,400
I’m sticking with the ladies and taking former UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion Zhang Weili next. I expect the ‘former’ to be deleted from that sentence come Saturday night, as she’s a bad matchup for current champ Carla Esparza. Look for Zhang to bring her powerful, explosive striking style to Esparza and look for a finish. Another 133-point outing like her last fight? Let’s hope.
Montel Jackson – $9,000
My final big ticket pickup is bantamweight Montel Jackson. He’s worth the high price, however, as he is a fantasy points monster, averaging 97.5 over his UFC career. This includes four fights in which he scored triple digits, including his last two (131 points in his last fight). And he has a very favorable matchup against Julio Arce this week, who he is younger than and bigger than and a much better striker than.
Ottman Azaitar – $7,700
The only thing going against Ottman Azaitar this week is that he’s been out of the cage since September of 2020. Ring rust is a real thing, but I think he can overcome it and decimate Matt Frevola on Saturday. Azaitar is a knockout machine, finishing 10 of his 13 wins via knockout. This includes both of his UFC fights, where he scored 111 and 97 fantasy points.
Claudio Puelles – $7,500
I’m really liking Claudio Puelles’s chances as a live dog against Dan Hooker on Saturday night. This man is a submission master – more specifically a kneebar master, winning his last two fights via this very rare submission (he also won via kneebar in his second UFC fight). Hooker is susceptible to submissions, and Puelles is no pushover on the feet either. Could be a big score for only $7,500
Ryan Spann – $6,900
I’m not picking Ryan Spann to beat Dominick Reyes in my official picks, but I thought long and hard about it. So I think he’s worth a gamble for only $6,900. Reyes has lost three straight and more importantly has been knocked out in his last two. Spann is known more as a grappler than a striker, but he has some power in his limbs. Worth a flyer here.