The biggest UFC pay-per-view of the year (at least to this point) goes down this Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jon Jones is back, after over three years on the sidelines, and he’s up at heavyweight for the first time. Will Jones grab the heavyweight strap? Am I adding him to my UFC 285 DraftKings lineup? Read on.
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UFC 285 DraftKings Picks, Fantasy UFC
Valentina Shevchenko – $9,400
We start in the co-main event, in which longtime UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko defends her belt against the surging Alexa Grasso. While Shevchenko hasn’t looked as sharp as usual in recent fights, she should have more than enough left in the tank to handle Grasso. Her physicality, size, and strength advantage will be enough to win this fight, without even mentioning all the skills she brings into the cage. Hopefully, this will be her fifth fight in a row scoring at least 108 fantasy points.
Shavkat Rakhmonov – $9,200
My other big-ticket pick-up this week is welterweight stud Shavkat Rakhmonov. Undefeated in 16 professional MMA fights, he also has finished every opponent he has fought (eight knockouts, eight submissions). While Geoff Neal is a formidable opponent, I think the ‘Nomad’ can make in 17 finishes come Saturday night, which would mean big points for us (Rakhmonov averages a hefty 105.6 per UFC fight).
Marc-Andre Barriault – $8,200
Next, I’ll grab my fellow Canadian Marc-Andre Barriault for only $8,200. I say ‘only’ $8,200 because I really like his chances against Julian Marquez this week. ‘Power Bar’ is just the better all-around fighter in this middleweight matchup, and should have a decided advantage on the ground. Plus, Barriault is capable of big fantasy point outbursts, with him topping the century mark twice in his last five fights, including a 132-point effort.
Ciryl Gane – $7,800
Former interim UFC Heavyweight Champion Ciryl Gane’s name showing up here means that, no, I am not backing Jon Jones in Saturday’s main event. There are just too many questions surrounding Jones – ring rust, the move up in weight class, his less-than-ideal looking physique, his poor (for his standard) showing in his past few fights – to pick him here. I’ll take the experienced, dangerous Frenchman to finally get the proper heavyweight belt strapped around his waist.
Trevin Jones – $7,700
I’m going against another former champion, Cody Garbrandt, with my next pick. Garbrandt is another former king who has looked just lost over his past few fights. He’s very ‘much kill or be killed’ in the cage at this point, constantly fighting wildly and getting his lights put out. While Trevin Jones isn’t a world-beater, he does have some KO power, and Garbrandt’s chin will surely be out there for the taking.
Jalin Turner – $7,600
Finally, I’ll grab Jalin Turner for a bargain basement price of $7,600. I really love Turner’s well-rounded game and finishing ability – he’s stopped all 13 of his pro wins (nine knockouts, four submissions). While this week’s opponent, Mateusz Gamrot, is a massive step up in competition, he’s taking this fight on short notice, which is statistically proven to not be conducive to winning. Give me ‘The Tarantula’ to pull off the upset.
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