Although I am not too big on them, my favorite picks in the top range are Eryk Anders, Bryan Barberena, and Cory Sandhagen. My favorite options for cash games across the slate are Eryk Anders, James Vick, Deiveson Figueiredo, Rani Yahya, Cortney Casey and John Moraga. I do think you can stack the Gaethje/Vick fight in cash for this event. Lastly, my low-cost top tournament plays are Jon Tuck and George Sullivan.
DraftKings contests for this event will lock on Saturday, August 25, at 3:30 PM PST/ 6:30 PM EST so make sure you have your lineups set before then.
Top Tier Fighter
Eryk Anders ($9,700)
Eryk Anders is returning to action after suffering his only loss to former UFC champion Lyoto Machida. His opponent for this fight, Tim Williams, has seen most of his losses come by way of KO/TKO and that's what Anders will need to pay off his massive salary. Eryk displayed his KO power in his UFC debut when he knocked Rafael Natal out in the first round.
Williams doesn't make for a bad punt play for his salary. He's got a BJJ black belt (to anders Purple belt) although that may not make much of a difference if the fight stays on the feet. That's where Anders will want to win this one and Williams won't be able to last a decision if Anders fights the way he has in the past. (Cash)
Also, consider Bryan Barberena ($9,500) for GPP due to his KO power and his matchup. Ellenberger is on a four fight skid having lost all of this via KO/TKO.
Mid Tier Fighter
Rani Yahya ($8,300)
Rani is not the greatest striker so don't count on him scoring a first round knockout. But his BJJ skills are so good that he can finish it on the ground in any round. His ability to rack up points in route makes him a great play anytime he is sub $8.5K.
He is fighting Luke Sanders. Sanders can be unpredictable at times which can leave him open for sub attempts. He does posses the ability to knock Yahya flat out cold so I think Luke Sanders makes for an excellent GPP play but I would roll with Yahya in cash games. (Cash)
Also, consider John Moraga ($7,800) who's a sneaky vet with knockout and submission skills. I also like Figueiredo so you can go either way as I think this one is coin flip. (Cash and GPP)
Low Tier Fighter
Andre Fili ($6,800)
Fili currently fights out of Uriah Faber's gym and he's shown some decent takedown offense in his last couple of fights. He's always down for a scrap, which makes me a little nervous, especially when he's going up against guys like Michael Johnson. Johnson loves a slugfest and will sit there and swing for the fences.
For that reason, I think Johnson makes for a valid GPP play. Fili, however, has the tools to win this one if he fights smart. The longer this one goes I think the greater the chance for Fili. Gassing is an issue, but Johnson has shown that once he hits the wall he literally has nothing left. Go watch Johnson vs. Gaethje as an example. (Cash or GPP)
Also, consider George Sullivan ($7,000) for GPP because he has far more experience than Gall and James Krause ($6,900) for cash because his route to victory is by way of decision.
Written by Tyler Lawrence (Follow @tylawmma on Twitter)