This article originally appeared on Lucky Trader: UFC 282 DraftKings Reignmakers Breakdown.
This week, DraftKings Reignmakers is offering up $100,000 in total prizes between its two UFC 282 contests: the CORE UFC 282 $50K Weigh-In and the RARE UFC 282 $50K Weigh-In.
To enter the CORE contest, players must select five fighters at any tier, one of which is the captain, who scores 1.5x total fantasy points. To enter the RARE contest, players must select at least two RARE or higher tier fighters and three additional fighters at any tier (including CORE), along with choosing a captain at the RARE tier.
This article breaks down the best fighters to consider adding to your team via the Reignmakers’ marketplace.
The Best Plays at RARE Tier
Below are the best fighters to consider at the RARE tier, taking into account a fighter’s upside for the upcoming UFC 282 event, long-term upside in 2023 events, and current price.
Cameron Saaiman ($79)
Cameron Saaiman is currently a -425 betting favorite against Steven Koslow, who is making his UFC debut after an undefeated professional career at Combat Night Pro. Saaiman is also undefeated after a successful career at EFC. He picked up a win on Dana White’s Contender Series earlier this year, and White, the UFC’s president, called Saaiman “the future,” a good vote of confidence for future events. His price is lower than at least one of the UFC 282 card’s more popular fighters, Edmen Shahbazyan, but he is a coin flip to finish this fight early via (T)KO. There are only 75 possible Saaiman captain lineups in the RARE contest because a RARE fighter has to be played in the captain position. This is significantly better than the 200+ Paddy Pimblett or Magomed Ankalaev lineups that can be built. There is a good contrarian edge to paying up for Saaiman and using him as captain.
Jan Blachowicz ($20)
Jan Blachowicz is likely to lose this weekend against Magomed Ankalaev for the vacated UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Ankalaev is the better and more aggressive striker, though Blachowicz still has a chance. Even if he does lose, however, his price is too low for his expected value in future events. All player cards can be used throughout 2023, and Blachowicz is one of the division’s top fighters. Ignore the hype for UFC 282 and stash him for his 2023 winning streak, which could result in another title opportunity before the end of next year.
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The Best Plays at CORE Tier
Below are the best fighters to consider at the CORE tier, taking into account a fighter’s upside for the upcoming UFC 282 event, long-term upside in 2023 events, and current price.
TJ Brown ($7)
DraftKings Reignmakers is completely different than its daily fantasy sports (DFS) offering, especially for UFC. Typically, DFS players have to choose underdogs in UFC events because of salary cap constraints. In Reignmakers, the only salary cap constraint is purchasing the NFTs on the marketplace. Still, players should optimize to get the best “bang for their buck.” That is TJ Brown this weekend. He is $7 at the CORE tier, and he has a good, high-upside matchup against Erik Silva. He is currently -109 to Silva’s -111, and the fight is -170 to end inside the distance. Silva is $15, which indicates he will be the more popular pick, but Brown has upset ability, and he makes for a good contrarian play in the CORE contest, where it is difficult to win with chalk and without low serials.
Joaquin Buckley ($14)
Joaquin Buckley is another high-upside play this weekend at UFC 282, where he squares off against Chris Curtis. Curtis recently lost a brutal 3-round decision to Jack Hermansson but is no stranger to losses with 38 professional fights. Dana White is feeding him to the wolves yet again. Buckley has three wins in his last four fights, two of which came via (T)KO. He struggles when challenged with top-tier fighters, but this weekend, he should breeze through Curtis and find a finish in the second or third round. For $14, his upside is there. Buckley also will fight four times in 2022 after this fight, which is a good sign for his upside in 2023.
Vinicius Salvador ($31)
Vinicius Salvador is one of the more expensive fighters available for the upcoming UFC 282 card, but for good reason. Salvador is a -250 betting favorite with -165 odds to finish inside the distance. Daniel da Silva is likely on his way out of the UFC after this fight, following a 3-fight losing streak in 2021 and 2022. This fight will mark his fourth consecutive loss in his completely defeated UFC career. Salvador, on the other hand, has only fought once officially for the UFC and won with a second-round (T)KO. He is a high-output fighter with 8.43 strikes landed per minute, and he has perfect takedown defense. He will likely be included in the optimal Reignmakers lineup.
The DraftKings Marketplace is currently only available in the United States and Canada.
You must be 18+* located in any of the 50 US states or Canada to buy and sell NFTs on DraftKings Marketplace.
*Must be 19+ in Alabama and Nebraska.
*Must be 21+ in Iowa, Louisiana and Massachusetts.
Additional requirements for accessing:
You must have a verified DraftKings account.
Marketplace & Daily Fantasy Sports age and eligibility restrictions apply. Reignmakers contests not available in CT, HI, ID, LA (select parishes), MT, NV, PA, WA, and CA-ONT. See marketplace.draftkings.com or draftkings.com for details.