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Each week, I will look at the overall winning lineup for the main tournament on DraftKings. I will list key takeaways and any notable information that we can use going forward.

This lineup used $49,200 in salary and was duplicated 18 times. With only 12 fights along with a really strong mid-range, I expected the winner to be duplicated this week and it was taken down by none other than Shrek4224, Awesemo, Hoop2414 and multiple other names you may recognize. And yes, they beat my team by .7 points and cost me a cool 30K but I’m not mad about it. Not at all………………………………………….

No but in all seriousness, those three are all great dudes so I’m happy for them. One of these days, I’ll be able to review my own winning lineup in this tournament but until then, I’ll keep chasing the elusive dream.

For starters, the first thing that jumps out to me is that the winning team did not have Rinya Nakamura. This was huge as Nakamura was 47% owned so by fading him, you gave yourself leverage over nearly half the field. This was a strategy that I talked about at length in the DraftKings Deep Dive show and my GPP Leverage article this week. I was very convicted that fading Nakamura was the optimal way to play this slate because even with a first-round finish, there was no guarantee he would be optimal on a slate like this. Once we started running the sims in FightPickSim, it backed up my take with the #MathSquad which made me even more confident this was the right way to play this week.

Because of the Nakamura fade, you were able to eat the chalk in other spots with Anthony Hernandez, Merab Dvalishvili, Marcos Rogerio De Lima and Zhang Mingyang. These were some of the top ranked fighters in my DraftKings rankings this week and were pretty obvious targets as their fights projected to score well.

What was perhaps the most surprising thing to me was Mingyang was lower owned than I expected. Sometimes, we get a gift like that and I guess the Tafa business pushed more people onto Delima than Mingyang, which gave us a little ownership discount. My Ownership Projections had Mingyang at 35% and was worried he could even creep higher come fight time. But when we flipped the cards, he was just 29% despite being a small favorite in a fight that was projected to end inside the first round. He was also LOWER owned than his opponent, Brendson Ribeiro (35%) so you got some added leverage against one of the most popular underdogs on the slate.

Lastly, because the only underdog to win of the 12 fights was Ilia Topuria, you needed a losing underdog to be on the winner and that was Val Woodburn who outscored the rest of the fighters in the lower price range. While Woodburn was not able to pull off the upset, the thesis of the play made a ton of sense. He is not a good fighter but he does have power and he was facing an unproven commodity in Oban Elliott which is why I talked about Woodburn as another way to get leverage in the GPP Leverage article this week.

Key Takeaways:

Fading 47% owned Nakamura
Leverage underdog (Woodburn)
More leverage with Zhang being lower than Ribeiro
Ate the chalk in other spots (Hernandez, Merab, DeLima)
Left $800 in salary on the table

Huge congrats to Shrek and the rest of the people who chopped first place this week!

Best of luck next week and I’ll see you in the streets.