DFS Golf: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Welcome to the Getting Up and Down DFS Golf article! My name is Josh Thomas and you can find me on twitter at @dfsupnorth and in this weekly article we will be looking at a few golfers trending up and a few trending down to help you get up and down in Daily Fantasy Golf! The focus of this article is for DFS players who are only playing a few lineups each week. Information will be relevant for those who play 150 unique lineups, but the main goal is to help the casual DFS golf player see some green screens.
He’s baaaaaaaack! While he couldn’t conjure up enough Sunday Red Magic to birdie the 18th and go to a playoff with winner Paul Casey, Tiger looks like the Tiger of old and the golf world is ecstatic. I came out of my chair fist pumping when he dropped a 44 foot birdie on the 17th, like I was 14 years old watching him at the Masters (Scared the heck out of my one year old!)
Tiger had a fantastic week, 4 rounds of 70 or better, 16 birdies, 7 bogeys, and no Doubles! Us on the other hand…not such a great week for many DFS players including myself.
Here’s how our Trending Up players fared last week:
Adam Hadwin: -4 (T12) 59.50 DK Points
Henrik Stenson: MC 14.00 DK Points
John Huh: MC 21.00 DK Points
The Stenson missed cut really hurt my lineups. He went 74-74 to miss the cut by 3 and really looked disinterested all week. As seen when his caddie asked him if he wanted some people standing in front of him to move and his response was “I don’t care, its their face, not mine!”. Henrik made 1 birdie….ONE. That’s just not going to get it done. Everything fit here for him statistically but sometimes guys just don’t play well.
Johnny Huh had a triple that really hurt him Thursday and was playing well Friday, looking to make the cut, until he limped in with 3 bogeys on the last 5 holes.
Adam Hadwin almost had a back door top 10 with a great round on Sunday and had a pretty good week, steady as she goes only making 9 birdies to go with 5 bogeys. His ownership was well over 25% in most contests and his Sunday round helped him reach value, in retrospect the better play was probably to fade him at his price point and ownership projection. Needed to make a few more birds to really hit value.
A few of my core GPP plays from last week ended up panning out, Dominic Bozelli had another good week here finishing T31, but racking up 16 birdies in the process. Ben Martin, Matt Kuchar, Austin Cook, and Keegan Bradley from my Wednesday update all made the cut T40 or better. Unfortunately for me I used them all as one offs in lineups with Stenson or Moore.
Trending Down Players:
Sergio Garcia: -6 (4th) 87 DK points
Luke List: -3 (T16) 62 DK Points
Tony Finau: MC 24.5 DK Points
Well, I nailed the Tony Finau missed cut, which I feel good about as he was at almost 20% ownership. That was about the only thing I hit on. Last week, I talked about how Sergio‘s risk (possibly having to WD) wasn’t worth the reward. That was looking good until he shot 65 on Sunday to vault into 4th place. I’m a never Luke List-er, but maybe he is getting it figured out! He had a pretty good week finishing T16 and returned a ton of value at his $7800 price tag. Luke still lost over a stroke on the greens, but he was able to make up for that with a fantastic approach game.
Hopefully you played Tiger in at least one lineup like I suggested as he turned back the clock and had an excellent performance netting 89 DK points.
This week was a head scratcher for the entire DFS community. The cream rose to the top on Sunday with Paul Casey taking home the title, Patrick Reed and Tiger tying for second, and Sergio Garcia finishing alone in 4th, but those were really the only high end players who made the cut, let alone finished towards the top. Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Chez Reavie, Jason Dufner, Gary Woodland, Kevin Streelman, Ryan Moore, Tony Finau, and Ross Fisher all missed the cut. Kevin Na’s WD hurt my lineups tremendously and Bryson Dechambeau also WD’d before Friday’s rounds killing multiple other lineups. I saw more legitimate 0 for 6 lineups on twitter Friday than I have in my 4 years playing DFS Golf combined. And those were from some pretty sharp players!
Chalk last week up as a loss, hopefully some of you found ways to cash because I sure struggled to. Let’s take a look at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, one of my favorite non-majors on the schedule!
DFS Golf: API Trending Up
This week we head to Bay Hill Club and Lodge for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It’s been a year and a half since Arnie’s passing, but his legend lives here with the red, green, yellow, and white umbrella in prominent places around the course for this tournament. The Par 72 plays around 7400 yards most days. Last years winner, Marc Leishman shot -11 for one of the lower winning scores in recent years, and the cut line was all the way up to +4. Jason Day won here in 2016 following the green’s being redone with a score of -17. As you will see when we get to our key stats from our model, Par 5 scoring is essential here, they are gettable and we have seen our winners in recent years take huge advantage of them. Proximity from 200+ yards is also a key stat as you will be hitting long irons into many of these Par 5’s, in fact 31% of all approach shots on this course are from that range. Bay Hill takes the driver out of your hand on a variety of holes and also has water in play on 9 holes.
In this section we will look at a couple of golfers that you should target in your lineups this week. I’ll differentiate between golfers that I think are Cash or GPP Viable or Both. All statistics that I use are from FantasyNational.com where I build a custom model each week based on statistics I feel are going to be essential to help you win in DFS. This week for our model I used (Strokes Gained = SG) SG: Par 5’s, SG: Putting, Proximity 200+, SG: Approach, SG: Tee to Green, and DK Points.
Adam Scott: DK $8700/FD 11,100
Adam comes in at #3 in my model and has been playing extremely well the last few weeks. 16th at the Valspar, 13th at the Honda in his last two events. Adam is losing strokes on the green every week but he is ballstriking the heck out of all these courses. While he ranks 23rd in my model in proximity from 200 yards, he’s fourth in strokes gained on Par 5s. If Adam can get his putter hot for even one round, he can contend. T35, T12, and 3rd in his last three trips here and 7 of 9 lifetime in cuts here. Phil was trending in the right direction and popped, Casey in the right direction and popped, I just feel like Adam is a world-class player whose game is trending in the right direction and is a good fit here. At $8700, don’t over think it, lock him in for cash games and he’s a good GPP pivot off Harman who I expect to be highly owned this week.
Hideki Matsuyama: DK $9700/FD 11,400
Hideki hasn’t played since the Waste Management Open where he was plugging on at -4 and WD’d with a wrist injury. I’m a big believer in recency bias, and while I expected Deki to be in the 10k range, I still expect him to be low owned (think sub 10%, hopefully sub 8%). People will be scared off because of the wrist injury and the fact he hasn’t played in well over a month. I expect most of the ownership in this range to flow to Tiger (more on that later). Hideki is a top 5 player in the world and has the game to just overpower this course especially the Par 5’s. He’s 16th in my model, and is another player who struggles with the putter, but has a fantastic short game. He will be going for every par 5 in two, and if he doesn’t hit the green he can chip it close and tap it in for birdie. You have to make a stand in this range, and while I like others, Rory in particular, sometimes you gotta put your chips on a guy and let it ride. I think Hideki is cash viable, but I’ll be loading up on him GPP’s at hopefully low ownership.
Hudson Swafford DK $6900/FD $8400
I really like Hudson this week, has fantastic course history (T10, T36, T11 in the last 3 trips here), and fits well in our model, as 6th in proximity from 200 out and 9th overall. He just missed the cut last week at Valspar, but who didn’t. He is coming back to a familiar track where he has had success in the past. He is really striping the ball off the tee, and he has been putting well over the last two weeks on Bermuda greens, gaining strokes at both the Valspar and Honda. At $6900 he is strictly a GPP play, but allows you to do some interesting things with your roster construction.
Now lets take a look at a few guys I’ll be fading this week, and let me tell ya, one really, really hurts.
DFS Golf: API Trending Down
In this section we will look at a few golfers that are trending downwards, whether that’s statistically, due to course history, other narratives, or simply their price outweighs their value. Could these guys be on a winning GPP lineup? Absolutely, but this article is for the average player who is only playing a few lineups each week and isn’t massive multi entering 150 line ups.
Tiger Woods: DK 10,000/FD 11,900
This one hurts. I love Tiger, he’s my boy. I just can’t in my right mind tell people to play him this week, especially at this price. This morning, I had my three guys set for this section and then the pricing came out. I assumed Tiger would be just under 11k, with DK trying to entice some to play him and I would have been all over him, but at 10k, Tiger’s ownership is going to be through the roof. I’m talking 40% in GPP’s and 50% or more in some cash games. Again, you have to take a stand somewhere, and the best game theory play is to fade Tiger at that ownership. If he plays poorly you are almost guaranteed to cash. He is #1 in my model, and that’s reason enough to play him and I wouldn’t fault you if you did, I just think the smart play is to avoid him this week on DK (I think his price on FD allows him to be viable) Here’s my one concern with Tiger this week, can he play out of some think rough. Bay Hill’s rough is penal and you have to hit fairways, and while driver is taken out of your hands on some holes, he will still have to hit on some and how is that going to look? If Tiger struggles this week, that will be the reason why.
Kevin Streelman: DK $7100/FD $8500
The Cash Game Darling finally missed a cut last week for the first time since last years Northern Trust. I think he will suck up a lot of ownership down here as players try to cram in some guys at the top, particularly Tiger with someone like Rickie Fowler. Kevin’s game just doesn’t really fit here, as evidenced by his 70th, MC, and 67th in his last three trips here. He is ranked 62nd in my model, but 92nd in Par 5 scoring. There’s other options down there that I like better within $200 each way so I’ll be avoiding Streels this week.
Scott Piercy: DK $7500/FD $9600
Is Scott Piercy back too? 17, 20, MC, 6, 25 in his 5 starts so far in 2018. Scott is rounding back into form after a brutal 2017. Piercy hasn’t played here in 5 years, and the last time he teed it up at Bay Hill he missed the cut. Players LOVE coming here, especially when Arnie was alive, so why miss it 5 years in a row? Because the course doesn’t set up well for him. Ranks 90th in my model, 106th in Proximity from 200+, and 92nd in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. Some prominent figures in the DFS community are talking up Piercy this week, but I’ll be avoiding him completely.
Now let’s take a look at my GPP and Cash Core players this week.
DFS Golf – Core GPP and Cash Plays
In this section I’ll share my core plays for GPP and Cash Lineups this week on both FanDuel and DraftKings. These are guys that I’ll be playing in a majority of my lineups and would suggest you try to find ways to fit them into yours! I’ll update this list on Wednesday as ownership trends start to take shape and news comes in, so be sure to check in on my twitter @dfsupnorth for any changes or WD’s.
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DFS Golf – GPP Core Plays:
Hideki Matsuyama: DK $9700/FD 11,400
Adam Scott: DK $8700/FD 11,100
Rory McIlroy: DK $10,700/FD $11,500
Zach Johnson: DK $7700/FD $10,200
Keegan Bradley: DK $7300/FD $9200
Hudson Swafford: DK $6900/FD $8400
DFS Golf – Cash Core Plays
Rory McIlroy: DK $10,700/FD $11,500
Adam Scott: DK $8700/FD $11,100
Brian Harman: DK $8500/FD 10,600
Zach Johnson: DK $7700/FD $10,200
James Hahn: DK $7600/FD $9100
DFS Golf Slate Thoughts:
I’m a big proponent of the casual player playing mostly cash lineups in DFS Golf, specifically single entry double ups. Your odds of cashing are obviously much better in a double up than a GPP. My general rule of thumb is for every entry into a GPP you play an entry of a similar amount in a double up. This is a great cash management strategy. If you do this you can take some shots in a GPP and play some long shots which is what you need to do to have a crack at the top prize. Conservative lineups in Cash (double ups) and go a little crazy in a GPP but make sure you have at least one or two guys who you think can win the whole thing because you need the winner to win big.
DFS Golf – GPP Contests to Target:
$7 entry $4500 PGA Chipper Single Entry
$3 entry $5K PGA Putter Single Entry
$12 entry $40K PGA Albatross Single Entry
$4 entry $350k Fore 20 Entry Max
Notice anything? Stay away from the 150 entry contests, you are at a huge disadvantage throwing a single dart into that pool. If you can stick to single entry contests you have a much better shot of seeing green screens come Sunday evening!
Make sure to check back here on Wednesday for updates and follow along with me @dfsupnorth as I’ll be tweeting out thoughts throughout the week as more info becomes available.