DFS Golf: Getting Up and Down – Wells Fargo Championship
Welcome back to DFS Golf Getting Up and Down! 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 Golf 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.
PGA DFS was off last week, but we had a pretty successful week on Euro Tour DFS tipping Ashun Wu at 7K who came in T7 and Jorge Campillo at 8.7K finishing T3. Disappointing finishes from Seungsu Han and Erik Van Rooyen hurt any big cashes but with the carnage on the leaderboard I was able to cash a few 4/6 lineups and come out on the positive side for the week.
This week the tour heads to Quail Hollow Golf Club, home of last years PGA Championship, and the field is STACKED. It’s the week before the Player’s championship and everyone wants to get tuned up heading into the ‘fifth’ major. We have Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and the big cat Tiger Woods is back in action as well! This is the most stacked Wells Fargo in recent memory and they have to be excited about the field.
Before we start tipping players, lets look at the course breakdown and some of the key stats we will be focusing on this week.
DFS Golf: Course Breakdown
The Wells Fargo Championship returns to Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, NC after a year at Eagle Point Golf Club in Wilmington, NC while Quail hosted the 2017 PGA Championship. Quail Hollow is a classic course that hosted the old Kemper Open from 1969-1979 and has hosted the PGA tour since 2003. It is a George Cobb design, with a few holes reworked by Arnold Palmer in 1985, and a full redesign by Tom Fazio in 1997 and 2003.
The course measures at 7,600 yards and while it played as a par 72 during last years PGA championship it has been reverted back to a par 71 for the Wells Fargo, as hole #1 goes from a short Par 5 to a long Par 4 at 495 yards. The greens are Ultradwarf Bermuda, overseeded with perennial Rye. While they are Bermuda, they won’t play as hard or firm as they did for last year’s PGA as it’s much earlier in the year and the bermuda will mostly be dormant.
Last year at the PGA Championship, Quail Hollow played as the toughest test on tour, with only 12 players finishing under par for the week. The 36 hole cut line was +6. Part of the difficult was that the course was re-routed for the championship and the new Ultradwarf Bermuda greens were extremely difficult to hold. It was still Quail Hollow, but it wasn’t the Quail Hollow most were used to playing. Even Webb Simpson who lives on the course finished T33 and struggled his way to a 76 in the first round and really only salvaged his placing by playing beautifully on Sunday with one of the low rounds of the day, a 69.
It’s a bit of a mystery what Quail will play like this year, just like last year for the PGA, but there is no doubt it will be in pristine condition. Typically, hitting fairways is not necessary here. When J.B. Holmes won this tournament in 2014, he only hit 26/56 fairways. Distance seems to be key here, with the length of the course and a par 3 at 250 yards, the players will have the majority of their approaches come from 200 yards plus out. The closer you can get, the better, regardless if it’s in the fairway or not. You don’t need to hit fairways to be successful here but hitting Greens in Regulation, as with any course, has shown to be a key to success. Another stat we will target is Par 5 scoring, with the course playing so difficult, if you can crush the par 5’s (like Justin Thomas did last year en route to his PGA championship) you will be able to offset the difficulty of the par 3’s and 4’s. Strokes Gained Tee to Green is something we look at every week as well as Birdie or Better Percentage.
Birdie or Better %
Greens in Regulation
Par 5 Scoring
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
Proximity from 200+
Accounting for the key stats listed above as well as courses similar to Quail Hollow: Firm, Fast Bermuda Greens, Over 7400 yards, Short Rough. Here is our top 15 over the last 24 rounds on similar conditions.
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Obviously the best of the best in the world are listed here, but also a few outliers. Right from the start I’m telling you that Adam Scott is a complete fade for me. He’s been blacklisted, I can’t sweat him anymore. I write him up every week and he struggles, so that means he will probably win this week. (I wrote this before pricing came out, I’m leaving that statement in there but at $7400 I think you must have some Scott). Rory has the course record of 61 and has his game trending in the right direction, he also had his maiden PGA Tour Victory here in 2010 but the course is much different now, not that should matter for him.
I love Lucas Glover this week and we will get to him more in the player breakdowns. Matsuyama is another player who has just consistently played well here. T11, T20, T38 in his trips to the Wells Fargo and last year at the PGA finished T5 and would have been higher if not for the mess on 18. Koepka coming off the wrist injury is intriguing, made 5 birdies and one bogey in the first round last week where they played their own ball. Grayson Murray is a North Carolina boy and has the game to contend here if he can control the mental side of things. Rodgers finished 2nd here three years ago which may be skewing his data a bit as he’s MC’d the last two years.
DFS Golf: Trending Up – Wells Fargo Championship
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 Golf.
We have some of the most ridiculous pricing I’ve seen from Draftkings in maybe my entire time playing DFS Golf, which is going to make ownership projections and line up builds difficult. FanDuel’s pricing is better, and more of what I was expecting coming into the week. As usual I’ll take a stand on some players in these next two sections, but there are A LOT of good plays this week with this pricing.
Hideki Matsuyama: DK $9400/FD $11,100
Deki is ranked 9th in my model this week and has great course history here with finishes of 5th last year at the PGA Championship, and T11, T20, T38 at the Wells Fargo the three prior years. A 19th place finish at the Masters is a promising that his game is coming back around after the extended break to rehab a wrist injury. Matsuyama ranks 7th in SG: T2G, 6th in GIR, 10th in Prox from 200+ and 13th in Par 5 scoring coming into this week in our model. I love the price tag here as I think he can be the class of the field any week. My assumption is that Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods will suck up most of the ownership around him and keep him below 15%. If he is projected around that ownership, I’ll be at least double the ownership if not more. If his putter is even half way decent, he will finish top ten and contend for the title.
Gary Woodland: DK $7400/FD $9300
Woodland fits the model and is a course horse here. He falls in the ridiculous $7400 range and because Adam Scott, Luke List, Xander Schaufelle, and Adam Hadwin are all priced here as well, I think Gary could be the lowest owned of the lot. Comes in at 19th in my model, and doesn’t really stand out in any area other than 14th in Driving Distance, but he is solid in all of the key stats. Gary finished 22nd at last years PGA Championship, but also has strong finishes at Wells Fargo of T24, T4, T18, and T61 from 2013-2016. I like Gary the most of any of this group, and if his ownership is the lowest, then all the better. Check back with me as the week goes on and ownership firms up, but I really can’t see a scenario where I fade Woodland here.
Lucas Glover: DK $6800/FD $8300
I sent this out yesterday, and I was assuming that Glover would be in that $7300 range, needless to say I was extremely pleased to see him come in at $6800 and be basically a free square. I’m concerned what his ownership will be, but with the way pricing is, I think a lot of people will load up in the mid 7K range and ignore this range entirely. Either way, Glover is locked and loaded in my lineups and I think he is cash viable at this price as well. He is 4th in my model over the last 24 rounds. Sandwiched between Rickie Fowler and Luke List usually not a spot you expect to find him, but with his course history here and the way he’s been playing recently it absolutely make sense. He hasn’t missed a cut since the Genesis and before that it was all the way back to the Traveler’s last year. That alone should be enough to roster him, but throw in that he is the number 1 ranked player in the field in GIR in my model, and 2nd in SG: T2G, lock him in. He has finishes here of 33rd at the PGA last year, and T52 (Eagle Point), T8, and T28 the last three years at Wells Fargo. I rarely own 100% of a player and will probably hover around 50-60% with him but if I can tell you this, if I was just throwing one dart this week, Lucas Glover would be on that team.
GPP and Game Theory Plays:
Patrick Reed: DK $9700/FD $11700
Game theory play, should be underowned with Matsuyama, Tiger, and Phil in this range. Finished 2nd here last year at PGA Championship.
Brooks Koepka: DK $8600/FD $10700
James Hahn: DK $7800/FD $8500 – Way too cheap on FanDuel
Byeong-Hun An: DK $7600/FD $9300
Ross Fisher: DK $7500/FD $8800 -17th in my model, one of those weird cases where he missed the cut here at PGA but gained strokes on the field.
Nate Lashley: DK $7300/FD $7300 – Price hasn’t caught up with his play on FanDuel
Shane Lowry: DK $7000/FD $8700
Grayson Murray: DK $6900/ FD $8500
DFS Golf: Trending Down – Wells Fargo Championship
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. I’ll be personally be fading all three of these players in all formats. Finding top end players to fade in the elite field this week is EXTREMELY difficult and the following three are all top-notch players in their own rights, but if we are only rostering 5-10 lineups we have to make a stand somewhere.
Tommy Fleetwood: DK $9000/FD $11500
Tommy is a world-class player, and that has shown by his six top 25’s and two top tens this year. As we always talk about, I think you need to take a stand somewhere and I’m going to trust my model this week and fade Tommy. He currently rates out at 101st according to my model. Combine that with the fact that he was a 61st here last year (though lots of class players missed the cut) and you have an argument to fade. You can make an argument to play any of the guys from 8.5K and up, its difficult to make an argument to fade. Tommy has been OK lately, not spectacular. I’m just not particularly in love with him this week and will be fading.
Alexander Noren: DK $8,000/FD $10900
A player when I saw he was in the field I initially felt would be a great value but upon further research, I’ve decided I’ll be avoiding him this week. Again, not a ton to go on and if you love him play him, but I’ll be trusting the model I built with Noren coming in at 154th. Sometimes that’s because players haven’t played enough rounds under certain conditions, but he has 12 rounds in which is enough to make an assumption that this course doesn’t really fit him. Last year Noren finished 67th at the PGA going 74-77 on Saturday and Sunday. Had a solid round Friday of 69 which kept him inside the cut line.
Bryson DeChambeau: DK $8000/FD $9900
Another player who is low in my model and projected to be highly owned. I have him at 72nd and looking at the field, he is priced extremely high compared to players like Luke List and Adam Scott (I can’t believe I’m defending either of these two scrubs but here I am) The DFS community loves them some Bryson and I’ll let others chase him this week. He has popped recently but he also has a blow up in him. He’s way to volatile for this price point. Usually you lock in guys in this range for your Cash Lineups but with the amount of value on the board, I think you can fade Bryson. There may be some merit to a stars and scrubs lineup with the value in the mid 7K’s, and even at low ownership I can’t get on the Bryson train at this price.
I’m also on Team Fade Tiger this week for what it’s worth. If you watched him hit his driver over the weekend at the Masters’ and still want to play him, go for it, but I can’t be convinced that he’s a good play this week.
Make sure to follow along with me on twitter @dfsupnorth for any late breaking news or ownership trends. Tweet me any questions you have when building your lineups and I’ll help point you in the (hopefully) right direction!