PGA Preview, The Olympics – DraftKings

PGA Preview, The Olympics – DraftKings

What’s goin’ on everyone?! I hope everyone enjoyed The Travelers Championship and had a piece of Russell Knox’s win or Jim Furyk’s historic 58 on Sunday. That certainly came out of nowhere and was a treat to watch.

Golf on DraftKings this week is packed, with two slates running thanks to the Summer Olympics. There’s a million dollars up for grabs for the Olympic slate, so that is what the main focus for this article will be about. My initial thought on the Olympic slate was how tough it will be to gain an advantage in GPPs, due to the small field, no cut, and seemingly endless amount of no name golfers.  I will also touch on the John Deere Classic, where DFS players who do a bit of research on the field will definitely have the upper hand. Let’s get to it.

My Olympic Staples

Sergio Garcia – $11,900

Assuming Henrik Stenson becomes the chalk at the top, I will gladly take my $500 in savings and drop down to Sergio Garcia. I could easily put Garcia in the “So you got burned?” section after missing the cut at the PGA Championship, so hopefully that is still fresh in people’s minds entering the Olympics. He’s elite compared to the field in the strokes gained stats, minus anything on or around the green, and ranks 3rd in Par 3 scoring – The Olympic course has five Par 3s. So what Sergio can’t win a major, maybe the gold medal is his thing.

Danny Willett – $9,900

I thought for sure Willett would be inside the top 5 in terms of pricing, so to see him come in 9th and under 10k seems like tremendous value to me. His recent form is suspect at best, which is fine, as that will scare off tons of DFSers keeping his ownership low.  It’s a no cut event, so four rounds are guaranteed limiting any risk associated with Willett. Give me four rounds from a top 10 player in the world at a discounted price and low ownership, and Willett becomes a must play in all formats.

Jhonattan Vegas- $8,300

Vegas will likely be a popular pick, so he becomes more of cash game play than anything. His recent form is impressive, winning two weeks ago at the RBC Canadian Open, and making five straight cuts. With no course history to look at, current form becomes a strong factor into dictating a player’s value. At $8,300, you won’t find a player coming in with hotter for that Vegas. Narrative street – Venezuela (his native country) is in South America and so is Brazil!

Alex Cejka – $6,600

This seems like a no brainer to me. He’s playing very well, coming in with 5th and 11th place finishes. His stats are also elite in the ones I am targeting this week. He’s 3rd in Par 3 scoring, 11th in Par 5 scoring, 1st in bogey avoidance, 21st in birdie or better percentage and 4th in scrambling. Cejka seems like a golfer a lot of players will gravitate towards in this range, so make sure you are either extremely overweight on him (my recommendation) or fade him completely in GPPs. Cejka is also a cash game lock in my eyes.

Automatic Fades

Bubba Watson – $10,500

This strategy worked out for me at the Travelers Championship, so why not try for two in a row. His form is just so far off of what we are used to with Bubba, I can’t justify his price. I’d easily be willing to drop down to Kaymer or Kuchar, and also look for savings to jump up to Reed or Fowler.

Jeunghun Wang – $7,500

Sorry Jeunghun, nothing against you I just do not think you have anywhere close to the pedigree that players in your price range have. Sure, he is ranked 75th in the Official World Golf Rankings, but he’s missed five of his last six cuts, and hasn’t placed inside the top 10 of an events since mid-May. I like both Canadians as better options, bias or not, or prefer Joost Luiten, priced the exact same as Wang.

So you got burned?

David Hearn – $7,400

The last time Hearn played was the Canadian Open where he was talked about heavily due to his nationality and recent success. He missed the cut, letting a bunch of DFS players down. Have faith! This is a great time to jump back on the Canadian, at what I believe is a solid price at $7,400. He has been playing extremely consistent this season, and I really like his Par 3 scoring average where he ranks 8th. His driving stats and proximity stats are very solid, and should translate well on any course. This is a great bounce back spot for Hearn.

As for the rest of the Olympic field, there are a bunch of players from tours all over the world who are competing and no one has heard of. I suggest looking into a few guys, checking their world golf rankings and sprinkling exposure across many players. One of these sub 7K players will win someone a ton of money this week.

 

RickRunGood PGA Diary #1

RickRunGood PGA Diary #1

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. I want to chronicle my journey as a DFS player through this website while providing as much analysis, thoughts, humor (maybe) and strategy as possible. This will be very casual and transparent. I will discuss wins and losses and my thought process behind it all. I don’t claim to be a PGA expert, but I am having a winning season and want to continue to grow my PGA knowledge. Hopefully we can grow together.

Why PGA?

To me, golf is the perfect DFS sport. It has everything you could ever want and then some. It’s a weekly game, meaning you have plenty of time to research and enter lineups. NFL is also a weekly game, but with very limited slates. The NFL DFS season runs for ~20 weeks. The PGA Tour essentially runs year round and will provide 40+ DraftKings contents for you to enter.

There’s only one “matchup” to worry about and that’s the course. You don’t have to dissect five different positions and how 30 different teams fare against those positions like you do in the NBA. Every golfer has the same matchup.

There are few injuries and late scratches. Sure, withdraws happen, but not nearly as much as other sports. You don’t run into golfers resting before the playoffs. You know the field well in advance.

The universal start time is so sexy. All the lineups lock at the same time and you get to see all the ownerships immediately. No waiting around for three hours to see how owned Mike Trout is because he’s playing on the West Coast.

The edge is huge for those willing to commit to the research. For the most part, there are about 140 golfers in every tournament. The average fantasy owner may be knowledgable of about 50 golfers each week. Identifying value through rookies or lesser known golfers can open up a world of possibilities. This is especially true in Majors when brand new players flock to PGA DFS. You’ll see plenty of lineups with guys like Ernie Els, who are household names but haven’t been relevant in years. In general, there is plenty of parity on golf. There’s probably 20 golfers who are capable of winning every single week, which puts the knowledgable owner at a distinct advantage.

What do you play?

Exclusively GPPs. For me, it’s just the way my mind works best. I believe that my biggest edge is identifying value and under-owned players. I will take advantage of those players who I believe will be under-owned and roster them liberally.

For the most part, you’ll see me dump 100-200 lineups into the $3 Birdie on DraftKings each week. Most weeks, there is a very good payout structure in this tournament and a large first place payout around $20,000.

I fully understand the variance in playing 100% GPPs and playing a volatile game like golf. There are going to be large swings, which is why I will never play outside my bankroll.

Results

I’ve dedicated myself to PGA this season. I spent the first few months of the season doing massive amounts of research and entering a handful of lineups into the early season GPPs. I began employing my mass-entry strategy at the Masters this year. Here is how I’ve done so far:

The Masters – 152 lineups, $456 entries, $97 Profit, +21% ROI
RBC Heritage – 146 lineups, $438 entries, ($174 Loss), – 39% ROI
Valero Texas Open – 127 lineups, $382 entries, $374.50 Profit, 98% ROI
Zurich Classic – 150 lineups, $450 entries, ($197.71) Loss, -43% ROI

Total: 575 Lineups, $1,726 entries, $99.71 Profit, 5% ROI

What’s Next?

I will document as much as possible for the rest of the PGA season. I will be as transparent as I can, showing the full list of lineups, exposure and anything else I can think of throughout the process. One of the biggest reasons I am doing this is so that we can grow together. If you have any questions, comments or anything at all please tweet me. I am happy to discuss this process. I hope you enjoy!

Here are three of my favorite players for the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship. Once I have my lineups finalized, I will post them as well.