DraftKings PGA – Northern Trust Open
With DraftKings announcing that they will feature a $2.2M Millionaire Maker, I thought it’s finally time to start covering PGA tournaments on TDA. I have played fantasy golf sporadically for years, but with DFS didn’t really get into the scene until this PGA season, and have to admit I’m hooked. For those of you that are new to Fantasy Golf on DraftKings, here is a basic rundown of scoring and strategy.
First off, you have to know and understand the scoring. You want players that consistently shoot holes under par. So we are looking at a combination of par 3/4/5 birdies with an emphasis on par 5 eagles, and taking away hole outs which are essentially luck shots. Take a quick look at the DraftKings scoring breakdown to the right, one eagle is worth the same as finishing the tournament in 9th place.
The number one, golden rule is to try and avoid rostering anyone that could potentially miss the cut. You need six guys playing over the weekend to even have a chance at winning. If your strategy includes loading up at the top and making risky plays with your final two spots, you had better play a bunch of lineups, because odds are one or two of those risky starts are going to miss the cut.
Next, I familiarize myself with the course, the distance, past winners, and last season’s results. There is a reason you always hear analysts saying a specific golfer always scores low on this course or loves playing this course… Sure there is some psychological advantage to knowing you have played a course well in the past, but different courses can favor different games as well. This course favors players that are putting well, so
Next, you want to rely on your own research, so watch a lot of golf. It’s a perfect sport to watch while you work, it’s quite, not distracting, you don’t need the volume on… I watch Thursday and Friday in the office, then generally will tape the weekend and watch it on Monday and Tuesday. Watching as much of every tournament as possible is the best way to get a feel for each golfer.
If you are not interested in watching golf, and want to choose your golfers based purely on analytics there is plenty of information out there to allow you to do so. One of my favorite techniques is a basic comparison between past winners, who is currently playing well, and vegas odds. If you are able to find discrepancies between a player’s odds, current level of play, and DraftKings salary, you can often find a guy that not only makes the cut, but is on the leaderboard on Sunday.
Looking specifically at the Northern Trust Open, here is last year’s top 20:
And here are this year’s odds:
When I pull up the odds, I will go through and try and match someone with 100/1 odds or better that is mispriced on DraftKings. From there I move onto seeing how the player has been shooting lately, how he did at last year’s Northern Trust Open, and finally decide if he’s someone worth targeting. By the time I have gone through the entire player pool, I may have 15 or so targets to start building my lineup from.
You generally want to target a couple of top ten guys. Looking at the odds, 9 guys have 28/1 odds or better, I would guess 4 of the 9 actually finish in the top 10, and all 10 make the cut. I specifically try to target one favorite, two more top 10 guys at a good value, and then go balanced at the other three spots.
My DraftKings PGA Picks for the Northern Trust Open
This week I’m paying up for Jimmy Walker. I knew I wanted either Watson or Walker, but settled on Walker because, despite Watson’s unbelievable Sat/Sun here last season, this course fits Walker’s game better. He’s a stud, is playing great putting great, and this is his favorite course. The other top 10 guy I find myself targeting is Bill Haas. I like Haas because he has finished in the top 25 four straight times at the Northern Trust, won it in 2012, and already has a win under his belt this year.
Webb Simpson is another player I’m targeting with top 15 in odds to win. He’s had 2 top 10’s this year, another top 15, and in 4 events is averaging 93.3 DraftKings points. Despite his game not being a perfect match for the course, Webb has always fared well at the Northern Trust with 2 top 15 finishes in 3 starts.
Moving outside of the top 15, I rounded out my roster with Robert Streb, Brendan Steele and Vaughn Taylor. Taylor has made 5 straight cuts, and has three consecutive top 15 finishes.I don’t expect another top 15 finish, but I certainly expect him to make the cut and at $4,900 I will take four days of scoring. Behind Bernd Wiesberger, I expect Robert Streb to be one of the highest owned players this weekend. He’s coming off of a leave with the birth of his son, but already has 5 top 10’s this season, and his game matches this course nicely. Expect him to finish with at least 1 stroke gained putting, and to be within striking distance of the leaderboard coming into the weekend. Brendan Steele finished the Riviera T-10th last year, and is currently ranked 30th in the world. I think he’s the top play under $7,000 this week.
If this is your first time playing PGA or on DraftKings in general, use the button in the graphic below and get a 100% deposit match when you sign up! Good luck this week!