Editor’s note: This was written prior to the Sony Open, but this past week turned into a slog for me and I was #LPCP (Lacked Productivity, Couldn’t Publish). I say that just to give some context to the picks, which offered some fantastic value for Sony and now for the CareerBuilder. Tron Carter regrets the delay. )
If you read our de facto part one (The Case for Daily Fantasy Golf), welcome back. This is the fun part – where we provide you with the tools and strategies you’ll need to succeed in PGA DFS.
All of the “work” necessary to play PGA DFS is complete before the tournament even begins. Once balls are in the air on Thursday off you are locked in with your picks and left to your own devices while you sweat it out. DraftKings updates scoring in real time so your score, finish position, and winnings are dynamic until the completion of the tournament. The PGATour app with ShotLink provides another way to sweat it out, should you so desire. This can be maddening: imagine seeing every time Lucas Glover stands over a 5’ birdie putt, only to see the par update on the app moments later.
Easily, one of the best parts of PGA DFS is the “Friday Cut Sweat.” We mentioned previously that getting all six players, or at least five, through the 36 hole cut is critical. It never fails that a couple of your guys will linger right around the cut line deep into the afternoon on Friday. Those few hours of tracking each shot while projecting the cut line will have you on the edge of your chair (and can serve as the perfect antidote to the often interminable Friday workday. By design the salary cap setup and corresponding player pricing force you to have to play lower priced guys. Week after week of doing this, and you learn about guys like Cameron Smith (ed. note: “Scam” Smith), Tim “Silky” Wilkinson, and Luke “Sir Double L” List. TV coverage of the TOUR tends to focus primarily on the same ten to fifteen guys week in week out, so it’s refreshing to get familiar with the other players through playing DFS every week (PGA TOUR LIVE has also helped in offering more variety).
On DraftKings, your players will earn points in three ways: per hole, streaks, and finish bonuses. Golfers are given finish bonuses all the way up to 50th place with 1st place taking 30 extra points at the conclusion of the event. Pars earn half a point, birdies earn three points, eagles net eight points, and rare birds/aces yield ten points. Conversely players lose half a point for bogeys and one full point for anything worse than bogey. Now it becomes easier to understand why pin seekers are rewarded in this format, especially if you can get them through the cut for the weekend.
Beyond the basics we discuss specific strategy concepts on our Tour Junkies podcast. As a free gift, here are some groups of players we want to bring to your attention as the 2017 season arrives. Being on these guys early may help you gain your edge on DraftKings, sports books, Calcutta’s, One & Done leagues, or whatever flavor you play. Enjoy the season!
The “Fresh Meat” – WebTour guys sure to see success their 1st year out.
- Wesley Bryan
- Trey Mullinax
- CT Pan
- Ryan Blaum
- Brandon Hagy
- Dominic Bozzelli (Honorable Mention for a PURE swing)
The Euros – Europeans ready to make household names for themselves on the PGATour.
- Jon Rahm
- Paul Casey
- Francesco Molinari
- Rafa Cabrera Bello
- Thomas Pieters
“Mid-Market Money Makers” – These guys are always undervalued on DraftKings, but are consistent cut makers to help fill in your lineups.
- Si Woo Kim
- Hudson “The Swafficer” Swafford
- Lucas Glover
- Alex Cejka
- Roberto Castro
The “Chamberlains” – These guys score more than Wilt the Stilt in his prime, and they’re sure to make you some cash on DraftKings throughout the year.
- Brooks Koepka
- Daniel Berger
- JB Holmes
- Charles Howell III
- Tony Finau
The Breakouts – These are some lesser known guys that we think will get their 1st PGATour victory and/or be regular contenders this season.
- Jon Rahm
- Kevin Chappell
- Blayne Barber
- Jason Kokrak
- Luke List
- Roberto Castro & Byeong Hun An (Honorable Mentions)
- Henrik Norlander (Doesn’t have full status, but we have some inside info on Henrik that his putting and short game are finally clicking. This is bad news for everyone else on Tour as he’s already one of the best ball strikers on the planet.)