Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- Dean & Deluca Invitational

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff May 23, 2016 21:20

RECAP AND OPENING THOUGHTS
And they said Sergio couldn’t win. Well, to be fair, Brooks kind of served it up to him on a silver platter, but a win is a win and it’s great to see him manage to not choke and collapse on a Sunday despite putting two in the water on the back nine. Congrats to Mr. Garcia!

For our picks, I would say we did pretty damn well if you did a good enough job of including a number of GPP permutations and didn’t overload on Palmer for cash – 4/6 cashed easily with a couple of upper-level plays like Kuchar and/or Sergio. From a percentage perspective we didn’t do quite so great, hitting about 14/22 (Loupe’s MDF is a meh) but the quality of the 14 we hit was largely very strong, including Sergio’s win and top-ten finishes from Kuchar, Knost, and Howell, top-20 finishes from Hoffman, DJ, Woodland, and Lee, and made cuts from ZJ, English, Vegas, Curran, and Schwartzel. I’m a little sad that I didn’t include Brooks this week, but we may have to start trusting the golden boy now that he’s looking like he’s back in strong form.

Furthermore, my call was pretty good on the softness impacting scoring toward the higher side as the cut ended up being -2 after the rains helped guys to stick the greens far more easily. If there’s any major takeaway, it’s that the weather just prior to the event can be just as important as the weather during the event itself, so don’t forget to do your homework on the conditions coming in!

And now onto Dean & DeLuca! (for some reason that name sounds super corny to me.)

TOURNAMENT BACKGROUND
• The Course(s)
o Colonial CC
o Par 70
o 7,204 Yards
o Greens: Bentgrass
o Fairways: Bermuda

• Location – Fort Worth, Texas

• Forecast – It could be a bumpy ride. We’re looking at an 80% chance of storms on Thursday, 90% Friday, and winds in the mid double-digits.

• Scoring Expectation – Like last week, depends largely on the conditions, but the winner has generally been in the low double-digits with some potential for much higher if the rain softens conditions up like it did last week.

• Cut Expectation – If the course plays tough, then probably slightly over par, but it could play easy enough to be right around E or even slightly under.

• Past Champions in Field (going back to 2005)
o Chris Kirk (2015)
o Adam Scott (2014)
o Boo Weekley (2013)
o Zach Johnson (2012, 2010)
o David Toms (2011)
o Steve Stricker (2009)
o Tim Herron (2006)

KEY STAT ANALYSIS
• SUPER IMPORTANT – Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Emphasis on GIR%
o Colonial is not a course that rewards length. Some bombers may do okay here, but for the most part, this course rewards those who stay out of trouble as it has only two Par 5s and very little advantage to those who want to overpower the course as it is very tight and lined with trees. Shotmakers excel here which is why you consistently see guys like ZJ, Kuchar, and their ilk playing this course very well. While driving accuracy isn’t a terrible thing, Chris Kirk won this event last year hitting only 50% of fairways, so I would place a lot more emphasis on GIR% as a predictive metric for success.

• IMPORTANT – Strokes Gained: Putting and Scrambling
o There is an awful lot of sand around the greens at this golf course as well as some pretty dirty rough, so when your guys do hit the green, you really want them to make those birdies as much as possible. If they don’t, they need to be making par. I would place less importance on this if the weather ends up looking like it’s going to soften up the greens enough to make them hold better, but in general, they’re both good rules of thumb for this track.
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DEAN & DELUCA INVITATIONAL 2016 STRATEGY
In contrast to last week where bombers had quite a nice edge to overpower some of the more accessible scoring holes, Colonial is the short-knocker’s paradise, evidenced by the fact that the vast majority of the tour’s bombers aren’t even present for the event. As such, we want to stay away from high-profile spewy players as they are almost definitely dangerous plays here.

Our goal is to maximize the value we are getting out of our short shot-makers for the price and not overpay for under-performance. There is plenty of value out there and I think this will be one of the better weeks to up your spend if you are disciplined. I would advocate a bit more emphasis on cash this week in particular as we have some very strong course management shot-makers in the field in the lower salary ranges who should provide strong returns on their price and allow you to take a few of the bigger fish in the pond.

That said, be sure to monitor the weather very closely as heavy rain could improve the chances that some of the longer hitters have to play this track well, and you won’t want to miss out on that value opportunity.

Onward!

 

THE STUDS

 

• Jordan Spieth (DK $12,800)

Whatever plagued Jordan Spieth on Saturday and Sunday will be worked out, and I would be shocked If the field didn’t sour a bit after his incredibly lackluster finish at the Byron Nelson last week, particularly at this price. Normally I’m a big fan of the top player fade, but I just think there’s too much of a chance for Spieth to be lower-owned and outright ship this event by a longshot if he works out his kinks. (Mostly GPP)

o Course History: T2, T14, and T7 in his three starts here. About as consistent as it gets.
o Form: Well he hasn’t won in a while, but other than that he’s still Jordan Spieth, stomping his way to top-20 and better finishes all over the place even if he has been a touch more inconsistent lately than in the past.
o Stats: 16th in SG:T-G, 32nd in SG:P, 1st in Birdie Average, 22nd in Total Driving. The numbers will come.
o Other: I’d put him right around 15% which is lower than it should be.

• Matt Kuchar (DK $11,000)

Well, some may have thought Kuchar lost a bit of his upside to start the season, but the steady hand has all but disproved that, carding two consecutive third place finishes on tough tracks. This course should fit Kuchar like a glove and, other than an MC a couple years ago, he’s been pretty damn solid. I wouldn’t buy him for cash at this price, but he’s a must in GPPs. (Mostly GPP)

o Course History: 7/8 in made cuts with a runner-up finish in 2013.
o Form: See above – has only missed one cut all season.
o Stats: 14th in SG:T-G, 37th in Driving Accuracy, 58th in GIR%, 56th in SG:P.
o Other: Should be around 20%.

• Zach Johnson (DK $10,700)

ZJ will be one of the chalkiest plays of the week this week and with good reason – he’s never missed a cut here, has won twice, and finished inside the top-ten half the times he has played. Like with Kuchar, this course fits ZJ’s game absolutely perfectly, and he makes for a fantastic cash game staple this week. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: 8/8 on cuts made with three top-15 or better finishes in his last five starts.
o Form: Since missing the cut at the API, he’s gone T24 at Augusta, T9 at the RBC, T42 at the Valero, and proved to be one of the only reliable course managers at Sawgrass with a great T3.
o Stats: 19th in SG:T-G, 68th in SG:P, 48th in GIR%, 31st in Birdie Avg, 31st in Par 4 Scoring
o Other: Should be over 20% for cash, probably right around 20% for GPPs.

Honorable Mentions (mix into your lineups)

Chris Kirk (DK $9,700) – Last year’s champion, Kirk tends to excel at tracks like this, and he’s proven that this is definitely his kind of venue with six made cuts in six tries and four finishes inside the top-20. I expect him to be the highest-owned player in the field and with good reason. (Cash and GPP)

Kevin Chappell (DK $9,700) – At first glance, Chappell wouldn’t be an obvious fit for a course like this, but he’s got a pretty outstanding ability to be both relatively long and accurate, which is a great mix that served him well at Harbour Town and Sawgrass. I think he will be an excellent play this week as he has carded two straight top-20 finishes here and is on fire form-wise. Expect him to be pretty popular. (Cash and GPP)

Charley Hoffman (DK $10,400) – With the way Hoffman is playing right now, there’s almost no course that can stand in his way. Fortunately, Colonial is a course that has never stood in his way even when he hasn’t been playing out of his mind as he’s made 7/7 cuts with three top-20 finishes in his last four years. Another excellent cash staple. (Cash and GPP)

 

THE VALUE

 

• Kevin Na (DK $9,200)

So he missed the cut at Sawgrass – I don’t care. Na was made for golf courses like this, and if he can’t do the job here, there’s something seriously wrong. It’s an excellent price for a guy who will probably contend even if he doesn’t win. Don’t pass him up. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: 8/10 on made cuts including a T10 last year.
o Form: The MC at Sawgrass sucked, but that was a very different Sawgrass than the one Na normally plays well. Otherwise, he’s been rounding nicely into form with a strong T4 at the comparable Harbour Town.
o Stats: 17th in SG:T-G, 67th in GIR%, 90th in SG:P, 34th in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be reasonably popular in cash, probably 15%.

• Danny Lee (DK $8,800)

Oh yes, he’s very back, and he is all over this list. Danny Lee is an outstanding starting point for your cash points for all of the same reasons Kevin Na is with one notable difference – Lee can win. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: Made all three cuts here including a T10 last year.
o Form: He’s heating up. Posted a T9 at Quail, T35 at Sawgrass, and T18 last week at TPC Four Seasons.
o Stats: 36th in SG:T-G, 24th in Driving Accuracy, 23rd in Birdie Average, 5th in Sand Saves, 45th in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be between 10-15%.

• Colt Knost (DK $8,300)

There is simply nothing this guy cannot do right now. Aside from making all but one cut this year, he has been scoring out of his mind, carding some seriously low rounds on tough courses in his last two events. To top it all off, outside of his nice T10 here last year, his course history looks terrible and will probably cause more to fade him than they should. I’m happy with him in all formats right now. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: 1/5 in made cuts, but the T10 last year and his current form make him too good to pass up.
o Form: Has missed exactly one cut while also putting up T3 and T4 finishes at Sawgrass and the Byron Nelson respectively.
o Stats: 2nd in Driving Accuracy, 14th in SG:P, 67th in GIR%, 31st in Scoring Average, 50th in Sand Save %, 14th in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be around 10%.

Honorable Mentions (mix into your lineups)

Brandt Snedeker (DK $8,900) – Probably the single best contrarian play of the week. Sneds has been a bit ice cold of late missing three of his last four cuts, but if he catches fire, he can hang with the absolute best of them, and has proven it over and over on this track, carding a runner-up here last year. Don’t neglect a reasonable buy on him for your GPP lines. (GPP Only)

Bill Haas (DK $8,700) – The least-flashy player on the entire tour strikes again at a track that perfectly fits his game. He’s a little iffy when not in form, but Haas has been relatively solid and steady, and I expect him to continue his solid play this week at Colonial. (Cash and GPP)

Patton Kizzire (DK $7,900) – I must say that I have become a true believer in Kizzire and his ability to hang with the absolute best on tour at any event. Outside of the SHO, Kizzire has been virtually bulletproof, making the cut with significant upside at every variety of track – even those that shouldn’t fit his game. He’s versatile, resilient, and can putt like a fiend. (Cash and GPP)

 

THE SLEEPERS

 

• Chez Reavie (DK $7,300)

Chez ambled back into the DFS light last week, carding a nice T18 at the Byron Nelson and again demonstrating that he’s a very solid play this year at any track that demands a strong tee-to-green game even if you don’t have the length. Even before Chez really started playing well this year, he had done well at this track, making 4/5 cuts including a T11 and T5. He’s a fine play in all formats. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: See above.
o Form: After his three straight MCs, rallied back nicely last week with a T18 at the Byron Nelson.
o Stats: 24th in SG:T-G, 17th in Driving Accuracy, 29th in Total Driving, 6th in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be between 5-10% owned.

• Bryce Molder (DK $7,100)

Molder has been nothing short of one of the hottest players on tour, making eight consecutive cuts with four finishes inside the top-25 including a very nice T24 last week at the Byron, a T12 at Sawgrass, and T6 at Harbour Town. He’s an outstanding putter who presents one of the best values on the board this week at this price. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: Has made four consecutive cuts here even when his game wasn’t nearly as strong as it is right now.
o Form: See above.
o Stats: 84th in SG:T-G, 13th in SG:P, 10th in Sand Save %, 4th in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be between 5-10% owned.

• Jerry Kelly (DK $7,200)

Ugh, Jerry Kelly really disappointed me last week, but what few will remember is that he did still manage to surge hard on Friday to end up missing the cut by a single shot after his disappointing 74 on Thursday. This is a course – like Harbour Town – that should fit his game beautifully, and I think he’s also one of the best values on the board at this price particularly after his MC last week. (Cash and GPP)

o Course History: 11/16 in made cuts with a T10 last year and three consecutive made cuts.
o Form: Had a couple hiccups at the Byron and Zurich, but otherwise he’s been super steady with 11/14 on the year and some nice upside with strong finishes at Quail and Valspar.
o Stats: 3rd in Driving Accuracy, 79th in SG:T-G, 55th in Sand Save %, 6th in Proximity, 2nd in Scrambling.
o Other: Should be around 5%.

Honorable Mentions (mix into your lineups)

Adam Hadwin (DK $6,600) – Hadwin has been showing some game as of late, carding five consecutive made cuts and going 13/18 on the season. It would be nice to see him show a little more upside, but he played well at comparable courses and is one of the best putters on tour with a strong finish here last year in his first time at this event. (Cash and GPP)

Si Woo Kim (DK $5,900) – Well here’s a mispriced player if I’ve ever seen one. Kim has been a little inconsistent, but he’s got the upside to do very well at a track like this, particularly after demonstrating his ability to play tight courses with a T14 at Harbour Town. I’m fine with him in all formats and he gives you plenty of latitude to stack bigger names. (Cash and GPP)

David Toms (DK $6,300) – Were you as disappointed as I was by Mr. Toms’ one-shot MC last week? Well, fear not, he’s a much better fit for this course, and won it as recently as 2011. He’s been playing very strong golf considering his lack of length and age this year, and this is a course that should give him plenty of opportunities to show that he’s still got his game in order. (Mostly GPP)

 

Deep Sleeper
• J.J. Henry (DK $5,700) – Somehow, Henry always finds his way into this section, but he’s always playable at minimum salary just given his ability to make a cut a reasonable percentage of the time and allow you to stack a boatload of studs onto the same squad. His course history here isn’t exactly dazzling, but he’s made the cut exactly half the times he’s played, so roll the dice and hope you get lucky. (GPP Only)

Thanks for reading, and good luck to all of you from all of us at FGI!

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Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff May 23, 2016 21:20

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