Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- Wells Fargo Championship

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff May 11, 2015 15:37

The Players Championship last week at TPC Sawgrass was certainly a shocking tournament, at least as far as the names that did not survive through the cut. On Draftkings in particular it was extremely difficult to get six players through the cut. We wanted to know exactly how many people were successful doing that, so we did some research and pulled together the following numbers for you:

In the $100 Pressure Putt contest there were 3,333 entrants and 68 teams got 6 of their guys through the cut (2% of all entrants), another 457 only had 5 guys left. So 85% of the field had only four or less guys make it through the cut.

In the $20 Medium Pressure Putt, there were 8,587 entrants, 132 got six of their guys through the cut (1.5% of the field), another 1,048 had 5 guys make it through the cut. So 87% of the field had four or less guys make it through the cut.

In the $3 Mini Pressure Putt contest, there were 38,315 entrants, 825 got six guys through the cut (again 2% of all entrants), 4,990 more had five guys through the cut. Again 85% of the field had only four or less guys make it through the cut.

These are certainly staggering numbers. The soft pricing actually turned out to be a detriment to people, as a large number of the high dollar players missed the cut. The soft pricing allowed people to roster multiple big name players such as Day, Rose, Walker, Spieth, Kuchar, Bradley, Mahan, Snedeker, Koepka, and Mickelson all who missed the cut. Last week was one of those weeks that a lot of probability went out the window. If you were one of the people who were able to muster a winning week, congratulations. If you were one of the many who had a difficult week, do not be discouraged, weeks like this do not happen very often. It helps prove what we always preach in that bankroll management is extremely important.

A special congratulations goes out to one of our premium members, Allen, a.k.a alklutts for taking 2nd place in the $27 GPP on Draftkings and pocketing $5,000. Nice work Allen, keep up the great work!

With all of the crazy happenings last week, we were still able to identify some real gems in our recommendations like our sleeper pick Kevin Kisner who finished runner-up in the playoff. Overall, we did not have a performance up to our high standards. Sometimes all the research in the world and statistics cannot foresee freakish events (like world #2 missing the cut) but we will continue to work our tail off to give you the best information available anywhere. Of our 16 recommendations, 8 of them made the cut, with highlights of our top value pick Kevin Na who had a T6, Rory Mcilroy T8, Henrik Stenson T17, Russell Knox T17, David Hearn T42 (although a Sunday collapse prevented an unbelievable sleeper performance), and obviously one of the best sleeper picks of the year so far Kevin Kisner.

This week the PGA Tour heads to The Quail Hollow Club located in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship. Quail Hollow is a par 72 and measures 7,562 yards long, and is the longest course on tour all season long. This tournament has been held here since 2003, though under different names. The final three holes of Quail Hollow have been nicknamed The Green Mile and are considered one of the toughest closing stretches of any course. There are four Par 3s and four Par 5s and as you would guess with a long course, a few of the Par 5s are extremely lengthy. Hole #5 measures 570 yards, #10 is 591 yards, and #15 is 566 yards. There are also several Par 4s that measure nearly 500 yards including #4, #9, #16, and #18. The course contains over 60 bunkers and water comes into play on 6 holes.

Last year J.B. Holmes held off Jim Furyk to win by one stroke for the first time since brain surgery briefly forced him to the sideline. Holmes led by three strokes heading into the Green Mile in which he had two bogeys. This made it close, but Holmes was able to make his 71 hold up sealing his first victory since the 2008 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Holmes will be joined by 11 of the Top 25 players in the world including Furyk, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, and Henrik Stenson,

Tournament history is always a key factor that we analyze every week and this week at Quail Hollow is no different. A few guys that have had a lot of success here in the past include: Jim Furyk (5 career Top 10s), Rory Mcilroy (4 Top 10s in 5 events including a win), and Phil Mickelson (7 career Top 10s). For a complete tournament history for every player at The Wells Fargo Championship, check out our tournament history page.

One of the statistics that is most meaningful this week is driving distance. Of the fifteen players who led in driving distance last year only three of them finished outside of the Top 10, with Champion J.B Holmes finishing 1st in driving distance. In 2013 five of the 11 longest guys off of the tee finished in the Top 10, including champion Derek Ernst. In 2012, of those players ranking in the fifteen highest in driving distance, seven of them finished in the Top 15, including champion Rickie Fowler and runner up Rory McIlroy. Now, it is obviously important to have some accuracy as there are some significant hazards, so we will also look at total driving as well.   The other statistic we are going to target is putting. Of the Top 10 players last year, five of them ranked in the top 10 in putting. The same was true in 2013 as The Top 10 contained five guys who ranked in the top 10 best putters.  If a player is long off the tee and putts well in this tournament, he is gold. Last year, winner JB Holmes ranked 1st in driving and 4th in putting.

For access to our Top picks, value picks, sleepers, and more, including who are the most underpriced players on Draftkings this week, become a premium member.

 Be sure to note that Kevin Na, Francesco Molinari, and Seung-Yul Noh have all withdrawn from the Wells Fargo Championship.

For those of you who play on Draftkings, it appears that their pricing model still screwed up. Last week the pricing was just soft overall, but this week it is not nearly as soft, however there are tons of players who’s price-tag is severely out of whack. That is ok with us, because we have identified those players and our members will have a gigantic advantage knowing which players have been mispriced. Now, remember just because guys are mispriced and present a tremendous value, does not mean that they will perform up to their ability. They still might play poorly and miss the cut, but this will allow us to build lineups that present the most value possible. We think a balanced approach is far and away the best this week as there are tons of great value and the studs are very highly priced comparatively.  Here are some of the biggest values that we can see:

Adam Scott- $8,600
Ryan Moore- $8,000
Brendon De Jonge- $$7,200
Kevin Streelman- $7,000
Jason Kokrak- $7,100

 

Note: Due to the fact, that Draftkings pricing is so screwed up this week, players in the value category might be priced lower than those in the sleeper category and vice versa.  Our rankings are based upon general consensus not Draftkings pricing directly.  What category these players fall into is not overly significant anyway.

 

Top Stud Picks:

 

Rory McIlroy- Last week at The Players McIlroy had a T8 off of a cross country trip after winning the WGC Cadillac Match Play. Earlier in the PGA season Rory had a T9 at the WGC Cadillac, T11 at the Arnold Palmer, and 4th at The Masters. He has absolutely dominated the Wells Fargo Championship with an 8th last year, 10th in 2013, runner up in 2012, mc in 2011, and a championship in 2010. Rory ranks 12th in driving distance, 29th in driving accuracy, 39th in greens in regulation, 10th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 105th in Strokes Gained Putting, and 8th in Total Strokes Gained. Pretty outstanding statistically except in putting, although he putted very well at Harding Park for the WGC Match Play when he won two weeks ago. For you DFS players, the question becomes is he worth his price. He obviously would need a Top 3 finish to completely pay off his price. However, sometimes it is easier to try to pull together some sleeper picks that outperform their price and roster Rory, a guy who you know is going to give you a Top 10 week after week. We like him this week to make a run at a win at a course he loves. (GPP due to his price-tag)

J.B Holmes- The defending champ is obviously long off the tee, ranking 7th in driving distance. Holmes alro ranks 10th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 17th in Total Strokes Gained. He is not typically a great putter (ranking 153rd so far this year) although he finished up 4th in overall putting last year at Quail Hollow. In addition to winning last year, he also has two other career Top 10s, including a 9th in 2011. Holmes has been great this year, albeit mixing in some brutal mixed cuts out of nowhere to derail a lot of fantasy golfers. He started his real nice run at the Farmers with a runner-up finish, then followed it up with a T10 at AT&T Pebble Beach, T22 at Northern Trust, and runner-up at WGC Cadillac. Then he missed the cut at Arnold Palmer, won the Shell, and missed the cut at The Masters. How is that for consistency? Probably as much of a GPP play as you can get. Our best advice is to take stab on Holmes in a couple of your GPP lineups and see if he can make a deep run like he has several times so far this season. (GPP only)

 

Top Value Picks:

 

Daniel Berger- This kid has game, and we actually like the fact that he missed the cut last week at The Players (albeit by one stroke).  We hope that people will be less apt to choose him this week because of that. Before last weeks missed cut, he has had a really great season, with a couple of missed cuts mixed in. A T6 at Zurich, T72 at RBC Heritage, T25 at Shell, mc at Valero, T13 at Arnold Palmer, mc at Valspar, runner-up at Honda, and T10s at AT&T and Waste Management. Berger’s stats are very solid, ranking 16th in driving distance, 26th in greens in regulation, 24th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 102nd in Strokes Gained Putting, and 27th in Total Strokes Gained. He obviously does not have any tournament history here as he is a rookie, but played well at Arnold Palmer, Shell, and Zurich, those courses that are long and closest in distance to Quail Hollow of all the courses he has played this year and he did well at all of those. (GPP and Cash Games)

Webb Simpson- This Charlotte, North Carolina native (actually lives about a mile from the clubhouse) has performed well at his home course in the past four years with a 38th last year, 32nd in 2013, 4th in 2012, and 21st in 2011. Before that he missed the cut a couple of times. Last week at The Players, he played well enough to make the cut, but then faded over the weekend and ended up T66. Before that he had made six of seven cuts in 2015, including a T13 at Sony, T7 at Humana, T7 at the WGC Cadillac, and a T28 at the Masters. Simpson is an outstanding ball striker and ranks 14th in greens in regulation, 51st in driving accuracy, 73rd in driving distance, and 11th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green. Here is where we are not all in on Webb this weekend, he ranks 162nd in Stokes Gained Putting, absolutely atrocious on the greens. As we mentioned before, good putting is important on this course. If for some reason Simpson can putt average, he will deliver a solid finish. (Mostly GPP)

Morgan Hoffman– Many of you might still be bitter about Hoffman’s missed cut last week, well we are with you. We were hurt really bad by his MC, as we recommended him last week as a value play and we had a lot of exposure to him ourselves. As we have discussed in length in the past, do not let the fact that someone burned you in the past influence your decision to select him in the future. “That guy has burned me before” is one of the most ridiculous things we hear people say all the time. Hoffman only missed the cut at The Players by 1 stroke last week and his game sets up nicely for Quail Hollow. He ranks 37th in driving distance and 38th in Strokes Gained Putting. He also ranks 85th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green and 25th in Par 5 scoring. Before last week Hoffman had been playing really well making 5 cuts in his previous six events including a T36 at Zurich, T9 at RBC Heritage, T28 at The Masters, 4th at Arnold Palmer, and T17 at WGC Cadillac. The bad part about Hoffman is that he has played in this tournament twice and has missed the cut both times. He has been a much more consistent player than he has in the past and has had much more overall success lately. We think he has the opportunity to do well this week and deliver a Top 20. (GPP and Cash Games)

Ryan Moore- What we said about Morgan Hoffman and erasing how badly a player burned you in previous weeks applies to Ryan Moore as well. Moore was one of the most heavily owned players last week at The Players, mostly because of his low price, and his missed cut hurt a lot of people. We actually did not recommend Moore and faded him because of the fact he would be so heavily owned and it paid off. We believe that he will not be as heavily owned this week because people always let their emotions get involved in their selection, which is a major mistake, and good for us. He has really played well at The Wells Fargo in the past with an 18th last year, 6th in 2013, 5th in 2012, and 33rd in 2011, He did miss the cut the three years prior to that. Overall, Moore has played well this year with a T12 at The Masters, T57 at Shell, 5th at Valspar, T9 at WGC Cadillac, T22 at Northern Trust, and T17 at Waste Management. Moore doesn’t have great distance, ranking 172nd in driving distance, but he putts alright, ranking 62nd in Stokes Gained putting. He also strikes the ball well, ranking 17th in driving accuracy, 91st in greens in regulation, and 33rd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green. We are going to use the fact that people are salty about how Moore missed the cut and ruined so many of their lineups. Zigging and zagging around ownership levels is extremely important in daily fantasy golf and we believe we have a really good knack for predicting those ownership levels. Avoiding players when their ownership levels are high and getting in when their levels drop down will allow you to capitalize, especially in GPPs. Take advantage of Moore’s lower ownership this week and hopefully he will play well and reward us for our great strategic move. (Mostly GPPS, but can also be included in cash games)

Jason Kokrak- Last week at The Players, Kokrak missed the cut by one stroke. Prior to that he had a T18 at RBC, missed cut at Shell, T11 at Valero, T6 at Arnold Palmer, and T7 at Valspar. We like where he stands in the statistical rankings for this week at Quail Hollow particularly because he ranks 10th in driving distance and 54th in Strokes Gained Putting. In addition, he ranks 72nd in greens in regulation, 49th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 31st in Total Strokes Gained, 36th in Par 4 scoring, and Par 5 scoring. Kokrak has improved his results in the Wells Fargo Championship over the last three years as he missed the cut in 2012, took 50th in 2013, and 23rd last year. The fact that he currently resides in Charlotte does not hurt the fact that we really like Kokrak to deliver a really solid effort this weekend. (GPP and Cash Games)

Russell Knox- One of our favorite plays this year, as we have recommended him many times, and he has delivered for us most of the time. A T17 at The Players last week, T43 at Zurich, T18 at RBC Heritage, mc at Valero, T29 at Arnold Palmer, T33 at Valspar, and T3 at Honda round our Knox’s last two months. He only has one appearance at Quail Hollow and he missed the cut three years ago. Knox ranks 142nd in driving distance, 21st in driving accuracy, 9th in greens in regulation, 34th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 76th in Strokes Gained Putting, and 31st in Total Strokes Gained. (GPP and Cash Games)

Other value type players to consider: Charles Howell III, Brendon Steele, and Scott Brown

 

Top Sleepers:

 

Brendon De Jonge- Yet another appearance in our column this week, De Jonge has been extremely consistent and delivered nicely for us just about every time we have recommended him. Last week was a bit of a disappointment with a T63, but he still made the cut in a week where it was very difficult to get guys through the cut. De Jonge has made six straight cuts at Quail Hollow including two Top 10s (6th last year and 4th in 2010). He has made 7 cuts in his last 8 events Including a T63 last week at The Players, T22 at Zurich, T18 at RBC Heritage, T5 at Shell, and a T10 at Puerto Rico. De Jonge is not the longest of hitters, ranking 138th in driving distance, but he ranks 44th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 35th in greens in regulations, and 25th in driving accuracy. We think Draftkings has something against fat people as they mispriced De Jonge again this week at $7,200.We like his consistency and like him to continue his success at Quail Hollow this week. (GPP and Cash Games)

John Peterson- We are so proud to say that we were the first in the industry to be recommending Peterson, and we have done so on a regular basis throughout the 2015 wraparound season. He has been ultra-consistent making 14 cuts in 15 events played including five Top 25s. He has not shown the ability to break through as he has not cracked the Top 10 this season yet. Statistically he ranks well in most categories except for putting in which he is brutal. He ranks 109th in driving distance, 19th in driving accuracy, 55th in greens in regulation, 27th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 156th in Strokes Gained Putting, and 54th in Total Strokes Gained. Peterson has missed the cut in his only two appearances at Quail Hollow, but as we have discussed before, tournament history for him is virtually irrelevant as he is such a new and improved player this year. Finally, Peterson is hilarious on Twitter and we recommend you follow him. Look for another cut made and a possible Top 25. (Some GPP, but mostly Cash Game Player)

Geoff Ogilvy- In his first appearance since the Masters, Ogilvy turned in a very solid T24 shooting 5 under par last week at The Players. Before that, he was 48th at The Masters, missed the cut at Valero, 61st at WGC Cadillac, T49 at Northern Trust, and T6 at Waste Management. Ogilvy has extremely well at Quail Hollow with two career Top 10s and nothing worse than Top 40 in his last six appearances. In the last three years he had a 14th last year, 38th in 2013, and 21st in 2012. Ogilvy ranks 90th in driving distance and 94th in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green. The bad thing about Ogilvy is his awful putting, as he ranks 206th in Strokes Gained Putting. We are obviously not to thrilled with his $8,200 price-tag on Draftkings, so we will not have a tremendous amount of exposure to him there. Mostly just mix him in a GPP, because he will not be highly owned. (GPP only)

George McNeill- Quietly, Mcneill is putting together a really solid season, most recently placing T17 last week at The Players Championship. Overall he has made 11 in 14 events and four Top 25s. His six tournaments prior to last week resulted in a T12 at Zurich, T44 at RBC Heritage, T20 at Valero, T35 at Arnold Palmer, MC at Valspar, and T11 at Honda. Last year at the Wells Fargo Championship, Mcneill missed the cut, but he has four Top 25s in eight career appearances, including a 16th in 2013, 15th in 2012, and 18th in 2009. He ranks 120th in driving distance, 87th in driving accuracy, 139th in greens in regulation, 92nd in Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green, 53rd in Strokes Gained Putting, and 72nd in Total Strokes Gained. McNeill is not a guy who is going to light up a tournament field with his game, but he should provide you a solid performance at a place he has played well in the past, and maybe sneak into the Top 25. (GPP only)

Also: Take a look at Kevin Streelman on Draftkings as his price tag is low and he has played well at Quail Hollow the past two year.

 

As always, best of luck to all of you and let us know how you do.

 

-Fantasy Golf Insider

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff May 11, 2015 15:37

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