The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – The Hero World Challenge

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte December 2, 2015 07:45


Happy Holidays to all of you out there who have been faithful followers of us here at Fantasy Golf Insider this year. It has been an amazing first year for us and we cannot wait for everything that is coming in 2016. The industry as a whole faces many challenges, but it seems as if there is more than a glimmer of hope that things will eventually be stabilized by some point next year so that a foundation can be set in order for the industry to grow, but also be regulated in a manner that protects the best interests of the players.


As for golf, the game is really in an interesting place. The infusion of young talent has breathed new life into the tour and allowed most of us to move past the Tiger Woods era in a relatively painless fashion. While there are those fans that will surely continue to hold out hope for a Tiger revival, we here at Fantasy Golf Insider are ready to move forward with the next great champions of the new era. While it will be difficult for those young stars to duplicate Tiger’s dominance, it will not be due to a lack of talent among the individual players, but rather a preponderance of such talent spread across a larger number of players. This was an idea we discussed at length at the outset of last season as we envisioned an increasing number of younger tour winners who would win not only those peripheral events composed of softer fields, but also major tournaments as well. Be prepared for much of the same once the tour resumes in January and those players that have taken some time away in the fall return to a full-time schedule once again.


Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, we have arrived at the last event of 2015 and will have about a month off before the tour returns to Hawaii next month with the Tournament of Champions. However, we are being treated to a fun event this week that plays out like a bit of an all-star tournament for the PGA Tour. With just 18 players in the field this week and no cut, we will get to see some of the best players in the world square off in the annual Hero World Challenge.


In terms of strategy for the week, you are going to have to throw a lot of it out for the week. With only 18 players, and no cut, this event is going to play a lot more like DFS MMA than a normal golf event. Frankly, if Bubba started swinging at people that would constitute it being a must watch event. What I mean by comparing it to MMA contests is that your first two or three choices at the top are going to force you into a corner at the bottom so that your choices are limited once you pick your star players.


What this means for play this week is that there are going to be an inordinate amount of overlapping lineups. This also means that your upside for winnings this week is relatively capped as GPPs could potentially be split among 100 or more players with the same lineup so that normally, a $3 GPP with a $10,000 first place prize may actually only end up paying out a couple hundred with enough overlap. The message here is clear this week. Keep your bankroll exposure to a minimum. Personally, I will probably play somewhere around $50-100 for the week just to have a little bit in play, but that will be about it. It will still be a fun event, but there just will not be much of an edge. However, if Tiger Woods ever returns to this event, my level of bankroll exposure will be increased as it was last year when he tied for last place. Having a weakened Tiger Woods in the field that is owned by 10% of owners would give us the edge we need to put a little more money in play.


As for the course itself, it is like no other course that we will ever see for a normal tour event. The tournament takes place at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas where it will be played for the first time. The 7,400 yard, Par 72, links style course has five Par 5 holes and five Par 3 holes, making it incredibly unique. Obviously, those players who get a good amount of distance off the tee and/or who can play long iron shots well will be at an advantage here and should have plenty of scoring opportunities. The weather forecast is projecting possible storms throughout the weekend, but the winds are not expected to be a major issue. We will be looking at a few key stats for the week: Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Par 5 Scoring, Birdie or Better Percentage, Par 3 Scoring, Strokes Gained Putting and Greens In Regulation. For the most part, we just want to choose players who are playing well coming into the event. It will be very important for GPP teams to have the tournament winner on your roster so build your lineups accordingly.


The one tactic that I think you will be able to use this week to differentiate your teams from others is to spend below your $50,000 salary cap. Nearly everyone will be spending all of the cap this week, but if you can manage to leave $1000-2000 on the table, you will have a high potential of creating a unique lineup. Now, this may make your odds of winning a little bit lower, but in an event like this, where any of the players could sneak up and win the event, it is a much more reasonable approach than normal. If you manage to create that unique lineup, your upside suddenly rises from a couple hundred dollars to the full $10,000 1st place prize for the $3 GPP so a little extra risk for a great deal more of upside. It is a strategy that I will employ for a few of my teams this week.


Finally, I am really excited about the work that I have been doing over the last couple of weeks on building GPP lineups and what the makeup looks like for winning GPP lineups. Each week for the next few weeks, I will be releasing a new part of my article on my GPP research. Although DFS Golf is still a fairly new sport by fantasy standards and that it will take many years of data gathering before I can truly verify some of my conclusions, my hope with putting this information out there is to put your mind in the right place so that in constructing your lineups going forward, you will start to be able to avoid some of the traps that snag other players and prevent them from ever truly becoming skilled at GPP play. It should also be a nice guide so that as you build your lineups, you will be thinking about certain points that I raise rather than simply putting together teams in a seemingly random manner.


Good luck this week and if by some chance, you manage to build a distinct lineup that pushes its way through the masses, shoot me a message on Twitter so I can cheer you on!

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BLUE CHIPS

Jordan Spieth ($11,200) – The number one player in the world comes in at a fairly reasonable price this week. After winning the Tour Championship at the end of September, Spieth continued his run of solid play with a 7th place finish at the WGC-HSBC Championship and a 2nd place finish last week at the Australian Masters. Spieth certainly is not a bomber off the tee, but still ranked 16th in Par 5 scoring last season so I am not too concerned about the length of the course. Others will be worried about the travel from Australia to the Bahamas, but just last year, he won in Australia and then won the Hero so I am not going to worry about a letdown this week. Spieth is also the type that possesses such a well rounded game that playing on a course competitively for the first time should not be as much of an impediment as it might be to other players.

Dustin Johnson ($10,000) – Long off the tee and fantastic with his irons, DJ should be able to put up some tremendous scores this week…on the Par 5 holes. What makes this course so interesting is the inclusion of all of those Par 3 holes that typically are not a real strength for the bombers and DJ is no exception. However, I think given the scoring opportunities that he will have, he should do well and if the greens are a little wet, it should benefit his putter. DJ actually putts reasonably well on Bermuda grass so he may not have as much trouble there as many have come to expect.

Justin Rose ($9,800) – While most people are going to gravitate towards DJ and Spieth or Bubba Watson just below Rose, I want you to make sure to get Rose onto some of your rosters this week. About a year ago, Rose actually moved to Albany in the Bahamas so this is now his home course and it should give him some advantage over his opponents. He has had his ups and downs on links style courses, but he is in great form currently after a fantastic 2015 season. He finished 2nd at the Tour Championship and had three other Top 10 finishes this fall in events around the world. Playing at home and in front of family, he should be well rested and ready to perform this week.

VALUE PICKS

Adam Scott ($8,300) – For value at the GPP level this week, Adam Scott really stands out at $8,300. With no cut, you can breathe a little easier in that a potential early blowup will not sink your team. However, like Rose, this is also Adam Scott’s home course as he has lived here for the last several years and has a good amount of knowledge about the course from having played it often. He has played in just three recent events, taking second at the CIMB and the Australian Masters and finishing very poorly at the WGC-HSBC where he took 70th. It is also of note that Scott is a tremendous links style player with four consecutive Top 10 finishes at The Open and also recorded a 4th place finish at Chambers Bay at the US Open this past summer.

Paul Casey ($8,100) – After swearing him off repeatedly following his absurd withdrawal at The Deutsche Bank, I find myself drawn back to Casey again and again for his well rounded game, reasonable price and upside potential. Begrudgingly, I am selecting him once again as his price makes him a great value yet again this week. Casey reemerged as one of the best comeback stories of 2015 and put together a very respectable season. Following a 5th place finish at The Tour Championship, he continued to play well in the fall with a 24th place finish at the CIMB, a 23rd at the WGC-HSBC and a 7th place finish at the BMW Masters. He is atop level ball striker and one of the best on Par 5 holes and should have plenty of chances to score this week.

SLEEPERS

Matt Kuchar ($7,600) – Rarely will Matt Kuchar be priced this low, but in an event this full of star players, Kuchar comes to us at a discount this week. After a 10th place finish at The Tour Championship, he finished a dismal 68th at the OHL, but did bounce back a bit with a 25th finish at the RSM two weeks ago. Kuchar is a very good tee to green player and putts the ball well. He was one of the best players on tour last year on Bermuda grass averaging 76.3 DraftKings points over twelve starts with an average finishing position of 21.8. He ranked 4th in Par 5 scoring and 26th in Birdie or Better Percentage so he has more upside than most will anticipate.

Brooks Koepka ($7,500) – With no cut and a small sized field, there is only so much damage that a classic Brooks blowup can cause this week. He should have a lot of birdie and eagle opportunities, but also plenty of chances to get tripped up on Par 3 holes where he has struggled the most in his career. He has played three times since a mediocre 18th place finish at The Tour Championship, taking 2nd at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, finishing 41st at The Frys.com and missing the cut at The Shriners. A positive for Koepka is that he tends to play very well on links style courses. He recorded a 5th place finish at the PGA Championship, a 10th at The Open and an 18th place finish at The US Open last summer so these longer, links style courses certainly fit his game. He simply must avoid those stretches of awful golf that have plagued his game as of late.

Jimmy Walker ($6,800) – The state of Jimmy Walker’s game is a huge question mark coming into this week. He looked a bit lost at the President’s Cup and a 50th place finish at the Shriners was not terribly thrilling either. After opening last season with and amazing first few months, he withered late in the spring and stumbled the rest of the year to a lackluster finish. However, there are still things that I like about Walker’s game, namely his strong play on Par 5 holes, his solid long iron play and the fact that he ranked 2nd last season in stroke gained putting. If he can just find the fairways this week, he has the potential to outperform his price.

That’s all I have for you this week. Best of luck and be sure to check back next week for the first part of my series on GPP play that will be available for this month only!!

-myzteriouzly

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte December 2, 2015 07:45

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