The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Valspar Championship

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte March 7, 2018 11:23

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – Valspar Championship

Aloha, my friends! I am spending a few days on vacation this week with family out in Hawaii, but that just means I get to do my writing and research while out on the road as I spend my nights getting caught up on the world of PGA, which really is not all that different from how I do it back at home. Fortunately, this week I get to do it without having to deal with all of the snow that hit us while we are away. If I am lucky, by the time I get back home, the last vestiges of winter will be gone and spring will be upon us. If you look at the world in anywhere near the same way that I do, you actually really love this time of year as the spring represents the furthest point of the year away from the next winter. It also represents the closest time of the year to The Masters which is now just four short weeks away!

If you were not already excited enough about this PGA season, the performance of Phil Mickelson just stokes the flames that much more. Love him or him, much like Tiger Woods, having Phil in the mix is only a positive for golf. He’s deserving of the win after being close over the last few weeks and over the last few years as well. I was surprised to see him take out Justin Thomas in the playoff as JT is tough in pressure situations and has been amazingly clutch under pressure the last two years while Phil has managed to get close many times, but always ended up hitting that one errant shot down the stretch that always killed him. While the youth revolution is still largely in play for the PGA Tour, the old guard will not be moving on quite as quickly as some would like which should lead to one of the most exciting seasons in a long time.

Last week was a little disappointing for me on the DFS side. My plan going into the week was to fade the top of the board and build a really balanced player pool to try to get as many shares of the players in the $8k and $9k range onto my rosters. Unfortunately, as I analyzed the ownership trends, what kept hitting me was that my DJ projection seemed like it was going to come in high just like last year. I initially thought that he’d be in the 25% range, especially after getting the win here a year ago, but after seeing the tight pricing and how you would need to maneuver to get him into lineups, I started to realize that many owners were probably going to be pushed out of their DJ shares in order to afford the other high quality players below that they may have had to fade otherwise. I thought to myself that if there was a chance that DJ could come in around 12-15% that I wanted to be in for at least 30% as it would be a great spot to gain some leverage on the field. My thoughts proved to be correct, but we just did not get the dominant DJ performance that we needed to make it work on the GPP side of things even though he did not play badly. This is the sort of move that will usually lead to either a big week or a loss, but when you’re building 20 teams for a GPP event, you need to be pretty heavily concentrated on the players you like to give yourself ample opportunity when your core hits so you will have some big ups and downs throughout the year.

In moving on to this week, the tour heads back down to Florida for the Valspar Championship, another very challenging Florida event. The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook plays out at over 7,300 yards and is a Par 71 with three Par 5 and five Par 3 holes, making it a little different from the traditional layouts that we are used to on tour. In addition to the extra Par 3 hole which obviously does not help scoring, the fairways here are among the narrowest of any course on tour which will again force most players to drop down from driver off the tee in order to keep the ball in play. Of course, no course description for Copperhead would be complete without mentioning the Snake Pit. The final three holes on Copperhead represents one of the toughest stretches of golf we will see all season where saving par will be the order of the day and avoiding turning one bad shot into round ruining hole. This makes analyzing the players all the more difficult this week as the stats are not really going to tell the story for us if we just interpret the numbers as they appear. Obviously, accuracy is more important this week, but most of the numbers that we see in the model off the tee are based on players using driver a lot more often than they will this week. What this tends to do is to shift attention away from some of the bigger hitters as their accuracy numbers are usually not particularly strong. While the ball strikers are the golfers we are looking for this week, do not instantly turn away from those that are typically known as bombers as they will tailor their game to the best of their ability to fit the course.

We are back to a full field, normal cut event this week and the field is again, reasonably strong. With Tiger Woods making yet another start at a course where he never plays, interest among the other golfers is at a high and it should keep the fields loaded throughout the season. The pricing is decent this week overall with only one or two players who are priced egregiously. Being that this is a tough course where there is a lot of water and with winds always being somewhat of a factor, tread a little lighter than normal as you would with the Honda. I know that between a no cut event last week and the Honda before that, we’ve been holding back a little bit in our play of late, but that’s the mentality that we want to have this time of year. When these tough courses pop up with tricky winds, it really throws a wrench into trying to be precise in our projections. A quick look at the weather for the week does not reveal anything too dramatic. The winds will be around 13-15 mph on Thursday with potential gusts up to 17 mph throughout the day. Friday, it appears that the winds will peak around 9am with a steady state of 12 and gusts to 15 mph before settling down the rest of the day. On Friday afternoon, the winds are forecast to be much lighter at only 3-7 mph. For strategic purposes, I will be building some Thursday AM/Friday PM teams with around 25% of entries for the week. These types of things can obviously shift very quickly, but since we’re just using players that we already like anyway, if the winds do not play out as forecasted, we lose nothing in having stacked a certain set of tee times.

Key Stats:

Strokes Gained Tee to Green: 30%
Strokes Gained Putting: 20%
Birdie or Better Percentage: 17.5%
Scrambling: 10%
Proximity: 10%
Prox 175-200 yards: 7.5%
Driving Accuracy: 5%

Sign up for an FGI account today to see the rest of this post.
Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte March 7, 2018 11:23

Log In

Having trouble logging in?
Try logging in here

Our Partners