The Daily Spin – DraftKings Preview – Farmers Insurance Open

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 22, 2020 08:00

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Preview – Farmers Insurance Open

The first true test of the year is upon us and the field is full of elite players this week. For me, DFS is always much more fun when I am choosing from the best players in the world versus a group of middle level talents that get priced up where there are only a few obvious, standout plays to make in the value range which takes away from much of the research and strategy for cash games. I would much prefer to be tested by which star players I get to roster and which ones I end up having to fade in order to make my player pool work for the week.

As is the case again this year, I made the trip down to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. In about 10 hours, I will be joined by Aaron and Erik (ie Statboy) who will be with me on the course from Thursday through Saturday. It is always a great way to get a few of us together to enjoy some golf and also to discuss the website and everything that we would like to do over the next year. If there are any ideas that you have been thinking about or want to see on the site, please do share them with us over the next couple of days. The easiest way to do this is to go into the Slack chat and hit us up with your idea directly. Aaron (@ge3kusa) will get your message if you tag him and we can note the suggestion and plan accordingly. I am not going to promise you that he gets to everything, but it is good to hear the ideas, especially if we hear some of the same things again and again which will help us to prioritize how we want to get everything completed.

If you are going to be in the San Diego area this week, be sure to hit me up through e-mail, Twitter DM or Slack. We are going to site down tonight to decide on which groups to follow this week, but would love to have any of your join us for a few holes. Typically, when I plan it out, I try to follow some of the younger, up and coming players on tour. This works well as I get to see some great players, but can also avoid the large crowds that hover around the more prominent groups. Last year, we watched Cam Champ from start to finish in a round and it helped me to really see his strengths and weaknesses up close, especially with all of the hype around him at that point. Also, if there is anyone you would like me to stay away from specifically this week, let me know that as well. I will do my best not throw the shadow of my black magic on them for the first couple of days. Do not worry about me following someone I have no ownership of this week. Trying to use my dark powers against a fade will always have the opposite effect.

The tournament this week will be played out over two courses. The players will get one round on the North Course either Thursday or Friday and then play the other three rounds at the South Course. The North Course is relatively straight forward as a Par 72 and plays at around 7,200 yards. The fairways are on the narrow side, but it should not be an issue to club down to stay on the fairways. The goal is to hold serve on the Par 3/4 holes and create birdie opportunities on the shorter Par 5 holes. Weather will not be an issue this week as high winds are a great defense for both courses, but conspicuously absent this week so players are probably going to need to shoot under par on the North Course as I would anticipate a cut somewhere in the -2 range overall. The greens are on the larger side and bent grass was put in on the greens of the North course in 2017.

For the South Course, driver comes out of the bag whether players can handle it or not. This is a US Open course and comes up in the rotation in the summer of 2021. There have already been a few changes to the course as preparations are beginning to toughen up the course over the next year as Adam detailed in The First Tee earlier this week. The fairways are very narrow here and difficult to hit. This week may see some relief with very low winds, but players that do struggle to keep it on the fairway will be playing from very thick rough this week which makes those lengthy approach shots into smaller, poa greens that much more difficult. I am looking for more of the bigger hitters this week for my player pool. I will have exposure to a handful of veterans that play in this event routinely as I think course experience is a bigger deal here than at other stops, but overall, we need to focus on golfers that can chop the South Course down into smaller bites rather than fighting approach shots from the rough from over 175 yards. A quick look at some recent winners will show you that the leaders off the tee and on approach have dominated this tournament for some time. There are events like Sony or AMEX where it feels like everyone genuinely has a chance to with the golf tournament. That is not the case at Torrey Pines where it is rare for a player from the middle of the pack to storm the field.

In approaching this event from a lineup build perspective, it is important to keep in mind what I stated above. If we do anticipate that another stud wins this week, then we need to focus our attention around the top players. I want to have heavy shares of the golfers that I most favor near the top of the salary chart and take my stand on those players so that I do not end up underweight relative to the rest of the field. I want to build a heavily concentrated core at the top, but then give myself more sprinkle plays at the bottom. This is never an event where it feels at all clear which players are going to jump up from the lower range to have a big week. What I want to do is to give myself a few extra shots in the lower range so that if I really hit it hard with my stars, maybe I can find that somewhat random player that squeezes out an unexpected Top-10 finish. The last two weeks were more of a gradual trailing off from my core down to my sprinkle plays, but this week, I plan to be very heavy on my core and then have a more pronounced drop off for my secondary and tertiary players.

Key Stats

Strokes Gained Tee to Green: 30%
Strokes Gained Putting: 20%
Par 5 Scoring: 20%
Birdie or Better Percentage: 15%
Scrambling: 10%
Proximity: 5%

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte January 22, 2020 08:00

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