The Daily Spin – DraftKings Preview – The Masters

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte November 11, 2020 09:36

The Daily Spin – DraftKings Preview – The Masters

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RECAP

Houston, we do not have a problem after all. When Jeff and I were talking about the course last week and he was telling me that it was a muni course, I thought, how tough could it play? Of course, that was when we thought that there were five Par 5 holes and that it would play as a Par 72. When news filtered in that two of those Par 5 holes would actually play as Par 4’s, it completely changed everything. Instead of having those two holes as strong birdie opportunities, we now faced the much more likely chance that they would create a lot of problems.

I noticed immediately that the scores were not coming in low so I braced myself for a tougher ordeal than originally expected. Players struggled to find the fairway and hit greens in regulation. Even the top players in the field came out a little sluggish as they figured out how to play the course. Luckily, things ended up coming together well for me and my cash game team made it into the money once again, continuing a nice recent run of success for me, though it was not easy.

Adam Schenk finally met an early demise last week, which ended up being the only blemish for my squad. He played poorly on the back nine on Thursday, started off on Friday with a pair of bogeys and was never a threat to get to the weekend. These types of streaks are always fun to watch for players that you would not normally expect to cheer for, but when they end, it is usually with a crash like this one. Fortunately, Schenk was 50% owned in some of my bigger cash games so this was not a big blow to my chances for making some money.

I cannot overemphasize the point that you do not need to get too creative with your value plays. If you know that a 7100 golfer is likely to be heavily owned, take the savings and move on. You are not trying to win your contest with the cheapest golfers in the field so stop maneuvering around in this range hoping to hit the low owned stud that finds his way into contention. If you pivot to a golfer that nobody else owns in this range, your set of outcomes is never improved. When that low owned player misses the cut and the cheap chalk makes it through, you are likely drawing slim to dead for the week. When both get through, it is unlikely you’ve gained any advantage as is also the case when they miss. In the rare instance where you are right and the chalk falls apart and misses the cut, you are likely propelled much higher in the standings, but do not win any more than double your money for being right. Meanwhile, since a lot of folks will have owned the golfer that missed the cut, those teams are likely still live for the weekend.

The key to my success last week ended up being Sam Burns. He was a late add to my team. I started my build with Russell Henley, Denny McCarthy and Adam Schenk. Schenk was my low dollar, value play that I just wanted to get through the cut. Denny has been on a tear and was priced too low, especially as a Bermuda specialist. Henley has been sharp all around the last few months and I really thought he would be in contention again. Schenk whiffed, McCarthy gave us what we needed for the price and Henley slightly underperformed, though on a tougher track in difficult scoring conditions, it was not a bad effort.

I played with the other pieces quite a bit to get my final three golfers. I really liked Brian Harman for my cash game team. His game has been so solid lately and he’s not just making cuts and posting 55th place finishes. He’s well under the cut line and competitive every week for a Top-25 finish. He was the only player in the middle 8k range that I was feeling really good about for cash games so I plugged him into my lineup.

Initially, I had not planned to pay all the way up to get to Scottie Scheffler. I originally wanted to use Tony Finau, but his price just was not working for me with the builds that I was coming up with. I liked Scottie, but what ended up drawing me in was that he generated considerable buzz around the industry as the tournament drew closer. I felt like there was a chance he could see really high ownership in some of my higher dollar cash games so I made a defensive move and used him on my roster since I did not have the cap space to move up, and I was not liking the rosters I was coming up with when I dropped all the way down to Doc Redman, who himself did not finish up all that well. It came down to whether I was going to play Doc and either Si Woo Kim or Cam Davis or if I was going to pay up for Scottie and then grad a player in the middle 7k range. I ended up settling on the second option and had enough funds for Sam Burns who is striking the ball well and is also a much better player on Bermuda greens than other surfaces. In the end, the putting splits won me over and this is the move that helped to propel me to a win.

Sometimes the difference between winning and losing in PGA DFS is that small and something like turf split for the last player you choose makes the difference between a win and a loss. That is why I would tell you not to ever get too confident or too discouraged in this game. There are so many times where one tiny metric can make all the difference in the world. Your duty as a player is to continue to refine your process every week so that you get just a little bit better each season at analyzing these close calls. Over a 50 week season, just swinging 3-4 extra weeks your way off of little decisions like this is going to be enough to turn you from a struggling cash game player into a winner. It will never be easy money, but the ‘best’ DFS players in the world are not looking at these things, I can promise you that. They have their model or algorithm that will spit out what looks like a good lineup on paper. We’ve been able to beat that method over the years in golf because the variables change so much compared to other sports. Just keep grinding, manage your bankroll well and develop your process and I am confident that you will be successful.

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte November 11, 2020 09:36

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