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PGA DFS: American Express 2024 - Betting Picks + Fantasy Golf Deep Dive

Updated: Jan 18

The good fall swing that we had not only continued into the STOC, but also continued last week at the Sony Open. The one real knock was not ended up on the winner, but let's face it Grayson Murray winning was a little bit of a fluke. It was nice to see that one of the top ranking golfers in the model Byeong Hun An found himself in contention to win.


Getting into this week I do like the field and the pricing that we are getting for both betting and DFS.


This tournament is a very strange tournament because every golfer will get 3 rounds in, as they play the first three rounds on three different courses. This causes lineup construction to be a little strange, and overall this tournament in the past has had a lot of high variance. Instead of focusing on golfers that are both safe and upside plays we almost have to treat this more as a no-cut event where we are just shooting for upside.


I do want to call out two things data wise this week. Due to the 3 course rotation I will be putting an emphasis on the two easier courses for showdown purposes. This will be reflected in the fantasy point projections for those golfers. Secondly because golfers that have played in Hawaii tend to play better than those golfer that have not, I have put an emphasis on golfers that I made 1 or 2 starts thus far this season. This will also be reflected in the fantasy points.


Also worth calling out that I will be adding in a way for users to sorta by course. This will be on the showdown tab.


 

First I do want to call out that I have started a golf specific content on YouTube where I will be posting all of my golf content. Below is a link to subscribe to the channel. Please make sure to do so.





Below you will see my breakdown this slate, calling out what data points we will be looking at to determine which golfers are the best plays this week and it will show why. The NineToFive Data is all curated data to specifically tell us and show us why a golfer is a good or bad play this week. I will be going through and putting my analysis to how the NineToFive Data views those plays and whether or not I agree with those plays. If you would like access to this great data, or the plethora of data that NineToFive offers click the join now button below and signup for just $10 a month.


 

Key Stats:

*Based off of which key stats led to golfers winning but also making the cut in previous years at the course tournament. When no course history is available I will difficult to compare course history. I look for which one or two Strokes Gained stats matter the most. Look to see whether this is a wedge fest or a long iron event. (175-125 stats don't really matter in terms of predicting who will play well in a given week) Find out which scoring stat matters the most (BOB, B2B, or BA). Find if this is a course in which accuracy or distance matters the most.


  • SG Total

  • SG Dif

  • Ball Striking (BS)

  • BOB / B2B

  • ESCR

You will see that we are not going to have any weather concerns this week, and with that all three courses should be playing extremely easy this week, thus we are going to need to look at all the scoring stats that we have this week. We also have to do that because we only get stats from the main course in the rotation the Stadium Course. The key stats from those two rounds each year would suggest the key stats that I have listed above as well as looking at golfer that just hit a lot of Greens. (which is already in Ball Striking as a stat)


Course History:

Going forward Course History for an event with go by H1, H2, H3, and H4. For most weeks that will simply be 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 course history. (Last 4 years is course history is when the data is the most significant)


Last 4 years.


SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow/Green

Last week was a pretty easy week on paper and that ended up being true. This week I do like the builds that I have been able to end up on, the only issue that I have with this week is the cut being after the third round. To me this makes me want to prioritize more of risk/reward builds. But at the same time it is so easy to make a great lineup this week going with the fair and balanced approach. This is why I am grading this week as a yellow week.


Weather:


We can see that the weather looks ideal this week.


Betting Picks

First Round Leader

AM Tee Times

I will be targeting AM Tee Times that rank out top 7 for FRL betting using the NineToFive betting sheet until further notice (basically if weather tells us not to)


3 Ball Bets:

Available by clicking on either the Ownership Leverage, or Props page on NineToFive, then click on the 3 person Icon.



Outright Bets:

Picture 1 = Golfers that are the statical best Outright Bets. This is determined by looking at which data points were the most predictable in regards to players that won the past two seasons. These golfers meet at least 80% or more of the statical thresholds used to determine winners.

My outright bets will be:


J.T. Poston (also probably my one and done pick), Eric Cole, Sungjae Im, Wyndham Clark, Jason Day, Xander Schauffele.


Andrew Putnam at 62/1 is my favorite "long-shot" bet.



Core Plays + Outright Bets

Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most

Takeaways:

The first 4 golfers that are being pulled in as Core Plays this week are pretty much straight forward. I will say I will be having JT Poston as a core play myself as well as he is coming in checking all the boxes minus a missed cut at this event 3 years ago which is why he is being slightly knocked.


Eric Cole is a very similar play to JT Poston this week expect Cole has not missed a cut in the last 4 years here, because he has only made one start, and that was a 36th place finish last year. Both plays are why I like the idea of doing a studs and duds build.


I will say I was a little bit shocked that Alex Noren is being pulled in as a Core Play, but looking at it more it does make some sense. He has went 2 for 2 at this course, he's a top 30 stat fit, has made 6 straight cuts in a row while sporting some upside. This is a play that I think I will treat more as a high exposure play however.


High Exposure

Players that I am still going out of my way to roster, but have a slight pause for whether that be course history, recent form, stat fit, safety, upside or price. (*This is based off of the the NineToFive Data Tag, which accurately marks a slight flaw in a great play thus why they would only be high exposure plays)



Takeaways:

Of the players that are being pulled in as High Exposure plays I really can't argue any of it. Sam Burns is a play that right now is a little bit too risk/reward to trust on a weekly basis at this price, but given the nature of this event I could see playing him in GPPs.


Clark, and Putnam are my two go to plays this week. At their prices this week they simply make for easy plug and plays, both have played well at this tournament in the past and both are on a made cut streak while both showing upside.


From there I think that Taylor Montgomery is basically a worst version of Sam Burns as a play this week which is probably why he is this cheap. Montgomery has the upside, to be in contention but he is just a little too risky to fully trust.


I will agree with the data that at their prices Adam Schenk and EVR are very intriguing plays.


Mid Exposure

Players that are still good plays but have more than one flaw to them as a play this week. This could be due to recent form, stat fit, course history, injury uncertainly or just due to the fact that their are better plays around their price tag.


Takeaways:

Again I want to point out that I will be treating Poston as a core play this week. Another golfer that is in this range that I like more than the data is Stephan Jaeger.


Jaeger is someone that has been playing solid golf for over a year now. He is a golfer that will likely do enough to make the cut, and will most likely give us a top 25 or so finish. The only issue I have with him is his lack of upside he has shown during this great stretch of golf. Still he is looking like a pretty elite option at such a cheap price tag.


I do want to call out Daniel Berger as well. He is part of the issue of looking at data like "last 5 rounds, last 10 rounds" etc because we have no idea how long ago that could be. For Berger it is well over a year ago. Sure when we last saw him he was playing pretty well, but he has not played in a long time, and I expect him to struggle this week.


Bhatia, Rickie, Thompson, and Ryo are some of my favorite GPP plays this week.


Low Exposure

Risk/Reward Plays, Plays to get a made cut, Shoulder Shrug Plays, or Fomo Plays

Takeaways:

My biggest take away from this group is that I think Nick Taylor looks like a great long-shot bet. His win at AT&T Pebble Beach was in a somewhat similar event, he has course history, and just finished top 10 last week. He Makes for a great GPP punt at this cheap price tag as well.


Aaron Rai is a logical GPP play. Stat fit wise he really pops, and he is typically someone that can score.


Ben Griffin is another play that feels extremely safe this week considering his price. He made the cut at this event last year as well.


Jason Day is a golfer that I was not looking at to start the week but now I will have some shares of him.


Another golfers I like not listed: KH Lee, Troy Merritt, Justin Lower and Kevin Yu.

 

Player Pool

Player Pool Breakdown:

Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week

CASH AND GPP PLAYS:

(Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup)

Cash Play: Highest Likelihood to make the cut.

GPP Play: Reduced Likelihood to make the cut, but if they do they have a high likelihood to exceed their salary.


Cash: Poston, Xander, Scottie, Sungaje, Cole, Jaeger, Clark, Putnam, Griffin, Kirk, Schenk

GPP: Montgomery, Burns, EVR, Bhatia, Beau, Ryo, Hadley, Merritt


SAMPLE LINEUP:

*This is a sample lineup for you to use as a reference tool. This is typically the first look lineup that I get onto for the week. Most of the time my main lineup will be adjusted throughout the week as I do a deeper dive. (Finalized on Tuesday Member Writeup


The issue I have this week is the lack of clarity for the lineup path this week. This is a build that I do really like, but at the same time we have many easy potential pivots, we could get up to Wyndham Clark easily, we could play one of the studs instead of Cole and then pay down for one of the decent value plays we have this week. All in all I feel like this is a good problem to have this week.

Ownership Leverage

Taking a look at the players that are under-owned, and too high owned. Talking about why. \

*Tool Update Alert* New to 925s Ownership Leverage Tool - Return Value for Finishing Position: Measuring where a golfer needs to finish to return value based on their current ownership projection at their price point. (Comes out Tuesday Evening)

(Currently going through updates this fall)


This week we do not really have any golfers that are clearly over-valued at the moment. However we are getting some pretty good leverage plays with Xander coming in undervalued compared to the other studs. This seems like a great spot to jump on him.


Another great spot to jump on is Andrew Putnam. The DFS community hates Andrew Putnam but IDK why. All he does is come in under owned each week, and then continues to produce each week.






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