We are back and ready to go for the TRUE start to the season. This week we have the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which is typically an event that favors longer hitters, but you can also go out and win if you have a strong Approach game, and Putting game like Xander had at this event last year.
Key Stats This Week: Birdie or Better % (BOB), Strokes Gained Approach (SG A), Strokes Gained Off Tee (SGoT), Par 5 Scoring, and Strokes Gained Putting (SG P).
This Week's Strategy: This week is a non full tournament field event, which means I will be limiting my play this week. Mostly just playing to gain more knowledge for the upcoming weeks. PGA DFS is one where if you take the reps each and every week it will eventually pay off. This is the main reason why I always put in the same level of research into each and every week. (example: playing the Mayakoba Golf Classic led us to be on Tyler Duncan for the following weeks which lead to us having him as a play when he won at +20000 odds.)
The main strategy will be to try and go Stars and Scrubs, and just hope that you have the winner. For the most part that's what it will take this week to be successful is to have the winner in your build.
The secondary strategy will be to not be married to the player pool. Find the 4 - 10 players that you think will have the best weeks, and make your builds trying to fit those players into the builds. But do not go directly out of your way to try to force the player pool. If you end of with a lineup that has 4 or 5 players that you really like fill it in with which ever players are available via salary. As an example Kevin Kisner, Chez Reavie, Rickie Fowler, and Patrick Reed are players that I did not list in the player pool, but I have some exposure to them because I ended up at their salary range as the 5th or 6th player in my builds.
Slate Confidence: RED - I know that we will have some good lineups, and some bad lineups this week, and the goal will be to have a majority of good lineups. That's just a lot harder to predict on small slates where the edge is limited or not there at all. That's exactly what we get this week. Play for fun this week, and get ready to really kick off the season next week!
TOP PLAYS THIS WEEK
Dustin Johnson: DJ has 4 top 10 finishes at this event in the last 4 years including a win in 2017. He is a guy that is also priced down this week simply because he have not seen much of him, and we do not have any season stats on him. But we know who DJ is as a player, and given his course history as well we know that this a course that really fits his game. We need to take advantage of the price discount.
Patrick Cantlay: Cantlay is priced slightly lowered than DJ, and I really wouldn't mind starting my builds out with Cantlay and/or DJ. Cantlay does have course experience finishing T15 here in 2017. This stands out to me, course experience matters here. Xander was last years winner the year prior to that was his first time playing this event, and he finished T22. I think Cantlay will take that jump this week and get a top 5 finish. He is T8 or better in Ball Striking, Total Driving, Strokes Gained, BOB, SG OT, and Par 5 scoring.
Jon Rahm: Rahm is the highest priced player this week, but for good reason. He has been on a roll during the fall swing (most being on the Euro Tour), with all but 1 start being a top 10 finish. Factor that in with having a T8, and 2nd overall finish at this course in the last two years Rahm makes for a strong play.
Paul Casey: Casey, over the past few years has been one of my highest owned players, this is due to the fact that he is a consistent player, typically finishing inside the top 20 events. Which in a full tournament event is exactly what you want. This week we know is a smaller sized field, but still last year Casey finished with a T16 at this event. Not bad, and I think he will get into the T10 this week. This should be a "push" play, one that won't kill you, but one that won't help you too much this week.
Cameron Champ: This is a play I absolutely would not be on if it were a full tournament field event as he would not have a strong likelihood to make the cut. But Champ makes for a great GPP play this week. He is a guy that when you do not have to worry too much about driving accuracy that you target, as he dominates off the Tee. Currently 2nd in Strokes Gained of the Tee. Champ finished T11 here last year as well. I would not go crazy with this play this week, but I do feel like you should chase his upside in some lineups this week.
Ryan Palmer: Palmer has had a very solid fall swing, and his stats show it. He is T5 in both Ball Striking, and Total Driving, but also top 20 in BOB, and SG AP. I do not think we can expect Palmer to win, but I do think a T15 or better is in Palmer's future this week.
Adam Long: Much like what I said about Casey in terms of being a "Push" play applies to Long here. I am not sure that he has huge upside, but I this price point he should not kill you.
Sung Kang: Kang is a play that I think could really pop. He is 13 in Strokes Gained Total, 3rd in SG P, and Top 40 in both BOB, and Par 5 scoring. The Zozo Championship was an event earlier this year, and since it was the first time this event took place it was the first time Kang played in it. This event had almost 80 golfers, and he finished T17. I think Kang finishing inside the top half of the field is likely this week.
Lanto Griffin: Lanto Griffin was solid play for us for much of the fall swing. He fell off (like most do) when he was able to win. I think the time off will help Lanto this week. Griffin is statically when of the best plays in the field, and is statically the best value play in the field. If we remember back to the event he won (Houston Open) it was a bit windy that week as well.
For the rest of the plays in the player pool with exposures scroll down a bit!
*Basic stat pull for this week. Using Tournament History, Weekly Base Stats, and Core Stats for the Course.
This is a unique event where were really only care about Core Stats for Course, and Tournament History. The Weekly Base Stats are what I use to help determine who is most likely to make the cut that week. (Along with other information)
You will notice that not every player has a number associated with them. That is most likely due to them not have a rank of that stat so far this year. If they have played enough rounds, but do not have a rank that means they fall over the top 160.
* This is a week in which we should not take too much away from the model because of the size of the event. Typically the model should be used to determine which player you should be targeting based on their likelihood to make the cut, which is how I have this model skewed towards.
As you can see we still have players that
do not have enough rounds this year to qualify for the stats. This hurts the stat model somewhat as well. The more numbers we have available the more accurate this will be. Still a good reference tool any week.
* Core Plays this week are just plays that I will be going out of my way to get into my build to play Studs. I believe both Palmer and Griffin present the most value, thus I have them as Core Plays.
*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 adjust throughout the week as I do a deeper dive.