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PGA DFS: The Memorial Tournament Betting Picks + Fantasy Golf Deep Dive (Core Plays, Bets, Lineup Process, Value Plays, Ownership Leverage, and Player Pool)

The Memorial Tournament is one of the most fun PGA DFS / Golf Tournaments each year, at least it was until the PGA Tour decided to make it a "Signature Event". This means that the field is much more reduced, and because of that we do lose some of our edge. Still it will be fun to see a lot of the big names playing against each other this week, but this week does seem like a week in which only 3 golfers really have a strong chance of winning.


Those golfers (as they have been for the past 3 months) are Scottie Scheffler, Rory MIlroy, and Xander Schauffele. The one concern from this group would be with Xander as this will be his first event since winning a major, he could end up sort of just looking to get his "feet wet" mentally this week to get ready to go again next week.


Collin Morikawa has been someone that has been trending in the right direction for some time but he would need the big 3 to not be on their A game to have a chance at winning, that is how much better those three golfers have been in comparison to the rest of the field.


This is part of the issue this week in DFS and betting. The top 3 golfers are by far the best options this week that I find myself just wanting to bet on those 3 golfers. For DFS I want to play at least two of them but given the pricing that we have this week that will be difficult.


QUICK RECAP FROM LAST WEEK:

  • Favorite bet was Kevin Tway to make the cut, which makes 4 straight week where my favorite bet has cashed.

  • Another profitable week DFS wise making that 8 out of the past 10 events

  • Missed out on Sam Burns FRL by one stroke.

  • Alex Noren was finally a let down, but Corey Conners finished top 10 making up for it.

  • Finished 2nd in RD2 Showdown (lost first place because McNealy, and Fox made 40 feet of putts combined)


*Please note I always publish the rough draft version of this writeup, and then come back and edit it / correct it later that day. If there are grammatical errors that is why.

 

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Below is a breakdown of the key data points we will be analyzing to identify the top golfers for this week and the reasoning behind it. The NineToFive Data provides curated insights to help us understand why a golfer is a strong or weak choice for the upcoming tournament. I will review the NineToFive Data's assessments and share my own analysis on these selections. To access this valuable data and more from NineToFive, simply click the 'join now' button below and sign up 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.


  • Effective Birdie to Bogey Ratio (EB2B) - B2B ratio combined with Bogey Avoidance

  • Strokes Gained Off the Tee (SGOT)

  • Total Driving (TD)

  • Effective Scoring (ESCR) - NineToFive Stat

  • Ball Striking (BS)

  • Strokes Gained Around the Green (SG ARG)


The nice part about this tournament is that there is no guessing in terms of what key stats we should be looking at, as we have plenty of course history, and course data to predictive which golfers are going to be the best plays. This should make it


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)


  • H5: Workday Charity Open 2020


The only thing different about this week when it comes to course history is that I am factoring in the 2020 Workday Charity Open as it was a tournament that also took place at the same course, and actually took place the week before the 2020 Memorial Tournament. (this was due to covid)


You will not see this on the NineToFive Cheat Sheet but it is being reflect in the ranks of golfers in the NineToFive Model Rank.


SLATE CONFIDENCE RATING: Yellow

Slate confidence rating is a way of looking at the slate in terms of predictability. Red will be a week in which I am reducing my units bet. Typically this will mean entering the same amount of lineups but in a contest where the entry $ amount is less. A Yellow week is a standard week. Green is a week that appears to be very easy to predict, these are weeks in which we typically have a full field event that is loaded. (Majors) thus it should be very easy to make a good profitable lineup. **Note for betting my strategy does not change per week.


Another tougher week for DFS purposes and this is all due to pricing. This is by far the best job I have seen from DraftKings maybe ever. That is what makes it hard, but much like last week that will be the case for everyone, and chances are if we continue to make the correct decisions each week, we will continue to gain big long-term edges over others that make dumb decisions (I am talking about the 20% of people that play Eric Cole in cash)


In a limited field event we tend to do more studs and duds, but due to the pricing that becomes much more difficult this week.


Weather:

Nothing too crazy wind wise for the week as a whole, but I do think the lack of rain from when I am writing this up until Sunday is kind of big, as the greens and course will play faster and more difficult as it progresses.


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.

  • Scottie 3.25/1

  • Rory 9/1

  • Xander 9/1

  • Collin Morikawa 14/1

  • Corey Conners 50/1

  • Shane Lowry 65/1


Core Plays + Outright Bets

Core Plays are the golfers that I am prioritizing the most

Takeaways:

Again with Scottie, Rory, and Xander the goal would be to fit two of them into your builds, but this week that is actually more difficult than previous signature events, and no-cut events. So if are going to still go that path this week we could get to Lee Hodges as a value play that should be able to make the cut. Hodges finished 12th at this event last year, and has finished 12th in two straight events on the PGA Tour. Given how Hodges is priced it almost feels like we are being forced into play him (almost).


Lucas Glover has been extremely solid for us this season, and that has mostly been because he has been too cheap, and due to that he has been someone we can rely on to out produce his price tag. That is what I expecting out of him again this week. The biggest issue with Glover is his terrible course history, if he does struggle this week we can look bad at that. Still the form is top 10 in the field, and he is just a little too cheap, thus in a build where I will be attempting to get 2 of the big 3 in a build he makes a lot of sense.


Corey Conners is just too cheap for how great he has played this season, and he is the 5th best stat fit in the field. The one concern one might have with Conners is the spotty course history, but I almost think we can look past that with how well he has been playing and how good of a play on paper he is this week. Besides not having the name value I couldn't tell you when he isn't priced in the 9K range this week. This is a clear value we are getting this week. In lineups where I do not get 2 of the big 3 I will getting a lot of Corey Conners, as well as the next player I will mention.


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:

Collin Morikawa will be a play that I jump on a bunch as things have been trending towards a win for him for quite sometime, multiple top 10 finishes over his past 7 starts including two T4 finishes in his past two starts. He is priced at a slight value this week as well, as Viktor Hovland is coming in $400 more expensive. In comparison Morikawa is better in every single metric, both have won here, but Morikawa also has a runner up finish. When they have been off their game they have both struggled at this course. In a more fair and balanced build Morikawa is easy to fit in.


If you are doing more fair and balanced builds both Shane Lowry and Tony Finau make a ton of sense. Both are strong stat fits, and both have been playing solid. Literally they are both checking all the boxes this week, and I worry that I may not be on them as much as I should be. The one worry that I have is that Finau has not shown top 10 upside in a long time in events with a good field. They both feel extremely safe at this cheap price tag.


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:

I do think that Noren can bounce back this week, a very similar situation to Noren was Stephan Jaeger.


Jaeger had been extremely reliable, but had lacked upside so he was never someone you would really bet on to win, but you would play him a lot in DFS because he was safe. That was until Jaeger started to show some upside. Typically with a golfer like that it is going to go one of two ways they will finally put it altogether and win, or they will have a very random missed cut. For Jaeger it was a missed cut, and then in the very next event, an event before a major in a field where Scottie was heavily favorited Jaeger won. This is my long way of saying I could see that also happening for Noren this week.


Keegan Bradley, and Si Woo Kim are two golfers that the data likes a little bit more than I do. Keegan is probably a safe play, I just worry about his upside. Si Woo Kim has elite course history ranking 3rd in the field, but he is not coming in with the best form. I see them more as shoulder shrug plays.


Low Exposure

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

Takeaways:

I feel like all these plays talk for themselves, they are all risky, but they are all players that I can get to in builds when needed.

 

Player Pool

Player Pool Breakdown:

Player Pool is rank in order of how I am prioritizing a golfer as a play this week. (This is based off of 20 entry max lineups. For 150 entry lineups I will open up the player pool slightly more but this will be determined by the lineup optimizer)

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: Core, Lowry, Finau, Morikawa

GPP: Others


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.

This is really by far my favorited fair and balanced build, but if Xander does have a slight Major "hangover" this lineup could be toast as playing him means that we are not playing Scottie or Rory who equally are elite plays. Still this is an extremely safe build on paper. The second build I am fine with, but you will see the struggle to make a good studs and duds build. I will mention Taylor Moore is a fine lineup filler play, as he is coming in off of one missed cut where he had a terrible second round, but this is the only situation I would play him. Adam Schenk and Adam Svensson are both players I could get to as well.


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.

My biggest take away when looking at the ownership leverage this week is that I will happily be overweight by at least double the field with Shane Lowry. After that I will be in on Rory and Xander by at least 10% more than the field.



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