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DraftKings

The Approach – Shriners Open

Nolan Kelly

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Jason Rouslin's weekly article previewing his top contrarian PGA DFS picks for your fantasy golf lineups at the Travelers Championship.

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If you’re a premium member, check out Ben Rasa’s article here. As well, we’ve got Timothy Frank’s stat sheets

As always, you can follow me on twitter @Nolan__Kelly.

….

Finally, a return to some normalcy. No Wednesday night lineup locks, no split events for a while. We’ve got another month of PGA action before the real offseason begins in December. Let’s go!

A quick word on the Official World Golf Ranking

OWGR gets a lot of flak from touts about its accuracy, and I’ve never really taken it too seriously. But I read this piece the other day from Golf Digest, and it got me to thinking that perhaps we tend to overlook some really obvious stats sometimes, that correlate well with success.

OWGR basically awards points from the past two years, that slowly dissipate over time – replaced with more recent points. That system tends to award players who have played well recently and players who have shown consistent improvement over time. That sounds like a recipe for DFS success.

From the piece:

“Since 2013, 41 percent of regular season PGA Tour events have been won by players who came into the tournament ranked inside the top 15 in the OWGR. And because so many of golf’s best young talents have been successfully fulfilling their potential, that number has been trending up in recent years. In 2013 and 2014, when players like Spieth and McIlroy were still fairly unseasoned, the percentage of tournaments won by top 15 players was 38 and 24 percent, respectively.”

“But it doesn’t stop there. Over the same time period a staggering 75 percent of majors have been won by players who come into the tournament inside the top 15, which jumps to 85 percent when you measure Majors, WGCs and the Players.”

So, players inside the top-15 have a ridiculous win-rate. Obviously you can’t fit endless top-15 OWGR players in your lineups each week, but its definitely something to consider, when building your lineups.

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For that reason, I’ll probably just keep it in mind a little more – especially when players are trending up, or when their OWGR disagrees with our fantasy expectation for a player (Satoshi Kodaira).

Slate strategy

This is a tough tournament to handicap, given the recent changing conditions and field strengths. And unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of correlatable metrics to back-test.

The pricing is, as usual, much softer on FanDuel, where you can easily fit in three of the top players. That of course will lead to higher ownership at the top and more stars and scrubs builds. If that’s your strategy, there are some nice pivot plays towards the bottom on both sites that can differentiate your lineups.

Awesemo’s ranks

This is a rare week with only two “A” grades from Awesemo’s ranks on either site. To view his full rankings, use sign up for a premium membership or use the code “THEAPPROACH” for a free seven-day trial.

The course

The tour is off to TPC Summerlin, on the outskirts of Las Vegas for the Shriners Hospital for Children Open. The 7,250 yard Par-71 is played at altitude, so that should mitigate some of the driving distance advantage for the longer hitters. As such, this looks to be an accuracy and approach course. Summerlin had the seventh hardest fairways to hit on the tour last season. We’ve got bentgrass greens and fairways and bermudagrass rough.

The plays

Wyndham Clark: Grade: C, DK Value: A, FD Value: A

I feel like, with a name like Wyndham, you’re destined for success playing golf. He probably grew up on an estate with 2 pool houses and his dad is named Wyndham Clark the IV. We have a small sample size for the recent University of Oregon grad, but he does have some nice early indicators. Not sure how much of a role driving distance will play here, but Clark can mash it. In an admittedly small sample, he’s 6th in the field in DD and first in the field in the key P5 550-600 range (basically all three Par-fives – one is 604 yards). As an added bonus, you get him at less than .5% ownership on both sites.

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Joaquin Niemann: Grade: C, DK Value: C, FD Value: D

I’ll be curious to see where Neimann’s ownership ends up, because it seems like people aren’t talking him up around the industry. This is a player that was ranked in the top-five in every imaginable statistical category last year, who we were playing $10,000+ for just six months ago. I don’t mind taking a stand on a young player with upside, hoping to get in on them the week before, rather than the week after. If he’s being ignored due to middling recent form, that’s nuts. He’s projected at 7-11% ownership on both sites.

The stats (50 rounds)

  • 4th in SG:T2G
  • 1st in ST: BS
  • 2nd in SG: OTT
  • 2nd in SG: APP

Low-owned GPP fliers

Adam Svensson (Grades: EE, Value: BA) might be the worst putter on the planet, but the rest of his game is sound. He ranks in the top-15 over the last 24 rounds in ball striking, SG:T2G and SG: APP. In putting? 123rd. But at $6500 on DK and $7200 on FD, and at just 1% ownership, he’s the kind of player I like to take a flier on in stars and scrubs lineups.

Ownership fades

Tony Finau is projected as the highest owned golfer on both sites — and for good reason. He’s spitting hot fire and has a solid track record here. I’ll still pivot off him though at that price, over to some equally high calibre, high priced golfers who are coming in at half of the ownership. As usual on FanDuel, his ownership is projected above 40%, which is nuts. I’m also slightly wary of the jet lag.

Good luck everyone!

I've been obsessed with fantasy sports since as long as I can remember. Back in 1993, while seated in the last row of Mr. MacMillan's math class, I'm fairly certain a few buddies of mine and I invented daily fantasy sports -- popping down our fivers and using nothing more than a newspaper box score, we'd make our NHL player picks for the night's action. Twenty years later I started out playing DFS on DraftStreet, when three-max tourneys with 490 people were a big deal, and I've been hooked ever since. More than anything, I'm interested in using my technical writing skills to articulate and clarify our content in order to help you become a better fantasy sports players player. Armed with Awesemo's grades and the projections from our experts, we're here to help you take the next step. You can contact me by emailing [email protected].

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