Daily Fantasy Golf: FanDuel QuickPick Strategy Guide
Daily fantasy golf is fun. There's no way around it.
Each and every contest is unique. Every weekend features a new course, a new field, a new experience. Plus, once contests lock, you get to track your golfers for four days instead of just a few hours.
Well, daily fantasy golf is about to get even more variety with FanDuel's new QuickPick format, which gives us a whole new layer of strategy to dissect. Let's dig in and see what QuickPick is all about.
What Is QuickPick?
In a standard golf contest on FanDuel, you have $60,000 in salary cap to roster six golfers. You can pick any six golfers you want, provided they fit under that salary cap.
That's not the case in QuickPick.
QuickPick comprises five tiers of golfers. The first is the top tier: Tier A. Tier A will include the week's top golfers, about four or five, depending on the field itself. These are generally the favorites to win, according to the sportsbooks, and the golfers whose salaries would be highest on FanDuel in the standard format.
After that is a larger pool of golfers in Tier B, around eight of them. Tier C and Tier D will comprise around 10 to 12 golfers. Then there's the wildcard tier for the rest of the field. You'll need to select two golfers from the field. These are the longshots to win, according to sportsbooks, and the low-cost options when building standard lineups.
So the premise is the same: roster the best six golfers you can. However, the lineup construction is a bit more unique than the standard salary cap setup.
How Should Strategy Change?
In standard contests, you can build lineups of all types: studs and duds, balanced, one stud and some balance. In QuickPick, you need to roster one golfer from each tier (and two from the field).
That means that every lineup will have at least one of the, say, five golfers in the top tier. Your selection there -- your stud of the week -- matters extra, as is the case at every tier. Missing out on an elite performance from any golfer in a given tier could be tough to overcome, but avoiding a dud will be equally vital to a strong performance from your fantasy squad.
In those large-field tournaments, however, you can try to leverage ownership even more in your favor.
The top tier will always be full of big-name golfers, options who are tough to fade. But say Tier A features Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, and Jordan Spieth, a few of them will have a better course fit and course history than the others. It's natural. But that still means that an elite golfer or two could be underowned while everyone focuses on the betting favorite.
Putting It All Together
In a 35-event sample (including fields of at least 100 golfers since June 1st, 2017), the top-five golfers (including ties) by FanDuel salary have wound up being top-10 performers in FanDuel scoring just 27.7% of the time. This means that no stud in Tier A is a must-roster, especially if we get the vibe that he will be significantly more popular than his peers in Tier A.
On a similar note, the top five golfers in a week by ownership on FanDuel have been top-10 scorers just 22.7% of the time, meaning the week's most popular picks don't always pan out. Of course, sometimes value picks are popular plays and aren't expected to post a top-10 score, but avoiding chalky picks can offer up a chance to build a different lineup, one that still has a chance to succeed.
That's why there's merit to figuring out the golfers expected to be the most popular in each tier in a given week -- which often coincides with their betting odds and the amount of traction they get in advice articles (tracked by FanShareSports).
At the end of the day, the goal in FanDuel's QuickPick contests is to select the best golfers for the week -- those who have the right key stats and current form for that week's course.
But with the added layer of strategy from the tiers, you should feel comfortable taking some more risks by avoiding the most obvious pick of the tier every now and again. You don't need to play the most off-the-wall options in each tier to build a different lineup, and that shouldn't be your strategy. It's just that rostering a golfer with similar win odds and slightly worse course fit or form could pay off in a big way.
With the volatility in golf -- when the best players can miss the cut -- you can get a leg up by trying to find the less popular options each week.