Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
By now, you've probably dabbled in daily fantasy sports, but if not, don't worry. Now is a great time to start, especially with FanDuel now offering a revamped version of PGA golf.
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of building a lineup on FanDuel, the scoring setup, and advanced stats to know about the PGA.
But whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week.
|Key Stats for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (Especially from 350-450 Yards)|
|Strokes Gained: Par 5s|
|Proximity Gained (Especially from 150-175 Yards)|
|Strokes Gained: Around the Green|
Unfortunately, there is no strokes gained: data on two of the three courses in the rotation this week (Monterey Peninsula CC and Spyglass Hill Golf Club; Pebble Beach Golf Links has it), and that limits our ability to dig back into juicy data from past events. However, we can still uncover some fairly clear takeaways.
The first is that strokes gained: approach is the big dog yet again this week. Via datagolf, strokes gained: off the tee is a little less important here than on most courses on Tour, and while strokes gained: around the green actually popped last year, that still leaves approach as a key stat. We also can deduce the importance of approach play, as the past five winners all ranked top-15 in greens in regulation gained -- Ted Potter (15th), Jordan Spieth (4th), Vaughn Taylor (2nd), Brandt Snedeker (6th), Jimmy Walker (12th).
Par 4 scoring and par 5 scoring are always a bit iffy to hone in on because scoring well is naturally going to correlate with in-tournament success, but given the fact that the past four of the past five winners all were top-two in birdies gained (Walker was 10th), we have to target golfers who can convert on scoring chances.
Along those lines -- if you don't want to target the volatile putting stats -- proximity stands out, as Potter (4th in total proximity gained), Spieth (26th), and Taylor (5th) used stellar pin-seeking to win.
Back to strokes gained: around the green: it accounted for 22.1% of the scoring distribution here last year, and around-the-green play matters a little more here than on most courses. Just don't go overboard weighing around-the-green play in your process this week because it ultimately culminates in few actual strokes per week.
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
Best of the Best
Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Price: $12,400 | Betfair Win Odds: 11/2) - Johnson's pricey and -- frankly -- the top 10 golfers on FanDuel in terms of salary are all in play. So it's one of those weeks where it may make more sense to drop down and try to plug in three of them rather than spend top-dollar for the week's most expensive golfer (Johnson). However, DJ has finished 2nd, 4th, 41st, 3rd, and 2nd here over the past five years, despite it not being a driver-heavy course, and he enters ranked first in strokes gained: approach, par 4 scoring, and proximity over his past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour. DJ just finished 16th in Abu Dhabi and won the Saudi International. At 11/2 (or 5.5/1), DJ is one of two golfers with odds better than 20/1 this week.
Jason Day ($11,700 | 9/1) - Day's the only golfer with odds in Johnson's stratosphere this week. His recent stats don't quite put him on par with the rest of the top of the field, but he has finished 4th, 11th, 5th, and 2nd here over his past four tries, and he sits top-10 in strokes gained on par 4s and par 5s and around the green in our 50-round sample. He's 77th in approach but clearly can excel in this peculiar format, featuring three courses and delays while the amateurs do their thing over the first three days.
Tony Finau ($11,200 | 22/1) - Finau is generally a target when we need distance, but he's great elsewhere, too. Finau missed last week's cut by losing strokes on his approach shots, but he also lost a boatload on the greens. Finau finished 23rd here in 2017, making him a potentially low-owned pivot this week from the bigger names who ostensibly fit the course better than the big hitter, who is actually a coastal course specialist (via FutureOfFantasy).
Jordan Spieth ($10,800 | 20/1) - Spieth is another who doesn't have the best mid-range sample stats, but he sure has a knack for this setup, finishing 4th, 7th, 21st, 1st, and 20th at Pebble Beach. He recently finished 35th at Torrey Pines, a driver-heavy course, and Spieth's price is down to a reasonable number given his combination of upside and recent form.
Adam Scott ($10,000 | 28/1) - Scott's lack of promising course history (cut last year and 52nd in 2010 with a missed cut here at the 2010 U.S. Open, too) is a concern, yet he pops as someone who we can target on coastal courses. Scott is second among the field in recent strokes gained: approach and is first on par 5s in that split, making him a solid value.
Russell Henley ($9,500 | 80/1) - Henley finished 15th here last year and was 15th at the Waste Management Open, as well, thanks to ranking 16th in strokes gained: approach. Henley also finished 16th at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010. With a pretty barren mid range this week, Henley is an option.
Sungjae Im ($9,300 | 45/1) - Im will be making his Pebble Beach debut but has made the most of his 2019 season already. Over the past four weeks, Im has finished 16th, 12th, 52nd, and 7th. He grades out well across the board, and his all-around play has helped him thrive at all types of courses recently. The real red flag is that the 20-year-old just keeps playing events week after week.
Russell Knox ($9,200 | 55/1) - Knox has made four straight cuts in 2019: 43rd, 18th, 43rd, 10th. He ranks 10th in proximity over his past 50 rounds and 26th in approach. A solid combination with win odds and pricing, Knox, who finished 15th here last year, is in the mix as yet another value play. He also grades out well on coastal courses.
Talor Gooch ($8,800 | 100/1) - Gooch sits 20th in approach and on par 5s over the past 50 rounds and has built up a pretty solid sample over his 95 rounds on Tour. Gooch did miss the cut last year at Pebble Beach and last week at the Waste Management, but the price is right in a 54-hole cut.
Corey Conners ($8,500 | 100/1) - Conners' length is somewhat mitigated this week with the short courses, but if the rain slows things down, he could gain some leverage regardless. Over the past 50 rounds, he ranks ninth in approach and par 4 strokes gained as well as fourth in proximity gained. Coming off a missed cut here last year, Conners is an upside play at a low price.
Kevin Streelman ($8,300 | 125/1) - Streelman has finished 17th, 14th, and 6th at Pebble Beach over the past three years and has made two of his past three cuts (missing at the lengthy Torrey Pines). He sits 19th in strokes gained: approach and in proximity. He sets up well for Pebble Beach at a low salary.
Scott Stallings ($8,000 | 150/1) - Stallings is 18th in approach and has been top-15 the past two years at the Pro Am (14th and 7th). Stallings finished both of those in the top-16 on the par 4s, keeping him in play as a punt option.