DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Helper: Presidents Cup
Daily fantasy golf requires a new approach for each and every event.
The course and field change week after week, making no two contests alike. That means you need to refine your approach for each PGA Tour event to try to find golfers who are primed to excel for your daily fantasy golf lineups. This sentiment is especially true this week when DraftKings has rolled out a brand new "Cup" format for this week's Presidents Cup.
Cup contests include a "Captain" spot whose points will account for 1.5x the standard fantasy point value, though at an identical cost increase on the salary of the other five roster spots. This week's contests include each golfer's results in all three contest types -- four-balls, foursomes, and singles -- with single day "Showdown" contests available for each day, requiring a new strategy and team dynamic to consider.
Going into the week, we will only know the first day's pairings and have no clue as to whom each team and golfer will be paired up against in future matchups. The Captain selection is our most important decision of the week. We need to identify which golfer we expect to be the top performer of the week and plug him in for 1.5x points. In addition to current form and statistical profile, we need to include all the information we have at our disposal at lock -- likelihood of playing as many matches as possible, projected ownership, and strength of both first round teammate and first round opponent.
For cash games, we should stack our Captain with his first-day teammate and diversify from there. If we think our Captain has the best raw projection, then booking a chunk of holes won and a margin of victory with almost 40% of our roster's points creates a solid floor for the week. We should continue this strategy if playing Showdown contests throughout the week. For the final round singles, we need to focus on which golfers are likely to complete their matches before the contest is clinched and roster as many of those golfers as possible.
For tournaments, we should stack not just our captain but our entire roster on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The Captain's teammate is a must, and each of our other four spots should be teamed up to maximize the win equity of our entire roster. On the final day, factoring ownership in the early guys and either prognosticating a come-from-behind victory with late starters or picking and choosing upset candidates in the early matches will make all the difference.
Check out the course primer for details on Royal Melbourne Golf Club, and be sure to study up on the full rules before investing in this brand new format.
|Key Stats for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club|
|Strokes Gained: Tee to Green|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s|
Let's get to the picks. For details on why these stats stand out this week, check out the course primer.
Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers' ranks on the entire PGA Tour over their last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
We are flying blind until the Thursday matchups are released, but that won't happen until 4 p.m. local time Wednesday, which is about midnight tonight Eastern time. The below plays are subject to favorable matchups/partnerships, but should serve as a good baseline for targets both of who we think can play well and who want to pick against. Note that all prices are 1.5x for choosing that golfer in the Captain spot.
Targets and Hopeful Partners
Justin Thomas (DraftKings Price: $10,800) - Thomas has been one of the best players on Tour all season, save for a cold putter coming back from a wrist injury in the late spring. He is second in strokes gained: tee to green, fourth in birdies or better gained, seventh in strokes gained: approach, and eighth in strokes gained: par 4s. More importantly, he has been smoking hot from the FedEx Cup Playoffs and throughout the swing season. Thomas finished T12 at the Northern Trust, followed by a win at the BMW Championship and a T3 at the TOUR Championship. In the fall, he's finished T4-WIN-T17-T5 leading into the Presidents Cup. His ideal playing partner would be Rickie Fowler ($7,000), as the pair banked a 2-0-1 record in 2017 at Liberty National Golf Club.
Adam Scott ($9,600) - Scott was a member of the International squad back in 2011 and will be especially comfortable in his native Australia. If the wind picks up, he'll be even more deadly, as he is one of the best approach players in the world and ranks ninth on the entire Tour in conditions Fantasy National grades as "Windy AF." An Aussie double barrel pairing with Cameron Smith ($6,000) would create a complementary tandem that combines ballstriking and short game specialists.
Patrick Reed ($7,800) - Cry all you want about the cheating scandal, Patty will take the heat all week and relish the chance to laugh at his critics. Few golfers in the world have Reed's edge, and while that may rankle some fans, media, and players, it does not take away from his gifts on the course and his approach to match play. Reed could go under-owned because of how unpopular he is, and creating leverage against the field is essential in DFS golf. Reed's playing partner will have to withstand the grief he'll likely take from the gallery, and Patrick Cantlay ($8,200) would be a great partner both for his even-keeled personality and their prior success (T7) as teammates at the Zurich Classic.
Byeong-Hun An ($4,800) - An posted a terrific tee-to-green season, and over his last 50 rounds, he ranks 15th in strokes gained: tee to green on the entire Tour, with solid marks in both approach (18th) and around the green (13th). His strengths lend themselves to success in the foursome format, where a teammate can take care of the putting work for him. An is in terrific form, with finishes of T14-T8-T6 in his last three events. He was the alternate added to the field when injured Jason Day dropped out, and he can be a true wildcard at this low price. If he is paired with a solid putter like Smith or Adam Hadwin ($4,200), they could make for a low-priced stack to fill out a lineup with more elite options.
Opponents to Pick On
Bryson DeChambeau ($5,800) - Pace of play can affect playing partners in stroke play as well, but at least in those contests you are playing against the guys you are driving crazy. DeChambeau is not the only slow player on Tour, but he is one we know about, and if he dawdles too long over a putt, you can see even his teammates rolling their eyes. No literally, even his teammates. The form has been decent with four top-15s and a missed cut in his last five events, but he may just be too individual of a golfer to excel in team competitions. He certainly flopped at the Ryder Cup, going 0-3-0, including two sound defeats in the foursomes.
Cheng-Tsung Pan ($4,000) - The cheapest golfer in the field stands out as a fish that the United States sharks should feast on. Pan is a nice player -- and unlike many on either team, a winner on the PGA Tour in 2019 -- but he is simply not the class of player boasted by the American team. Pan is currently the 63rd ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking. No one on the United States is ranked lower than 24th.
Mike Rodden is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Rodden also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mike_rodden. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.