PGA Sim Sports Picks for the Valspar Championship on FanDuel
The PGA Tour's season is on hold, but FanDuel is doing its part to keep golf going -- in spirit.
They have simulated out three big-time events: THE PLAYERS, the Masters, and the PGA Championship. And they didn't skimp on weeks in between.
So far, the simulated results saw Jon Rahm take home THE PLAYERS and Seve Ballesteros (not a typo) win the 2020 simulated Masters. Then, Rahm again won the simulated RBC Heritage by a full five strokes over Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, and Marc Leishman. Rory got payback at the Wells Fargo, edging out Dustin Johnson and Rahm. At the PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka won in a playoff over Nick Faldo, Jim Furyk, and Tyrrell Hatton.
FanDuel is running back the simulations for this week's Valspar Championship. You can join the free-to-play contest here.
There are some caveats, so we'll dig into everything about it now.
You can learn all the details about PGA Sims Sports over on FanDuel, but I'll run down the basics: it's the same format as your usual PGA DFS event. You roster six golfers and accrue fantasy points for how they do in the simulated event. Scoring is the same as a standard PGA Tour event.
Are there any wrinkles? Of course. The main one is that -- rather than these golfers playing out the event -- stats are the basis for the simulation. Specifically, "distance, par, and player skill." That's really all we have to go on.
So, we're going to have to use some guesswork here.
The field is small (101 golfers), but with the regular cut rule, we're going to see around 65% of golfers play the simulated weekend. We can get a little punt heavy as a result, but a six-for-six lineup is always key.
Without knowing exactly what data goes into projecting the winner of a golf tournament, I went back and leveraged datagolf.org's adjusted strokes gained data.
Typically when breaking down an event, current form is key, but I would have to assume a larger sample of data goes into this. I used data since 2019 to try to identify some of the best per-dollar plays on the slate among the active golfers.
With pricing pretty static week to week and no actual changes to the stats to input, I figure I can make a running list of the best values per tier.
|Rory McIlroy||$12,000||Hideki Matsuyama||$9,300||Erik van Rooyen||$7,200|
|Patrick Cantlay||$11,200||Paul Casey||$9,100||Collin Morikawa||$8,900|
|Adam Scott||$11,400||Matt Kuchar||$9,900||Ian Poulter||$8,200|
|Xander Schauffele||$10,500||Rickie Fowler||$9,300||Matt Wallace||$8,300|
|Justin Thomas||$11,500||Gary Woodland||$9,800||Jason Day||$8,500|
|Jon Rahm||$11,800||Tony Finau||$10,000||Brandt Snedeker||$8,700|
|Webb Simpson||$11,100||Sungjae Im||$9,200||Jim Furyk||$7,600|
|Tommy Fleetwood||$11,000||Billy Horschel||$9,300||Ryan Moore||$7,200|
These 13 golfers have made all five cuts in the simulated events: Rory McIlroy ($12,000), Jon Rahm ($11,800), Brooks Koepka ($11,700), Justin Thomas ($11,500), Webb Simpson ($11,100), Tony Finau ($10,000), Kevin Kisner ($9,000), Sergio Garcia ($8,700), Graeme McDowell ($8,600), Jason Day ($8,500), Joaquin Niemann ($7,800), Jim Furyk ($7,600), and Matthew Wolff ($7,500).
It could be random for some of the cheaper guys, but it also indicates which golfers have good stats driving the sims.
Additionally, McIlroy has finished top-10 in four of five events and top-25 in all. Rahm was top-25 in all and top-10 in three. They very much look to be worth the salary.
The author of this article has no involvement with the PGA Sim Sports simulations powered by numberFire and has no knowledge of the results of the upcoming contest.