If you want to win at DraftKings daily fantasy golf, you have to figure out a way to find six golfers that play all 72 holes and earn roughly 85 points each.
You likely have to identify a couple of players in the top five, at least the top seven, and you’d ideally not have a player finish outside the top 20.
Doing that takes research, looking at a variety of factors, including:
- Finish trends, both in recent weeks on the PGA Tour and at that week’s event,
- Salary trends, deciphering which players are showing value based on their performance, and
- Statistical trends, identifying the common threads among winners in that week’s event
That’s what Golf News Net will deliver each week to GNN Plus members in this space, offering a complete research package which dives into these three areas to find the players that should be in your lineup for this week’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
However, for our first week, we’re offering a teaser of what’s to come.
We’re now five events into this new PGA Tour season, so we now have a proper window to look back at players who have finished inside the top 15 and see which players have emerged most frequently atop the leaderboard. Here are the players in the OHL Classic field with the most top-15 finishes in the last five PGA Tour events:
- Patton Kizzire ($10,700) – 2 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-2), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-4)
- Patrick Rodgers ($10,500) – 2 – Frys.com Open (T-6), Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-13)
- Jason Bohn ($10,300) – 2 – Frys.com Open (T-3), Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-2)
- Jhonattan Vegas ($8,800) – 2 – Frys.com Open (T-10), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-4)
- Smylie Kaufman ($7,900) – 2 – Frys.com Open (T-10), Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (Win)
- Brett Stegmaier ($7,800) – 2 – Shriners Hospitals for Children Open (T-2), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-15)
- Andrew Loupe ($6,800) – 2 – Frys.com Open (T-10), Sanderson Farms Championship (T-10)
We’re also interested in the players in the field that have finished in the top 15 at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the last five years.
- Jason Bohn ($10,300) – 2 – Bohn has obviously been playing well, though he may be showing signs of losing energy at the end of the year
- Charles Howell III ($9,700) – 2 – Two top-20 finishes in three starts early on this season
- Chris Stroud ($9,300) – 3 – Two made cuts in two starts, including a T-10 at the Frys.com Open
- Rory Sabbatini ($8,200) – 2 – Sabbo has cashed in his last two, including the no-cut CIMB Classic
- Will MacKenzie ($6,300) – 2 – Mac has made two cuts in three starts this season, but nothing inside the top 50
Ideally, we want to find players who are both playing well now and have a history of playing well at this course, so the guys who appear of both of the above lists.
DraftKings salaries change from week to week, depending on the strength of field, as well a player’s recent record and their history on a course. It’s in looking at how a salary changes over time that we might get some clues as to players that could be a little overrated or underrated.
Here’s the list of players in the field playing $1,500 over their average salary this season:
- Jhonattan Vegas ($8,800) – With a pair of top-10 finishes, Vegas’ value has skyrocketed. He may be overvalued now.
- Jason Bohn ($10,300) – Has been on a hot streak that was expected to stop much sooner than it has.
- Smylie Kaufman ($7,900) – A winner in Vegas and has a pair of top-10 finishes, so it’s a merited jump.
- Patrick Rodgers ($10,500) – Has faded on a few Sundays with a chance to win, but he’s putting up a lot of points.
- Russell Knox ($10,000) – Knox has been playing solid golf for a while now, but the HSBC win crushes his value.
- Charles Howell III ($9,700) – CH3’s value jumps this week because of his Mayakoba record, but it’s warranted.
- Peter Malnati ($7,400) – His value has increased some $2,000, but he’s undervalued this week given his T-15 finish here in 2013.
- Aaron Baddeley ($7,800) – Badds’ T-4 at Sanderson jacked his salary. He has little history here.
- Brett Stegmaier ($7,800) – Little was expected of Stegmaier in his first full PGA Tour season. He’s defied expectations.
- Will Wilcox ($9,400) – Missed the cut in his last two, with his value bumping because of his stature relative to the field.
- Brendan Steele ($9,900) – Steele is playing well and has earned a bump in value. He also has a solid OHL record.
- Johnson Wagner ($8,400) – A former winner here, Wagner finished T-15 last week to make him seem a stronger look this week.
- Chris Stroud ($9,300) – Stroud is a horse-for-course, with the most top-15 finishes in this event in the last five years.
- Alex Cejka ($8,400) – Cejka is off to a good start, including a T-2 at Vegas. He has a couple of top 20s in this event.
Here are players with top 15 finishes in their last five events that are playing less than $600 above their average salary for the year:
- Andrew Loupe ($6,800) – Getting no love for his two top-15 finishes this season.
- Roberto Castro ($8,100) – Go Low Castro got off to a hot start and stumbled to the finish, so beware.
In an ideal world, we can use data from the PGA Tour’s ShotLink system to build a proxy profile of a likely winner for a tournament. However, the data for this particular tournament isn’t the strongest, so we’re only looking at a pair of recent champions. Both players hit at least 74 percent of greens in regulation and averaged between 288 and 292 yards off the tee. So, hitting greens in regulation is a big deal, while distance isn’t — which makes sense on a sub-7,000-yard course.
Here are the players in the field that were in the top 25 on the PGA Tour last season in greens in regulation, as well their average driving distance:
- Jim Herman ($7,700) – 2 – 296.2 yards
- Will Wilcox $9,400) – 4 – 297.1 yards
- Russell Knox ($10,000) – T-7 – 291.3 yards
- Jason Dufner ($8,200) – 24 – 314.8 yards
- Kevin Streelman ($8,000) – 25 – 294.8 yards