Daily Fantasy Tee Time: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge
Fantasy Golf PGA Tour

Daily Fantasy Tee Time: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

Welcome back, golf fans. We here at Tour Level Fantasy are thrilled to be joining Golf News Net for the upcoming season. If you haven’t heard of us yet, Tour Level Fantasy & Sports is where sports betting meets daily fantasy advice. We founded with one goal in mind: helping people make money through betting or DFS golf. Picking winners alone won’t ensure DFS profitability, so we take you through our entire process to help you best prepare each week!

This week we have a unique event that is a pro-am throughout the event. It has a 54-hole cut (after Round 3) featuring the top 70 and ties, UNLESS, more than 78 golfers make the cut, which in case it turns to top 60 and ties. Something to surely be on the lookout for late Friday.

The tournament is probably more recognized with its former name, the Bob Hope Classic. In 2012, the tournament, then named the Humana Challenge, changed to the traditional format (4 rounds; 72 holes) over three different courses with a 54-hole cut, similar to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “The Hope” is organized by the nonprofit Desert Classic Charities. 2016 was the first year that used the current course setup, as the host course is Pete Dye’s PGA West Stadium Course, with one round at PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament course and one round at La Quinta Country Club for the first three rounds.

Course preview: PGA West's Stadium Course

All three courses have similarities about them and a few differences. However, all courses are par 72s with traditional layouts. Each course features four par 5s and four par 3s, Bermuda greens, and the courses have very few doglegs. They should mostly play under par all four days. Each golfer will play on each course once, and those who make the cut will play on the Stadium Course on Sunday.

The Stadium Course is the toughest of the three and once was rated fourth toughest course in America by Golf Digest. It has the highest slope and stroke ratings of any of the three. The greens feature severe slope and deep bunkers and has the classic Dye sight lines. These lines will challenge players both off the tee and on their approaches. While there are some shorter scoring holes, good ball striking will be crucial for players.

Based on the course descriptions above, a few key stats appear to be more important than others. This week we will focus on players that have BOB % and Strokes gained on their approach to the green.

Now that we’ve set the stage for the tournament, and built a course profile, let’s dive into the field and see what players may be best suited here!

Introduction to DFS golf

If you have not played Daily Fantasy Golf before, then this section will be of utmost importance to you. Some basic DFS info first. Last year alone the two major DFS companies (DraftKings & FanDuel) paid out over $20 million in prizes for golf contests. A sport that has seen significant growth in DFS over the last few years, this is setting up to be the biggest and best year of DFS golf yet.

Now a brief introduction to each of the two Daily Fantasy sites that we will focus our attention on:

DraftKings: The biggest contests can be found here. Some people may think golf is boring to watch, but if you had the chance to win $50,000, it becomes less and less boring. Trust us. The goal is to score as many points as possible by picking six golfers that must fit under a salary cap of $50,000. Each golfer will have an assigned salary, and your team cannot exceed that $50,000 total. The golfers earn you points based on a few different factors:

  1. Finishing position of the tournament: The better the golfer finishes, the more points he receives.
  2. Hole-by-hole scoring: This is where the golfers earn most of the points. Each hole a golfer plays and records a score, that score will go to your DK points: 8 points for an eagle, 3 for a birdie, 0.5 for a par, -0.5 for a bogey and -1 for a double bogey or worse.
  3. Bonuses: DraftKings has some bonus points category that include bogey-free rounds, birdie streaks (a golfer gets 3 or more birdies in a row), all 4 rounds under 60 and a hole-in-one bonus.

FanDuel: Similarly to DraftKings, at FD you pick 6 golfers as well. This time you must stay under the $60,000 salary cap. FanDuel just released golf last year, so their contest sizes are not quite as big as DK yet. Much like with DraftKings, each golfer you choose will receive points based on the criteria:

  1. Finishing position of the tournament: The better the golfer finishes, the more points he receives.
  2. Hole-by-hole scoring: This is where the golfers earn most of the points. Each hole a golfer plays and records a score, that score will go to your FD points: 8 7 points for an eagle, 3.1 for a birdie, .05 for a par, -1 for a bogey and -3 for a double bogey or worse.
  3. Bonuses: FD has their own set of bonus points that include bogey-free rounds, 5 or more birdies in a single round and bounce back (golfer makes a birdie after a bogey).

Golfer salaries are determined by some algorithm each site has created, but basically, is based on odds to win the tournament. The better the odds of the golfer, the higher the salary will be. Now that we have a good knowledge base underway, we can dive a bit more into the process we have at Tour Level when selecting golfers & contests!

DFS golf contest selection: What to enter

Contest selection can be just as important as the golfers you choose to make your lineup. In Daily Fantasy Sports, there are two different types of contests:  cash games (50/50) and guaranteed prize pools (GPP). Each contest will have a different strategy in which golfers to choose, and that’s what we at Tour Level make sure to help you with each week!

Cash Games are contests in which 50% of the people win and 50% of the people lose. You can play in a 50/50 contest with 5,000 people (where 2,500 win) or against just one other person. To start, we recommend playing the one with 5,000 people. Contest buy-ins for 50/50 contests range from $1 all the way up to $10,000.

Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs) provide the opportunity to win big, but consequently, lose it all as well. Only about 15-20% of the entries cash in a GPP, and contests buy-ins range from $0.25 to $5,300! This week the biggest GPP being offered is by DraftKings, the $225,000 guaranteed has a buy in of $33, with a top prize of $20,000.

DFS golf strategy

With two different contest types, each has their own unique strategy. In GPPs you are trying to beat 80% of the field just to cash, where in cash games you only need to beat 50% of the field. To beat 80% of the field you need to have golfers that nobody else has in their lineup, and those golfers must perform well. With cash games you only need to beat 50% of the field, so you want to be more conservative and choose the “safe” golfers to ensure you have golfers playing the weekend! Below we will highlight our top plays from each type of contest! This week will we focus on just DraftKings players.

Cash Games:The goal is to focus on players that are deemed “safe” and also give you the ability to have plenty of salary flexibility to make sure all of the golfers you choose are of quality.

  • Hudson Swafford ($7,800) -- Hudson Swafford won this tournament last year and has some pretty good form over the first two tournaments of the year. A guy who loves to score and make birdies, is a very reasonable price tag to start of your GPP lineups.
  • Patton Kizzire ($9,100) -- Incredible run Patton is on, and at this point its way to hard to ignore. Beyond the two wins he’s also been a consistent cut-maker, and when you can pair winning upside with his cut-making ablity, it makes him a perfect cash game play.

Jordan Spieth or Justin Thomas probably wins but are too expensive for a balanced cash lineup.

GPPs:The goal is to hone in on players that not many people will be focusing on this week. To win a GPP against 50,000 other entries, you need to diversify as much as possible and take risks with the golfers you choose.

  • Chesson Hadley ($9,000) -- The tall, lanky Web.com Tour grad came back to the tour in a fury over the fall circuit. With multiple top-fives, Chesson has himself position to keep his job well past this year. Taking a bit of time off for injury, gamers may have forgotten about him, thus keeping his ownership low. He’s a great GPP play with winning upside this week. The price tag is also quite reasonable.
  • Aaron Wise ($6,800) -- The young rising start from Oregon is still on his first couple of starts on tour. He’s got all the accolades one would need to be a winner on this tour, and coming back to a part of the country he’s familiar with will be a welcomed sight. He also gets three guaranteed rounds which should help him. Look for Wise to push for a top 10 come Sunday.

Not keen on Daily Fantasy Golf? Well Tour Level also offers some great betting and hedging strategies!  For those strategies and more, visit us at tourlevelfantasy.com!

About the author

Jason Rouslin - TourLevelFantasy.com

Jason Rouslin is founder of tourlevelfantasy.com. He has been playing golf for the 18 years and PLAYING golf for the last 5. The passion for the game led him to follow professional golf, which he has been writing about since 2015. Jason has earned top-10 player status under the RotoGrinders Ranking System. Hailing from Rhode Island, Jason now resides in Tampa Florida, just a short drive to Walt Disney World.

About Tour Level Fantasy: Where sports betting meets daily fantasy advice. Founded with one goal in mind: help people make money through betting or DFS golf. With actionable and tailored content, combined with fantastic tools, we give you everything you need to be profitable this golf season!