Daily Fantasy Tee Time: 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Fantasy Golf PGA Tour

Daily Fantasy Tee Time: 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open

Believe it or not, we are already nine events into the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season… This week we head to Phoenix for one of the most exciting events of the year the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A stacked field with players like Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama leading the pack.

Before we talk more about the field, let’s learn about TPC Scottsdale this week’s host course.

Course Preview: TPC Scottsdale

7,266 yards, par 71

The TPC Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale has been the host of this event for 30 years. It use to play a lot easier, but a recent makeover strategically added hazards in landing zones of the golfers drives. The average winning score in the last four years is 15 under and the average 36-hole cut is at 2 under.

Greens: TifDwarf Bermudagrass over seeded with Ryegrass and Poa Trivialis. The average size of the fairly flat greens is just over 6,000 square feet which makes them above average in size but they are surrounded by bunkers.

Speed: Tournament Stimpmeter is 12 feet making them above average and some may consider them fast greens, which as we have discussed can make bad putters decent when, as we have here, relatively flat greens.

Players will hit the fairways around 60% of the time, which is about average for a PGA Tour event. The greens are a little easier to hit with a field average of around 67%, however players will face water hazards on many of the holes and therefore their misses will be penalized. The green side hazards are one of the reasons you see many players using Driver off the tee, with a Field Average over 290 yards, they are looking to get the shortest approach shot possible. The rough will not be thick but the course is virtually in the desert and there are also trees that come into play on wayward drives.

As with any tournament, the PGA Tour is massive in their charity efforts. This tournament may take the cake though. The “Thunderbirds” Charities, which last year topped the $100 million mark in charitable giving since the host organization was formed in 1937, heads the efforts. The 2015 event produced more than $9 million for Arizona charities, with money sprinkled among some 200 outlets in recent years.

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!

As we mentioned earlier, this week we get the big money contests. Let’s look at what else is on the board:

  • $3 entry “Birdie” - $175,000 guaranteed - This 20-entry max tournament has a $10,000 first-place prize.
  • $33 entry “Dogleg” - $350,000 guaranteed - This 150-entry max tournament has a $50,000 first-place prize.
  • $333 entry “Club Pro” - $250,000 guaranteed - This 34-entry max tournament has a $50,000 first-place prize.
  • $12 entry “Albatross” - $40,000 guaranteed – This single-entry max tournament has a $$4,000 first-place prize. The reason its great for beginners is that everyone is only allowed one entry, no matter your bankroll. There are at total of 3,921 entrants in this contest, and the top 100 cash.

For more information on contest selection and strategy see our DFS-focused article titled “Against the Grain.”

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.

  • Matt Kuchar ($8,500) -- KUUUUUCH. A great salary to start any cash lineup off with. His SG-approach and putting are both top 20 in the field. We also can basically bet on a top 10/15 or a back-door cover on Sunday afternoon. Kuch finished ninth here last year and 30th the year before, so his course form seems to be on point.
  • Zach Johnson ($7,700) -- Zach’s recent form has three top-20s with a top-15 and top-10 mixed in, and oddly enough he’s working on that same card for tournament history, earning three-straight top-20s here in Phoenix. He is also 11th in the field in SG-approach at TPC Scottdale and fifth in putting. This is the easiest play of the week in cash as I fully expect everyone to roster him, and if they don’t, it’ll be their loss.

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.

  • Ollie Schniderjans ($7,500) -- We first wrote about hatless Ollie a few weeks back, and after playing his last eight holes on Friday at Torrey Pines South in 5 over, he missed the cut and burned quite few a people. Thus, many people will be off of Ollie creating a nice, low-owned, outside top-10 upside play.
  • Peter Uihlein ($6,800) -- Very similar to the guy above, Uihlein played terrible on Friday, after playing a great round on Thursday. The form is just about there, and for this price, it’s a great spot to give him a spot in your lineups this week.

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!