Each week, including this week’s 2018 Quicken Loans National, Golf News Net offers daily fantasy (DFS) golf advice, picks, lineups and tips for DraftKings PGA Tour games, scrutinizing the pricing model and looking for players who will perform best in both guaranteed prize pool (GPP) events and cash games.[s2If !is_user_logged_in()]
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For $75 per year or $225 for lifetime access, GNN+Forebucks members get even MORE, including our course fit modeling, Quality Stokes Gained data, course demand insights, grass-specific performance and further tools, as well individual access to fantasy expert Ryan Ballengee for your unique questions.
ADDITIONAL TOOLS INCLUDE
- Searchable PGA Tour results database — A full database of PGA Tour results dating back to 2011, including strokes gained breakouts, money, designers and grass info.
- PGA Tour top-15 finish trends — A look at the players who have finished in the top 15 in any of the last five PGA Tour events.
- Player-course fit modeling — This one is experimental, but I think it has lots of potential. This tool looks at the breakdown of each player’s Strokes Gained Putting, Approach, Off the Tee and Tee to Green when they finish in the top 25 and compare to the averages in those categories for top 25 finishers at each week’s event. I believe similarities in the breakouts can help clue us in to potential course fits (or horses for courses).
- Player performance comparison — Each player has different strengthes and, therefore, a different path to success, be that finishing in the top 15 or making the cut. So, we compare Strokes Gained Putting, Approach and Off the Tee when each player finishes in those positions to help understand player strengths and weaknesses.
- Strokes gained putting by grass type — Some guys just putt better on Bermudagrass or Bentgrass, the two dominant strains on the PGA Tour. Always helps to see specialists on either surface.
- NEW! Strokes gained by course length
- NEW! Strokes gained by course par
- Course demands: Each week, you’ll be able to see the strokes gained breakout — putting, approach, off the tee, tee to green — for each host course compared to the PGA Tour as it relates to winners, top-15 finishers and top-30 finishers.
- Top average Quality Strokes Gained for the year: Our Quality Strokes Gained combines strokes gained and strength-of-field figures into a single statistic, so this data shows the players who perform the best against the best competition.
- Top 50 QSG performances of the year: We wanted to help you understand Quality Strokes Gained more broadly, so we have the rolling list of the top 50 QSG performances of the year.
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2018 Quicken Loans National preview
The PGA Tour’s Washington, D.C., area stop will go out with a bit of a whimper this week. It’s the weakest field in the event’s history, and that’s with Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Marc Leishman and Kiradech Aphibarnrat in attendance. Kyle Stanley defends at TPC Potomac, which proved a challenging host last year and should be again this year. It has moderate length by modern standards, but the penalty for missing the fairway can be steep with deep, thick rough. The mid-sized greens require solid approach play.
We’ve added two new tools this week, showing players’ relevant strokes gained on courses depending on their par or range length. I’m personally not a huge believer in the par comparison, as the par-5 makeup of a course really has a bigger hand in determining how important they are. However, length matters.
2018 Quicken Loans National DraftKings picks
Each week, we’ll offer players in 3-5 buckets of pricing so as to offer some mix-and-matching with your lineups based on our recommendations.
Recent PGA Tour Trends
We start by looking at the recent past, back at players who have finished inside the top 15 in the last five individual, stroke-play PGA Tour events.
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat – 2 – T-13 Memorial, T-15 US Open
- Stewart Cink – 2 – T-4 FedEx St. Jude, T-2 Travelers Championship
- Rickie Fowler – 2 – T-14 Coloninal, T-8 Memorial
- Brian Gay – 2 – T-12 Byron Nelson, T-12 FedEx St. Jude
- J.B. Holmes – 3 – T-13 Memorial, 3rd FedEx St. Jude Classic, T-2 Travelers Championship
- Kevin Na – 2 – T-6 Byron Nelson, T-4 Colonial
- Joaquin Niemann – 2 – T-8 Colonial, T-6 Memorial
- Kyle Stanley – 2 – 2nd Memorial, T-15 Travelers Championship
- Kevin Tway – 3 – T-9 AT&T Byron Nelson, T-5 Colonial, T-6 Travelers Championship
Event Finish History
Here are the players who finished in the top 15 in this event in the last year, the only year to host the National:
- Kyle Stanley
- Charles Howell III
- Rickie Fowler
- Martin Laird
- Keegan Bradley
- Sung Kang
- Marc Leishman
- Spencer Levin
- Curtis Luck
- Ben Martin
- Johnson Wagner
- David Lingmerth
- Jason Gore
- Bill Haas
- Geoff Ogilvy
- Nick Watney
It seems to me the best way to use Strokes Gained data is to give a sense of a course fit. My working theory is a player is a course fit — or a potential course fit, at least — if their Strokes Gained breakout when they finish in the top 25 is similar to the average for top-25 finishers at this week’s event.
Of course, current form then informs thinking around these possible course fits. However, in concept, many of these names make some sense and help narrow down a potential list of golfers.
With TPC Potomac, however, we have rather limited data (one year) to give us a real idea of what makes a good fit for this course. From personal experience playing it and watching here last year, I would say we’re looking at a 68 percent mix between SG Off the Tee and SG Approach, with 28 percent on SG Putting. Short game matters some here, but there’s not a lot of room for imagination.
Based on that data, some great course fits include:
- Nick Watney
- Chez Reaavie
- Scott Stallings
- J.J. Henry
- Charles Howell III
- Kevin Tway
- Kevin Streelman
- Joaquin Niemann
2018 Quicken Loans National DraftKings recommendations
$10,000 and up
We have six players in this group, and I think they’re all kind of lousy choices. Kyle Stanley and Francesco Molinari are overpriced, but they should do well. They’ll just kill your budget.
We have 16 players in this group, and the strategy this week should really be to build in this price range. Kevin Tway, Chesson Hadley, Stewart Cink, Ben An, Kevin Streelman, Charles Howell III, Beau Hossler and Kiradech Aphibarnrat are names I really like here.
DraftKings basically breaks the rest of the field in half at the $7,000 mark. This is typically very much hit-or-miss territory. However, we have some fantastic names in this range.
If you overweight driving this week, you should love Keith Mitchell. He doesn’t do much else right, but he drives damn good. Steer clear of Si Woo Kim. Nick Watney is a good fit, and he shouldn’t kill your budget. Rory Sabbatini is a cut maker, though I don’t love him here.
Below or at $7,000
We’re looking for bargains in this range with a threat to top-10. Please try to avoid this range.
Keep on Brandon Harkins. I also like Scott Stallings, though his form is very erratic. Jason Kokrak could work out well given his modest SG rankings off the tee and on the approach.
My primary DraftKings lineup
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat – $9,200
- Byeong-hun An – $8,600
- Stewart Cink – $8,500
- Chesson Hadley – $8,400
- Kevin Tway – $8,000
- Tyrone Van Aswegen – $7,000