2020 Sanderson Farms Championship model and fantasy golf rankings
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2020 Sanderson Farms Championship model and fantasy golf rankings



For years, I’ve made fantasy golf picks, power rankings and given betting tips about PGA Tour events.

I’ve looked at two main factors, current form and course history, and tried to bring those together to offer selections and my best guess as to who will contend in a given week.

However, I developed a weekly rubric which offers a clear-cut ranking system based on data points weighted in a formula. So far, it’s been a tremendous success. Here’s a look at the PGA Tour winners in the restart and where they landed in the model:

  • Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial: Daniel Berger – No. 21
  • RBC Heritage: Webb Simpson – No. 7
  • Travelers Championship: Dustin Johnson – No. 10
  • Rocket Mortgage Classic: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 2
  • Workday Charity Open: Collin Morikawa – No. 11
  • the Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm – No. 6
  • WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Justin Thomas – No. 6
  • PGA Championship: Collin Morikawa – No. 13
  • The Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson – No. 20
  • BMW Championship: Jon Rahm – No. 2
  • US Open: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 9

Let me walk you through the rubric’s tenets and show off this week’s results.
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How the rubric works

The reason I’m calling this a rubric is because I think a model implies a guess about how the tournament will play out. I don’t think any model can do that. There are plenty of factors data can’t quantify, including luck of the draw, playing partners, hole locations, weather and sheer random stuff.

That’s why the rubric is rooted in things we can quantify more broadly without getting too into the weeds. I don’t believe specific statistics matter for each course. Each player is different, and they achieve their best results slightly differently, as our Course Fit tool indicates. A player can perform well on most PGA Tour courses doing things their way, and their past performance on a course is best indicative of their fit, not where they rank in certain categories.

That said, the biggest chunk of my rubric relies on strokes gained, as well our derivative, Quality Strokes Gained, which weights a player’s strokes gained against the depth of field they face. The rubric looks at this data over the longer term and medium term to derive a player’s quality across the tour and across different fields.

Next, the rubric accounts for two factors I look at every week: current form in the last five PGA Tour events played and their average strokes gained on the host course in the last three years.

All told, the model is designed to point out quality players and boost those middling players who have good current form or good course history.

2020 Sanderson Farms Championship rankings

You’ll see with the rubric that I’ve listed the top 50, as well their current betting odds and DraftKings price.

There’s no way anyone saw Hudson Swafford, playing on the end of a major medical extension, coming in the Dominican Republic. However, it was fun to see an altered, scaled down model try to figure out the tournament. I learned some things from limiting strokes gained and quality strokes gained to just the quality of field, and now we’re implementing that into the model this week and moving forward. They’re small portions of the model, but they should help us identify some guys who play better against certain types of fields.

The ranking at the top absolutely makes sense, so hopefully we find some gems in the 20s and 30s.

Click header to sort; the better their position, the more the rubric likes them

POS PLAYER PTS DK PRICE DK RANK ODDS ODDS RANK
1 Zalatoris, Will 1.473 10200 3 1800 3
2 Scheffler, Scottie 0.896 11400 1 1000 1
3 Im, Sungjae 0.706 10500 2 1400 2
4 An, Byeong Hun 0.7 10000 4 3000 6
5 Cauley, Bud 0.677 8700 17 5000 16
6 Ventura, Kristoffer 0.662 7200 44 8000 31
7 Burns, Sam 0.608 9800 6 2500 4
8 Johnson, Zach 0.57 9600 8 3500 9
9 Harman, Brian 0.563 9400 10 3500 9
10 Redman, Doc 0.506 9700 7 3000 6
11 Percy, Cameron 0.49 7200 44 10000 43
12 Reavie, Chez 0.47 9100 13 4000 11
13 Snedeker, Brandt 0.43 7100 48 10000 43
14 Perez, Pat 0.42 8500 19 6000 24
15 Stuard, Brian 0.412 7500 35 8000 31
16 Conners, Corey 0.394 9200 12 4000 11
17 Schwartzel, Charl 0.33 7800 28 6000 24
18 Cink, Stewart 0.329 7600 32 10000 43
19 Davis, Cameron 0.326 8100 23 5000 16
20 Tringale, Cameron 0.28 7300 41 8000 31
21 Glover, Lucas 0.276 8000 24 5000 16
22 Schenk, Adam 0.276 6700 68 10000 43
23 Ghim, Doug 0.267 6500 81 15000 67
24 Poston, J.T. 0.248 7500 35 8000 31
25 Taylor, Nick 0.248 7400 38 10000 43
26 Werenski, Richy 0.247 7300 41 8000 31
27 Grillo, Emiliano 0.244 8800 16 4000 11
28 Burgoon, Bronson 0.226 6600 74 15000 67
29 McCarthy, Denny 0.225 7900 26 6000 24
30 Ryder, Sam 0.222 6500 81 20000 81
31 Hubbard, Mark 0.207 6800 63 10000 43
32 Frittelli, Dylan 0.202 9300 11 4000 11
33 NeSmith, Matthew 0.196 6300 98 20000 81
34 Hearn, David 0.195 6300 98 25000 95
35 Straka, Sepp 0.192 7700 30 6000 24
36 Long, Adam 0.189 9500 9 3000 6
37 McNealy, Maverick 0.168 7000 53 10000 43
38 Hoge, Tom 0.163 6900 58 10000 43
39 Theegala, Sahith 0.151 6600 74 15000 67
40 Garcia, Sergio 0.14 8600 18 6000 24
41 Hoffman, Charley 0.14 7900 26 6000 24
42 Merritt, Troy 0.126 6900 58 12500 59
43 Seiffert, Chase 0.119 6400 90 30000 108
44 Vegas, Jhonattan 0.112 7000 53 10000 43
45 Rodgers, Patrick 0.108 8200 22 5000 16
46 Munoz, Sebastian 0.098 9900 5 2500 4
47 Sabbatini, Rory 0.087 7600 32 8000 31
48 Swafford, Hudson 0.081 7300 41 8000 31
49 Grace, Branden 0.073 7100 48 10000 43
50 Anderson, Mark 0.073 6100 117 30000 108
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About the author

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

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