2021 Valero Texas Open model and fantasy golf rankings
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2021 Valero Texas Open model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2021 Valero Texas Open!

Beginning in 2020, 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
  • Sanderson Farms Championship: Sergio Garcia – No. 40
  • CJ Cup at Shadow Creek: Jason Kokrak – No. 17
  • Zozo Championship at Sherwood: Patrick Cantlay – No. 9
  • The Masters: Dustin Johnson – No. 7
  • Mayakoba Golf Classic: Viktor Hovland – No. 5
  • Sentry Tournament of Champions: Harris English – No. 13
  • Sony Open in Hawaii: Kevin Na – No. 33
  • Farmers Insurance Open: Patrick Reed – No. 8
  • Waste Management Phoenix Open: Brooks Koepka – No. 10
  • AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger – No. 1
  • The Genesis Invitational: Max Homa – No. 30
  • WGC-Workday Championship: Collin Morikawa – No. 17
  • Arnold Palmer Invitational: Bryson DeChambeau – No. 3
  • The Players Championship: Justin Thomas – No. 3
  • Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship: Joel Dahmen – No. 22

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

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. In the fall of 2021, I included specific weighting of strokes gained and Quality Strokes Gained against the field strength that week, creating a range of comparison to see how players do against particular competition.

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.

2021 Valero Texas Open rankings

You’ll see with the rubric that I’ve listed the top 75, as well their current betting odds and DraftKings price.

This event is back after a year off, and it’s the final stop before the Masters. This is a bit of a horse-for-course venue compared to some others on the PGA Tour, but it boils down to ballstriking and above-average distance to set up play.

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 Finau, Tony 1.34 11000 1 2000
2 Scheffler, Scottie 1.087 10400 3 2000
3 Conners, Corey 0.954 9500 6 2000
4 Ancer, Abraham 0.887 9700 5 2000
5 Matsuyama, Hideki 0.856 10100 4 2000
6 Varner III, Harold 0.79 7900 23 2000
7 Tringale, Cameron 0.745 9300 8 2000
8 NeSmith, Matthew 0.616 7100 46 2000
9 Spieth, Jordan 0.585 10700 2 2000
10 Burns, Sam 0.569 8000 21 2000
11 Kirk, Chris 0.556 8600 15 2000
12 Furyk, Jim 0.549 6800 62 2000
13 Davis, Cameron 0.539 8800 13 2000
14 Griffin, Lanto 0.517 8700 14 2000
15 Moore, Ryan 0.482 7900 23 2000
16 Huh, John 0.453 7400 35 2000
17 Hoffman, Charley 0.44 9200 9 2000
18 Steele, Brendan 0.427 9100 10 2000
19 McCarthy, Denny 0.415 7300 38 2000
20 Hadwin, Adam 0.411 8300 18 2000
21 Seiffert, Chase 0.404 7100 46 2000
22 Woodland, Gary 0.391 7600 29 2000
23 Ghim, Doug 0.385 7300 38 2000
24 Norlander, Henrik 0.378 7100 46 2000
25 Straka, Sepp 0.365 7300 38 2000
26 Van Rooyen, Erik 0.365 7500 32 2000
27 Wallace, Matt 0.363 7700 27 2000
28 Snedeker, Brandt 0.362 6600 75 2000
29 Vegas, Jhonattan 0.358 7400 35 2000
30 Lee, Danny 0.352 6500 82 2000
31 Harrington, Padraig 0.346 6200 107 2000
32 Fowler, Rickie 0.343 8100 20 2000
33 Munoz, Sebastian 0.305 7600 29 2000
34 Glover, Lucas 0.289 7300 38 2000
35 Ventura, Kristoffer 0.281 6400 90 2000
36 Schenk, Adam 0.28 6800 62 2000
37 Redman, Doc 0.278 6600 75 2000
38 Perez, Pat 0.267 6900 56 2000
39 Bradley, Keegan 0.265 8400 17 2000
40 Ryder, Sam 0.264 7400 35 2000
41 Palmer, Ryan 0.262 9400 7 2000
42 An, Byeong Hun 0.256 7500 32 2000
43 Hagy, Brandon 0.232 6700 68 2000
44 Howell III, Charles 0.218 7800 25 2000
45 Villegas, Camilo 0.217 6400 90 2000
46 Chappell, Kevin 0.196 6900 56 2000
47 Martin, Ben 0.193 6600 75 2000
48 Putnam, Andrew 0.174 7600 29 2000
49 Kuchar, Matt 0.172 9000 11 2000
50 Rodgers, Patrick 0.159 6800 62 2000
51 Schwartzel, Charl 0.159 6700 68 2000
52 Kelly, Jerry 0.15 6100 117 2000
53 Higgs, Harry 0.132 7100 46 2000
54 Kim, Michael 0.126 6100 117 2000
55 Gordon, Will 0.121 6800 62 2000
56 Laird, Martin 0.121 7100 46 2000
57 Taylor, Nick 0.114 6900 56 2000
58 Hoge, Tom 0.093 7000 51 2000
59 Grace, Branden 0.069 7800 25 2000
60 Dahmen, Joel 0.063 8200 19 2000
61 Kizzire, Patton 0.055 7200 42 2000
62 Willett, Danny 0.054 7700 27 2000
63 Hoag, Bo 0.044 6400 90 2000
64 Sabbatini, Rory 0.015 6900 56 2000
65 Bhatia, Akshay 0.011 6400 90 2000
66 Lashley, Nate 0.002 6900 56 2000
67 Eckroat, Austin 0 6300 98 2000
68 Stallings, Scott -0.001 6600 75 2000
69 Wise, Aaron -0.012 8000 21 2000
70 Percy, Cameron -0.015 6600 75 2000
71 Johnson, Zach -0.035 8500 16 2000
72 Bryan, Wesley -0.037 6300 98 2000
73 Merritt, Troy -0.039 6200 107 2000
74 Sloan, Roger -0.039 6700 68 2000
75 Garnett, Brice -0.045 7000 51 2000

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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