2021 RBC Heritage model and fantasy golf rankings
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2021 RBC Heritage model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2021 RBC Heritage!

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 RBC Heritage: 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
  • Valero Texas Open: Jordan Spieth - No. 9
  • Masters: Hideki Matsuyama - No. 16

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 RBC Heritage rankings

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

The RBC Heritage is back in April, and we've got a tremendous field. You shouldn't be shocked about a lot of this model, but Poulter being this high is a nod to him performing well against middling fields, even though this is solid.

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 1.24 9700 7 3000 8
2 Cantlay, Patrick 1.396 10900 2 1800 3
3 Simpson, Webb 1.359 10700 3 1400 1
4 Morikawa, Collin 1.242 10500 4 2000 4
5 Henley, Russell 1.09 7900 23 5000 20
6 Bezuidenhout, Christiaan 1.068 7700 27 6000 26
7 Berger, Daniel 1.062 10000 6 2000 4
8 Johnson, Dustin 1.062 11600 1 1400 1
9 Hatton, Tyrrell 1.048 9500 8 2500 7
10 Westwood, Lee 1.008 8300 19 8000 30
11 Poulter, Ian 0.866 7600 29 8000 30
12 English, Harris 0.862 8400 18 4000 14
13 Casey, Paul 0.83 9200 10 3500 11
14 Hoffman, Charley 0.776 7800 25 5000 20
15 Fleetwood, Tommy 0.754 8800 14 4000 14
16 Conners, Corey 0.714 9300 9 3500 11
17 Streelman, Kevin 0.66 7300 37 8000 30
18 Garcia, Sergio 0.65 8600 16 4000 14
19 Wallace, Matt 0.633 9100 11 10000 40
20 Burns, Sam 0.598 7400 34 10000 40
21 Im, Sungjae 0.598 9000 12 4000 14
22 NeSmith, Matthew 0.592 6900 55 10000 40
23 Kirk, Chris 0.587 7500 31 6000 26
24 Varner III, Harold 0.539 7000 50 12500 49
25 Ancer, Abraham 0.538 8900 13 3000 8
26 Harman, Brian 0.532 8700 15 3500 11
27 Kuchar, Matt 0.53 7500 31 6000 26
28 Seiffert, Chase 0.49 6700 67 20000 68
29 Kisner, Kevin 0.467 7700 27 5000 20
30 Hubbard, Mark 0.463 6300 97 20000 68
31 Davis, Cameron 0.411 7400 35 10000 40
32 Straka, Sepp 0.41 7000 50 15000 56
33 Lowry, Shane 0.384 8500 17 5000 20
34 Poston, J.T. 0.366 7100 45 10000 40
35 Na, Kevin 0.365 8100 21 4000 14
36 Reavie, Chez 0.365 6600 74 20000 68
37 Ghim, Doug 0.356 6900 55 12500 49
38 Norlander, Henrik 0.353 6700 67 25000 84
39 Ortiz, Carlos 0.349 7400 36 8000 30
40 Sabbatini, Rory 0.342 6800 61 10000 40
41 Horschel, Billy 0.341 8200 20 5000 20
42 Smith, Cameron 0.34 10200 5 3000 8
43 Hadwin, Adam 0.317 7100 45 8000 30
44 Lee, Danny 0.314 6200 106 30000 95
45 Glover, Lucas 0.296 7100 45 8000 30
46 Todd, Brendon 0.296 7300 37 5000 20
47 Furyk, Jim 0.291 6600 74 15000 56
48 Snedeker, Brandt 0.276 6800 61 12500 49
49 Grillo, Emiliano 0.27 7300 37 8000 30
50 Kim, Michael 0.261 6000 125 100000 130
51 List, Luke 0.22 6900 55 15000 56
52 Piercy, Scott 0.215 6300 97 25000 84
53 McCarthy, Denny 0.192 7000 50 15000 56
54 Munoz, Sebastian 0.192 7500 31 8000 30
55 Noren, Alex 0.192 7100 45 15000 56
56 An, Byeong Hun 0.19 6900 55 20000 68
57 Kizzire, Patton 0.173 6500 81 15000 56
58 Redman, Doc 0.166 6800 61 12500 49
59 Thompson, Michael 0.165 7200 41 6000 26
60 Werenski, Richy 0.164 6700 67 20000 68
61 Hadley, Chesson 0.159 6300 97 25000 84
62 Perez, Pat 0.156 6400 89 25000 84
63 Rodgers, Patrick 0.138 6500 81 25000 84
64 Hoag, Bo 0.124 6200 106 25000 84
65 Moore, Ryan 0.119 6900 55 10000 40
66 Martin, Ben 0.118 6400 89 20000 68
67 Putnam, Andrew 0.095 6900 55 15000 56
68 Willett, Danny 0.093 6700 67 20000 68
69 Grace, Branden 0.09 7600 29 8000 30
70 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.08 7000 50 15000 56
71 Hagy, Brandon 0.055 6800 61 20000 68
72 Merritt, Troy 0.046 6200 106 30000 95
73 Taylor, Nick 0.035 6600 74 20000 68
74 Frittelli, Dylan 0.022 7200 41 10000 40
75 Cink, Stewart 0.015 6700 67 15000 56

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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