2021 Valspar Championship model and fantasy golf rankings
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2021 Valspar Championship model and fantasy golf rankings



Welcome to my weekly fantasy golf model for the 2021 Valspar Championship!

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
  • Valspar Championship: 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 Valspar Championship: 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
  • RBC Heritage: Stewart Cink - No. 75

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 Valspar Championship rankings

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

The Valspar Championship is in a new slot on the calendar, and the field is very strong for this event. Innisbrook tends to favor ballstrikers, but a good driver of the golf ball and put themselves in position to score well.

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 Thomas, Justin 1.494 11500 1 900 1
2 Johnson, Dustin 1.281 11200 2 1200 2
3 Henley, Russell 1.167 9000 13 3500 13
4 Reed, Patrick 1.153 10300 4 1800 3
5 Hovland, Viktor 0.999 10500 3 2000 4
6 Casey, Paul 0.935 10000 5 2000 4
7 Conners, Corey 0.904 9600 7 2000 4
8 Im, Sungjae 0.9 9200 11 3000 8
9 Hatton, Tyrrell 0.886 9400 9 2500 7
10 Kokrak, Jason 0.871 8700 16 3000 8
11 Scheffler, Scottie 0.787 9800 6 3000 8
12 Watson, Bubba 0.782 8900 14 5000 16
13 Tringale, Cameron 0.768 8400 19 5000 16
14 Niemann, Joaquin 0.766 9100 12 3500 13
15 Oosthuizen, Louis 0.735 9500 8 3000 8
16 Hoffman, Charley 0.725 8600 17 5000 16
17 Burns, Sam 0.723 7900 25 6000 22
18 Ancer, Abraham 0.659 9300 10 3000 8
19 Kirk, Chris 0.64 8200 21 5000 16
20 NeSmith, Matthew 0.583 7100 50 12500 43
21 Poulter, Ian 0.538 7400 37 10000 34
22 Streelman, Kevin 0.528 7800 27 6000 22
24 Woodland, Gary 0.527 7800 27 8000 27
23 van Rooyen, Erik 0.527 7600 32 10000 34
25 Palmer, Ryan 0.52 8500 18 5000 16
26 Bryan, Wesley 0.48 6400 97 25000 80
27 Griffin, Lanto 0.477 7400 37 8000 27
28 Homa, Max 0.473 8100 22 6000 22
29 Glover, Lucas 0.46 7700 29 8000 27
30 McCarthy, Denny 0.454 7500 35 8000 27
31 Hadwin, Adam 0.448 7600 32 10000 34
32 Snedeker, Brandt 0.447 7300 41 12500 43
33 Grillo, Emiliano 0.431 8300 20 5000 16
34 Kisner, Kevin 0.382 7700 29 6000 22
35 Ghim, Doug 0.372 7300 41 10000 34
36 Hahn, James 0.35 6900 61 15000 53
37 Gooch, Talor 0.334 8000 23 8000 27
38 Sabbatini, Rory 0.332 7100 50 12500 43
39 Huh, John 0.33 7000 55 15000 53
40 Davis, Cameron 0.319 7500 35 8000 27
41 Vegas, Jhonattan 0.314 7100 50 15000 53
42 Rose, Justin 0.285 8800 15 4000 15
43 Hughes, Mackenzie 0.281 7400 37 10000 34
44 Poston, J.T. 0.281 7200 45 12500 43
45 Na, Kevin 0.264 8000 23 6000 22
46 Percy, Cameron 0.223 6500 88 30000 96
47 Willett, Danny 0.211 7200 45 12500 43
48 Bradley, Keegan 0.209 7900 25 8000 27
49 Kizzire, Patton 0.209 7200 45 15000 53
50 Hoge, Tom 0.205 6900 61 15000 53
51 Hubbard, Mark 0.194 6300 107 30000 96
52 An, Byeong Hun 0.183 6600 80 20000 66
53 Straka, Sepp 0.178 6800 66 15000 53
54 List, Luke 0.174 7000 55 20000 66
55 Piercy, Scott 0.173 6600 80 25000 80
56 Perez, Pat 0.16 6500 88 25000 80
57 Stuard, Brian 0.154 6500 88 25000 80
58 Knox, Russell 0.15 7100 50 15000 53
59 Norlander, Henrik 0.143 6600 80 25000 80
60 Moore, Ryan 0.141 6900 61 12500 43
61 Reavie, Chez 0.133 6700 73 25000 80
62 Lee, Danny 0.13 6200 117 30000 96
63 Ventura, Kris 0.12 6700 73 25000 80
64 Howell III, Charles 0.119 7700 29 10000 34
65 Grace, Branden 0.098 7600 32 10000 34
66 Schenk, Adam 0.095 6800 66 20000 66
67 Taylor, Nick 0.09 6700 73 25000 80
69 Redman, Doc 0.042 6600 80 20000 66
68 Blixt, Jonas 0.042 6100 128 50000 126
70 Johnson, Zach 0.04 7200 45 12500 43
71 Laird, Martin 0.038 6800 66 15000 53
72 Seiffert, Chase 0.025 6600 80 20000 66
73 Mitchell, Keith 0.018 7000 55 15000 53
74 Stanley, Kyle -0.001 6800 66 25000 80
75 Rodgers, Patrick -0.016 6400 97 25000 80

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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