2014 Fantasy GolfChris Garosi

2014 Fantasy Golf Daily Fix: Farmers Insurance Open Picks

tiger land
Source: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images Europe

The folks over at DraftKings continue to add games as they’ve now put out a Daily Fantasy golf game. The game starts this week as the 2014 PGA season begins to get into gear. And so, we delve into another fantasy sport with both feet. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between football and baseball. Daily Fantasy Golf at DraftKings – it’s FANtastic!

What Matters?

So, how do you pick a fantasy golfer? This is one of (the only?) fantasy sports that tracks an individual sport (as opposed to a team sport). Golfers aren’t so much playing against each other as they are playing against the course, the elements and what is between their own ears. So, what should we look for when selecting our daily fantasy golfers each week? A quick primer is below.

History in the event and on the course – Like a baseball park, some golfers perform well in certain venues and are quite consistent about it. Each tournament is generally played on the same course year in and year out. Moreover, some venues will host multiple events over time so there is even more data to crunch.

Type of course – Is this a course that favors long hitters, but doesn’t penalize poor putting? Do you need a great short game, but you could be a bit short off the tee?

Current form – Take a look at a player’s last three, five and ten tournaments. How is he performing? Are there trends forming? Is he playing better in good weather? Bad weather? Doing well on par 3s? Par 5s? Struggling with his putting?

Scoring system – This is true in any fantasy sport and perhaps nowhere is it more important than in fantasy golf. There are myriad statistics that can be tracked and scored and it is imperative that you are clear on the scoring system. DraftKings’ daily fantasy golf scoring system is a hybrid of the two most popular games – Yahoo! (with its bonuses for the order of finish) and ESPN (with its per hole scoring).  DraftKings also adds streaks and bonuses for a variety of special happenings in a round or tournament.  The full scoring system is linked above and in full at the end of this column.

Entrant list – Last, but not least, it is common for players to be entered into a tournament early on only to withdraw as the tournament nears. Keep a close eye on the news from the tournament as you don’t want to get stuck with a zero (when you only have six players) and some of the alternates who enter when a player withdraws can add value.

The Players

This week’s tournament is the Farmers Insurance Open played on the Torrey Pines South and North courses. The players will play one round each on the South and North course in the first two rounds and then finish the tournament with the final two rounds on the more difficult South Course.

Let’s look at six options for this week.

Tiger Woods | $11,200 – Tiger is almost a required choice this week. He’s won this tournament seven times (including last year) and has eight victories (including the US Open in 2008) on this course. He has a fantastic shot at picking up the 30 bonus points for the tournament winner.

Brandt Snedeker | $10,300 – Snedeker is Tiger Junior with respect to the Farmers Open. Snedeker won this even in 2012 and hasn’t finished lower than ninth in the last four Farmers’ tourneys.

Charles Howell III | $9,000 – Howell is a first half player (using baseball parlance).  He generally puts up top 10 finishes early in the season then fades into oblivion in the second half of the PGA Tour season. Howell has been solid at Torrey Pines as he has never missed a cut and has two second place finishes in his eleven stops in this tournament.

Justin Leonard | $7,700 – Leonard is old and unsexy (as a player), but he’s been pretty good so far this year with three top 10 finishes so far and did pick up a top 10 finish at the Farmers two years ago.

Cameron Tringale | $6,600 – Tringale finished 27 th last year and had a fourth place finish the year before. He’s made the cut three straight years and has a salary that fits nicely with the stars above.

James Driscoll | $5,400 – He’s cheap and he’s currently tied for tenth in birdie average this year. I know it’s early, but if we are going to go heavy at the top, we need a cheap guy who has a good shot of making the cut to fill out the roster. He’s made the cut in the last two years and three of the last four.

You could also consider Phil Mickelson (tourney record), Bill Haas (hot player), Brian Stuard (hot player), Ian Poulter (hot player), Bubba Watson (tourney record) and Graham DeLaet (hot player).

Now head over to DraftKings and pick your first fantasy golf team of the season!

Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:

DraftKings Scoring System

Per Hole Scoring

Double Eagle (DBE): +20 PTs
Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
Double Bogey (DBB): -1 PT
Worse than Double Bogey (DBW): -1 PT

Tournament Finish Scoring

1st: 30 PTs
2nd: 20 PTs
3rd: 18 PTs
4th: 16 PTs
5th: 14 PTs
6th: 12 PTs
7th: 10 PTs
8th: 9 PTs
9th: 8 PTs
10th: 7 PTs
11th–15th: 6 PTs
16th–20th: 5 PTs
21st–25th: 4 PTs
26th–30th: 3 PTs
31st–40th: 2 PTs
41st-50th: 1 PTs

Streaks and Bonuses

Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (BIR3+): +3 PTs
Bogey Free Round (BOFR): +3 PTs
All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (A4U70): +5 PTs
Hole in One (HIO): +10 PTs

Scoring Notes: Ties for a finishing position will not reduce or average down points. For example, if 2 golfers tie for 3rd place, each will receive the 18 fantasy points for the 3rd place finish result. Playoff Holes will not count towards final scoring, with the exception of the “finishing position” scoring. For example, the golfer who wins the tournament will receive the sole award of 1st place points, but will not accrue points for their scoring result in the individual playoff holes.

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