2015 Fantasy GolfChris Garosi

Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: AT&T Byron Nelson

THE PLAYERS Championship is here to YELL at YOU this WEEK. The PGA would like you to believe this is the fifth major. It’s a good field, but there are only four majors. Let’s get to it!

Our friends at DraftKings continue to roll out some fantastic contests. And I’m here to help you win some dough.

It’s a great week to check out DraftKings as they have some top notch contests.

Come on over and take a look.

Tour Stop

This week we tee it up for the AT&T Byron Nelson at the TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, Texas. The pros will head to the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas Course. The course underwent major renovations in 2007 so I will focus on results form 2008 onward. The Las Colinas is a par 70 track that runs 7,166 yards with bent grass greens.

The weather looks it will cause issues on Thursday and we could see a complete washout of the round. The rain should clear out after Thursday with some small chances later in the week. The wind shouldn’t be an issue during the week.

As always, continue to check up until lineup lock on Thursday as there could be an AM/PM tee time advantage.

Scorecard breakdown: Four (4) par threes, twelve (12) par fours and two (2) par fives making up the par-70.

Field

The field quality drops off quickly after the top 10 or so golfers.

The full field can be found here.

Also, thanks to GolfOdds.com for the odds this week. If you’d like to see a second set of odds, check out the Betting Zone’s odds here – just click on this week’s tournament on the left hand pane.

Past Tournament Results

TPC Four Season has been the only host for the Byron Nelson, but the major renovations

So, here is the top 20 for the last three years:

2016_top_20_last_3_byron_nelsons

Statistical Review

Let’s take a look at the statistical angles in for this week’s tournament.

Birdie or Better Percentage (BOB%): We need scoring this week so we want birdies wherever we can find them.

Par 4 Efficiency 400-450yards (P4E400-450): Six of the 12 par 4s are between 400 and 450 yards and three of the other six are between 450 and 460 so we’ll want golfers who can score in this range.

Par 3 Efficiency 175-200 yards (P3E175-200):  Three of the four par 3s fall into this distance. 

I’m focused on 2016 stats now, but still check on 2015 stats to get a larger sample size on players.

And each week, we’ll look at Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with SG:T2G being more important this week.

DraftKings Expert Picks

Jordan Spieth | $12,500 – Spieth is first in my statistical model, but stats are just one of the variables I look at each week. Course history (or perhaps more importantly course EXPERIENCE) comes into play as well. The Texan has just one top 20 in five trips here (2010 as an amateur) and hasn’t seen the top 30 since then. He missed the cut last week but we could chalk that up to rust. Or it could be Spieth still trying to recover from his Masters struggles.   As the most expensive player this week, I’d like to see fewer unanswered questions.

Dustin Johnson | $11,900 – DJ will probably be the highest owned player this week in all salary tiers. He has four top 10s in his six starts at Las Colinas. He’s also eighth in SG:T2G, 37th in SG:P, 41st in P4E400-450, third in BOB%, and 94th in P3E175-200 so his profile fits. He looks like a cash game must-own.

Charley Hoffman | $10,800 – I was more than a wee bit surprised to see Hoffman as the third most expensive player. So, I dug a bit deeper and his profile fits (though it’s not elite) as he’s 36th in SG:T2G, 60th in SG:P, 13th in P4E400-450, 89th in BOB%, and 105th in P3E175-200. He’s also finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at the Byron Nelson over the last three years. His form is excellent even with the missed cut last week. Perhaps it’s not so crazy to see him up here though I imagine he’ll be low-owned.

Matt Kuchar | $10,500 – Kuch is eight for eight in weekends at the Byron Nelson with two top 10 finishes. If you are looking for cash game safety, he’s your man as he’s only missed one cut in 2016 and his profile fits the course.

Sergio Garcia | $10,400 – Sergio disappeared from the Byron Nelson once the renovations occurred having played only once since 2008 when he finished T20 in 2011. His form is poor and his profile doesn’t seem to fit.

Zach Johnson | $10,200 – The other Johnson near the top of the salary pool. Unlike DJ, ZJ has only played here once since 2005 and that was last year’s solo fifth place finish. He’s made three cuts in a row on Tour with pedestrian results (for him). He is 33rd in BOB% and 38th in P3E175-200 so he can score a bit which will be needed this week.

Charl Schwartzel | $10,100 –I hope I pick the correct South African this week as Charl is my favorite this week over the next man on the list. He ranks second in my statistical model and I hope many will be off him based on his poor finish last year. He finished T3 and T11 the prior two years. The issue with Charl is that he hasn’t played since the Masters and there could be rust on his game.

Louis Oosthuizen | $9,900 – I will not be as heavily invested in Oosthuizen as I will his South African counterpart. Even though he’s excellent on the par 3s (second in P3E175-200), I haven’t weighted that heavily in my model and the rest of the profile is mediocre. He’s played the Byron Nelson thrice and finished MC, WD and T11 (two years ago). Oosty has made two of his  last three cuts on Tour with a T28 at THE PLAYERS last week.

Brooks Koepka | $9,600 – The bombing American missed the cut in his debut at the Byron Nelson in 2014, but bounced back with a T16 last year. His profile fits as he’s the seventh rated golfer in my model this week. He’s in the top 50 in every category we’re looking at this week except for putting where he is 65th. He’s made two of his last four cuts on Tour.

Marc Leishman | $9,500 – Leishman has made five cuts in seven trips to the AT&T Byron Nelson. Each of those five cuts made has resulted in a top 15 finishes. Not too shabby. He’s ninth in my statistical rankings for the week and has a streak of three made cuts.

Brandt Snedeker | $9,300 – Snedeker is just behind Koepka in terms of stats with a very similar profile. Sneds finished T6 last year after missing the cut two years ago. He’s made two of his last four cuts on Tour and is a solid option as well.

Jason Dufner | $9,100 – Former champion (2012) whose form is trending poorly (T11, T22, MC, T54 and T49). He has two other top 10 finishes outside of the win in the last five years so the course history checks and that’s what you’ll have to lean on this week.

Ryan Palmer | $8,900 – Palmer has made 12 straight cuts on Tour and five straight at the Byron Nelson. The profile doesn’t fit outside of his 19th place standing in BOB%, but he’s been able to succeed year after year here.

Jimmy Walker | $8,800 – Walker has missed his last two cuts on Tour and has only one top 20 in his last four starts. However, he’s eight for 10 in cuts made at the Byron Nelson and secured his first top 10 last year (T2). He’s sixth in my statistical model for the week. I think folks will just go down to Charles Howell III who looks pretty similar to Walker so he won’t likely be highly owned.

Danny Lee | $8,600 – This is Danny Lee’s home course so there is some advantage there, but it’s likely he’s not playing the course in “championship” conditions. However, he’s playing well with three straight cuts made and a top 10 in that streak. He’s made three of four cuts here with two top 20s. He sits 28th in BOB% so he should be able to score even if he’s not great from the key distances for Las Colinas.

Gary Woodland | $8,500 – Woodland’s consistency over the last month is admirable (four straight cuts made). His consistency at the Byron Nelson is admirable (six of seven cuts made). However, he’s averaging around 65 points on DraftKings over those last four cuts and that’s not going to CUT it at this price. He’s a safe cash game play, but he’ll likely disappoint for those looking for upside.

Bryson DeChambeau | $8,300 – Now, if you want upside, here is your guy.  He debuts here after missing his last two cuts on Tour. He’s clearly an excellent player, but still a Tour rookie. I wouldn’t use him in cash, but he’s certainly a GPP option.

Charles Howell III | $8,200 – At some point I thought I’d stop writing about CHIII as he usually disappears from the Tour on the East Coast. However, he’s back again with a solid profile (fourth in my model) even though his form is off (back to back missed cuts). In fact, he looks a lot like the more expensive Jimmy Walker. So, if you like Walker, just take CHIII and spend the money elsewhere.

Tony Finau | $8,100 – Finau’s top 10 here in his debut last year was in the middle of a hot run of four straight top 20 finishes. The profile doesn’t seem to fit and I think he’ll be over-owned based on his result last year. I’ll look elsewhere like…

Scott Piercy | $8,000 – who is playing quite well with four straight cuts made and three top 25s in that streak. He withdrew from the Byron Nelson last year, but had two top 15s in his three prior starts. He’s an attractive option.

Graham DeLaet | $7,900 – I recommend the Canadian this week. I never recommend the Canadian. Ever. However, he’s made four straight cuts here with three straight top 25s. He’s struggled in his last two events (T77 and MC) after a solid run of play (five straight cuts with three top 20s). The profile (57th in SG:T2G, seventh in P4E400-450, 42nd in BOB% and 133rd in P3E175-200) has some elements that can work this week.

Keegan Bradley | $7,900 – Keegan has made five of five cuts at the Byron Nelson with has two top 10s (including a win) and hasn’t finished outside of the top 30. I think he’ll be highly-owned in cash, but we might see him a bit lower-owned than expected in high dollar tourneys as the “sharps” look for value elsewhere.

Colt Knost | $7,800 – Knost is currently 17th in SG:P and 68th in P3E175-200 while the rest of the profile doesn’t fit. He’s played Las Colinas nine times and had his best finish of his career here last year (T10). He also comes in hot off  his best finish on the PGA Tour since 2012. It’s been an excellent putter that’s led him this year.

Russell Henley | $7,800 – Henley debuted here last year with a T22. I thought he had finally broken out of his early season funk, but he missed the cut last week at THE PLAYERS. His stats check out as he’s 113th in SG:T2G, 22nd in SG:P, 16th in P4E400-450, 119th in BOB%, and 99th in P3E175-200. It’s not a perfect profile and his form is still risky. I can see him in GPPs this week.

Jonas Blixt | $7,700 – is my bold call of the week as I see a top 15 for him this week. He’s always putted well on bent grass greens (see the Masters for example). He’s a form player who can get into form very quickly and I’m leaning heavily on his T19 at THE PLAYERS as a start. He’s 12th in SG:P and 31st in BOB%, but the rest of the profile is poor. The Swede played here twice and finished T30 (last year) and T3 (in 2012).

James Hahn | $7,700 – Hahn doesn’t have much to recommend him statistically with his two best categories being 81st in P4E400-450 and 88th in BOB%.

Bryce Molder | $7,600 – Molder’s statistical profile fits the course (78th in SG:T2G, 28th in SG:P, 63rd in P4E400-450, 115th in BOB%, and 43rd P3E175-200). That fit has shown in his results at the Byron Nelson (five of seven cuts at the Byron Nelson with two top 25s since the renovations). Molder’s current form is also excellent as he’s made seven cuts on Tour and has three top 15 finishes in his last four PGA Tour starts.

Ian Poulter | $7,600 – Poulter’s profile stinks for this week and he has seen the top 40 just onces on the PGA Tour this year. He hasn’t played here since 2009.

Lucas Glover | $7,500 – Glover is 48th in P4E400-450 and that means he has to be considered this week. This is his first start at the renovated Las Colinas course and comes in with five straight cuts made including a solo eighth at the Wells Fargo his last time out. His current form is trending nicely.

Harris English | $7,500 – T17 here three years ago on his debut, but nothing much since. The profile doesn’t work. He’d have to ride his putter a long way this week to make it work. No thanks.

John Senden | $7,400 – Senden has three top 25s and two missed cuts in his last five PGA starts. He’s made three of six cuts since the renovations and has two top 15s in the last six.

Boo Weekley | $7,400 – His T5 two years ago looks like an anomaly surrounded by his other results (T63, MC and T85). His profile doesn’t work though he has made five of his last six cuts on Tour. Rostering Boo means you are relying on his current form.

Freddie Jacobson | $7,300 – Freddie’s profile fits pretty well (140th in SG:T2G, 23rd in SG:P, 84th in P4E400-450, 49th in BOB%, and 13th in P3E175-200). He’s made two of three cuts at the Byron Nelson since the renovations with a T27 and T17. He’s made his last two cuts on Tour, but nothing in the top 35.

Anirban Lahiri | $7,300 – Lahiri debuts here this week with a profile that says he should struggle. He has made three cuts in a row on Tour, but nothing in the top 40.

Aaron Baddeley | $7,200 – The bad Baddeley showed up last week as he missed the cut at THE PLAYERS ending  a run of three straight made cuts. He’s played the Byron Nelson twice since the renovations with a T29 and MC over the last two years. The profile fits the course this week as he’s 111th in SG:T2G, eight in SG:P, 23rd in P4E400-450, 44th in BOB%, and 139th in P3E175-200. I expect him to be low-owned with a chance at a top 20.

Brian Harman | $7,200 – The lefty has made four of the last six cuts on Tour but hasn’t seen the top 30 in those six events. Similarly, he’s made three cuts in three attempts at the Byron Nelson and hasn’t finished in the top 25. The putter is key (sixth in SG:P) to carry him again this week as the rest of the profile doesn’t work.

Jhonattan Vegas | $7,100 – Vegas is 43rd in P3E175-200 and 64th in BOB% so he can score; he just needs to stay out of trouble to take full advantage. He’s made six of his last seven cuts on Tour and has made the cut in his three starts at the Byron Nelson. However, his best finish at the Byron Nelson is a T69. Not so good.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat | $7,100 – The Barn Rat makes his debut here this week off some poor form (65 th and MC) in his last two events worldwide. He’s only GPP playable for me this week.

Bobby Wyatt | $7,100 – Two top 10s and two missed cuts in his last four worldwide starts. GPP only for me.

Sean O’Hair | $7,000 –O’Hair’s current form is off (MC, MC, T35 and T64 in his last four PGA starts) and has only one top 20 in five starts at the Byron Nelson since the renovation. He’s 38th in P4E400-450 and 38th in SG:P so he could find some success if he can tread water on the other holes.

Seung-yul Noh | $7,000 – Noh has some pieces in his profile to work with at the Byron Nelson. He is 118th in SG:T2G, 92nd in SG:P, 72nd P4E400-450, 65th BOB%, and 123rd P3E175-200. He’s made two cuts in two starts here, but those finishes were T69 and 70th. He finished T20 at the Zurich in his last start, but that was his first top 20 in 2.5 months.

Will Wilcox | $7,000 – Wilcox has made three of his last four cuts on Tour and finished T22 at the Byron Nelson last year. If you believe Wilcox is rounding into form, then he’s a must add as the upside is tough to pass if you think 2015 Wilcox is here.

Patrick Rodgers | $7,000 – Missed the cut here last in his debut and his games seems in shambles. Pass.

John Huh | $6,900 – Huh is 56th in P4E400-450 which is where I’d focus a lot of my research in hunting for sleepers/under owned players. You will see a number of golfers below who may have only that stat on their side this week. He’s made three of four cuts at the Byron Nelson and had back to back top 20s prior to last year’s T66. His current form is awful as he hasn’t finished better than T68 in his last five PGA events.

Alex Cejka | $6,800 – Cejka is ranked above Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson this week based on stats only as he’s 66th in SG:T2G, 69th in SG:P, 50th in P4E400-450,  25th in BOB% and 93rd in P3E175-200. He’s five for 10 in weekends at the Byron Nelson with just one top 20 finish.

Tim Wilkinson | $6,800 – Wilkinson looks like Charley Hoffman….statistically. He’s made four straight cuts on Tour with two top 25s though he’s only two for five at the Byron Nelson. Those two weekends have both ended in a top 25 so he’s got upside and makes a solid play this week.

Jerry Kelly | $6,700 – Kelly finished T19 at THE PLAYERS last week which is his first top 20 since the Sony Open. He’s made the weekend in the last four years at the Byron Nelson with three top 30 finishes. Like Will Wilcox, if you feel Kelly’s game is coming back to 2015 he makes a reasonable risk.

Kyle Reifers | $6,700 – Reifers is two for two in cuts made at the Byron Nelson since the renovations. He’s made three of the last four cuts on Tour without a top 30 finish, but he sits 58th in P4E400-450.

David Toms | $6,600 – Toms is 15th in P4E400-450, 50th in SG:T2G, and 53rd SG:P which is a nice fit for this week. He’s only played here twice since the renovations going one for two in cuts made with a finish of T48. He’s made five cuts in a row on Tour coming in with one top 20 in that string. He looks like the old man value for the week especially in cash games.

Chad Campbell | $6,600 –Texan who has one top 25 here since the renovation and has alternated made and missed cuts over his last eight PGA events.

Chez Reavie | $6,600 – It’s tough to recommend Reavie based on his current form (three straight missed cuts) and record here (two for seven with a top finish of T21). However, with all of those problems, he’s still 23rd in SG:T2G and is 60th in P4E400-450 and 19th in P3E175-200. The putter has been the issue all year, but these are tough greens where even the good putters will struggle.

Adam Hadwin | $6,600 – Hadwin debuted here last year with a T71 and has made four of his last five cuts on Tour. The putter drives his success just about anywhere he succeeds.

Andrew Loupe | $6,600 – Loupe’s profile offers intrigue as he is 16th in SG:P, 10th in BOB% and eighth in P3E175-200. He’s made two of his last six cuts with a T4 at the Wells Fargo as his last result. His high variance means he’s a GPP option only for me.

Martin Piller | $6,500 – Piller is another Texas native with a limited history here (T55 in 2011). He’s made two of his last three cuts on Tour with a T4 at the Valero Texas Open which is appropriately also held in Texas. Piller scores well in the efficiency categories as well as he’s 19th in P4E400-450 and 31st in P3E175-200.

Cameron Smith | $6,500 – If you’ve read me previously, you know that Cameron Smith is one of my favorite young golfers in the world. He’s not performed up to his pedigree this year, but he is 33rd in P4E400-450 so he has puncher’s chance to improve on his T46 debut last year.

Martin Flores | $6,400 – Flores is the Bernhard Langer of this week. What? He’s a golfer who has played well recently on a Tour that we aren’t paying attention to (Web.com for Flores). His last two events have ended with a MC and T53, but prior to those issues he had four top 5 finishes in six starts. He’s second in par 4 scoring performance on the Web.com Tour this year and 23rd in par 3 scoring performance. Intriguing…oh, he’s also from Texas as has made the cut each of the last three years.

Jason Gore | $6,300 – Gore is 25th in P4E400-450 so SLEEPER! He’s alternated made and missed cuts over his last five PGA events and missed the cut both times he’s played the newly renovated Las Colinas course.

Brendon Todd | $6,300 – Won here two years ago. Has missed 11 straight cuts on Tour.

Steven Bowditch | $6,200 – Defending champion. Regularly shoots a round in the 80s.

Joe Affrunti | $6,200 – Grasping at straws near the bottom, we have Affunti with his four straight cuts over three different tours and a T46 at the Byron Nelson last year.

Kyle Stanley | $6,100 – 53rd in P4E400-450 so SLEEPER! Has missed his last two cuts after making three in a row on Tour.  Has played here twice with no finish better than 55th.

Mark Hubbard | $6,100 – Hubbard’s made three cuts in a row and five of his last six. He debuted here last year with a T55. Oh…he’s 35th in P4E400-450 so SLEEPER! He might make sense in a stars/scrubs cash lineup as he offers as bit of safety.

Kelly Kraft | $5,900 – Hey, he’s also from Texas and looks like he’s never left as he was born here, lives here and went to college here. He’s missed the cut in his only two Byron Nelson starts.

J.J. Henry | $5,800 – Henry is six for eight in cuts made since Las Colinas was renovated which is nice consistency for less than $6,000. His best finish at the Byron Nelson was a T3 in 2012 and he comes in off his best finish on the PGA Tour in 2016 (T28) at THE PLAYERS.

Steve Marino | $5,700 – Marino’s streak of five five cuts in five starts at the Byron Nelson is in serious doubt as his current form reads MDF, MC, MC, WD, MC. There isn’t a number in there which is bad.

Brice Garnett | $5,700 – Garnett makes his second start at the Byron Nelson after his first (in 2013) ended with a T29. He’s made just two of six cuts on Tour this year, but he is ranked 12th in my statistical model (even if the sample is small). Twelfth. That’s right. He’s currently 124th in SG:T2G, 25th in SG:P, sixth in P4E400-450, 49th in BOB%, and 43rd P3E175-200. The American makes for a sneaky option this week.

Andrew Landry | $5,700 – Don’t sleep on Landry as he’s 24th in P4E400-450 and 12th in P3E175-200. Well, maybe you can sleep a bit as he’s only made four of nine cuts across the Web.com and PGA Tours this year as he makes his debut this week. He was born in Texas, grew up in Texas and he had some success on Texas courses including winning a Monday qualifier in Spring, Texas to make the Shell Houston Open.

Wes Roach | $5,600 – Roach is 21st in P4E400-450. His only top 20 this year is on the Web.com Tour and his best finish on the PGA Tour is a T34 at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Miguel Angel Carballo | $5,500 – Withdrew.

Sam Saunders | $5,500 – Arnie’s grandson is in the top 35 in both the par 4 and par 3 scoring efficiency stats we like this week. He’s missed three straight cuts on Tour and finished T71 in his debut here last year.

Mike Weir | $5,400 – This is the last stop on the Mike Weir Minor Medical Extension Tour. We’re all pulling for him. He hasn’t made a cut since a T69 at the 2014 Barracuda Championship.

Alex Moon | $5,400 – From Dallas. Went to the University of Texas. Jordan Spieth’s roommate.

Will Zalatoris | $5,400 – Amatuer from Wake Forest University who is from Texas. He missed the cut at the Northern Trust Open last year by two strokes in his only other PGA Tour start.

Good luck this week! Head over to DraftKings to choose your squad for this week.

DraftKings Scoring

Roster size: 6 Golfers

POINT SCORING

Golfers on each team will accumulate points as follows:

  • Per Hole Scoring
    • Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
    • Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
    • Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
    • Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
    • Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
    • Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
    • Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -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) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
    • Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
    • All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
    • Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +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.

Player Lock Notes: All golfers lock at the time the first golfer tees off on day 1 of an event.

Full rules are located here for DraftKings Daily Fantasy golf.

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