Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: The Greenbrier Classic
Another week of PGA Daily Fantasy picks for DraftKings as we recover from the Travelers Championship. It was a tough week to get six through to the weekend, but for those who did, congratulations. This week, we stop off in West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. I’m back again to provide daily fantasy golf picks for DraftKings’ PGA game.
It’s a great week to check out DraftKings as they have some top notch contests. Come on over and take a look.
The Greenbrier Classic is held in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia at The Old White TPC at The Greenbrier (a resort in West Virginia). The Old White TPC course is a 7,287 yard, par 70 course named for the Old White Hotel which stood on the grounds from 1858 to 1922. This is a relatively new tour stop with the inaugural Classic held in 2010 where Stuart Appleby set a course record with a 59. It has played as one of the easiest par 70 courses on tour since its introduction.
The weather looks like it could be rainy most of the week so we’ll need to keep an eye on those storms.
Scorecard breakdown: Four (4) par threes, ten (10) par fours and two (2) par fives. It’s another par 70 course, but a couple of thousand yards longer than the Travelers.
It will be another thin field this week (just look at the past results to see a lot of names you don’t recognize) as we get only six of the top 25 in OWGR. We also have Tiger Woods in the field. And John Daly. Also, Shaq will be there. We might see some withdrawals if players do well at the Travelers and don’t need this tournament to get into the U.S. Open.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
2014 Winner: Angel Cabrera shot back to back 64s on the weekend to secure the title by two over George McNeill (who shot a final round 61).
Cabrera finished 11th in driving distance, fourth in driving accuracy, fifth in SG: Putting, first in GIR, T6 in proximity to the hole and T52 in scrambling (not like he needed to scramble).
The 2013 winner Jonas Blixt was 48th in driving distance, T60 in driving accuracy, second in SG: Putting, T43 in GIR, T61 in proximity to the hole and T3 in scrambling.
So, you can stay on the straight and narrow and win. Or you can fire the ball all around the course and scramble your way back to the top.
The history for this event is short, but we’ve got data since 2011 (there was a re-design after 2010 which lengthened the course significantly so the first year’s results aren’t as useful) so we’ll go with what we have this week. It’s a scorer’s paradise – you want golfers who consistently produce birdies and eagles. And if you can pick the winner, congrats, as the list of winners here makes no logical sense.
GIR – You want to have a chance to score this week and getting to the green a timely manner gives you that chance.
Par 4 scoring – It’s a par 70 course, so we need to focus on par 4s as there will be more chances on par 4s. The par 5s on the course are generally the easiest holes out there so we’ll need our players to differentiate on the par 4s. The leader in par 4 scoring for the tournament has won four times and has never finished outside of the top 5.
Scoring in general – I think you could look at just about any scoring stat and make a case for its importance this week. You want guys who will attack the pins and pick up birdies. I’m going to look at…
Par Breakers – This stat calculates the percentage of holes that are better than par (birdies or eagles) on all holes.
Going for the Green – Birdie or Better – I’ve not used this one previously so I’ll probably shy away from it. This stat captures the number of times a player attempting to go for the green makes a birdie or better. It should identify those players who attacks pins and succeeds. It may be a tiebreaker for me this week after the core stats.
Driving Distance – I’m not going to use this in my initial review, but if the rain comes as it may, then distance could be a deal breaker on a soggy course.
As always, you should examine Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green every week with SG: Putting being a bit more important this week.
DraftKings Expert Picks
Bubba Watson | $13,000 – The most expensive player on the board comes in off a win in a playoff last week at the Travelers. Bubba moved his family to the Greenbrier in the summer of 2014 so he certainly knows the course. He’s also performed well here (though not spectacularly so) as he’s made the cut in this two trips the last two years with a T30 and a T16. He’s 101st in GIR, but he’s done well on par 4s (46th) and par breakers (37th). His length should keep him in contention all week long even if he has a little hangover from his win last week.
Paul Casey | $12,300 – Casey makes his debut at the Greenbrier and comes in off his best finish of the year after losing in a playoff to Bubba Watson at the Travelers. He’s sixth in GIR, 22nd in par 4 scoring and 62nd in par breakers. He’s also 39th in Going for the Green: Birdie or better. He’s a fantastic option who’s just a bit cheaper than the best.
Webb Simpson | $11,800 – Simpson’s history here is impeccable as he’s made the cut the last four years and finished in the top 10 in three of those weekends. His last start on Tour saw him finish T46 at the U.S. Open. He’s 38th in GIR, 104th in par 4 scoring, 33rd in par breakers and third in going for the green: birdie or better.
Keegan Bradley | $11,300 – Bradley is 63rd in GIR, 67th in par 4 scoring, and 44th in par breakers. He also sits 15th in Going for the Green: Birdie or better so his profile is excellent for the course. He’s made four straight cuts with three top 30 finishes in those four tournaments. He’s made the cut three times in three trips with a T4 last year.
Patrick Reed | $11,100 – Reed is one for two in cuts made at the Greenbrier and that sort of sums up Reed for me. He’s either on or he isn’t – there’s almost no in between. He bombed out of the Travelers last week after making five straight cuts on Tour. Reed is 128th in GIR, but 22nd in par 4 scoring and 12th in par breakers. So, he should be able to score here, but I think there are safer options this week.
Louis Oosthuizen | $10,900 – Oosty! Well, he was back to fooling everyone last week by missing the cut at the Travelers. His last five tournaments have ended with T69, missed cut, withdrawal, T2 and missed cut. That T2 at the U.S. Open is starting to look like an anomaly. He picked up a T17 in his only trip here in 2013 and his profile works (57th in GIR, 30th in par 4 scoring, and 92nd in par breakers). I’m not sure I’d pay for him this week as there should be better options at lower price points.
J.B. Holmes | $10,800 – Holmes’ calling card is his driver as he is currently sixth in driving distance. However, he’s also a great scorer on par 4s (46th) as well as par breakers (seventh). He’s alternated made and missed cuts over his last seven stroke play events He’s in off a T27 at the U.S. Open. He’s made the cut in two of his last three trips to the Greenbrier finishing in the top 30 each time.
Graham DeLaet | $10,600 – DeLaet fooled me last week as he put up the best finish of the season with a solo fourth at the Travelers. He’s made five straight cuts on Tour so he’s playing his best golf of the year. Since the lengthening in 2011, he’s made the cut twice in two trips with a T12 in 2012 as his best finish. DeLaet is 41st in GIR, but struggles on par 4s (117th) and is just 70th in par breakers. If you roster DeLaet this week, it’s about his current form which is solid.
Bill Haas | $10,500 – Haas is another horse for course choice as he’s made the cut in each of the last four years with two top 10s and no finish worse than T33. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open, but had put together two top 20 finishes in his three tournaments before the Open. He’s 42nd in GIR, 30th in par 4 scoring, but a distant 130th in par breakers. His record here speaks for itself and he’s a top consideration.
Kevin Kisner | $10,200 – Kisner is a sneaky contrarian option this week as he’s missed the cut in all three of his trips to the Greenbrier. However, he’s one of the hotter players on Tour right now with seven straight cuts made and five top 15 finishes in those seven. He’s 30th in par 4 scoring, 68th in GIR, and 109th in par breakers so he should be able to score here. I think many players will be scared off by his history here, but I’m going to focus on his current form.
George McNeill | $9,900 – It is rare to see McNeill in such rarefied air, but his work at Greenbrier (back to back top 20s with a T2 last year) and current form (a run of nine straight cuts made just interrupted by a miss at the U.S. Open) say he probably belongs in this neighborhood. He’s also 46th in par 4 scoring and 64th in par breakers so he has some tools to succeed. I’m not sure I’d pay for him at this level, but he’s certainly a GPP option as I imagine we won’t see too many on him.
Tony Finau | $9,800 – Finau is playing some of the best golf on Tour currently as he’s made six straight cuts with his worst finish being a T25 last week at the Travelers. His price might scare folks off, but that just makes him a bit sleepier in his debut at the Greenbrier. He’s 55th in GIR, 30th in par 4 scoring and 14th in par breakers. Plus, he’s seventh in driving distance so he’s weatherproof.
Kevin Na | $9,100 – Na crushed many a player last week as he missed his first cut since mid-February at Pebble Beach. He’s played here twice since the course was lengthened and has one top 10. He’s 30th in par 4 scoring and 20th in par breakers so there doesn’t seem to be a reason to jump of the Na train.
Steve Stricker | $8,800 – Stricker sits six spots too high in salary based on his odds to win the tournament. He doesn’t play often on Tour any more (five starts this year with four cuts made, but no top 25s). He’s made the cut the two times he’s been here with a T22 and T35. At this price point, I’d like to see a bit more of a chance to finish in the top 15 than I do with Stricker.
Justin Thomas | $8,800 – Thomas intrigues me especially if it rains as he’s 18th in driving distance. He’s 72nd in GIR, 86th in par 4 scoring, but a tasty ninth in par breakers. And…he’s first in Going for the Green: Birdie or Better. His only time at this tournament was three years ago and he finished T46. He’s missed two cuts in a row, but he had made six cuts in a row prior to this stumble. I like him a lot for GPPs this week as his volatility means the rewards could be high.
Pat Perez | $8,700 – Perez is one of the highest rated players in my statistical analysis this week. He’s 62nd in GIR, 13th in par 4 scoring and 16th in par breakers. The problem is he’s extremely short off the tee so the weather could cause him issues. He’s made the cut the last three years and has a T6 in those three years. I’d still consider him as he’s made seven cuts in a row with five top 20 finishes.
Tiger Woods | $8,600 – I could wow you with stats. I could dazzle you with graphs. I could offer some amateur psychology. I’ll give you none of it. The Tiger Woods you knew is in a museum. He no longer exists.
Brendon Todd | $8,500 – Todd is two for two in cuts made including a T4 last year. He’s alternated missed cuts and top 20 finishes in his last four Tour stops including a T15 at the Travelers last week. He’s 89th in GIR, 67th in par 4 scoring and 80th in par breakers so he’s not the best profile, but he’s certainly worth it. And with his 11th place spot in Going for the Green: Birdie or better he can score with the best of them.
Seung-yul Noh | $8,400 – After missing three straight cuts and withdrawing from a fourth, Noh has put up his best two finishes of 2015. And that form has him priced eight spots higher than he should be based on his odds to win. He’s 110th in GIR, 104th in par 4 scoring and 45th in par breakers so his profile isn’t the best. He’s made one of two cuts in his two visits to the Greenbrier with a T27.
Marc Leishman | $8,300 – Leishman’s record here is uneven as his only finish worth talking about was a T16 the first year when the course was putt-putt golf short. He’s in the Graham DeLaet neighborhood in terms of profiles though he’s a bit better in GIR and a bit worse in par 4 scoring. He’s alternated made and missed cuts over his last four. I don’t see a reason to use him this week.
Russell Henley | $8,300 – Henley is 104th in GIR, but 67th in par 4 scoring, 49th in par breakers and T40 in driving distance so he has most of the tools to succeed on this course. He offers some value versus his odds to win as he’s three spots lower in DraftKings salary. He made his debut in 2013 and finished T30. He’s missed two straight cuts, but he had back to back top 25 finishes prior to his recent slip.
Rory Sabbatini | $8,200 – Sabbatini has missed two cuts and finished T9 in his three trips to Wild Wonderful West Virginia. After missing four cuts in a row, Rory is back on the horse with four of his last five cuts made and no finish worse than T30. He sets up quite well for this week with a 25th spot in GIR, sixth in par 4 scoring and 36th in par breakers. However, as with many of these statistical wonders, driving distance is an issue as he sits 113th.
Cameron Tringale | $8,200 – His profile doesn’t fit at all. He’s missed the cut in three of his last seven events. He’s made the cut in all four trips to the longer Greenbrier with two T4 finishes. I dunno….trust history or profile and form? There is something about this course for Tringale that works.
Daniel Berger | $8,200 – Berger checks all of the statistical boxes this week as he’s 22nd in GIR, 22nd in par 4 scoring, and 34th in par breakers. And the cherry on top is his 24th spot in Going for the Green: Birdie or better. He makes his debut this week at the Greenbrier and has alternated made and missed cuts in his last six tournaments. He missed the cut his last time out on Tour at the Memorial in early June so he may not be at the top of everyone’s mind this week.
Kevin Chappell | $8,100 – Chappell is eight spots lower in salary than he should be based on his DraftKings salary. He’s made the cut three of the four times he’s been here with two top 20 finishes. He’s made five straight cuts on Tour including three top 25 finishes. He’s 86th in par scoring, but his profile doesn’t fit otherwise. His form is good and his course history is solid so he’s on the radar this week.
Will Wilcox | $8,100 – Wilcox’s profile fits with a 17th spot in GIR, 13th in par 4 scoring and 54th in Par Breakers, but he is eight spots higher in salary than he should be when we consider his odds to win. He’s played here just once (last year) and put up a T4 so he’s shown he can succeed on this course. He missed the cut last week and has made two of his last four cuts on Tour.
Patrick Rodgers | $8,000 – Shhhhhh…..SHHHHHHH! Don’t tell anyone, but Rodgers leads the Web.com tour in driving distance which could be a differentiator if the rain forecast holds up. Rodgers is in the field on a sponsor’s exemption and he deserves to be here. And while he’s 125 in GIR, he’s 13th in par 4 scoring, and 27th in par breakers. He finished T45 in his debut at this tournament last year. He’s made three straight cuts on the PGA Tour so he’s got a little bit of momentum on his side.
Brendon de Jonge | $7,800 – de Jonge has two top 20 finishes in the last four weekends at Greenbrier. His profile also fits as he’s 40th in GIR, 30th in par 4 scoring and 29th in par 4 breakers. He’s not in the best form as he’s alternated made and missed cuts over the last six tournaments, but he’s fit to succeed this week.
David Lingmerth | $7,600 – Lingmerth has two top 20 finishes in his only two trips to Greenbrier. His profile doesn’t exactly fit here, but his success overshadows the issues in this game. He won at the Memorial a few weeks ago so he’s shown he can put it all together.
Carl Pettersson | $7,500 – A Swede has won here before so why not again? His only standout skill is an 86th spot in par 4 scoring and that’s not all that impressive. However, he’s made the cut each of the last four years and has two top 20s in that time. He’s also made four straight cuts on Tour and picked up a solo fifth last week for the best finish of the season.
Robert Streb | $7,400 – Streb is a par 4 killer (sitting 22nd in par 4 scoring this year and he finished sixth in 2014), gets to the green well (18th in GIR) and 54th in par breakers. He gets the added bonus of being priced nine spots lower than he should be based on his odds. He’s played here the last two years making the cut each time, but never finishing better than 41st. Streb is also playing quite well coming in as he’s made five straight cuts with three top 20 finishes. He’s one of the best options this week.
Jason Bohn | $7,400 – My only reservation with Bohn this week is the weather as he’s not exactly the longest hitter on Tour (184th in driving distance). Everything else checks out as he’s 32nd in GIR, sixth in par 4 scoring and 26th in par breakers. He was T11 last year after missing the cut in his two earlier visits. He missed the cut at the Travelers last week after making five cuts in a row.
Steven Bowditch | $7,300 – Bowditch was T2 here two years ago. He’s four spots lower in the salary than he should be when compared to his odds. He’s 46th in par 4 scoring, and 52nd in par breakers. He’s also 28th in driving distance.
Kevin Streelman | $7,100 – Streelman’s profile fits quite well as he’s 16th in GIR, 13th in par 4 scoring and 78th in par breakers. His only trip to the newer course here finished in a T56. However, he’s only 100th in driving distance so the rain will dampen (see what I did there?) his hopes.
Jason Kokrak | $7,000 – Kokrak is 76th in GIR (but it gets better), 46th in par 4 scoring, 47th in par breakers and can drive the ball well (13th in driving distance). After missing four straight cuts, he’s made back to back weekends including a T48 at the Travelers. He’s made one of two cuts in his previous trips to the Greenbrier Classic.
Shawn Stefani | $7,000 – I feel like I write about Stefani every week, but he’s back again. He’s 31st in GIR, 22nd in par 4 scoring and 13th in par breakers. He’s two for two in cuts made at the Greenbrier with his best finish last year at T35. After making three cuts in a row, he missed the cut at the FedEx in his last time out on Tour. There is some value at this price point for Stefani.
Angel Cabrera | $6,900 – Won here last year in his debut at the Greenbrier. No one knows why or how. He’s withdrawn in two of his last six tour stops and hasn’t finished higher than T64 in any of those six. Nothing screams Cabrera this week.
Jonas Blixt | $6,900 – Won here two years ago. No one knows why or how. Followed up with a T35 last year. Put up a T7 at the Nordea Masters in his home country a couple of weeks ago. If you want him on your roster, you believe his history at the course. Nothing else screams Blixt this week.
Daniel Summerhays | $6,700 – Summerhays sits seven spots lower in salary than his odds to win imply he should be. He’s made the cut twice and missed the cut twice in his four trips to the Greenbrier Classic. The two weekends ended in back to back top 10 finishes in 2012 and 2013. He’s alternated made and missed cuts over his last five tournaments on Tour. He’s 46th in par 4 scoring and a reasonable 95th in par breakers.
Sean O’Hair | $6,500 – O’Hair scalds par 4s (he’s sixth overall) and had a T7 three years ago at the Greenbrier. He’s missed three straight cuts and four of five so he won’t likely be on the top of many minds, but if he can crush those par 4s, he has a shot.
Morgan Hoffmann | $6,400 – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Hoffmann this cheap. He’s 15 spots lower in salary than his odds to win imply. His profile doesn’t seem like the greatest fit though he is 55th in par breakers and fifth in Going for the Green: Birdie or better. And, if the rains come, he can drive the ball well (currently T37 in driving distance). He’s been T27 (U.S. Open) and T39 (Travelers) in his last two events and has one top 25 in two trips to the Greenbrier.
John Peterson | $6,400 – Peterson’s game fits this course nicely as he’s 44th in GIR, 13th in par 4 scoring, but only 108th in par breakers. He’s struggled over the last three weeks with his best finish a T48 at the Travelers. He’s short off the tee so he could be hammered by the rain.
Charlie Beljan |$6,100 – The choice of Beljan this week is for two reasons. First, he bombs the ball (second in driving distance on Tour) and if the rains come he’ll have a huge advantage. Second, he’s made two cuts in three years at the Greenbrier with those finishes a T11 and a T3. He even put up a T18 at the U.S. Open a couple of weeks ago. Top 20 upside is hard to find this low in the ranks.
Hudson Swafford | $5,900 – Swafford sits 22 spots lower in salary than the Vegas odds say he should be. He’s 36th in GIR, 67th in par 4 scoring, and 22nd in par breakers and 22nd in Going for the Green: Birdie or better so he fits the profile of a player we’d like this week. He’s also 28th in driving distance so if the rain is an issue, he’s protected off the tee. He made the cut in his only trip here last year finishing T52.
Johnson Wagner | $5,700 – Wagner’s record here is quite nice with four cuts made in the last four years and two top 20 finishes. He’s missed five cuts in a row so no one will be on him. When he finished T2 in 2013 he’d missed seven cuts in a row including a withdrawal. Again, no one will be on him anywhere.
Roster size: 6 Golfers
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 golf.