Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: The Masters
It’s Masters Week and time to win $1,000,000 on DraftKings. No small talk this week, let’s get right 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.
Feel free to take the full video tour of every hole here.
The weather this week looks like we could end up with a good bit of wind from Thursday through Saturday. There will be some rain on Thursday morning, but no other rain in the forecast. Check back Wednesday night to see what the final forecast says.
Scorecard breakdown: Four (4) par threes, ten (10) par fours and four (4) par fives. Three of the par 4s are short – all are 180 yards or shorter. However, the par 5s can be monsters with three greater than 530 yards and two of those 570 yards or more.
It’s a major so there are stars galore. But, it’s also an invitational so the field is small at just 90 golfers.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
The Masters has been played here since 1934, but significant renovations from 1999 through 2006 make course history relevant from 2006 onward.
So, here are the full results from the last three years.
Let’s take a look at the statistical angles in for this week’s tournament. It’s a major, but it’s quite simple.
Driving Distance (DD): Length off the tee has been useful in the past and with each lengthening of the course it gains more importance.
Par 5 Scoring (P5SA): The par 3s and par 4s are difficult to score upon. In order to win, you generally need to tread water on those holes and score like mad on the par 5s.
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
Rory McIlroy | $12,500 – Yes, he’s got back to back top 10 finishes here, but the rest of history at August leaves something to be desired. At this price Rory will need to win and score well to justify the price. He hasn’t gone over 100 DK points yet this year and I’m not sure the Masters is where he breaks that streak.
Jordan Spieth | $12,300 – Like McIlroy, Spieth will likely need to win and score well to meet value. And I’m a bit more inclined to use Spieth if only because of his excellent course history and better current form coming in. That said, I don’t see a reason to spend at a premium level for a golfer who is just very good currently especially when there are other cheaper options that have just as good a chance of winning.
Adam Scott | $11,900 – The Aussie has played some of the best golf of his career this year. He had a run of T2, WIN, and WIN over three weeks earlier in 2016. He’s cooled a bit (because he’s not Tiger Woods circa 2000). He won the Masters in 2012 and finished T14 and T38 the subsequent two years. His stats check out for the week.
Jason Day | $11,600 – Day is the favorite to win this week based on odds, yet he’s not the most expensive player. In that, there is value to be had. If you want to play Day for that reason alone you would be justified. His last two Masters starts have ended with a T20 and T28, but before that he had two top three finishes in three years. The Aussie has won his last two tournaments.
Bubba Watson | $11,400 – Bubba is one of my favorites this week to take home another green jacket. Perhaps he’s the San Francisco Giants of the PGA – he wins the Masters in even years. His Augusta results are similarly volatile as he has finished T38, WIN, T50, WIN, T38 in the last five years.
Rickie Fowler | $10,900 – Fowler is five for five in cuts made at Augusta and has back to back top 15 finishes. Is he gearing up for a possible first green jacket? He seems to be trending that way. Fowler has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts and six of eight overall in 2016. He’s an elite player with an elite statistical profile that fits Augusta.
Phil Mickelson | $10,500 – Can the old man pull another victory out on the 30th anniversary of Jack’s age-defying win? The three-time winner has made 21 of 23 cuts and has three top three finishes in his last six starts at Augusta. His recent results look a bit like Bubba Watson’s where it is either feast or famine. Lefty’s profile and improved form this year (six top 20s in eight events in 2016) makes me think he’s got one more top 10 in that body.
Dustin Johnson | $10,200 – Johnson could vault your DK roster to the top or sink it. In his first three starts at Augusta resulted in no finish better than T30. Then, he ran off finishes of T13, MC and T6 (last year). He’s playing well coming in with three top five finishes in his last four events including his third place finish at the SHO. The concern with DJ is can he close it out on Sunday? If he can he’ll score along the way so that he exceeds value.
Justin Rose | $9,900 – Rose is probably the safest play of among the players at $9,000 and above. He hasn’t missed a cut in his 10 trips to Augusta and has three top 10 finishes in those visits. He may be the safest player above $9,000 as he’s made five straight cuts on Tour coming in with a two top 10 finishes.
Henrik Stenson | $9,600 – Stenson will likely be the lowest owned of all of the stars at $9,000 and above. Stenson has made seven of 10 cuts at Augusta with five top 20 finishes, but no top 10s. That lack of top 10s will scare many off and should scare you off to. At the top, you won’t golfers who can win and Stenson hasn’t shown the ability to even get into the top 10 let alone win here. Yet, the Swede is trending nicely (T28, T11, T3 and second in his last four events) entering his 11th Masters.
Charl Schwartzel | $9,400 – I will be heavy on Schwartzel this week based on his current form (three wins in his last eight events on all tours) and his statistical profile (10th in SG:T2G, 55th in driving distance, and 69th in par 5 scoring). The South African won the Masters in 2011, but doesn’t have anything better than T25 in his other four starts.
Hideki Matsuyama | $9,100 – Do you believe the putter will be good enough? If you do then Hideki should be on your roster. He’s won this year (at the WMO) and finished T6 at the API in his last stroke play event. He had his best result at Augusta last year with a T5 after three disappointed prior trips. He’d fit nicely in a balanced (salary-wise) GPP- lineup.
Louis Oosthuizen | $8,800 – The South African missed the cut last week at the SHO which was perhaps the most certain thing to occur in the history of things. The missed cut will likely mean he’s lower-owned than he should be. But, don’t be fooled – Oosty has made six of eight cuts in 2016 and has a win and every finish has been in the top 15. He’s long off the tee, but hasn’t been able to capitalize on par 5s this year (199th this year, 28th last year). At Augusta, he missed his first three cuts but has made three of his last four cuts with a solo second and all finishes in the top 25.
Branden Grace | $8,600 – You want a low-owned guy who has all the skills to succeed here? Grace is your man. Another South African, Grace has missed back to back cuts at Augusta and the current form isn’t great after his win in Qatar (MC, T23, T37 and T18 (Dell Match Play). He’s 49th in driving distance and par 5 scoring so he should have better results.
Brandt Snedeker | $8,500 – Snedeker’s profile is pedestrian (nothing great, nothing terrible) with respect to Augusta. But, he has two top ten finishes and four top 20s overall in eight starts at Augusta. If his putter gets hot, he can pick off another top 10. He started 2016 on fire with three straight top 3 finishes including a win at the Farmers, but has slowed recently.
Sergio Garcia | $8,400 – After the 2012 Masters, he said he couldn’t win a major. I believe him. He does have three top 20s in his last four starts at Augusta and won’t be scared off by the wind.
Patrick Reed | $8,300 – Reed knows the area and course well having played some of his college golf at Augusta State As for current form, it’s excellent with three straight top 10 finishes and five overall in 2016. As always, he’s a volatile option, but he made the cut last year (T22) and could be primed for more.
Jimmy Walker | $8,200 – Walker was just over 36% owned last year at the Masters and ended up T38 which wasn’t exactly what everyone was hoping for. Because of that disappointment, I imagine many of the experienced DFSers will avoid him. He debuted two years ago with a T8 and the Texan’s statistical profile checks out (15th in SG:T2G, 38th in driving distance, third in par 5 scoring average and 33rd in SG:P). Even if he’s not nearly in the form he was last year, he still has made three straight stroke play cuts and had a top 10 at the Cadillac Championship.
Brooks Koepka | $8,100 – The young American bomber has the type of game that works at Augusta. He showed well last year in his debut with a T33. His missed cut last week at the SHO when he was so highly owned means he’ll be lower owned than he should be.
Danny Willett | $8,000 – I think Willett may be the highest owned player in the tournament and that concerns me. He debuted here last year with a T38 and has the skills to finish even higher. He’s short off the tee, but has been able to score on par 5s. Ownership levels aren’t as important this week with the cut rules as they are, but I’ll still own less than most DFSers.
Marc Leishman | $7,900 – Leishman’s statistical profile is one of the best for Augusta (16th in SG:T2G, 27th in driving distance and 47th in par 5 scoring). However, he’s only played the Masters thrice and missed the cut twice. He made the cut in 2013 and finished T4. In six stroke play events in 2016, he’s made the cut four times with two top 20 finishes.
Matt Kuchar | $7,800 – Kuchar is a safe play as he’s eight of nine in cuts made at the Masters He had a run of three straight top 10s ended last year’s with a T46. He is in good form with three top 15s in his last five tournaments including a T9 at the Match Play. He’s short off the tee (161st this year), but 12th in par 5 scoring so he can still take advantage of scoring opportunities this week.
Kevin Kisner | $7,800 – Kisner has played here several times as an amateur (while at the University of Georgia) and has also scouted the course since he qualified for this year’s event. So, while he makes his debut professional, he’s not exactly a newcomer. Kisner is 99th in driving distance, he’s 12th in par 5 scoring this year. The problem is that he isn’t playing too well right now with two missed cuts and a T70 in his last five events.
Tiger Woods | $7,700 – Will not play due to health reasons.
Paul Casey | $7,700 – Casey’s profile from last year and this year both fit the course. He finished in a tie for sixth last year at the Masters and had back to back top 10 finishes before bombing out of the Match Play early. I think he will be low-owned and has a reasonable chance to get back to the top 10.
Zach Johnson | $7,600 – I like Johnson quite a bit this week in no small part because of the potential weather issues. He won here in 2007 before the most recent lengthening of the course. Since that win, he’s five of eight weekends with his only top 10 coming in last year (T9). He comes in with back to back top 10s (including a T9 at the Match Play). That combination of form, some success here and weather concerns makes me believe Johnson can contend again this week.
Justin Thomas | $7,600 – If you want a golfer on his debut whose profile fits (28th in driving distance, 35th in SG:T2G, and 14th in par 5 scoring) Augusta, then Justin Thomas is your man. With the news that he’s working with Masters’ master Jeff Knox, JT moves up my board a bit.
Bill Haas | $7,500 – T26, T42, T37, T20, T20, T12. Those are Haas’ last six finishes at the Masters. That looks like slow and steady progress to me. Nothing jumps out about his profile and he’s not the sexiest choice which could make him a GPP option especially if he continues his climb toward a top 10. He comes in off of back to back top 10s on Tour with one of those at the Match Play.
Jason Dufner | $7,500 – Duf has made four of five cuts at the Masters, but hasn’t finished higher than T20 (2013). His form is mediocre as he’s made one top 20 in his last six events. He won earlier in the year at the CareerBuilder Challenge. He’s currently 27th in SG:T2G and 40th in par 5 scoring even if he’s only 99th in driving distance. If the putter heats up, he’ll contend. The putter doesn’t usually heat up.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello | $7,400 – RCB continued his torrid streak with another top 5 finish last week at the SHO. In his seven 2016 starts, the Spaniard has finished in the top 15 six times. He makes his debut here this week so temper your enthusiasm a bit, but he deserves to be on a roster or two.
J.B. Holmes | $7,400 – Missed the cut last year in only his second tour of August (T25 in his 2008 debut). Holmes withdrew last week with a shoulder injury which his agent said was minor. The American has a profile that fits Augusta and you could use him in a GPP lineup or two as he should be low-owned.
Shane Lowry | $7,400 – I can’t see spending this much for the Irishman. He missed the cut here last year and his current form isn’t up to par. He has had a top 10 at a major in each of the last two years so the quality of the field won’t be an issue.
Lee Westwood | $7,300 – Westwood had a string of five straight top 11 finishes at the Masters broken last year with a T46. The Englishman has shown no form in 2016 with three missed cuts in four starts. There is no reason to believe that Augusta is the elixir for Westwood’s poor form.
Danny Lee | $7,300 – No thanks. The form that earned him this invite is a distant memory.
Ian Poulter | $7,200 – Poulter hasn’t shown much in 2016 outside of his T3 in Puerto Rico. However, his record at Augusta is difficult to pass up. He’s made 10 of 11 cuts with three top 10 finishes including last year’s T6. I think he will be low-owned based on his work in 2016.
Byeong-Hun An | $7,200 – An is working through a neck injury. In a field this short, I don’t want anyone nursing anything.
Martin Kaymer | $7,100 – Kaymer is three for eight in cuts made at Augusta with a top finish a T31 two years ago. I don’t see any reason to roster the German.
Billy Horschel | $7,100 – After missing the first cut of 2016, Horschel has made seven straight cuts on Tour with three top 20 finishes. He’s one for two at Augusta and is currently 28th in SG:T2G.
Harris English | $7,100 – English is currently 44th in driving distance and 55th in par 5 scoring so that will fly this week. However, his form is poor and he missed his only cut here in 2014.
Jamie Donaldson | $7,000 – Donaldson has a surprisingly solid record. After missing the cut in his debut three years ago, he’s finished T14 and T33. He has back to back top 20 finishes (including a T19 at the Match Play). I won’t be on Donaldson this week as Euros tend not to do well here, but I can see him on a GPP roster.
Victor Dubuisson | $7,000 – His 2016 form is all over the place so I’ll pass on the Frenchman as he tries to make a cut in his third start at Augusta.
David Lingmerth | $7,000 – Another debutant whose form is poor coming into the Masters. His profile doesn’t jump out at you and I don’t see a reason to type another word about the Swede.
Kevin Na | $6,900 – Nah. The form he had last year that carried over into Augusta doesn’t exist this year.
Keegan Bradley | $6,900 – No form. No Keegan.
Graeme McDowell | $6,800 – Three of eight in cuts made and his current form is uneven. Pass.
Ryan Moore | $6,800 – I dig Moore this week especially if the wind stays up as is forecasted. He has only missed one cut in seven starts at Augusta. Although he hasn’t finished in the top 10 at the Masters, he does have three top 15s including his T12 last year. He finished T5 at the Match Play and has three other top 10 finishes in six 2016 tourneys.
Matthew Fitzpatrick | $6,800 – Missed the cut in 2014 in his only other start at the Masters. He does not have a top 25 finish anywhere in 2016. No thanks.
Webb Simpson | $6,700 – Two of four cuts made at the Masters with a top finish of T28 last year. The profile works, but the putting is awful. He started 2016 well, but hasn’t performed to expectations recently (MC and T68 in his last two events).
Chris Kirk | $6,700 – Kirk is two for two in cuts made at the Masters with a T20 in his first start and T33 last year. Kirk is 160th in driving distance this year, but 31st in par 5 scoring. He comes in playing well with a T5 at the Match Play and a T12 at the Arnold Palmer. He offers a good deal of safety with some upside below $7,000.
Emiliano Grillo | $6,700 – Is Grillo the new Angel Cabrera? I’d like to know if he’s gotten any pointers from Angel. Grillo has length off the tee (61st this year) and solid tee to green (72nd). He makes his debut at the Masters this week and his current form isn’t there.
Hunter Mahan | $6,600 – T9 last year and six for nine in cuts made overall with three top 10 finishes. However, he has absolutely no form coming in. Augusta is not the place to find yourself.
Russell Knox | $6,600 – Makes his debut at the Masters this week and doesn’t have a top 25 in 2016. Nope.
Andy Sullivan | $6,600 – Sully makes his debut here. The Englishman is in the middle of the pack in driving distance on the European Tour, but scores well (16th in scoring average last year). He’s a GPP flyer this week as he is severely underpriced based on his odds to win.
Angel Cabrera | $6,500 – Course horse. Cabrera has made the cut in nine of the last 10 years and won in 2009. He has six top ten finishes in 16 events overall at Augusta. If you don’t want to believe in course history, then Cabrera won’t be on your roster.
Bernd Wiesberger | $6,500 – Wiesberger debuted at the Masters last year and finished a T22 which is quite good on a debut. His last three PGA Tour starts have needed with T14, T51 (Match Play) and T27. He’s a good bet to make the cut again.
Bryson DeChambeau | $6,500 – If you want a young guy with a ton of upside, don’t take DeChambeau. You can get a much better golfer for $200 less. Read on. Don’t get cute.
Ernie Els | $6,400 – Els had five straight top six finishes from 2000 to 2004 at Augusta. He also has two top 25s in his last three Masters’ starts. He still has length (56th in driving distance this year) to succeed yet again at Augusta and has made seven of 10 cuts in 2016.
Charley Hoffman | $6,400 – I’m going to own too much CHoff and I imagine many will be on the same train. He’s severly underpriced based on his current form and past performance at Augusta. He is seven of eight in cuts made on Tour in 2016 with seven weekends in a row and two top 20 finishes. He finished T9 last year at Augusta in his second tour around the course.
Kevin Streelman | $6,400 – Has missed three cuts in a row which is disheartening as he’s made his last two Masters’ cuts including a T12 last year. I’ll stay away based on his current form.
Chris Wood | $6,400 – Wood missed his only cut at the Masters in 2010. He’s probably too short off the tee to be on our radars this week.
Thongchai Jaidee | $6,300 – The good news? Jaidee has made the cut the last two years here. The bad news? His best finish is a T37 two years ago. The Thai golfer is too short off the tee to matter at Augusta.
Robert Streb | $6,300 – Streb hasn’t been able to recapture much of the glory has basked in last year as his putter has deserted him. Streb missed the cut last year in his debut and I imagine it happens again.
Cameron Smith | $6,300 – Smith is one month older than DeChambeau and already has two top 25s in major championships. Tell me again when you want to spend $200 more on DeChambeau? Is it because of the hat?
Soren Kjeldsen | $6,200 – The Danish golfer hasn’t played here since 2010 when he finished T30. But, the forty year old comes in playing poorly and I don’t have much hope for him.
Vaughn Taylor | $6,200 – It’s a sweet story that Taylor grew up in Augusta, went to college in Augusta and still lives in Augusta. But, that’s about all it’s good for. He’s played in the Masters three times and missed the cut twice with a T10 in 2007 as his only weekend. The Pebble Beach winner hasn’t made another cut on Tour this year.
Daniel Berger | $6,200 – Berger has made four cuts in a row on Tour culminating with a T5 last year. His profile fits the course well as he makes his debut.
Davis Love III | $6,100 – DLIII has played Augusta once in the last eight years and missed the cut. He’s never won here though did have six top 10 finishes in 19 starts. Pass.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat | $6,100 – The Barn Rat debuts at Augusta so that’s strike one against him. He finally looks to be on solid footing after struggling early in 2016. He finished T6 at the API and T18 at the Match Play in his last two events.
Anirban Lahiri | $6,100 – Lahiri missed the cut last week at the SHO, but made the cut at the Masters last year in his debut. He does have enough length of the tee to contend, but I never seem to get the call right on Lahiri. I’m not using him this week, but I can see why you would.
Fred Couples | $6,000 – Withdrew with a back injury.
Jim Herman | $6,000 – A great story with his win to get in this week. I cannot see him making the weekend at Augusta in his debut.
Smylie Kaufman | $6,000 – This is the debutant I’d take if I was taking one if only because his price is so low. Kaufman sets up perfectly for this course – he’s one of the top 10 rated by stats alone for me this week.
Scott Piercy | $5,900 – Piercy teed it up once at the Masters in 2013 and finished T54. He enters the week playing well with three straight top 20 finishes on the Tour. His profile (87th in SG:T2G, 34th in driving distance and 55th in par 5 scoring) fits Augusta.
Fabian Gomez | $5,900 – Gomez makes his debut at the Masters last week without much form since his win at the Sony. He’s not terribly long off the tee, but has scored well on par 5s. His form is too much for me to overcome to roster him this week.
Trevor Immelman | $5,800 – The South African won here in 2008. He’s currently number 1,669 in the OWGR. What has happened in between? A wrist injury nagged him for two years. However, even with full health, Immelman has never returned the glory he had in his early years. He’s not in consideration this week.
Steven Bowditch | $5,800 – Started Thursday nicely at the SHO and then cratered. The game just isn’t there right now.
Vijay Singh | $5,700 – Another old man value option, Singh has made four straight cuts at the Masters and 18 of 22 overall. The Flyin’ Fijian has made four of seven cuts on Tour in 2016 with one top 10 (T6 at the Honda).
Darren Clarke | $5,700 – Clarke has played the Masters just three times in the last eight years. He has made the cut twice here, but has not finished better than T44.
Troy Merritt | $5,600 – Debuts here this year, but too short off the tee to be considered.
Bernhard Langer | $5,500 – Langer missed the cut last year, but had made back to back cuts prior to that miss including a T8 two years ago. He’s played well on the Champions Tour this year with a win and four top 10s in four events.
Tom Watson | $5,500 – Last cut made here was in 2010 with a T18 and is his only cut made since 2003. It is his final competitive Masters. #NarrativeStreet
Ian Woosnam | $5,400 – Won in 1991. Hasn’t made a cut here since 2008 and has seen the weekend only in the last 13 years.
Jin Cheng | $5,400 – Cheng is the current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion. The Chinese amateur has teed it up twice on the European Tour this year with a T35 at the Qatar Masters and T54 at the Maybank Championship. Those fields were filled with some of the same golfers we will see at Augusta so Cheng won’t be intimidated.
Sandy Lyle | $5,300 – Won here in 1988. Has made the cut in two of the last three years. British.
Romain Langasque | $5,200 – The Frenchman is the current British Amateur Champion. Yup, you read that correctly.
Paul Chaplet | $5,200 – Born in 1999. I can’t go on.
Mark O’Meara | $5,100 – Old. Made the cut last year (T22) after missing it eight years in a row.
Jose Maria Olazabal | $5,100 – Will not play due to health reasons. Has not played anywhere since last year’s Masters.
Derek Bard | $5,100 – Finished second in the U.S. Amateur to Bryson DeChambeau.
Larry Mize | $5,000 – Mize won here in 1987 so he gets to play here forever. He’s made three cuts in the last 10 years including a solo 51st two years ago.
Mike Weir | $5,000 – Weir won the Masters in 2003, but that Mike Weir does not exist anymore. The Canadian has made one cut in his last five starts at August (T44 two years ago). He hasn’t made a cut on Tour this year and made only six of 18 the year prior.
Sammy Schmitz | $5,000 – Aced a par-4 to win the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Good luck this week! Head over to DraftKings to choose your squad for this week.
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 Daily Fantasy golf.