Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: Valero Texas Open
This week we head to the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio and we start the lull between majors as this field is thin at the top. However, the prizes are still there for PGA DFS!
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This week’s tour stop is back in Texas at the Valero Texas Open played at TPC San Antonio on the AT&T Oaks course. The Oaks course is a par-72, 7,435 yard course and has Bermudagrass on the greens. The course is long with narrow fairways and trouble off those fairways. Just ask Kevin Na.
The weather looks like it will be part of the story all week, but nearly as much as usual. There will be some rain here and there and the wind will be up a bit on Friday late afternoon. But, perhaps the most important weather-related news is that the rough isn’t nearly as high as it has been in the past. Also, remember that the early tee times on Thursday last year had to endure winds of enormous consequence to so take missed cuts from last year with a grain of salt for those who started early.
As always, continue to check up until lineup lock on Thursday.
Scorecard breakdown: It’s a standard par-72 with four (4) par threes, ten (10) par fours and four (4) par fives.
None of the top 10 in OWGR tees it up this week. There are a lot of guys below $7,000 this week. A LOT.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
The Valero Texas Open has been on the Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio since 2010.
Let’s take a look at the statistical angles in for this week’s tournament. With the information noted about the rough above, I’m not nearly as concerned with accuracy off the tee as I was before. It wasn’t a key stat for me this week anyway, but I’m now more willing to take a bomber who isn’t the most accurate off the tee as long as he can score.
Birdie or Better Percentage (BOB%): And so, we need some scorers and we’d like to see those who can score on any type of hole.
Bogey Avoidance (BA): And we want them to stay out of trouble if they do get into it. So, scorers who can minimize damage.
Par 5 Scoring Efficiency (550 – 600 yards) – (P5SE): Finally, we’ll tack on a specific scoring efficiency for par 5s to (a) give the par 5 scorers a bit of a lift in the analysis and (b) acknowledge that the four par fives on the course and are all between 567 to 604 yards.
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
Jimmy Walker | $11,200 – Texan. Walker is the defending champion and is priced as such. His profile (outside of his 129th standing in bogey avoidance) fits the course. He has only one top ten in his last six starts on Tour, but has made nine of 10 cuts overall. He also has three top 20s at the Valero in six starts at the Oaks.
Branden Grace | $10,900 – I’m going to fade Grace this week mostly based on his winner’s hangover. If you aren’t worried about it, then here you go. He’s the highest ranked player in the field and has a profile that should lead to success here. The South African has made two cuts in two starts at the Valero with a top finish of T30.
Zach Johnson | $10,800 – ZJ’s two wins at the Valero weren’t on this course so don’t be fooled. That said, he has back to back top 20s at TPC San Antonio and has done well on pars this year (65th in P5SE).
Matt Kuchar | $10,700 – Kuchar has made four straight cuts at the Valero and has been in the top 25 each time. He also has six top 25s on Tour this year. He has two top 10s in his last three Tour starts and has a profile that fits the course. He should be a cash game staple.
Patrick Reed | $10,600 – Texan. Leads the PGA Tour in top 10 finishes this year with seven. Who knew? He doesn’t have much course history, but his profile fits and he’s one of the better players in the field.
Brooks Koepka | $10,400 – The American bomber has played the Valero once with a T36 two years ago. He finished T21 at the Masters two weeks ago and with the shorter rough his wayward tee shots won’t be as debilitating as they might have been in other years. He is 52nd in SG:T2G, 17th in BOB% and 56th in par 5 scoring efficiency so he can do some damage.
Brandt Snedeker | $10,300 – Sneds only start at the Valero was in 2011 and he finished T4. He missed the cut last week so he’ll probably be off the radar a bit even though he has an excellent profile (58th in SG:T2G, 23rd in BOB%, 17th in bogey avoidance and 152nd in P5SE.
J.B. Holmes | $10,100 – Holmes has five top 20s on Tour this year and has made eight straight cuts in 2016. He has two top 15 finishes in his four starts here though they were in 2010 and 2011. The profile works for the Oaks Course and shorter rough can only help J.B.
Phil Mickelson | $9,900 – Lefty fits the profile of a player who should succeed here. And after his missed cut at the Masters may DFSers will still be cursing his name. That’s the past and we live in the now! He’s played this course twice with a top finish of T30 last year. He had five top 20s in his six starts prior to the Masters.
Bryson DeChambeau | $9,800 – This is the week to fade him, right? I mean he can’t continue this, right? Not so fast my friend. He’s made eight straight cuts and led the RBC Heritage in strokes gained: tee to green last week.
Charley Hoffman | $9,600 – If you want to trust course history, Hoff is your man. If not, fade away. He’s made six cuts in six tries at TPC San Antonio and has been in the top 15 in all of those starts.
Luke Donald | $9,500 – Donald seems out of place at this price range and I’ll likely be off him completely. He hasn’t been scoring well this year (162nd in BOB%) though he’s been good from tee to green (36th in SG:T2G).
Billy Horschel | $9,400 – BillyHo’s results here (two top 3 finishes in five starts with a missed cut and two other finishes worse than 70th) scream GPP option! His also in excellent form with nine cuts in a row and two top 10 finishes in 2016.
Jason Kokrak | $9,300 – Kokrak has a profile similar to Luke Donald’s (not so great) but at least he’s played here previously. That course history includes two top 20s in the last four years. If for some reason you like Luke Donald, I’d suggest just playing Kokrak and saving $200.
Russell Henley | $9,200 – Henley has made back to back cuts on Tour with both weekends ending in top 25 finishes after struggling mightily early on. He debuts this week at the Valero and makes for a good GPP option as the 2016 profile doesn’t fit, but if his game is back on track he can succeed at TPC San Antonio.
Kevin Chappell | $9,100 – Chappell has been all or nothing at the Valero (three of six weekends with two top 15s) and he’s’ done the same on Tour this year (five of eight cuts made with two top 10s). The profile works (20th in SG:T2G, 44th in BOB%, 78th in BA and 64th in P5SE) which should work here.
Chris Kirk | $9,000 – It might just be time to get on the Kirk train who is one of the “form” golfers on Tour. When he’s on you play him because he can succeed almost anywhere and when he’s off you want to be as far away as possible. The American has three top 25s in his last five starts and finished T8 last year at the Valero.
Brendan Steele | $8,800 – Steele won here in 2011 and put up a T4 in his return in 2012. The profile works for the TPC San Antonio – 54th in SG:T2G, 51st in BOB%, 75th in bogey avoidance and 120th in P5SE. It showed in his T8 last year. He has missed back to back cuts on Tour after making six cuts to start the 2016 season.
Ryan Palmer | $8,500 – Palmer has made five of six cuts at the Valero and nine of nine cuts on Tour in 2016. His recent Tour work (no finish in the top 35 in his last four) leaves a bit to be desired. His profile fits even if he’s gotten into a bit of trouble this year (127th in bogey avoidance).
Daniel Summerhays | $8,300 – A course history play as he’s finished in the top 7 in the last three years at the Valero. He’s made three of his last four cuts on Tour and doesn’t possess a profile that looks like it should work, but it has in the past.
William McGirt | $8,200 – McGirt stands second in my stats-only view on players in the field this week. He has five top 20s in 2016 and come in off a T9 at the RBC Heritage. The American has seen the weekend four times in five Valero starts, but hasn’t been inside the top 30.
Freddie Jacobson | $8,100 – Another course history play, Jacobson is six for six in cuts made at TPC San Antonio with five top 20s. His one stumble outside of the top 20 was last year’s T50.
Kevin Streelman | $8000 – Streelman put together back to back top 15s in 2011 and 2012 in his only two starts at the Valero. He sits 51st in SG:T2G, 76th in BOB% and 86th in bogey avoidance so he could succeed here again and build on his T34 from the Masters in his last time out.
Keegan Bradley | $7,900 – Bradley debuted here and finished T9 in 2011 and he hasn’t played here since. His current form is poor with only three cuts made in nine events though it’s “improving.” He has made two of his last three cuts and he still rates highly in SG:T2G (31st) even with his poor current form.
K.J. Choi | $7,800 –Choi has two top 15s and two missed cuts in his four attempts at TPC San Antonio. He’s missed his last two cuts on Tour and for a guy who usually just makes cuts, it’s a bit too pricey for me to risk it with Choi this week.
Chez Reavie | $7,700 – Reavie is currently 18th in SG:T2G, tenth in bogey avoidance, but a lowly 125th in BOB%. His course history is poor, but he’s made five straight cuts coming in with two top 10 finishes. So, if you like Reavie this week it’s about his current form continuing to drive him.
Si Woo Kim | $7,600 – Kim’s game is rounding back into form with back to back top 15 finishes on Tour after muddling through the last two months on Tour. He debuts here this week as he sits 74th in SG:T2G, 110th in BOB%, 37th in bogey avoidance and 129th in P5SE.
Bryce Molder | $7,500 – Molder is 33rd in bogey avoidance for the year, but doesn’t have anything else in his profile to recommend him. He’s made three of four cuts at the Valero with two top 25s in his last three starts. He finished T6 last week at the RBC Heritage and has made four straight cuts.
Kyle Reifers | $7,500 – Reifers finished T11 here last year. He missed the cut last week at the Heritage, but had back to back top 15s in his prior two starts. The American is 45th in BOB% this year which is the only standout part of his profile.
Aaron Baddeley | $7,400 – Badds course history is excellent with three top 20s in four starts. He’s an Aussie which should be useful this week in Texas. He has two top 10s in his last four PGA Tour starts. He is currently 117th in SG:T2G, 43rd in BOB%, 40th in bogey avoidance and 70th in P5SE.
Francesco Molinari | $7,400 – Just doesn’t seem to score enough to justify this price though he is 34th in P5SE so perhaps he can overturn his 2016 profile.
John Huh | $7,300 – Huh’s profile is good enough to succeed at the Valero as he’s 60th in SG:T2G, 81st in BOB%, 34th in bogey avoidance and 38th in P5SE. He’s made three of four cuts at the Valero and was T2 in his 2011 debut. Huh has five top 25 finishes in nine 2016 Tour starts.
Patrick Rodgers | $7,300 – I’m digging Rodgers this week as he is third in my stat rankings this week. In eight starts in 2016 he’s missed five cuts. However, when he sees Saturday, he’s made the top 25. I like him for another top 25 in his debut here.
Colt Knost | $7,200 – Withdrew.
Jhonattan Vegas | $7,100 – Vegas’ profile fits except for his 110th standing in BOB%. He’s made two of three cuts here without a top 40 finish. However, he’s rejuvenated this year and I expect him to break into the top 25 this week.
Jerry Kelly | $7,000 – The vet has two top 20s and two missed cuts in four Valero starts. He’s 11th in bogey avoidance, but the rest of the profile isn’t a fit. He’s made six of seven cuts on the Tour this year and is probably a safe bet to make the weekend here.
Cameron Tringale | $7,000 – I didn’t expect to write up much on Tringale this week, but he is five of six in cuts made at the Valero and had back to back top 10s in 2011 and 2012. His history here since 2012 is poor. But, he’s currently 54th in BOB% and 51st in par 5 scoring efficiency from 550 to 600 yards. He’s made two cuts in a row and four of eight overall in 2016 with a top finish of T14 at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Luke List | $6,900 – List has made three cuts in a row and five of six with three top 20 finishes. His only start at TPC San Antonio was in 2013 and he finished T46. He currently sits at 38th in SG:T2G, 85th in BOB%, 74th in bogey avoidance and 21st in P5SE.
Brian Harman | $6,900 – Harman had three straight top 25s at TPC San Antonio before last year’s missed cut. He missed five cuts in a row last year including the stumble here. The current form is a tad better though the profile doesn’t fit. Harman is a course history play who is a suggested play in larger GPPs.
Johnson Wagner | $6,800 – Wagner looks to be on his game with back to back cuts made after missing six cuts to start 2016. His profile looks OK and has a top 20 in his six trips to Valero.
Chad Campbell | $6,700 – Campbell’s profile fits the course which is surprising even if he has made four of five cuts at TPC San Antonio. He’s made five of ten cuts in 2016 with three top 25s in those five cuts made which means he looks like a GPP option.
Retief Goosen | $6,600 – Withdrew.
Scott Pinckney | $6,600 – Debuted here with a T8, but has made only four of 10 cuts on Tour in 2016.
Michael Thompson | $6,500 – An interesting flyer this week as he’s 28th in BOB% and 56th in P5SE. He’s made two of three cuts at the Valero with a T16 two years ago. Thompson has made five of six cuts on Tour in 2016.
Andrew Loupe | $6,500 – If you like Luke List, you can get someone similar for $400 less. He scores (13th in BOB% and 11th in P5SE) and finished T4 two years ago. He missed the cut last year, but was part of the early tee times that got buffeted by wind.
Derek Fathauer | $6,400 – Fathauer is excellent from the key par 5 distance we are looking at this week (49th). He finished T64 in his debut at TPC San Antonio. He’s made four cuts in a row on Tour (though just barely the last two weeks).
Seung-yul Noh | $6,400 – Course history is great with four of four cuts made with two top 20s. He’s made eight of ten cuts in 2016 with two top 20s. His form is solid, course history is good even though his profile doesn’t’ fit.
Justin Leonard | $6,300 – Texan. Leonard has made five of six cuts here though he hasn’t seen the top 30. But, he’s a solid choice to make the cut.
Ricky Barnes | $6,300 – If you want to chase a hot putter, Barnes is your man this week. He led the field in SG:P last week (2.178) on his way to a T9 last week. He has done well avoiding bogies (39th in bogey avoidance) this year. He’s made only two of five cuts here.
Roberto Castro | $6,200 – The profile fits, but he has missed the cut in his only two starts here. He’s made four of eight cuts on Tour this year.
Matt Every | $6,000 – Every is four for four in cuts made here an did finish T2 in 2012. Every hasn’t shown much this year with only one top 25 finish in eight starts and has one of the worst statistical profiles this week.
Brice Garnett | $6,000 – Garnett is two for two in cuts made at the Valero in the last two years finishing T30 and T31. He’s 21st in BOB% and 83rd in bogey avoidance so he’s got some tools to work the course.
Henrik Norlander | $6,000 – Norlander finished T53 in his only tour of the TPC San Antonio course. He’s stayed out of trouble (24th in bogey avoidance) which should prove useful this week. The Swede has made three cuts in a row on Tour, but doesn’t have a finish in the top 30 on the PGA Tour since 2013.
Carlos Ortiz | $6,000 – Ortiz is another scorer who has one year of success here (T15 last year). He put that T15 up even though he started early on Thursday morning amongst the wind. He has missed seven of ten cuts in 2016.
Brendon Todd | $5,900 – Can’t miss every cut, can he?
Kelly Kraft | $5,700 – Kraft is from Texas, played his golf at SMU and still lives in Texas. He missed the cut in his prior trip to TPC San Antonio. His profile doesn’t fit, but he does have back to back top 15 finishes in his last two events.
Tim Wilkinson | $5600 – The Aussie popped up on my initial statistical screen so he should be considered in a stars and scrubs lineup. He’s never had success here even though he’s made the cut in two of three starts. He is three for five in weekends on Tour this year with a top finish of T21.
Frank Lickliter II | $5,500 – Finished T26 at the Puerto Rico Open in his only 2016 start anywhere.
Rob Oppenheim | $5,500 – It’s a Hail Mary play as the 36 year old rookie is 33rd in P5SE, but rates poorly otherwise.
Brian Gay | $5,200 – Gay had back to back top 25 finishes here in 2011 and 2012. That’s about all I’ve got.
Ben Curtis | $5,200 – Won here in 2012 and has made three of four cuts overall, but hasn’t made a cut in 2016 and has only made one in two years over all tours.
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.