Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy: Waste Management Phoenix Open
No one likes a Monday finish. No one. Well, except Brandt Snedeker who struck not a single shot on Monday and won. He played the round of the year and perhaps the round of the century (short as it is) on Sunday to be the only man to finish under par in the final round.
We are now off to Arizona for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. And if you think golf is a sport to be watched in hushed tones with reverence and respect, this tournament will disavow you of that misconception. Just watch the 16th hole where 20,000 fans ring the entire hole. 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. And it’s a great way to try out DraftKings’ PGA games as every player makes the cut this week. You don’t have to sweat the cut line.
Come on over and take a look.
You will enjoy this tournament. I promise. It’s just a week=long party with a golf tournament as a sideshow. This week it’s the Waste Management Phoenix Open played at TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) in Scottsdale, Arizona. And all four rounds are on just one course!
The TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) plays at 7,266 yards and comes in at par 71. And we are back to Bermudagrass on the greens. The course went through some major renovations two years ago and there were changes to each hole; some subtle and some major.
The weather looks like it will be cool and mild with no chance of rain or wind at any point during the week. Big storms ran through the area this past weekend, but there shouldn’t be any lingering issues. Check back Wednesday to see if any changes have come along.
Scorecard breakdown: So, we have a par-71 this week which is rare. That means we have one fewer par 5 than the par-72 layout. The course has four par 3s, three par 5s and 10 par 4s.
This tournament usually attracts high profile players and this year is no different. Though, we don’t have Tiger Woods making his season debut as we did last year. The field is a bit smaller than the 156 golfers we see in full field events. We will only have 132 golfers to comb through to find the diamonds.
The full field can be found here.
Past Tournament Results
The Stadium Course has hosted the Phoenix Open and its sponsors since 1987. So, again, we have solid course history even with the recent renovations. The changes to the course didn’t seem to make a big difference in the results.
So, here is the top 20 for the last three years:
It’s going to be another simple week with respect to statistical indicators. We’ve got a couple of key stats to focus on (we’re still using 2015 stats, but will also peak at 2016’s results as many golfers have a few tourneys under their belt by now). We will use 2016 stats to see if we can see some changes in players even though the sample size isn’t huge.
Driving Distance (DD) – Again this week we’ll want long hitters. It’s not as important as it was last week at the Farmers, but the leaderboard generally leans toward long hitters.
GIR Percentage (GIR%) – However, you can still be a short hitter and succeed here if you make it to the green in time for scoring opportunities. GIR% isn’t the best stat in the world to use as there are a lot of ways to make it to the green in time, but the aggregate GIR will capture the overall skill.
Birdie or Better Percentage (BOB%) – Last year, Brooks Koepka won by going two –under on the par 3s, 11-under on the par 4s and two under the par 5s. Ryan Palmer finished second by going six under on the par 3s, four under on both the par 4s and par 5s. So, you can go about it any number of ways, but you need to be able to score in some way. You need to be an elite scorer on at least one type of hole and BOB% captures that general skill.
And each week, we’ll look at Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with SG:T2G more important this week.
DraftKings Expert Picks
Bubba Watson | $12,100 – Back to back second place finishes and top 10 finishes in his last four trips to the WMO. Need anything else? Sure, he’s the most expensive, but you can build a reasonable lineup with him in it.
Brandt Snedeker | $11,800 – I generally fade the prior week’s winner especially if there is a Monday finish. However, Monday’s finish was weird in that Sneds didn’t hit a shot. So, he had to deal with picking up the cartoon check and surfboard, but he didn’t have to do much else. He is as hot as any player on Tour and is fully healthy after a series of health issues including a rare bone condition that was supposed to take up to two years to see a “big difference.” Well, two years have passed. I won’t have him overweight this week, but I can’t avoid him.
Rickie Fowler | $11,600 – So, we called Fowler struggles last week based on his travel schedule. He should have that all ironed out now, so do we consider him this week? His recent history here isn’t great as he’s made just two of four cuts with a T46 last year. I’m not sure I’m going to pay up for Fowler again this week even though the profile is solid.
Brooks Koepka | $11,300 – Defending champ. Profile fits like a glove. His last time out at the Hyundai was a T3. Gimme, gimme, gimme!
Hideki Matsuyama | $11,000 – I’m going to have Hideki just about everywhere. He’ll be a core player for me even in cash. He has played here twice and he has a T4 and a T2. His profile is pretty good with an eighth place finish at SG:T2G, 57th in Driving Distance, seventh in BOB% and 21st in GIR.
J.B. Holmes | $10,800 – I was wrong to fade Holmes last week and I’ll be wrong to fade him this week. Holmes has four top 10 finishes in his last five tournaments. He’s had very volatile results at the WMO so he’s probably only a GPP play this week, but his form is quite good so I wouldn’t argue with a cash game spot for him.
Jason Dufner | $10,700 – Dufner has made the cut twice and missed the cut twice in his last four trips to the WMO. And those two missed cuts were his last two trips here (including last year). But, his game is in a much better spot now. He’s a little shorter off the tee than we’d like, but his profile works and he did have back to back top 10s in 2011/2012.
Phil Mickelson | $10,600 – The Green Bay Packers of the PGA. Phil is the public team. Everyone knows him. Everyone will be on him. There isn’t a reason to follow the crowd. Fade.
Kevin Kisner | $10,400 – Kisner’s course history is poor, but I don’t think it matters anymore. He has four straight top 10 finishes on Tour and even though his profile doesn’t seem to work, I don’t know that I’m concerned at all.
Zach Johnson | $10,100 – ZJ’s current form and the safer options around him make me pass. He finished T10 last year in his first trip to the desert since 2010.
Kevin Na | $10,000 – Na’s history here is great. His profile says it shouldn’t be. He’s made nine of 10 cuts at the WMO and has two top 20 finishes in his last four starts here. Since the Na has four top three finishes in his last six starts including his T3 two weeks ago at the CareerBuilder.
Ryan Palmer | $9,900 – Palmer is another volatile option (like J.B. Holmes). He’s had two top five finishes (including a T2 last year) paired with two finishes outside the top 40 in his last four trips here. His profile is fine for the course, so he’s another GPP option.
Gary Woodland | $9,600 – Woodland will be another core guy for me this week. He led last week after two rounds and was third heading into Sunday’s storm where he faltered. He missed the cut here last year, but has finished in the top 20 as recently in 2013.
Justin Thomas | $9,300 – Thomas is one of a few guys on this list who I’m probably higher on than I should be. He debuted here last year with a T17 and his profile fits nicely as he finished last year at 17th in SG:T2G, 15th in Driving Distance, sixth in BOB%, and 27th in GIR.
Webb Simpson | $9,200 – Simpson is in solid form (two top 20s to start the new year) and has been in the top 10 in this only three trips here in the last five years. He’s a fantastic option this week.
David Lingmerth | $9,000 – He’s finished in the top 20 in four straight worldwide starts. He’s only played here once and it was a T42 in 2014. His profile doesn’t fit, but his form is hard to ignore. He could end up outside the top 30 or could swing his way to a top 10.
Brendan Steele | $8,800 – Steele has been in the top ten three of the last four years here. His profile is nearly perfect (15th in SG:T2G, 16th in Driving Distance, 14th in BOB% and 40th in GIR). He’s made the cut in his first two starts of 2016 with a top finish of T34.
Ryan Moore | $8,500 – Moore has three straight top 20 finishes at the Waste Management and has been in the top 20 in five of the last seven years here. So, he looks like he’s a must use this week. He makes his 2016 debut here, so he could be a bit rusty.
Charles Howell III | $8,200 – Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Howell III won’t win, but he’ll make the cut. He has seven top 20s in eight tournaments since the new season started. And he’s 12 of 14 in cuts made at the WMO with two top 10s including one in 2014.
Shane Lowry | $8,100 – Lowry makes his debut this year at the WMO. Lowry is solid in GIR and scoring average so he has a reasonable chance here. I imagine almost no one will be on him even though he’s made eight cuts in a row worldwide and finished T13 last week at the Farmers.
Ian Poulter | $8,000 – Poulter finished T14 in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago. He’s played here three times and has made the cut twice with a best finish of T24 in 2010. Poulter is solid from tee to green and can score, but hasn’t shown much here.
Billy Horschel | $7,900 – BillyHo debuted here in 2013 with a T11 and has since put up a missed cut and a T30 (last year). His profile is excellent (top 20 based on my analysis) for this week and his T8 last week gives me some hope he’s rounding into better form.
Tony Finau | $7,800 – Finau finished T22 last year in his only trip to TPC Scottsdale. And he has a profile that says he should continue to perform well. He finished 36th in SG:T2G, seventh in driving distance, eighth in BOB% and 57th in GIR.
Si Woo Kim | $7,800 – Kim makes his debut at the WMO this week, but he seems to be able to play just about anywhere. It’s hard to ignore his current form and I imagine he’ll be one of the higher owned players in this neighborhood.
Scott Piercy | $7,700 – Piercy has made 10 worldwide cuts coming into this week. But, he struggled on the weekend last week so could the tide be turning? Well, he’s six of seven in cuts made at the WMO with his only missed cut coming last year. He has three top 10s and five top 15 finishes on his WMO resume. He’s long enough off the tee and scores enough to succeed again this year.
Kevin Streelman | $7,700 – A resident of Scottsdale, it’s likely that he’s familiar with this layout beyond the eight times he’s played it on Tour. He’s made the cut five of those eight trips and had his best finish ever last year with his T30.
Graham DeLaet | $7,700 – It’s your funeral.
Martin Laird | $7,700 – We’ll go back to our friend Josh Culp for another Laird quote about this week’s tournament. The short of it is that he’s a member about at Estancia about five minutes away from here. So, he practices at this course quite a bit. He’s finished in the top 20 in back to back years with a T5 last year.
Jamie Lovemark | $7,700 – Lovemark’s profile works again this week. He’s played here twice and missed the cut twice back in 2011 and 2012. But, he’s not that golfer anymore. A good bit of upside here.
Robert Streb | $7,700 – Do you know who had the second best round during Sunday’s hurricane at the Farmers? It was Streb who shot even par. He debuted at the WMO last year and ended up T10. The profile is good and I think he builds off the T18 from last week.
Hunter Mahan | $7,600 – Mahan won here in 2010 and has three top 10 finishes overall in his nine trips to the desert. He’s made six cuts in a row at the WMO. He’s long enough off the tee, but the rest of the profile doesn’t work. However, it hasn’t mattered in the past and he looks to continue his good work here.
Emiliano Grillo | $7,600 – Grillo debuts here, but I’m not sure I see enough to recommend him. He’s’ played quite well since joining the Tour, but that missed cut last week has me spooked.
Daniel Berger | $7,600 – Berger’s profile fits well this week though it looked like it would work last week and then he went out and missed the cut. It was his first miss since The Barclays. His debut last year at the WMO was quite successful with a T10.
Harris English | $7,500 – His profile works. He’s made four of four cuts with two top 15 finishes. He’s made 18 of his last 19 cuts worldwide. He hasn’t had a great start to 2016, but this might be the week he bounces back.
Smylie Kaufman | $7,500 – Kaufman’s Web.com Tour resume should play here in his debut. He’s an excellent driver of the ball and can score anywhere. He’s not terribly accurate off the tee, but that shouldn’t matter too much this week.
Jason Bohn | $7,400 – No one will be on Bohn this week after his missed cut in his 2016 debut when he was priced above $10k. Down here, however, Bohn represents a reasonable risk. Bohn’s record here isn’t the best – five of 10 cuts made with his best finish a T11 in 2007 and no other finish in the top 30. But, beyond his poor length off the tee, the rest of the profile works.
Russell Henley | $7,400 – Henley is two for three in cuts made, but his best finish is T59. His profile says he should be better than that, but it hasn’t shown in his results. He’s started 2016 poorly with a missed cut and a T49. He took last week off so perhaps he’s finally shaken the rust.
Patton Kizzire | $7,300 – Another debutant this week, Kizzire was able to manage a T8 last week at the Farmers. And his profile is very nice for this week as well. He could be like Justin Thomas or Daniel Berger last week where he picks up a tidy top 20 finish in his first time out here.
Charley Hoffman | $7,200 – He’s got pretty poor recent history here (three of four made cuts in the last four years with no finish better than T53). His profile says he should do better and his current form says he could struggle again.
Fabian Gomez | $7,200 – Gomez won the Sony, took a week off and then missed the cut last week at the Farmers. This is his first time at the WMO and his profile says he shouldn’t do well.
William McGirt | $7,200 – McGirt has made the cut in all four trips to the WMO. The profile doesn’t work, but with his missed cut last week, he’ll be off most gamers’ lists. He makes cuts here and should see the weekend again this week.
K.J. Choi | $7,100 – Choi played quite well last week (finishing second). And has made the cut here in Scottsdale each of the last three years with a T22 last year. He’s a safe play with limited upside.
Brian Harman | $7,100 – Harman is two for three in cuts made at this event in the last three years. His best finish was T32 in his 2013 debut. The profile isn’t great so I’ll probably leave this lefty out of my lineup as well.
Danny Lee | $7,100 – Lee is an excellent scorer who succeeds tee to green. So, he has a puncher’s chance this week. He has struggled to open 2016.
Patrick Rodgers | $7,100 – Should we hop on the Rodgers train again? It wrecked last week, but his profile still works here as he makes his debut. I’ll have him in a few GPPs.
Matt Jones | $7,000 – Jones used to live in Scottsdale and played his college golf at Arizona State just 15 minutes from Scottsdale. His profile works pretty well and could be a nice sleeper.
John Huh | $7,000 – Huh debuted here four years ago with a T12 and then promptly missed the cut the next three years. He finished T8 last week, but his course history has me stay8ing away.
Paul Dunne | $7,000 – The young Irishman makes an interesting play this week. He looked great last week at the Farmers and it’s not like he’s in America for the first time. He played college golf at UAB. He should certainly be in some lineups
Aaron Baddeley | $6,900 – Last week I said never play Baddeley. Well maybe you can play him here too. He actually won here in 2007 which was a long time ago, but he hasn’t missed a cut here in the last seven years so you could do worse than putting him on your roster. Splits his time between Melbourne, Australia and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Daniel Summerhays | $6,900 – Irresistible force meets immovable object. Summerhays has never made the cut here. Summerhays has made 10 cuts in a row on Tour. One of those streaks ends this week. Form over history. You choose.
Jason Kokrak | $6,800 – I think I might like Kokrak a bit too much this week. His profile works nicely as he finished last year 63rd in SG:T2G, 11th in Driving Distance, 42nd in BOB% and 67th in GIR. And with his missed cut last week I think he’ll be ignored even at this discounted price.
Keegan Bradley | $6,800 – Bradley has three top 25 finishes in four trips to the WMO. So, what in the world is he doing down here? His form is poor as he’s missed his first two cuts of 2016. He finished 2015 at 14th in SG:T2G, 10th in Driving Distance, 35th in BOB% and 60th in GIR so the profile certainly plays in the desert.
Hudson Swafford | $6,700 – Is this the first time Swafford is more expensive than his statistical doppelgänger Will Wilcox? No matter. He’s playing quite well with two top 15s in three starts to 2016. Of course the profile works as it does nearly every week. And I like him for a top 15 again this week in his debut.
Harold Varner III | $6,600 – HVIII finished the Web.com Tour at eighth in driving distance, 20th in GIR and 31st in Birdie Average. So, that profile works and he’s translated those skills to the Tour. He’s even 62nd in SG:T2G on Tour this year. He makes his debut here this week, but I can see him shine in the desert.
Chez Reavie | $6,500 – Arizona State alum alert. He’s played here on Tour seven times and only made the cut thrice. His best finish was a T45 in 2011.
Kevin Chappell | $6,500 – Chappell’s profile works pretty well here this week (85th in SG:T2G, 67th in Driving Distance, 48th in BOB%, and 103rd in GIR). He’s made two of four cuts at the WMO with a T24 three years ago and a T30 last year.
Will Wilcox | $6,400 – I’m going to make sure to have Wilcox in a few spots this week. I know he hasn’t shown much this year, but his skills haven’t suddenly disappeared. His statistical profile fits nicely. He makes his debut here this year and could be a sneaky play.
Scott Pinckey | $6,300 – Another ASU alum, Pinckney makes his debut here, but has likely played this course previously. He’s missed two of three cuts in 2016, but his one weekend ended with a T17 and 100.5 DK points. Nice!
Michael Kim | $6,300 – He hasn’t crashed the PGA Tour like his other Web.com grads, but he did finish T31 last week and his profile from the Web.com Tour works.
Bryce Molder | $6,100 – Just never misses the cut here (made six of seven only missing in his debut in 2003 just two years after turning pro). Has pretty limited upside, but in a stars and scrubs lineup he’s a great option. He lives in Scottsdale so he’s probably played this course more than a few times.
Pat Perez | $6,100 – Perez also went to ASU and he’s been quite solid as of late He’s made only seven of 14 cuts, but he’s finished in the top 26 five of the last six years with only a DQ marring that streak. His form is atrocious however, so there is serious form risk this week.
Tyrone Van Aswegen | $5,800 – Below $6k is quite a mix of guys this week, but we’ll take a stab with Tyrone and his current run of 11 cuts made in 12 tourneys across the PGA and Web.com Tours. He has pretty limited upside, but he makes a reasonable punt play this week in his debut.
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.