Golf fans – the British Open Championship is upon us!
What better way to celebrate than playing a spot of PGA daily fantasy golf while you watch?
You can put together fantasy teams of star players during each day of the competition.
Before you do this, however, it’s good to get in some research. From individual psychology, to the course, to the weather, a lot could affect a player’s game.
Here are some vital questions you should consider before rostering a PGA daily fantasy golf dream team for the competition…
Are you playing a Tourney or a Cash Game?
Whether you’re playing PGA daily fantasy golf or indeed any daily fantasy sport, the type of contest you enter will make an impact on what strategies to adopt.
For instance, with a 50/50 cash game (where the top 50% of players double their money) you want to focus on rostering consistent, ‘high floor’ score players. In a tournament, on the other hand, taking riskier decisions may be the way you push yourself to the top of the contestant list to get at those harder-to-reach prizes.
PGA Daily Fantasy Cash Game Picks
- Dustin Johnson (DraftKings $12,000, PlayON £21.8m): Johnson has made 14/14 cuts so far, making him a solid choice for cash games. At $12,000 he comes at a slightly lower price than Jason Day on DraftKings. Plus he has a better Fantasy Points Per Game (FFPG) average.
- Matt Kuchar (DraftKings $7,800, PlayON £19.5m): Kuchar is also good at making the cuts, at 16/17. Out of those 16 cuts, he’s made the top 10 almost 50% of the time (7 times). We like those figures! A $7,800 fantasy salary isn’t too shabby either.
- Adam Scott (DraftKings $10,600, PlayON £20.4m): Australia’s Adam Scott has made 13/13 cuts in the 2015-16 season, including 5 Top 10s and 2 wins. He’s placed in the Top 10 for the last four consecutive Opens to boot.
PGA Daily Fantasy Tournament Picks
- Alex Noren (DraftKings $6,900, PlayON £9.7m): Noren bagged the Scottish Open last week, so his fantasy salary is still fantastically low for what he is worth. He is clearly at home on Scottish courses, so one to consider in this regard!
- Rafael Cabrera-Bello (DraftKings $6,900, PlayON £16.9m): ESPN’s Jeff Bergerson has earmarked Cabrera-Bello as a great value pick, particularly for tournaments. “At only $6,900 this week, I like his upside, especially for the Millionaire Maker contest.”
- Chris Wood (DraftKings $7,600, PlayON £17.9m): Wood will have a lower ownership percentage than some, partly due to his recent injury. However, he has been doing impressively in Europe and has a win from his last 4 tournaments. Tim Keeney confirms on Heavy.com that Wood is a good GPP tournament counterpart to Kuchar.
- Phil Mickelson (DraftKings $8,600, PlayON £18.5m): some contestants may overlook Mickelson in favour of younger players, but to their peril! Mickelson appreciates links courses and performs well against the brutal weather that may present itself at Troon. His experience may well come in handy for those big tournament scores.
For a thorough background of the strategic differences between Tournaments and Cash Games like 50/50s, head-to-heads and multipliers, check out our Cash Games vs Tournaments feature.
Who’s at home on the Royal Troon?
In golf, the course terrain matters just as much as the player. This is especially true when you’re watching the pros, where, of course, competition is tight. Choice of course should come into your PGA daily fantasy team decisions.
This year the Open Championship is being held on the Royal Troon, on Scotland’s west coastline. The Troon course can be a truly torturous test for golfers.
Don’t expect lots of holes under par in this competition, especially on the perilous back 9. Players will face thick gorse, unforgiving bunkers – not to mention the trial that is the Postage Stamp hole.
In It To Win It
One thing you should be looking for in players on Troon is fortitude. Who can tough out Troon? Fortitude – the mental determination to keep on going even in difficult situations – can be difficult to measure in golf, but here are a few stats to consider.
- Scrambling: this is achieved when a player avoids a bogey after an approach shot that doesn’t make the fairway. Jason Day measured world 2nd for scrambling last year, and 5th for the year before.
- Scrambling from the rough: Steve Stricker (DraftKings $6,400, PlayON £8.9m) is current world 1st for scrambling from the rough, but after a rough couple of years this stat doesn’t make him more than a GPP gamble. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (DraftKings $9,500, PlayON £20.9m) is a slightly better bet. The world 5th came first for this in 2015.
- Scrambling from the sand: from an approach shot that lands in a bunker. Phil Mickelson is currently 1st for this, and Jason Day got 1st place for sand scrambling in 2015.
- Sand save percentage: the number of times a player gets their ball up-and-down from a greenside bunker. Jason Day is currently 1st for this, as well as for putting. Phil Mickelson weighs in at a respectable 9th place.
Who will weather the weather?
Weather conditions on the Royal Troon can be tough. Here are the players we think can handle those brutal coastal winds:
- Jason Day (DraftKings $12,300, PlayON £22m): With his performance in windy conditions, we can safely call U.S. player Jason Day the ‘King of Winds’! Just check out these stats on Future of Fantasy. He’s expensive, but as current World No. 1 that’s not surprising.
- Rory McIlroy (DraftKings $11,900, PlayON £21.3m): Also scoring impressively well on wind condition stats, Rory McIlroy is a powerhouse pick for Troon. McIlroy is a slightly cheaper alternative to Day. Plus, as a Northern Ireland native, he will have had plenty of practice in British conditions.
Who’s In The News?
As we illustrate in our article on How To Research For Winning DFS Strategies, keeping up with the news can be crucial for keeping an edge in DFS.
They say all publicity is good publicity, but you may want to consider fading PGA daily fantasy players who have a bit too much time in the hot media spotlight recently. Take Rory McIlroy, who has just come out with controversial comments on golf in the Olympics.
Brandel Chamblee from Golf Channel’s Live From the Open criticised the player’s take on golf as not important to the Olympics:
“In effect saying golf doesn’t matter in the Olympics is an insult to everybody that goes and plays in the Olympics. It’s an insult to everybody that’s worked tirelessly since 2009 to try to make golf better by its inclusion in the Olympics.”
Backlash from the media might put McIlroy off his game, and in golf mental strength can be just as important as physical prowess. It can be difficult for anyone to be under the media spotlight, but hopefully McIlroy can power through.
Chris Wood missed last week’s Scottish Open with a neck injury, as announced with this amusing tweet. Though it is minor, this is something to bear in mind. Also, during Tuesday’s practice round Jason Day grabbed his ribs in pain – concerning some that he is injured, though he assured everyone not to worry.
What are you waiting for? Get rostering!
Head on over to DraftKings or PlayON to get your dream PGA daily fantasy team together for what looks set to be three fascinating days of golf at the British Open.