Josh Culp

DFS Dish

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DFS Dish: Sony Open

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

With golf in Hawaii for another week, that means we have plenty of time until lineups lock across DFS sites (12:00 PM ET on Thursday). 

Let's go through some final preparations to get our rosters ready...

Roster Construction
The first part of building lineups is to make a decision at the top. The obvious answer this week is Jordan Spieth as I have him nearly twice as likely to win this event as the next closest golfer in the field. 
The problem is that everyone else is likely on that same page so you will have to differentiate your final roster spots with limited salary. 
We saw Spieth struggle last week on the greens at Kapalua. He said he made some putting tweaks during the winter and didn't expect that change to be tournament ready right out of the gate. Of course, this came after he was already struggling, so he may have been reassuring himself that it wasn't a long-term problem. It is something to watch moving forward, though. 

If you want to fade the (likely) most popular stud, Spieth, then the next tier would include golfers like Justin Thomas, Marc Leishman, Kevin Kisner, and Brian Harman. They are all viable options. 
Recommendation: Take a stand at the top. If you like Spieth, then really load up on him. If you are hesitant at all, then avoid Spieth entirely and pick a couple of the other top-tier options. The last option would be skipping the top tier entirely and starting your rosters with golfers like Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, or even Russell Henley. That latter option would really ensure that you have a unique roster combination. 

Weather Strategy

Last week we pointed out the edge to targeting wind players. The top-5 wind performers entering the week were Spieth, DJ, Matsuyama, Fowler, and Rahm. They went on to finish WIN, RUNNER-UP, T4, T4, and T9. Justin Thomas was nowhere to be found on that wind performance list and he went on to struggle. Could have been a coincidence, or the wind stats really did matter last week with winds whipping at 20 MPH+ all week. 

Unfortunately, winds are forecasted to be calm this week at Waialae, except for Sunday.  

Recommendation: With calm winds in the forecast, I would suggest you avoid this angle entirely this week. 

Course Fit

Baseline performance should be the primary factor for projecting golfer performance, but we shouldn't ignore course-fit factors.

This week the one that pops off the page is the performance on bermudagrass. Bermuda is grainy and there is a big learning curve to chipping and putting on courses with bermuda. Golfers that grew up or play frequently on the surface are very familiar with it. Others tend to struggle.

Just last week, Jon Rahm said he is finally figuring out the key to chipping and putting on bermuda. 

Looking at performance on bermuda courses since the start of 2014, the top 10 looks like this: 

Jordan Spieth
Daniel Berger
Russell Knox
Justin Thomas
Gary Woodland
Luke Donald
Webb Simpson
Kevin Na
Zach Johnson
Jimmy Walker

Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop: 

Matt Every
Ollie Schniederjans
Si Woo Kim
Colt Knost
Smylie Kaufman
Luke Donald
Ben Martin
Ryan Armour
Fabian Gomez
Brett Stegmaier

 Luke Donald shows up on both lists above. He didn't impress in 2017 but if he's going to flash any kind of form, this looks like a great course to do that. Consider using Donald as a salary saver across FanDuel and DraftKings rosters. Other than that, try to load up on as many golfers that appear inside the top 5 on the first list and then round out your value plays with some from the bottom. 

Value Spotlight
Austin Cook: The PGA TOUR rookie got a lot of love last week but showed a bit of rust at Kapalua. We shouldn't let that deter us from jumping back on the train. Through his first 13 ShotLink-lasered events, Cook has proven to be ELITE on (and around) the greens. He has gained strokes putting in nine of those starts (69%) and gained strokes around-the-green in eight of them (62%). He's also gained strokes off-the-tee in 9-of-13 starts. During his win at The RSM Classic he showcased his ability to pipe fairway after fairway while positioning himself on the proper side to attack. Waialae Country Club is largely considered another position-based course so I expect Cook to rise toward the top of the leaderboard, yet again. 

Best of luck in all your contests this week! 

Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp

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