Josh Culp

DFS Dish

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DFS Dish: PGA Championship

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The season's final major is upon us as we head to the Midwest for this week's PGA Championship. It's the 100th edition of the event. 

When majors roll around, it means HUGE contests across the DFS industry. With more entries in these contests, it becomes tougher to submit a unique lineup. 

One way to reduce your chances of duplicating lineups (and avoid sharing your winnings) is to draft a few off-the-board sleepers. Another way is to leave money on the table. When sites put up soft pricing for these majors, it makes it easier in my mind to accept leaving a big chunk of salary on the table. 

One easy example this week would be Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka on DraftKings. Spieth is priced at $10.7K while Koepka is $9.6K. I have Koepka graded higher than Spieth this week so I shouldn't let their salaries dictate how I draft them. Let's say I draft the first five golfers in my lineup and I have $10,900 remaining in salary for the final spot. Instead of drafting Spieth just because I can, I draft Koepka and leave $1,300 on the table. From that point, I don't need to restructure my entire lineup to squeeze in the max salary. I should be perfectly content with leaving that extra salary on the table. It will increase the chances that my lineup is unique and it doesn't really affect the upside of my lineup. 

That is just a reminder that you don't need to use all of your salary when drafting a DFS lineup. Now, let's look through a few other angles to see who might deserve a spot on our teams this week...


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Weather Update

Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high near 92 degrees. Calm winds. 

Friday (R2): Sunny with a high near 93 degrees. Calm winds.

Staying true to the early-week forecast, it looks like hot and humid conditions with very calm winds. There isn't anything forecasted over 10 MPH in terms of wind, all week. Combine that with a course that saw pre-tournament rains, and we should see relatively low scoring conditions (for a PGA Championship). 

I wouldn't expect there to be any tee-time advantage this week. 
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts. 

The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings. 


Justin Rose (75.3 Projected Pts): The Englishman withdrew ahead of last week's WGC-Bridgestone due to back spasms. These big names usually use Firestone as a last-minute tuneup so Rose is a bit behind in terms of prep. Diving deeper into previous injury WDs, I found seven instances since the start of 2008. Rose finished outside the top 30 in all seven of those starts that came directly after an injury WD. Rose is playing tremendous this year and is even approaching World No. 1 status but he might be one to swerve this week. 

Hideki Matsuyama (77.5 Projected Pts): The Japanese star struggled with wrist concerns early in the year and he's yet to fully blossom since his return. Sinc his return from injury he is 8-for-11 with ZERO top 10s. The form will eventually return but there is no reason to overdraft him at the moment. He is #5 on the pre-draft board but I say be should be dropped at least 15 spots and then adjust from there, based on your personal preferences. 


Tiger Woods (39.6 Projected Pts): If you've been reading this article all season then you are used to seeing Tiger at this spot. He continues to be projected in the 40-point range. Slow starts have been the only thing holding him back this year. He finally changed that at last week's Bridgestone but then he struggled over the weekend. It's just a matter of time before he pieces together four rounds. However, he's performing like a top-10 golfer in the world so he deserves a big boost up the draft board.

Tommy Fleetwood (42.6 Projected Pts): The Englishman arrives with form that shows T14-T6-T12 over his last three starts. His results in the first three majors of the season are T17-RUNNER UP-T12. Combine that form with his steady long-term performance in the big events, and we should see another top 20 this week from Tommy Lad. 

Course Fit

Bellerive Country Club has bentgrass greens and some golfers really prefer these surfaces compared to bermuda. 

Looking at performance on bentgrass since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this: 


Rory Mcilroy
Justin Rose
Jordan Spieth
Rickie Fowler
Dustin Johnson
Jason Day
Henrik Stenson
Paul Casey
Brooks Koepka
Matt Kuchar
Jon Rahm
Hideki Matsuyama
Marc Leishman
Francesco Molinari
Justin Thomas

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


Thorbjorn Olesen
Satoshi Kodaira
Peter Uihlein
Padraig Harrington
Hao Tong Li
Thomas Bjorn
Martin Kaymer
Michael Kim
Whee Kim
Rickie Fowler
Chris Stroud
Brooks Koepka
Anirban Lahiri
Kyle Stanley
Thomas Pieters

 Looking for golfers that crack both lists we find Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka. Give this duo a boost this week. 

Value Spotlight
Russell Henley The Georgia Bulldog enters the week with top 30s in four of his last five starts. Fast starts have been the name of the game as he's gained a combined 16.75 strokes over the field in R1 of his last four starts. That has turned into a pair of top 10s. Also in his favor is his success at the Golf Club of Houston. That is a Rees Jones design with large greens, the same architect that renovated Bellerive. As for Henley in Houston, he has five top 10s at that event. If the architect and large green sizes play into his comfort then Henley should have high upside this week in St. Louis. He's very affordable across the DFS industry.

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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