Putting for Dough – Valspar Championship

Image result for Innisbrook resort GolfTournament: Valspar Championship

Course: Innisbrook Resort

Copperhead Course (Par 71, 7300 yards)

Location: Palm Harbor, FL

Defending Champion: Paul Casey

Corollary Courses: PGA Stadium/PGA West (Desert Classic/Career Builder), Waialae (Sony) & TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic)

Considering the time constraints that I encounter with my “Real” job and the fact that I know most of you aren’t particularly interested in how I did each week, I’ve decided to simplify my article somewhat and will try the following layout:

  • My Rules of playing DFS (same each week but just so you understand my POV)
  • Background on the Course/Tournament for the current week
  • Review of who I think are the Course Horses
  • Summary of results when I use the modeling tool I subscribe to giving you players showing best (1) Current Form (CF), (2) Course History (CH) and (3) a combination of CF/CH/Key Stats – which the Key Stats will vary each week
  • My “Tier Analysis” – I like this because it gives each of you a list of players I like either because of the analysis or simply “my gut”.
  • “GUT” Plays

I’m hoping this makes it easier for me and still allows all of you to get the information you need to combine with my partner, Alex White’s, information. We take slightly different perspectives in our analysis but are on a lot of the same guys each week. Hopefully, this gives you validation.

NOTE: No matter what the format of my article, I am ALWAYS available on Slack Chat! You can discuss your ideas/issues with everyone in the #pga-dfs channel or you can DM me on there if you have an idea you really want to keep to yourself, but need someone to bounce it off of!! I promise, I won’t tell!!! …… as long as you let me use it! LMAO!

Remember the Rules of playing DFS:

  • You will probably lose more weeks than you win.
  • Play Single-Entry (S/E), S/E Double-Ups and 50/50s as a hedge against the GPPs you want/like to play.
  • If you play GPPs, look for Single-Entry contests first. After that, play the ones that allow five (5) entries or less. The only exception I have to my rule is that I play the $1 WTA each week that allows 20 entries. I don’t always play the maximum but I use it to help me set the 10-20 lineups I like to set each week. I am NOT a Mega-Multi Entry player!
  • In PGA-DFS, DO NOT get overly excited by your position after Round 1 (Thursday).

REMEMBER, Full disclosure, I’m not a guy that’s big on the statistics, although given Al’s success the last few weeks, I’m becoming more receptive. I’m someone that likes:

  1. Current Form (CF)
  2. Course History (CH)
  3. My Gut

Course Background

From the “Bear Trap” to the “Island Green” to the “Snake Pit”! Sounds like a new series on Survivor than it does the Florida Swing of the PGA Tour doesn’t it?

Pricing is back to normal this week – at least on DK – and at first glance, without digging in too much, it looks painfully difficult. At least to the point where you CANNOT expect to look at your lineup this week and say “now that’s a loaded lineup!”

Greens: Bermuda over seeded w/POA

Fairways: Narrow and tree-lined

Wind: Highly likely!

Set Up for this Week: Copperhead can be scored on, but don’t expect them to “light it up” with low average numbers each day. The course does allow for double-digit under par winners and has in 3 of the last 4 years: -10 (Paul Casey), -14 (Adam Hadwin), -7 (Charl Schwartzel), and -10 (Jordan Spieth). The -7 was the first time the players played Copperhead after the 2015-16 renovation so the single-digit winner could be explained by that. From 2018 back to 2015 the Cut Line has been +3, Even, +3, and +1 respectively.

Although I don’t typically pay much attention to tee times, for those of you that like to play PGA-DFS and gain a possible advantage, check the weather. If a player has a morning tee time on Thursday, they have an afternoon tee time on Friday. So, in short, tee times are AM-PM or PM-AM. So, if winds or other weather is predicted to happen at opposite times of the day (i.e. not in the morning both days or in the afternoon both days), you can “stack” tee times. You can find the tee times on www.pgatour.com

Like last week, THIS COURSE DOES NOT FAVOR THE BOMBER! “Less than Driver” players can succeed here due to narrow fairways and the need leave your ball in “certain spots” for your approaches. HOWEVER, like last week, do not fear the “Accurate Bomber” – Dustin Johnson.

COURSE HORSES

Patrick Reed2nd-38th-7th-2nd No Missed Cuts in 2018-19 Season.
Ryan MooreMC-18th-3rd-5th Missed the Cut in 2018, but solid here otherwise. He’s been playing well lately!
Jim Furyk7th-41st-DNP-40th-20th-7th-2nd-13th-1st Yes, I know, that’s more history than I show on others, but you can see how this man plays this Course. Other than a potential let down risk after last week, he’s solid!
Sergio Garcia4th-DNP-DNP-DNP-7th-16th-15th Again, a lot of history, but a 4th and 3 DNPs wouldn’t tell you much.
Henrik StensonMC-7th-11th -4th Granted, Henrik isn’t in the greatest of form, but with that 3-wood, this Course fits!
Jason Kokrak8th-58th-MC-7th-14th He is playing so well right now too!
Kevin NaDNP-MC-22nd-10th-2nd Like Henrik, the last two weeks have been shaky, but history shows he’s not afraid of snakes!
Jason DufnerMC-11th-22nd-24th-14th-21st-10th It’s solid other than the MC last year. The scary part? He has MC or MDF in last 6.

I suppose that since the course has only played with the renovations, the last 3 years may be most important. But, unless they blew it up and started over, the comfort will not go away. Other than Reed & Furyk, no player’s history is “clean”.

 

CURRENT FORM

If I use the modeling tool that I typically rely on with Current Form at 100% – broken down as 70% for the last 3 months, 20% for the last two weeks, and 10% on last week – the following players are the Top 15 (My Favorites in the table are in BOLD):

NOTE: I switched the percentages this week because we are now closing in on the end of the first quarter of this year and, likely, the first 13 weeks of the new season. I wanted to put more emphasis on the current season. I may further adjust this in the upcoming weeks.

  1. Dustin Johnson
6. Nick Taylor11. John Rahm
  1. Jim Furyk
7. Webb Simpson12. Keegan Bradley
  1. Sergio Garcia
  1. Jason Day
13. Brian Harman
  1. Brandt Snedeker
9. Wyndham Clark14. Joel Dahmen
  1. Kevin Kisner
  1. Ryan Moore
15. Kyoung-Hoon Lee

Others I like (some more than the Top 15) just outside Top 15 – Gary Woodland, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Jason Kokrak, Sung Kang, and Paul Casey.

Remember, this is 100% Current Form weighted to the last 13 weeks so, if low-priced guys are playing well and the field is weaker than normal (like some of the November-December dates), some of the bigger names fall outside the Top 15.

COURSE HISTORY

Agreed, this relates to Course Horses directly, but I wanted to do the same thing with Course History as sole factor using the modeling tool. Again, the Top 15 (My Favorites in the table are in BOLD):

  1. Patrick Reed
  1. Adam Hadwin
  1. Alex Cejka
  1. Jim Furyk
  1. Sean O’Hair
  1. Ryan Blaum
  1. Charl Schwartzel
  1. Henrik Stenson
  1. Sergio Garcia
  1. Bill Haas
  1. Ryan Moore
  1. Branden Grace
  1. Jason Kokrak
  1. Jason Dufner
  1. Steve Stricker

Just so you have the information, the others outside the Top 15 I like: Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey, Zach Johnson, and Russel Knox.

Current Form (CF)/Course History (CH)/KEY STATS (KS)

Yes, I know, this isn’t my normal key component, but I’m beginning to realize it has to be a corollary factor to use in addition to Current Form and Course History. Alex will discuss these in more detail in his article, but for me, I’m using the model at 40% CF/30% CH/30% KS.

“Key Stats” are:

  • 20% SGAPP – Shots Gained Approach
  • 20% SGOTT – Shots Gained Off-the-Tee
  • 10% SGP – Shots Gained Putting
  • 5% SGATG – Shots Gained Around-the-Green
  • 10% APP 175+ – Approach Shots 175+ yards
  • 10% DA – Driving Accuracy
  • 10% PAR5 – Par-5 Scoring
  • 10% BOW% – Bogeys-or-Worse (“Bogey Avoidance”)
  • 5% PAR3 – Par-3 Scoring

Again, the Top 15 (My Favorites in the table are in BOLD):

  1. Jim Furyk
  1. Dustin Johnson
  1. Rafa Cabrera Bello
  1. Ryan Moore
  1. Paul Casey
  1. Jason Day
  1. Sergio Garcia
  1. Keegan Bradley
  1. J.T. Poston
  1. Jason Kokrak
  1. Brandt Snedeker
  1. Joel Dahmen
  1. Webb Simpson
  1. Henrik Stenson
  1. Patrick Reed

Just outside the Top 15 are guys I like a good bit as well: Adam Hadwin, John Rahm, Lucas Glover and Sungjae Im.

TIER ANALYSIS

My “tier analysis” will fluctuate from week-to-week due to the pricing structure on DraftKings. This week, the quality in the Tiers will be better given the “soft” pricing:

  • $9,000 and above
  • $7,100 – $8,900
  • $6,600 – $7,000
  • $6,500 and Below – This is where you find a “Deep Dive”

$9,000 +

We have 13 guys in this price range this week. There are no wrong picks in this price range. This is tough. Pricing makes it difficult at times to use more than one or two of these guys so you will probably have to take a stand and fade someone unless you are doing 10 entries or more.

Group A

Group B

Group C

Dustin JohnsonWebb SimpsonLouis Oosthuizen
Patrick ReedPaul CaseyHenrik Stenson
Jason DayJim FurykLucas Glover
Sergio GarciaKeegan Bradley
John Rahm

At this level of pricing, you just need to take a stand. If you take the three lowest-priced (Furyk, Stenson & Glover), you have an average of less than $7,600 for your remaining golfers. You can get some decent names for those prices. I wouldn’t suggest it, but this somewhat contradicts my statement as to the tough pricing. However, I don’t think I will go there since a balanced lineup with one or two from this Tier would make 5/6 or 6/6 more likely.

Dustin Johnson – Never played the course, but who cares!

John Rahm – Never played here, but other than his Sunday Round at Sawgrass (where he had only played twice), he played well.

Jason Day – Hasn’t played here since 2013.

NOTE: Just my “gut” on those couple of guys. There is nothing wrong with having a “Gut” feeling contrary to what I have. Go with it!

$7100 to $8900

This will be a popular price range since this is a solid field of golfers and any of these guys could put together a week that produces a win, but more likely a Top 20.

Favorites:

Rafa Cabrera Bello ($8800) – Forget last week, he has nine (9) Top 25s in his previous 10 worldwide starts. Has only played once here (2015) and made the cut.

Ryan Moore ($8700) – His history here is good in the last four years. He finished T20 last week and has played much better in his last 3 PGA starts.

Jason Kokrak ($8600) – A “cut machine” this year, he has 3 Top-15s in his last five starts at Copperhead.

Kevin Kisner ($8500) – He’s rounding into “Kis-like” form where he was a staple in your lineup……even though wins weren’t as likely. He has five Top-30s in his last 5 starts.

Brandt Snedeker ($8400) – Snedeker, Snedeker, Snedeker! came back to life last week. With his control and ability to putt, this course fits. He hasn’t excelled (i.e. Top 20s), but he has made the cut every time he’s played here since 2010. That coupled with hot play last weekend, $8400 is a great price. He’s a course manager and, with position more important than distance, this tournament is in his wheelhouse.

Adam Hadwin ($8300) – Has made 3 out of 4 cuts here and has finished 12th and 1st in the last two years respectively. MC’d last week, but play was solid prior to that.

Charl Schwartzel ($8200) – Recent history at Copperhead is excellent! Current Form isn’t great, but he does have a 16th and a 6th in his last three starts.

J. T. Poston ($7900) – His play this year earns him the right to be owned any time he tees it up. Only one attempt here and that was a 14th in 2017.

Considerations:

At the higher end of the Tier (between $7800 & $8900): Bubba Watson, Russell Knox, Tyrell Hatton, and Kevin Na.

At the lower end (below $7800): Sungjae Im, Michael Thompson, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Steve Stricker, Sung Kang Joaquin Niemann, and Roberto Castro.

I can’t go into detail on them all, so PLEASE, use Slack Chat and Twitter to ask questions. My Twitter handle is @Farris1967.

$6600 to $7000

Favorites:

Stewart Cink ($7000), Austin Cook ($7000), Roger Sloan ($7000), Jason Dufner ($6900) – his Current Form sucks!, but he has historically played well here, Rory Sabbatini ($6900), Cameron Davis ($6800), Kelly Kraft ($6700), Kyoung-Hoon Lee ($6700) – Current Form/No History, and Bill Haas ($6700).

Wyndham Clark ($6900) – maybe my favorite in this range. For no other reason than I really like this guy’s game and this price doesn’t take much to make 10X value other than making the weekend. His last three events are DQ-7th-10th. I think he signed a wrong scorecard last week. If you need to differentiate cheaply, I’d try him or Kyoung-Hoon Lee.

Considerations:

Harold Varner III & Brendan Steele.

$6500 and Below

Personally, my goal is to not touch this range!

However, if you need names down here: Scott Langley, Stephen Jaeger, Dylan Meyer, J. J. Spaun, Martin Trainer (Current Form), and Jonas Blixt (finished NDP-22nd-22nd).

There may be a couple of other names, but none I really want to discuss. If you have questions on a particular player: Slack Chat or Twitter.

GUT” PLAYS

 

Image result for sergio garciaDEEP DIVE(S): Wyndham Clark, Jonas Blixt & Kyoung-Hoon Lee

Gut Feeling Winner: Sergio Garcia

2nd Choice: DJ (Think he controls the ball on this course and still out drives everyone)

Longshot Winner: J. T. Poston (has to be below $8500 before I consider them a longshot)

JOIN Slack Chat! The ScoutArmy is here to help!

GOOD LUCK! And LET’S SEE SOME GREEN THIS WEEK…..but maybe, just maybe, leave a little for me again please!!