PGA DFS Byron Nelson Recap
Logan Hitchcock of DailyRoto.com breaks down last week's PGA Tour Byron Nelson tournament with PGA DFS results and lessons for winning next time.
DraftKings PGA DFS GPP Recap: El Niño for the El Greeño
If I told you Sergio Garcia was one of my favorite golfers, you probably wouldn't believe me. If I told you before this tournament started that Sergio was going to win, you probably wouldn't believe me.
Well guess what? It happened. Congrats Sergio and to all those that had faith in the Spaniard.
|Player||Salary||Place||DK Points||$3 Own%|
|Charles Howell III||$8,200||T4||102||14.8%|
$100K Thunderdome, $5,300 Entry, $40,000 to First Place
Team: Harris English, Sergio Garcia, Charles Howell III, Luke List, Jimmy Walker, Gary Woodland
$75K Clubhouse, $1,060 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Team: Harris English, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Charles Howell III, Sean O’Hair, Jimmy Walker
$200K 3-Wood, $300 Entry, $30,000 to First Place
Team: Harris English, Tony Finau, Sergio Garcia, Charles Howell III, Sean O’Hair, Jimmy Walker
$400K Dogleg, $33 Entry, $30,000 to First Place
Team: Sergio Garcia, Adam Hadwin, Charles Howell III, Brooks Koepka, Danny Lee, Chez Reavie
$300K Birdie, $3 Entry, $20,000 to First Place
Team: Bud Cauley, Sergio Garcia, Colt Knost, Brooks Koepka, Matt Kuchar, Steve Marino
What Did It Take To Win?
One important lineup construction note remains this week from last – the $10,000 range produces the winner. I’ll touch on the ownership and how it was concentrated in the highest salary spectrum in the section below, but this week, once again it was paramount to have at least one “stud” golfer on your tournament lineups in order to win. That stud happened to be Sergio Garcia.
In comparison to recent weeks though, things didn’t really stray from the norm. It was most important to have the winner, who came from the top range, but there was also a littering of middling priced players. It appears that the $7,000-$8,900 price range is the most crucial range of GPP strategy and identifying the best plays from this range becomes incredibly important. Because of the way the salary structure works, most of the players you’re selecting come from these ranges and GPP winners have largely been capitalizing in this range.
Refresher: In order for the PGA DFS market to be labeled efficient, the most commonly used players (those with the highest ownership percentages) are the highest scoring players.
As always, there was not much ownership in this price range. Yet, what separates this range from other weeks was how those with ownership performed. Without one cheap, “chalk” option, ownership spread out amongst a whole host of players that were dreadful. The highest owned player in the range, JJ Henry, did make his way through the cut, but was far from the highest scoring player in the price range. Following Henry, the next three golfers combined for just more than five percent average ownership and none of the trio scored enough to reach the 75th percentile in scoring. While the goal of selecting players in this range remains getting them through the cut, in terms of market efficiency – there was none.
Jerry Kelly ran away with the average ownership in this range of the salary spectrum. Kelly was owned on average by 15.12% of lineups, yet finished well below projection and was far from the highest scorer in the range. The next two highest owned golfers, Alex Cejka and Andrew Loupe were also less than ideal options. Both garnered more than nine percent ownership on average, but were unable to come even close to the second or third highest scorers in the range. The market did get it right with Tim Wilkinson though. Wilkinson was only the fourth highest owned golfer, but finished with the most points in this range with over 100 DK points.
The efficiency needle turns again towards the side of efficiency in this submarket. Colt Knost garnered over 20% ownership on average and did not disappoint after a solid finish last week as well. Knost was the highest scoring player in the range and was a swift kick to the head for all those embracing “contrarian life.” The market did not stop there though, as Bryce Molder was the second highest owned player on average and the second highest scorer in the range. Despite the successes of the market with Knost and Molder, it’s interesting to note that only Knost was used on a winning tournament lineup. And furthermore, it was only one winning lineup. This salary range has been perhaps the most important range from a tournament perspective all season long and while the market was right on the money this week at the top, it didn’t produce many winners.
The lack of “market winners” might be because of this salary range, which absolutely decimated the chances of a huge chunk of the market. Ryan Palmer garnered the second highest ownership on average for any salary range but used a water ball on 18 to end his day on Friday and send 35% of lineups into chaos. Chalk Scott Piercy, which is a nickname I thought he’d never get, also blew it on Friday, crashing plenty of lineups thanks to his 28.15% average ownership. Below these two though, the whole submarket was quite successful and the market did well by flooding ownership to nearly every player. Both Danny Lee and Gary Woodland held average ownerships over 20% and both finished above the 90th percentile in scoring. Even using lesser-owned Charles Howell III and Tony Finau, both who garnered more than 10% ownership on average, didn’t hurt. The pair also scored in the top ten percentile in scoring. Despite those small wins though, no manner of efficiency can be granted to a submarket that gave absurd ownerships to two players who failed to make the cut.
After getting crushed in the previous submarket, the overall market rebounded with Brooks Koepka at the top of this range. Koepka ended up throwing away a tournament victory, losing in a playoff, but his submarket leading average ownership was granted with the highest submarket point total. Furthermore, I have to give a nod to the market’s ability to stay away from Louis Oosthuizen and Brandt Snedeker, who both failed to make the cut. A slight hiccup though came in the form of Marc Leishman. Leishman went on a roller coaster ride on Friday and failed to make the cut, despite an average ownership of over ten percent. This whole submarket was a mess.
Reminder: Green does not mean efficient. Yes, once again nearly all of the top players in the world finished at or above the 75th percentile of all scores. Yes, the winner came from this salary submarket. HOWEVER, the winner, Sergio Garcia, was the lowest owned player from this submarket on average. Dustin Johnson carried the highest average ownership from this price range this week, enough to be deemed the highest owned player for the entire tournament. Yet, while performing “well” he was not worthy of his ownership level as the fourth highest scorer in the range.
Some submarkets had some obvious “efficiency” wins this week. Others clearly sank the market’s ship and slid the tab much closer to inefficient yet again this week. At this point, I don’t think the market inefficiency is a fad. Golf is too variant and becoming efficient across a whole host of submarkets is nearly impossible. The biggest take away for future tournament lineup building once again appears to be varying from the chalk. While I noted earlier in the season that the ownership on the very top players ($10,000+) was not particularly important due to their consistent ability, it’s important to note that straying from the pack at other popular price points remains a viable option in tournaments. Remember the hypothesis I had built earlier in the season, if the market stays inefficient, we’ll be able to create positive expected value situations merely by straying from the herd. That strategy would have worked perfectly this week.
Where Did the Scoring Come From?
It’s been a few weeks since I last visited the scoring issue, but after a high scoring week in Dallas, I want to explore the value of scoring versus finishing position. Intuitively we can assume that with more “scoring” (birdies, eagles,etc), the importance of finishing position becomes less and less. Yes, the large finishing position bonuses awarded to the top golfers are heavily weighted into their final DK scores, but in comparison to weeks with less birdies and eagles, finishing position matters a bit less. But how much less
Let me compare this week to the RBC Heritage, which held a similar field strength, but a lot less scoring than this week in Dallas.
Once again, I’m going to list the top five DK point getters from each tournament with their corresponding DK point rank in parentheses.
|Golfers – RBC Heritage||Finishing Position Percent of Total DK Score|
|Branden Grace (1)||29%|
|Russell Knox (2)||21%|
|Luke Donald (T3)||24%|
|Kevin Na (T3)||19%|
|Bryson DeChambeau (5)||19%|
|Golfers – Bryon Nelson||Finishing Position Percent of Total DK Score|
|Sergio Garcia (1)||23%|
|Matt Kuchar (2)||16%|
|Brooks Koepka (3)||18%|
|Tim Wilkinson (4)||15%|
|Bud Cauley (5)||15%|
Obviously there are some noticeable differences. Sergio Garcia was the only player in the top five scorers this week to achieve a finishing positon bonus that was more than 20% of his total score, as opposed to three separate golfers at the RBC Heritage. While I’ve stressed this recently, the importance of expected scoring should force us to shift our paradigms in creating tournament lineups. Not only does more expected scoring drop the weight of finishing position, but it also widens the gap between those that do and do not make the cut.
Where does that leave us?
With more scoring:
- The importance of making the cut is increased.
- The importance of having the top of the actual golf leaderboard decreases.
I’d be foolish to suggest that not trying to pick the winner was not important. Nearly every single winning tournament lineup this year has had the winner of the tournament and even in high scoring environments the bonus attributed to winners is sizable portion of final scoring. However, when we can expect more scoring, the paradigm shift should force us to inherit less risk on golfers that are wildly variant – like those in the lower salary spectrums and instead refocus and allocate that salary to players who are a bit “less volatile.”
Doing so might suggest a more balanced approach, but balance is a delicate word for such a high variance sport.
To see the rest of this article with overall takeaways and more analysis, as well as the best DFS content you can find that's created four millionaires, click here.
Image via Getty
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