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Thursday, 22 January 2015

Daily Fantasy: No More Football – What Are We Going To Do Now?

Hi All, 

OK, I know you are all going through extreme withdrawal symptoms now that the Daily Fantasy Football season has come to a close (there may still be Super Bowl contest, but then that is it).  You are all staring at your computers going “Frak, what the @#$%&^@ am I going to do now?” Well I have a simple four letter word for you, no not that one, this one: GOLF!!!


DFS Golf is a great way to “have action” going from Thursday through Sunday.  Each Golf contest starts at the first Tee-Off for the PGA Tournament for that week and ends on Sunday when that last putt drops on Sunday evening.  You pick a six player “team” of PGA pros and that team locks with the first ball hit and then is active for the four days of the tournament.  Just like all DFS there are a wide variety of contests to choose from on Draft Kings and all different price ranges: H2H, Leagues, 50/50, Multipliers and of course the bigger money tournaments or GPPs.  What you choose to play is up to you and all offer action for the weekend (sounds a little like football doesn’t it….your team is active from Thursday through Sunday).  There are of course other sports out there, NBA, NHL, College BBall, and even MMA, but Golf really interests me for DFS and fits into my Football mind set, as you don’t have to generate a new team each day (like NBA or NHL), you can set up your team on Wednesday and then follow it all the way through Sunday.  Lots of action and lots of rooting interest for the entire weekend.


My purpose with this article is to introduce you to this DFS sport and give you some places to start in doing your research and building your winning teams.  There are a great many resources out there, and over the coming weeks I intend to add to the information with some articles highlighting some strategy and lineup advice, so keep coming back here, hopefully I will be able to help you take down some contests and make you some cash!!!


Okay, let’s get started:


DFS Golf Basics:

You select a 6 player team from the list of all PGA players registered to play in the week’s tournament.

The Contest will start at the initial Tee-Off on Thursday and your roster locks at that time and is active all the way through Sunday.

TIP: Make sure you know the start time of the tournament (in your time zone) as you don’t want to get locked out of a contest or have not finalized your lineup when the contest locks.   For example:  If a tournament in Florida is scheduled to start at 9:00am, if you live in Chicago you will have to have your lineup set by 8:00am Chicago time.


The scoring in DFS Golf can be somewhat involved, with points for Birdies, Eagles, etc.; negative points for Bogies; points for Birdie streaks; bonus points for leaderboard position, and many other items.  As with football, the FFChamps commandment “Know Thy Scoring System” is paramount.  For your convenience HERE IS A LINK TO THE DRAFT KINGS SCORING RULES


Now that you have a basic idea about what DFS Golf is all about we can move on to strategy and how to win some cash. 


If you are not a golf addict, you probably only know the big names on the Tour: Tiger, Mickelson, Rory and Sergio.  Only looking to the big, well-known names will mean you will 1) be using people that everyone uses – not a great road to victory in DFS – and 2) will not be able to find those lower priced players that you will need to fill out your roster.  So what’s a person to do?   Well, below I have laid out some basic steps to take in increasing your Golf acumen and some ideas and resources that will help as you move forward in the DFS Golf world.


Here we go!


The Golf Channel:

Similar to Football, PGA professionals are susceptible to injuries, personal issues, changes in coaches, equipment changes, strategy, etc.  Also similar to Football, there is a great resource out there to help you monitor what’s going on, provide insights into a player’s chances that week, who is on a hot streak and who is stuck in a slump.  All Football season, I am sure you kept your eye on the NFL Network, well if you want to be involved in DFS Golf, find the Golf Channel on your television and plan on sitting down on the couch and watching.  Trust me, it will provide you with some tidbits of info that could lead to your ultimate victory!


Basic Strategy Tips:

In DFS Golf, your roster is active for all four days of that week’s tournament (all 72 holes….more if there is a playoff).  So what basic strategy should you use (of course the type of contest – cash or GPP – will dictate some finer strategy points):

Make The Cut:  You will have a roster of six players who will “go” for the entire week, if you want to be near or at the top at the end of the week, you should plan for all six of your players “making the cut” and playing on Saturday and Sunday.  You might be able to withstand one of your players not going on the weekend, but if two of your guys miss the cut, you can pretty much kiss your roster good-bye.


Making The Top Ten:  There a major points available for players who finish in the top ten, and of course the winner.  Through your research you will want to find and use those players who have the best chances to finish in the top ten.  Finding the winner is best, but if you can have two or three players in your roster who are in the top ten you stand an excellent chance at taking down the contest.  This is extremely important for GPPs; in cash contests it is important, but not as important.


Par and Birdies Good…Bogies Bad:

Unlike DFS Football where negative points are not as common (unless you have Russell Wilson throwing 4 interceptions), in DFS Golf, negative points are very common.  All players, even the best, will bogie a hole now and then.  In your research, find those players who don’t shoot a lot of bogies (there is even a bonus for a “bogie free round”).  A birdie is great, but if a player also is great at “saving par”, it could make the difference.  For example a player who shoots 7 birdies, 4 pars but also 5 bogies and 2 double boogies will score 18.5 points (not including any bonuses or leaderboard position, etc.), while a player who is more “steady” and shoots 5 birdies and 12 pars and only 1 bogie will score 20.5 points.  It’s a tortoise and a hare type of thing, it usually pays off to have a couple of “steady Eddies” on your roster.


Look For The Streaks:

As noted above it is essential in DFS Golf to find those players who will make the cut and who can place high on the leaderboard.  As the PGA season progresses, just like in baseball, players will “get hot”.  Their stroke is firing on all cylinders and they are driving the ball well and have a “short game” that is sinking every pitch and/or putt, they may not win every week (or any week for that matter) but have a streak of 4 top 5 finishes.  They are a great player to have in your lineup as if all other things are equal, they should have a good shot at posting a big week and taking your lineup to the top.


Here is where the Golf Channel can be really helpful.  Watch on Monday and Tuesday and they will be “all over” the player who is “hot”, who has been right there for 2 or 3 weeks.  If your other research indicates it’s a good play, lock him up.


Data To Look For To Help Plan Strategy:

Vegas Odds:  Just like the other sports, Vegas sets the odds the PGA, giving each player an “odds of winning”.  For example this week at the Humana Challenge, Patrick Reed is 12-1 to win the tournament, while Phil Mickelson is 24-1 and someone named Steve Wheatcroft is 250-1.  Now the Vegas boys don’t get right all the time, and the odds also move due to how the action is placed on different players, however, they are pretty good and their lively hood depends on them being right more often than not.  If all of your information indicates that two players are neck and neck and their pricing is similar, the Vegas Odds could be a deciding factor.   For instance, if one of your two is a 10-1 shot and the other is a 200-1 shot, you might want to go with the 10-1 shot (again, all things, including salary being equal). 


You will need some long shots to come through if you are going to win, especially in GPPs, so pay attention to the Vegas odds, but don’t be blinded by them.  If your research tells you a 200-1 shot with a $3,000 salary number is a good play, play him, we are talking about human beings here, not robots.


Cuts Made:

Look for players who consistently “make the cut”.  Remember in DFS Golf, your roster plays for four days, Thursday through Sunday, if your player does not make the cut that means they only play on Thursday and Friday so you are only getting two days of point production out of them.  Ideally you want all four days of production out of your players.  So find those players who consistently make the cut, if they are there on Saturday and Sunday, they have the opportunity to score points for you and perhaps even finish in the top ten or outright win the tournament.


Previous Performance On Course:

Many players have favorite courses that they love and are able to dominate all the time.  Check a player’s performance on the week’s course and see who has a record of doing well.  Also, check who has won the tournament in the past few years, while they may not repeat as the champion; a top 5 finish is good too.


Long Course/Short Course:

Golf courses are different lengths, some with really long fairways, and others much shorter and then there are “links-type” courses.  Different players play differently based on the type of course.  Check their records; see how they perform on the type of course being used for the week.


Driving Versus Short Game Course:

As a corollary to the above, some courses demand a player to be able to drive the ball exceedingly well (either long or straight), while other courses are all about the “short game”: iron play, pitching, sand play, etc.  If a player is a “Driving Monster” he might not be a good play on a course that demands an excellent short game.


Play Around The Green:

In Golf, ultimately it comes down to Putting (and a player’s ability around the fringe of the green).  Look for information on a player’s average putts, if they have a high average (over 29 or 30+), bogies are in their future and negative points are in yours.  Aside from a good putting average, a player’s ability to play well from the “fringe” and the “sand” can save a ton of strokes by saving par and preventing bogies.


Injuries And Other Issues:

As in all sports, injuries can turn a sure thing stud into a complete dud, check out last year when several players, including Tiger Woods, who were high priced and ended up pulling themselves out of tournaments potentially decimating anyone who had rostered them that week.  Again, besides the internet, the Golf Channel can be your friend here, as you can check out who is battling a small injury or other issue that could impact their game.  Before you lock your lineup for the week, always check the injury report (Wednesday night) and make sure all of your players are good to go.


Well folks, football may be over but DFS goes on.  I hope you found this introductory look at DFS Golf to have been interesting, informative and perhaps has peaked your interest in Golf and the PGA as a Daily Fantasy play.


As the season goes on, I intend to continue to publish information that can help you dominate this DFS sport and will be looking at the weekly tournaments with some lineup advice and opinions.


Please feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @Beaudog2 and I look forward to helping you win some cash at Draft Kings.


Until later, have a great week and good luck!!!!





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