Josh Culp

DFS Dish

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DFS Dish: Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

This week's Pro-Am format presents us with a few angles to consider when setting our DFS rosters. 

The most notable is the use of three different courses. I will talk about a potential way to take advantage of that, take a glance at the weather, and then look at some course fit stats. 


Course Stacking
If you are new to Daily Fantasy Sports then the word "stack" may be new to you. A simple explanation would be: building your roster with restrictions based on particular information or skillsets. In a team sport that might involve picking as many hitters that play in hitter-friendly ballparks, for example. 

For golf, that might entail loading up on all bombers on one team or picking ONLY elite putters in another. These type of "stacks" can help keep your lineup unique while also potentially producing correlated results if the golf course favors one type of golfer that week. 

For the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, we have the chance to look at COURSE STACKS. Golfers will start on different courses this week. Even if they try to set up the courses identically each round, they can't force Mother Nature to cooperate. That means that one wave of golfers may benefit over the first 54 holes.

We can look at last year's running of this tournament to find an example. Last year, 31 of the 65 cut-makers all started their week on the Monterey Peninsula's Shore Course.  

The degree of "stacking" can be as heavy or light as you want it. I would consider a light stack to be any roster where you force at least three golfers to have the same starting course. A heavy stack would be forcing all six of your golfers to have the same starting course. 

Lastly, I will point out that last year golfers suggested that playing Spyglass during the windiest weather was an advantage. Keep that in mind if you are trying to narrow down your course stacks. 

Recommendation: Spoiler alert to the section below, but weather doesn't look to be a huge factor this week. Still, I would recommend you throw in at least three lineups this week that have an emphasis on course stacking. It will help you build unique lineups and it will also give you an edge if the weather forecast changes as the week goes on.

Weather Update

Early in the week, I talked about how Saturday could be a windfest. 

On Monday, I was seeing potential wind gusts over 30 MPH but that has died down dramatically, with the current Saturday forecast calling for winds in the 8-to-15 MPH range with gusts reaching 20 MPH. That won't be fun to play in, but it won't be as devastating as the original forecast. 

Here is the most recent forecast from the PGATOURs weatherman who is specifically forecasting for the courses: "The forecast remains dry through the weekend with above normal temperatures continuing. Will need to monitor the wind forecast for Saturday as there is potential for the winds to become gusty as an ‘inside slider’ drops across the central valley of California. Temperatures will cool a bit by Sunday, but still remain above normal."

Recommendation: It looks like some beautiful weather is in store this week. I wouldn't try to overthink the weather angle too much this week and pivot off great golfers to poor golfers, just because of their course draw. It is worth tossing in some course stacks like mentioned above, just in case the weather does become a bigger factor. 

If I had to pick just one course draw right now, I would prefer the golfers that start on MPCC then play Pebble in R2 and Spyglass in R3. 

Course Fit

Each week I will point out one angle to target, given the course/s in play for the week. This shouldn't be the only thing you look at, but something to consider if you need a tiebreaker.

All three of this week's venues use poa annua greens which are common for the West Coast. They can be tricky and often get bumpy as the day progresses. 

Looking at performance on similar grass types since the start of 2014, the top 10 performers looks like this: 

Dustin Johnson
Jon Rahm
Jordan Spieth
Jason Day
Adam Scott
Rory Mcilroy
Bubba Watson
Paul Casey
J.B. Holmes
Brandt Snedeker

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

Sangmoon Bae
Dustin Johnson
Scott Stallings
Charlie Beljan
Vaughn Taylor
Shane Lowry
D.A. Points
K.J. Choi
J.B. Holmes
Derek Fathauer

 Golfers that show up on both lists would be Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes. While others are struggling to keep their putts online here, perhaps these poa greens are soft enough that these big hitters can attack aerially and give themselves much shorter looks. 

Value Spotlight
Brandon Harkins The Cali native has already bagged six top 25s, early in his rookie campaign. The late bloomer is swinging with a lot of confidence so I'm not too worried about last week's missed cut in Phoenix (on the number). Looking at Harkins' three best finishes to date we see they all came in California and two of them were on poa annua greens. Harkins is a long-time competitor in the Monterey Peninsula so he will be very comfortable this week, despite the PGA TOUR stats showing this as his debut at the event. 

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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