news 6 days ago

The Players Championship PGA DFS picks, sleepers, fades, strategy

Sporting News — customerservice@sportingnews.com (Sporting News)

Understanding how the depth of the field impacts optimal PGA DFS lineup construction is crucial to success in golf GPPs. In a stacked field such as this week’s Players Championship, you can gain a significant strategic advantage by prioritizing balance in your daily fantasy golf lineups, thereby leveraging elite players who will see both a price and ownership discount simply due to the appeal of the players priced above them.

Consider golfers such as Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama, and Paul Casey, just to name a few. These are elite golfers in excellent form all priced around average salary across the industry. This is a rare opportunity to pack so many elite golfers into your lineup without paying up for them, and you should take advantage. Although there is obviously merit to playing golfers at the top end of the price spectrum, the difference between my projections for these golfers and the golfers in the middle of the pricing scale this week isn’t significant enough to justify the premium.

MORE ROTOQL: Lineup Builder | TPC betting advice

Forgoing a studs-and-duds approach this week in favor of balance allows you to build lineups with a higher probability of getting all six golfers through the cut line without sacrificing elite tournament winning upside.

*If you are interested in taking your DFS golf lineup building strategy to the next level, you should consider using a lineup optimizer, and RotoQL offers the best optimizer available in the industry.

The Players Championship picks and PGA DFS strategy

Contrarian Options

The volatility of golf results highlights the importance of leveraging ownership in GPPs. Finding quality contrarian plays is an essential component of a strong strategy. In golf contests, I often like to look toward the top end of the pricing spectrum for players that may be going overlooked. Tiger Woods, Jason Day and Jordan Spieth are my favorite contrarian plays this week.

Coming off their withdrawals from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, Woods and Day will see heavily reduced interest from DFS players for The Players Championship. Most DFS players will be hesitant to invest in relatively high-priced players with health concerns when there are so many other elite options available that will be perceived as safer.

Last year at the Masters, Tony Finau dislocated his ankle the day before the tournament and still finished tied for 10th. Suffice it to say, it's more than possible for an elite golfer to bounce back from an injury with authority. Despite their respective injuries, Woods and Day are still being given 3.4-percent and 2.4-percent Vegas odds, respectively, to win the tournament. These are two of the premier golfers in the world who were playing outstanding golf before their injuries and will likely go largely overlooked. Don’t be scared off by their bumps and bruises – leverage them.

For a player of his talent level, Spieth has been in an almost inconceivably long slump. Perhaps the best thing about slumps, however, is that they don’t last forever. Spieth is simply too good not to break out of his cold streak, and it wasn’t all that long ago that DFS players couldn’t get enough of him. His price continues to sit too low for his upside, and he will put four rounds together sooner rather than later. The best players always bounce back, and this is undeniably one of the best players in the world. Spieth is one of the best leverage plays this week from both a price and ownership standpoint.

Fades

Identifying players that the market may be overinvested in is critical, as these may be players to strongly consider limiting exposure to or fading entirely. Recent results can be an immensely persuasive statistic when it comes to ownership and often can lead to players receiving more attention than they deserve.

Francesco Molinari, Matthew Fitzpatrick, and Matt Wallace are all likely to see heavy ownership this week. They all share something else in common: Recent success. In last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, Molinari, Fitzpatrick and Wallace placed first, second, and six, respectively. Although these golfers are all in strong form and have solid odds per their prices, a week’s worth of results simply isn’t a big enough sample size for me to justify the resulting expected boost in ownership.

One of the best ways to outsmart the golf DFS market is by weighing long-term results more heavily than recent hot streaks. Limiting your exposure to players like Molinari, Fitzpatrick and Wallace is an example of how to execute on that strategy.

Aaron White graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Economics. He has played DFS professionally for several years and has won featured NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and golf GPPs on both FanDuel and DraftKings.