The Masters April 6th-9th
Here we go. The first major of the year is finally here with the Masters set to tee off from Augusta National in Georgia. Obviously, the field is stacked from top to bottom and if you follow golf this is your super bowl week. All the sites are running giant GPP’s and it is a week where golf takes center stage on the DFS sites so a ton of casuals will be throwing entries into these tourneys which can make this week insanely profitable if you can put up a solid score.
One thing to note is the Masters has cut rules that are different than most tournaments. The field is smaller with around 95 golfers and the top 50 plus ties after 36 holes make the cut. However, unlike other tournaments any players within 10 shots of the lead also makes the cut. This can allow more than 50 players to get in if the leader has not separated himself from the field and can set up for someone to make a big rally on the weekend.
Augusta is a par 72, measuring around 7,450 yards in distance and is known for its lightning fast greens. Augusta is a very unique course where having familiarity is a giant bonus as knowing where to hit can be just as important as executing good shots. This is one of the major reasons you see players like Fred Couples or Bernhard Langer still competing here, as they know each hole inside and out and can limit those giant mistakes that Augusta tries to force players into. The wind is expected to play a factor and can really make this course even tougher than it already is. Shots gained tee to green will be important just like it always is, but here are a few other key metrics I will be factoring in when making my lineups:
Ball Striking – I am looking for players that excel at ball striking and can take advantage off the tee as well as with the irons to set up reasonable putts on these tough quick greens.
Shot Gained Around Green/ Scrambling / Sand Saves – If the greens are firm players will have a difficult time landing approaches on the green. Getting golfers who have solid chipping and scrambling ability is going to play a big factor here. I will give this even more of a factor if the wind is expected to be up as that will make hitting greens that much harder this week.
Not much to say here, this is a collection of the World’s best so every big name is ready to go. No Tiger which is a shame as he would have shot 83 and then withdrew and probably 5% of the people would have rostered him.
I just got back from a nice vacation last week in Florida, but thanks to the Shell Open it was an expensive trip. Not much too really say besides the week was a complete and utter failure and I was pretty much drawing dead from Thursday on. The players having to deal with mud on the ball was obviously something unforeseen and frustrating, but I have no idea about how impactful that truly was to my players. Patrick Reed who I had 75% exposure to and the rest of the core just did not play well and that is a recipe for disaster. Overall I am treating it as a throwaway week, after relooking over the tourney I still do not hate the plays I made they just did not work out which is a better feeling than seeing leaks or mistakes that you may have made. I would prefer to never have a bad week, but if I had to I am glad it was last week rather than this one. Golf is a super volatile sport so making sure you are trusting the process and not pressing in the next event is something to be aware of as you get ready for this week.
Rory McIlroy $10,600 DK/ $10,400 FD / $21,600 FDraft – The top tier is so legit you can make easy cases for any player, but as I have said before I think Rory is the best golfer in the world which includes Dustin Johnson who comes in winning 3 straight tournaments which is insane. Rory is looking for the last leg of the career grand slam and I think he gets it this week. Looking over the very top I think Rory or DJ both make sense in all formats with Day as the wildcard and possibly sneaky GPP play. Not sure what to make of Spieth, he is interesting, but have a hard time paying $900 more for him than Rory on DK. Having said that everyone else is going to see that same pricing structure and out of Rory, Day, DJ and Spieth I expect Spieth and Day to be way less owned than Rory or DJ.
Ricky Fowler $9,300 DK/ $9,200 FD/ $18,100 FDraft – It has taken a while, but I am finally drinking the orange colored Kool-Aid with Ricky Fowler. Fowler has been awesome this year, and has been at the top of the bogey avoidance and scrambling stats this year which should help him limit the damage at some of these tough holes. If the wind is really whipping Fowlers scrambling and bunker play will help him immensely and with there being so much value Ricky makes a great second fiddle to a Rory or DJ in terms of roster construction.
Adam Scott $8,800 DK/ $9,700 FD/ $18,500 FDraft– Recent form has been less than stellar, but Scott is one of those golfers who really seems to only care about a handful of tournaments each year so I am less concerned about his recent play than I would with some other players. One of the best ball strikers on tour who has won at Augusta before so clearly his game translates to success at the Masters. Nice little discount from the top tier on DraftKings , little pricier on Fanduel but if he brings his A game he is every bit as good as the best players in the world.
Sergio Garcia $8,300 DK/ $8,100 FD/ $16,700 FDraft – Same old story with Sergio, incredible tee to green but costs himself on the greens with shaky putting. Garcia is at the top of the list of best players without a major, but continues to put up solid showings in majors and is a solid safe mid-range option. Bubba would be a very solid GPP pivot at pretty much the same price point.
Louis Oosthuizen $8,100 DK/ $8,500 FD/ $15,900 FDraft – The South African always seems to bring his best at the majors and Louie has had success at Augusta with four top 25’s in the last five years including a runner up finish in 2012. Think he more suits GPP formats as when Louie does not have it clicking he sometimes has trouble grinding out a round to just keep him alive and can be prone to blowups. Not someone I am starting my lineups with, but will gladly take a shot with Oosty in the midrange tier.
Paul Casey $7,800 DK/ $8,300 FD/ $16,600 FDraft – Here we go again, I do not know why I do this to myself but I am loading up on Paul Casey this week for what feels like the millionth time this year. Casey has an incredible ability to show you just enough of his talent to make you want to double down on him as he always seems right on the cusp of a breakthrough. He is an elite ball striker, and as I say every single time I roster him he should be able to give himself plenty of birdie chances with precise iron play. The putter is his kryptonite every time he tees it up, but I will take the risk that he can just be solid and average on the greens giving him a chance to make some noise this week.
Matthew Fitzpatrick $7,400 DK/ $6,700 FD/ $15,400 FDraft – For anyone who reads my article every week this should be no surprise, but for any newcomers they should know that I am a huge Matthew Fitzpatrick fan. I love his game and have been on him at sub 5% ownership levels multiple times this year. Last year in this tourney I had him at 1% ownership and he came in tied for 7th so he has proven he can contend on the biggest stage. Always heavy risk with Fitzy as he can put up some ugly numbers, but he is a great GPP play due to his massive upside. Koepka also worth a look in that same price range, but he is another player who carries extreme risk due to his volatile nature.
Bill Haas $7,200 DK/ $7,100 FD/ $14,400 FDraft – Sticking with the theme of the week with Haas. Elite ball striker, incredible around the green as well as scrambling so he should be able to limit damage on some of the tough stretches around this course. History at Augusta is solid, the one knock on Haas is he is prone to have long stretches without birdies which limits his upside. If the wind looks ugly players like Haas will get a big bump as there will be less bonus streaks and birdies made which setups well for Haas’ style. Interesting price point, I think Haas is the safest and best option but I would not hate pivoting and taking a shot with Westwood or Cabrera Bello in a GPP.
Kevin Kisner $6,900 DK/ $6,800 FD/ $14,200 FDraft – Kisner pretty much lines up across the board in terms of a solid cheap play. Game is clicking on all cylinders this year, he has seen this course last year and made the cut, and has excellent T2G and Shots gained around the green stats so far in 2017. I am not planning on dipping much lower than this ~7k price point and Kisner will be my last man on many of my teams. Hadwin and Fleetwood are at the same price point, I have them rated Kisner>Fleet>Hadwin but all three seem viable.
Fades & Notes
Jon Rahm – $8,600 DK/ $9,300 FD/ $17,800 FDraft – Fortune favors the bold. Then again whoever said that probably did not realize how much of a beast Rahm is, but I am still going to come in underweight. First problem I have is I expect him to be one of the most popular players this week and if he is 30% + in GPPs that’s a juicy spot to have 10% or less. Also, he has never played here which hurts because course history matters more at Augusta then almost anywhere else.
This Tourney – Few quick notes about the tourney that I think are important to factor in during lineup construction. First, check the wind and tee times as when this article was written they were not out yet. Right now, it looks like the wind is going to be bad, but everyone seems to be playing in it which makes it pretty even across the board. Second quick note is to realize that this is a major so motivation is going to be there for every single player. This leads me to factor in recent form slightly less and bump up course history as I want players who know Augusta and have a track record performing against the best.
Good luck everyone!
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