Quicken Loans National: June 29th through July 2nd
I think it was just last week on the show where I brought up the idea that I’d never had a hole in one on my teams. Well thank you, Hillbilly! I think that may be the last we get of him at ultra-low ownership for some time, but his 0.9% near doubling of the field average on the weekend slate propelled me to 4th and 9th in the Best Ball. If I’d done what Jazzraz did (pro tip: always do what Jazzraz does) and played mostly Spieth/Casey instead of Rory/JT I’d have avoided a middling main slate, but hard to complain when doubling your money over the course of the week.
Heading to Potomac, MD this week for the Quicken Loans National, and the most important piece of advice here is not to try and look at tournament history to gauge success. This course was used fairly often back in the 80s and 90s, but everyone hated it, they completely redesigned it, and since then has only been used for prestigious tournaments like the Web.com Tour’s Neediest Kids Championship.
What we do know is that it is a par 70 playing about 7100 yards. This doesn’t sound particularly intimidating but when looking at the two most recent events here only 17% of players were able to best par, and a whole lot of doubles showed up on the scorecards. Granted, part of this is because the quality of play on the Web is much lower than the PGA, but this field is pretty bad by PGA standards and the organizers are likely to make it harder if anything. I think avoiding trouble will be a big deal, and I’m not so sure we’ll be able to make it up with scoring. No wonder Bill Haas is 9.5 again.
Length/Fairways: Not the longest course in the world but there are some lengthy holes, including a 620 yard par 5 and a half dozen 450-500 yard par 4s. Reports of the dreaded fescue around the fairway bunkers means keeping the ball out of the junk will be a big deal. We may see a fair amount of clubbing down.
Greens: Bentgrass greens, if you’re into that whole thing. I do think they will be challenging to hit with approaches, which means some around the green proficiency should be helpful. By the eyeball test I have most approaches in the 150-200 yard range, and this is likely where the tournament will be won or lost.
Weather: No major concerns right now. It does look like there can be some pretty big gusts, so let’s make sure to check back on that.
On to the golfers:
Pricey (9.0K+ DK):
Rickie Fowler-12.0/19.1: Not a lot of weaknesses for this guy right now, he’s gaining strokes pretty much everywhere. When it does go bad for him it is often from piling up a big number, but he has played so well this year I’m not too worried. The expensive tag is the biggest concern.
Patrick Reed-11.1/17.8: I’m not entirely sure what to make of this guy right now, as his game seems to change drastically week to week. But the results have been steadily improving, and if his short game is clicking like it used to he is going to be dangerous here.
Guys that I normally am on like J.B. Holmes, Justin Thomas, and Tony Finau scare me a bit this week, as their crazy scoring upside should be mitigated by the crazy difficulty of the course. Thomas can rack it up even at some tougher tracks, so if he looks to be way low owned after disappointing everyone last week I will buy a few shares.
Mid-range (7.5-8.9 DK):
Hard to argue against Brendan Steele-8.9/16.3, as he has kept his usual fall/winter form rolling all year. Likely will be chalk so if you are feeling extra frisky I can understand the fade, but someone I’ll have on my cash teams for sure.
Kyle Stanley-7.6/15.3 is a solid player with a solid price tag. He realistically should be up about a grand more. Can struggle around the greens sometimes so I worry about the big numbers, but we’ll need savings as it gets ugly down low fast.
Kevin Na-7.4/14.0 was more excited about him last week and he came out great only to post three straight boring rounds from Fri-Sun, but still don’t mind him at 7.4. Really shines on par 4s and with approaches, lack of length keeps him from competing at bigger courses.
Cheapies (below 7.4 DK):
Grayson Murray-6.8/13.6: I think people will get over their (righteous) disdain for the person this week after he torched the place last weekend and got a price drop. Is definitely more in the bomber/scorer category but I’m okay with him at such a depressed price. He’s playing well, maybe he feeds off being the bad guy or something.
J.J. Spaun-6.7/12.4: I think this is the potential low owned smash play this week if he’s healthy again. More a price/ownership/talent play than anything else, his around the green game is pretty ugly.
Adam Hadwin-6.8/14.3 Wes Bryan-7.0/13.3: These guys aren’t the players they looked like they were this spring, but I don’t think they are this bad either. Bryan probably has more upside because you associate youth with room for growth, Hadwin I’d trust on a cash team more.
Site Specific Values:
FantasyDraft: Last year’s Web class are all super cheap over here, and you’ll likely need a couple in order to afford anybody expensive. Murray/Spaun/Bryan/Mullinax all come in at 13.6 or less. Ollie Schniederjans-14.5 and Harris English-13.8 both stand out as well.
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FanDuel is back, with a roster of eight golfers counting for all four rounds. A potential improvement for sure, and duplicate lineups won’t be anything to worry about. However, if we say traditionally 10-15% of lineups get 6/6 through that implies around a 70% hit rate for DFS players. Add two more guys to the roster and you can halve that 10-15% for the number of 8/8 teams. We will be seeing weekend golf there sooner rather than later.
Go and get it everybody.
Find me on Twitter @andrewmbarron or in the FanVice Premium Slack @hotmajik if you wanna talk strat/make jokes/argue