Golf is becoming an increasingly popular sport in the world of daily fantasy games, with more sites and game types appearing on a regular basis, so this is a great time to get interested in the sport and brush up on your DFS technique.
Participating in a fantasy golf game can make watching the tournaments much more interesting and there are some big events set to get underway in the New Year, so let’s get started.
First of all, when it comes to fantasy golf, there is a big skill gap between the best players and the newbies. This isn’t the sort of game where you can dive right in and expect to start winning straight off the bat.
There’s a pretty big learning curve and your success or failure will depend on how much time and effort you’re willing put in. If you follow the tips in this articles and do the necessary research, you can take home your share of some of those big prize pools, but you have to be willing to do the work and pay attention to all of the necessary factors to give yourself an edge over the competition.
Let’s ease into things by starting off with one of the simplest and most universal fantasy research tools out there: Vegas Odds. These odds represent the fastest and easiest way to give yourself a general idea of which golfers are expected to do well at any given tournament and which players don’t stand much of a chance.
Odds aren’t perfect and can be pretty vague, especially when it comes to outsiders or mid-tier players who can be pretty unpredictable when the tournaments roll around, but they’re a fine place to start. If you don’t have a huge amount of time to focus on research for your fantasy contests, at least check out the Vegas Odds when putting your rosters together.
The next key factor to consider is a player’s history at a course or event. In golf, many players tend to have their favorite courses or events where they put in some consistently impressive performances. Likewise, even the best players have certain courses they just don’t tend to do as well on, so it’s vital to check out player histories.
You might even discover that certain players have barely ever actually played on a certain course, making them more risky fantasy picks, while others might have a lot of experience and that familiarity should help them to perform well in the tournament. To find out how players performed at previous events, you can use data sites or past leaderboards.
As well as looking at a player’s history, you’ll also want to pay attention to his current form. Golf is a sport in which the mental aspect can have a huge influence on failure or success. The best players can go on bad runs and sometimes total outsiders can come out of nowhere and get some great placings just because they’re on a good streak and feeling confident in their swing.
It can be important to look at how a player has performed in the past, but it might be even more important to see how they’re playing right now. You might find certain players who don’t have a lot of experience or haven’t played at a tournament before but are doing really well at the moment and could take that momentum into the next event.
Understanding the Cut
Next, let’s talk about the cut. This is what makes or breaks your fantasy roster. Most events feature a cut after the first couple of rounds, eliminating a large number of players from competing in the final days of the tournament. If a golfer on your roster doesn’t make the cut, that’s a big blow to your chance of winning.
That’s why it’s imperative to focus on making sure that every man in your roster has a good chance of making the cut. Many new DFS players simply pick a couple of stars and then use the rest of their salary on bad players who miss out on the final rounds, but this strategy simply won’t work in the long run and it always pays off to have a full roster of players who make the cut.
So how do you actually figure out whether someone is going to make the cut? Well, as previously mentioned, golf is a streaky and unpredictable game, so it’s impossible to know for sure which players will make it to the latter rounds, but you can give yourself an edge by doing your research. Check out how many times a player has made the cut at the event in the past, as well as their recent performances and cut percentage across the season so far.
Look at this way: a lineup of 6 decent players who make it to the latter rounds is always going to earn more fantasy points than a team made up of 3 top players and 3 others who miss the cut. Fantasy golf is about consistency and balance, so the ‘stars and scrubs’ systems you might be used to in other sports like NFL or MLB won’t work here.
Our final point is about stats. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll probably be overwhelmed the first time you check out the stats screens. There are a lot of different categories, but you don’t need to focus on all of them. Fantasy Golf stats can be highly misleading and the game can be so different from one course to the next, so you need to pick and choose the stats you analyze very carefully. Look at the course and work out which playstyle will be best-suited to the tournament.
For example, if the course has narrow fairways and plenty of tricky bunkers, drive accuracy is very important, but if a course has wide fairways and less roughage, drive distance becomes the superior stat.
In general, golf stats can be tricky to analyze and won’t be of huge use to many fantasy players as the game is just so different from one tournament to the next and is so heavily reliant on the mental side.
Stats like scrambling, ball striking, and strokes gained in putting are always handy, however, so it can pay off to take a look. Just don’t rely on stats as your only form of research when preparing your roster. Player history, cut percentage and recent performance tend to be much more important.