Welcome to my weekly lineup review for Daily Fantasy PGA. Every week I’m going to be breaking down a Lineup or two I used for play on DraftKings and deconstructing it to see where I went right and where I wet wrong. A lot of weeks I’ll be posting lineups that I used for head-to-head play or for double ups and 50/50’s. Other weeks I’ll probably do a gpp or tournament review. I’m hoping that by breaking down my lineups after the fact it will hopefully help readers (and myself) build better PGA lineups in the future. While it’s not always pleasant, deconstructing your choices can be an extremely helpful learning tool and way to ensure you don’t repeat past mistakes.
I again entered two cash game lineups this week. Each one of them got through 5/6 players to the weekend which was really solid in a week where many 4/6 lineups ended up cashing. I again used 10 golfers instead of the 8 or 9 which I think is more ideal but wanted to get some exposure to one of the higher priced players and ended up making my other lineup more balanced. I also thought there was quite a few viable plays in the 6k range this week and wanted some exposure to one of the players with short odds to win this week.
The two players I used exclusively in both lineups were Sean O’Hair and Paul Casey. In retrospect I probably should have used Sergio Garcia in both lineups instead of Casey (he was $200 less than Casey) but that wasn’t a horrible mistake. Casey played well in the final two rounds of the Northern Trust and I knew his solid tee to green game would help him immensely on this tough course. He’s also putted better on Bermuda grass over his career. He didn’t have a huge week (and nearly imploded Friday) but I’ll take the four rounds and move on.
O’Hair was easily my best call of the week, and like Leishman last week, was virtually ignored by most people. On top of just playing solidly all season O’Hair has a nice record in Florida and has nearly won the Valspar and the Players Championship. He also has a nice record at this event and is currently top ten on tour in sand save %, an aspect of his game that was on full display Saturday when he holed out from nearly 100 feet (from the sand). He’s a pretty talented all-around player whose price made me comfortable using him in both lineups. Ultimately using him and Casey really made this a solid week.
At only $9300 Sergio Garcia was far less expensive than many of the other top players, and I knew I was going to use him in at least one cash lineup this week—and came really close to putting him both, a decision I obviously regret not making. Garcia was $1300 less than the most popular cash game play Patrick Reed, a player who I thought was way overpriced. With Garcia, Casey and even Ryan Palmer at $8700 I didn’t understand the love for Reed and was fine fading him in a field with lots of quality at the top. Garcia has a nice record at this event and in Florida in general (one Players win, one Players runner-up) and had also not missed two cuts in a row on the PGA tour since the early 2000’s. He was a no brainer to bounce back which he did.
I nearly switched out Ryan Palmer/Lucas Glover for Garcia/Appleby in the Rickie Fowler lineup but couldn’t pull the trigger. Palmer has a solid record at this course and ended up being a fine play, but for only $600 more I should have been OK getting more exposure to Garcia who is just a better overall player. Using him in both would have turned this lineup into one of the weeks higher scorers for sure.
The other top end player I used this week was Rickie Fowler. Up until Wed night I had Rory McIlroy in Fowler’s spot (paired with Appleby who was a nice play at $5700). Looking at the situation objectively though I just couldn’t justify using McIlroy over Fowler (or Scott or Koepka who I also liked) as I thought Fowler was simply playing better overall. A lot of this decision was based on what I had seen over the course of the last three or four weeks as I thought Fowler looked in complete control at Phoenix, while McIlroy really looked to be searching for some consistency at the Northern Trust. I switched to Rickie late and he ended up getting me a T6. Not too bad and much better than the MC that Rory produced.
The other players I used this week were David Lingmerth, Luke Donald, Ben Martin, Lucas Glover and Patrick Rodgers. I knew I wanted some exposure to David Lingmerth this week and I considered using him in both lineups as well. Lingmerth has shown form this year—almost winning at the Career Builder—played college golf in Florida and nearly won the Player’s Championship a few years back. For only $8200 I was expecting he’d be in the top 20 with the outside chance that he’d compete. For three rounds he was exactly what I envisioned but had a horrible Sunday which cost me some points and gpp placings. He’s a quality player who didn’t finish off the week well, it happens.
I had similar hopes with Luke Donald who also has some decent results in Florida but got a couple bad weekend rounds out of the former number one. At $8600 Donald was overpriced this week (he has zero top 20’s on tour this year) but someone I figured would be able to grind out a made cut given his experience. I got lucky as he really didn’t play very well the whole week, but still got me a made cut. All in all, I regret using him as there were better players at the high 7k range (Woodland and Horschel) that were trending better coming in. Still, like Lingmerth, I don’t think Donald was a horrible choice for this course, I just wish I had gotten a few more points for what I paid.
Ben Martin and Lucas Glover were players at the $6500 range I thought would both have good shots at getting me four rounds of play. Glover is hitting the ball extremely well and I thought that would be enough to keep him out of trouble and make the weekend. He was on track to do just that until he hit a water ball on 15 on Friday. I don’t really regret using him because his ball striking stats are near the top of the tour (even if his putting sucks) and I felt like he was a bit of a bargain for how well he’d played this year. Martin on the other hand was able to finesse his way around the course Thursday and Friday but lost his game on the weekend. He still got me a few extra points on Saturday and Sunday but I regret not taking a chance on Stuart Appleby (who was only $5700 and finished T37) who outplayed both of these two and would have allowed me to upgrade at my final spot.
Lastly there is Patrick Rodgers who I thought would rebound after a disastrous performance at the NTO. I hate giving up on players after one bad week, especially when the stats say they’re not playing bad (Rodgers was inside the top ten before the Honda in Strokes Gained: tee to green). The clincher for me (or the kiss of death) was the fact Rodgers made the cut here last year and had putted better on Bermuda over his career. Obviously he imploded on Friday (epically I might add) and I regret not using Robert Streb in hindsight but am fine with the choice overall. Everything pointed to a rebound here and I won’t beat myself up for using a player with his talent.
These lineups cashed easily in all my double-ups just by virtue of having one player finish well under par and 5/6 make the weekend. This week was such a battle of attrition that even a few extra points here and there were huge for cash games. I was pretty happy with my picks all around although I wish I had committed to using Sergio Garcia more as his price should have dictated a spot in both lineups.
Lineup 1 (Sergio Lineup): Cashed in all double-ups and won 75% of its heads-ups. I was happy with the choices overall but wish I could have forced myself to get off Donald and Rodgers to a couple players in the high 7k range. That being said getting exposure to Sergio was smart and obviously paid off.
Lineup 2 (Fowler Lineup): Cashed in all double-ups and won 100% of its Heads-Up matches. I was mostly happy with this approach too but as I’ve mentioned a couple times already really wished I had used Sergio in this lineup too. On a low scoring week where players had to grind out pars using Stuart Appleby with Sergio would have made this one a killer. All in all, choosing right on Fowler or Rory paid off and this just missed overtaking my first lineup.