Daily Fantasy Golf Tournament Primer: RBC Canadian Open
Golf can be one of the most exciting DFS sports to follow, as tournaments span four days and allow ample time to prepare each week, but the volatility -- top-tier golfers can miss the cut, and longshots can win outright -- makes it a unique daily fantasy sport.
Ownership won't always matter, and favorites will win and thrive some weeks, but when the chalk struggles and the pivots hit big, you can put yourself in a great position to succeed when playing large tournaments on FanDuel.
Whether you're brand new to the PGA or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered -- and we have daily fantasy golf projections and lineup building tools, too.
Let's take a look at some golfers to target this week in GPP tournaments on FanDuel.
|Key Stats for the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton G&CC|
|Strokes Gained: Off the Tee|
|Strokes Gained: Approach|
|Birdies or Better Gained|
|Greens in regulation Gained|
|Strokes Gained: Par 4s (400-450 yards)|
|Strokes Gained: Par 3s|
The RBC Canadian Open returns to Hamilton Golf and Country Club for the first time since 2012, with some of the biggest names in the sport making an appearance before the third major of the season next week at Pebble Beach, while there are 82 golfers priced below $8,000 including many golfers that DFS players may be unaware of.
According to FantasyNational, driving accuracy is just slightly below the tour average while the average driving distance is about five yards shorter than the tour average. With more than 1,000 trees being removed since Hamilton Golf and Country Club hosted a PGA event, and significant rain in the forecast beforehand, the course could play completely different than it did in 2012. According to Rhod Trainor, the course's superintendent, in an interview with GCM the key to Hamilton truly challenging the best players in the world is that it must be dry. If there is any significant rain leading up to the tournament, Trainor says the course will lose some of its edge and its key defenses, and the PGA Tour players will be firing at pins. “When our greens and fairways get wet,” he says, “they don’t dry out quickly.”
Stats cited below come from FantasyNational and include the past 50 rounds on the PGA Tour unless noted. Ranks are among the field.
High-Priced Tier ($12,000 - $10,000)
Target: Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Salary $12,600) - With three of the top-four golfers in the world priced over $12,000, large-field tournaments will likely come down to which golfer (Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy) was selected. With Johnson and McIlroy both inside the top-10 in all key stat categories, the difference came down to putting, as Johnson's best putting surface is Poa -- ranking first in the field in that category -- while McIlroy ranks 98th in the field on Poa over the last 50 rounds. Johnson will likely come in as the top-owned golfer on the week but selecting the winner is always important, and DFS players could gain their edge by topping that ownership in a significant way with Johnson, while McIlroy could come in at sub 15% ownership and would be my second choice at this level.
Target: Scott Piercy ($10,500) - With three top-20 finishes over his last four tournaments, including two top-five finishes over that span, Piercy comes in with great form, and his statistics back that up. Piercy is inside the top-16 in every key stat except strokes gained: approach, where he ranks 33rd in the field over the last 50 rounds. Putting is always an issue for Piercy but he has gained strokes putting in five of his last six tournaments, and the soft greens should benefit him.
Avoid: Brandt Snedeker ($10,300) - After two-straight finishes inside the top-20, Snedeker's ownership is projected around 13%, but he has finished inside the top-15 just once since the CIMB Classic in mid-October. Over the last 50 rounds, Snedeker ranks outside the top-40 in every key stat category while ranking outside the top-100 in four of the key stats. While his numbers do improve when looking at last 12 rounds, Snedeker ranks 40th or below in all of the key stats except birdies or better, where he ranks 19th. Poa is Snedeker's worst putting surface and he ranks 78th in that category over the last 12 rounds.
Mid-Priced Tier ($9,900 - $8,000)
Target: Nick Watney ($8,800) - After two straight top-25 finishes, including an eighth at the Charles Schwab, Watney will likely be one of the top-owned golfers of the week, currently projected at just under 20%. Over the last 12 rounds, Watney ranks inside the top-25 in all but strokes gained: Par 3s while ranking inside the top-10 in four of the key stats -- strokes gained: off the tee, strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: ball sticking and greens in regulation -- over that period. His numbers do drop slightly when looking at the last 50 rounds, but he still ranks inside the top-40 in all but two of the key stats. Putting is always an issue for Watney, especially on Poa (his worst putting surface), but the slow greens should help alleviate that issue.
Avoid: Jonas Blixt ($8,800) - After a fifth place finish at Charles Schwab and a 20th place finish at Byron Nelson, Blixt is projected at just over 10% ownership. Over the last 50 rounds, Blixt ranks 25th or worse in all the key stats while ranking 50th or worse in strokes gained: approach, strokes gained: ball sticking and greens in regulation. While his numbers do improve when looking at his last 12 rounds, Blixt still ranks outside of the top-25 in all of the key stats except strokes gained: off the tee, where he ranks 15th.
Low-Priced Tier ($7,900 and below)
Target: Hank Lebioda ($7,700) - Lebioda has made the cut in five of his last six tournaments but has only cracked the top-20 once over that span, and he should come in around five percent owned. Over the last 50 rounds, Lebioda ranks inside the top-50 in all the key stats except strokes gained: par 4s (400-450 yards) and he sits 10th in the field over that span in birdies or better. Over the last 12 rounds, Lebioda is the eighth-ranked golfer in strokes gained: par 3s which could play a key role for golfers moving up the leader board while he ranks 27th in the field in strokes gained: putting (on Poa) over the last 12 rounds.
Avoid: Adam Schenk ($7,800) - Projected as the highest-owned golfer in this tier, Schenk ranks inside the top-80 in all key stats but only cracks the top-30 in three of those key stats. Diving into recent form, however, Schenk's numbers drop over the last 12 rounds as his sits outside of the top-70 in three of the key stats including not ranking in the top-100 in strokes gained: off the tee and strokes gained: ball striking and is only inside the top-30 in strokes gained: par 3s.
Ben Fisher is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ben Fisher also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Gvsubrickwall. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.