Welcome to the newest sport offered on MyFantasyFix: Golf. My name is Skeeter Robinson, and I will be writing the DFS Golf articles each week. I am 16th in all time Golf wins on Fantasy Aces, and have done this by using only one lineup in 95% of the golf weeks. I do play both cash games and tournaments and feel that I can help you as you begin or continue your DFS golf experience. Each week, I will preview the tournament with some of the players I'm considering at all price points. I will make 3 primary picks in each pricing tier (Fantasy Aces pricing and scoring will be used): 5500 and above, 4550-5450, and 4500 and below. I will also provide some secondary picks that won't be as in-depth. I will look at stats found on the PGA Tour website, along with course history and recent form for the picks. This will start with the Tournament of Champions on Thursday, January 5. My goal each week is to have the picks posted by Tuesday night, with updates being posted Wednesday night or Thursday morning, if need be.
Fantasy golf is a very unique DFS sport, when compared to the other ones out there. It has some very unique elements that make it a very exciting sport to play. If you have never played fantasy golf or have played it a couple of times, here is a formal introduction to DFS Fantasy Golf.
One Tournament Equals Four Days
Golf tournaments do last four days. But, you don't have to pick a lineup for each day. Nor, are there contests offered for each day. Instead, you pick a roster of 6 golfers and that's your team for 4 days. This has a structure similar to a Thursday-Sunday or Thursday-Monday football slate. It also means you don't have to worry about the daily grind that like baseball, basketball, or hockey, if you don't have the time to follow those on a daily basis.
"Playing Time" and The Cut
In most golf events, 120-150 players start the tournament on day 1 and are guaranteed 2 rounds. This means that unless your golfer withdraws due to an injury or disqualification, every golfer is guaranteed 36 holes. This is nice in that you don't have to worry about minutes, plays, or blowouts, like you do in other sports. Everyone gets the same playing time for the first 2 days.
After the 2nd round in complete, there is a cut. For most PGA Tour events, anyone in the Top 70, including ties, will make the cut, and will get to play the final 2 rounds. The only exception to this rule is if the number of golfers who make the cut is 78 or higher. If this happens (say 81 make the cut), a secondary cut will be made after the 3rd round, with the Top 70 and ties making it to the final round. This will happen a few times a year, and is done to speed things up on the weekend.
Finally, there are some tournaments where the cut line is different. Some of the Majors have their own cut rules. Here they are:
The Masters: Top 50, ties, and anyone within 10 shots of the lead (no secondary cut)
U.S. Open: Top 60 and ties (no secondary cut)
British Open and PGA Championship: Top 70 and ties (no secondary cut)
There are also tournaments where there is no cut. These tend to be the World Golf Championship events or where the field is 70 players or less. Everyone is guaranteed 4 rounds, unless there is a withdrawal or disqualification. A W/D or DQ will kill your team and unless it is a chalky player or a head to head where your opponent has the same player, you probably won't win. These tend to be spots where playing tournaments only or a reduced amount of your bankroll is smart.
"Two Contests for the Price of One"
I have referred to this meaning you get a "double sweat." Though there is one official contest, there are really 2 contests into one. The first is the cut after the 2nd round. No matter where you play fantasy golf at, getting all 6 of your golfers to make the cut is a big deal and determines your success at the end of the final round. This should make sense because when a golfer misses a cut that is on your team, your team loses all of the potential points that they could have made in 2 additional rounds. So, usually on Friday afternoon, the end of the 2nd round, you will be following leaderboards to see if your golfers can either get to or stay above the cut line. Once that is done, then it is a sprint to the final round where hopefully, your golfers perform well enough to cash, win, and induce the 2nd "sweat" of the tournament.
No matter where you play DFS Golf at, there is one thing that holds true: The more birdies or eagles you get, the better. What's also true is that a birdie and bogey will get you more points than 2 pars (even on site that don't penalize for bogeys or worse). Every DFS Golf scoring system is geared towards rewarding golfers for getting the birdies or eagles, so that is something you need to factor into your research and selections, and is why getting golfers to make the cut is such a huge deal.
Fantasy Aces Golf
When I provide my picks, I will be doing so using Fantasy Aces scoring and salaries. While most of my picks can be used on other sites that offer golf (DraftKings, Fantasy Draft, DraftDay, etc...), there are some unique things to Fantasy Aces that makes things a little different, when compared to the other sites. Thus, there may be a play that is a really good one on Fantasy Aces, and not on other sites (and vice versa). I will try to distinguish those each week. But for now, here are some of the big differences.
Fantasy Aces tends to give more points for a par than other sites. While they are similar to the other sites in regards to eagles, birdies, and bogeys, they are also more penal for double bogeys or worse. This may be more important when thinking about a golfer who tends to be a little inconsistent or wild from time to time. Points are not given for individual holes played in a playoff either. So, if a tournament goes 3 playoff holes and your golfer gets 3 birdies, it doesn't matter: you will not receive additional points.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Aces and the other golf sites is that Aces only gives a position bonus to one spot: 1st. All of the other sites give bonus points based on finishing position from 1st all the way down to 50th or 60th place, depending on the site. On a site like DraftKings, that position bonus is calculated throughout the tournament, causing some big changes in standings, based on position a golfer is at. On Aces, the 10 point win bonus isn't factored in until the end of the tournament. This leads to another important difference between Aces and the other sites...
Making the Cut
No matter what site you are on, getting all 6 golfers to make the cut is key to winning a tournament or placing high. It is emphasized much more on Fantasy Aces, since there are no position bonuses outside of first place. On the other 3 sites, you can have a team where 1 golfer misses the cut, and still do very well if the other 5 are in the top 10 (and 2-3 are in the top 5 with the winner). On Aces, those teams may end up better than a team where all 6 golfers made the cut, but it's rare. A decent team with all 6 golfers making the cut will outperform a good team with 5 out of 6 making the cut a majority of the time. In cash games, 5 out of 6 is usually in good shape to cash in 50/50s. Of course, these are general rules and there are always exceptions. But, in order to do well on Aces, focus on 1-2 golfers who can win, but make sure the other golfers have a good chance to make the cut.
As I mentioned, the only bonus on Fantasy Aces is the 10 points you get if you roster the winning golfer. The other sites do offer bonuses (Hole in One, bogey-free round, making 3 birdies in a row) which can add greatly to a score, and compensate for a golfer that misses the cut on your team. Fantasy Aces does not do this, so this is another reason to really focus on choosing golfers that have a really good chance of making the cut each week.
Fantasy golf is still relatively new, and is pretty friendly to those who are just beginning. Without worrying about playing time and a simple scoring setup (especially on Fantasy Aces), it is a fun sport to play for DFS in addition to other sports you may play. Once you get into it, you will realize how much time you spend following along on Thursday and Friday; not just the weekend coverage shown on the major networks. With the time commitment being minimal, compared to other sports, it is something I encourage you to try. And if you need help or have questions, don't hesitate to ask questions and read my articles to help you get introduced to DFS golf.