TPC Potomoc at Avenel Farm: Potomoc, MD Par 70, 7,139 yards
Defending Champion: Kyle Stanley (-7) in playoff over Charles Howell III
Primary Stats- SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, Greens In Regulation, Good Drives, Par 4 SG
Secondary Stats- Bogey Avoidance, Proximity
Timeframe: Past 24 Rounds unless specified. Will look at last 12 and 100 rounds as well
Roster Lock: 7:20 am EST (6:20 am CST, 5:20 MST, 4:20 PST)
Winds are around 7-11 mph on Thursday, with the stronger winds in the afternoon. Friday is a calm day, with 3-6 mph winds. I don't see weather as a concern this week in building lineups.
Looking at FanShare Sports, here are the players expecting 20% ownership or above: Gary Woodland, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Francesco Molinari, and Andrew Putnam. Other names that could be popular in their price ranges: Charles Howell III, Byeong-Hun An, Tyler Duncan, and Robert Garrigus.
No real surprise with Molinari, Woods, and Fowler. Putnam is in really good form and in the 7k range. Woodland is showing better form and feels like a value in this field, this week. I think part of the reason you aren't seeing a few players with high ownership in the 7k range is because there is no big mispricing, and each one has some sort of concern.
Players I'm playing by tier:
- 10k+: Fowler, Tiger, Molinari
- 9k: Aphibarnrat, Niemann
- 8k: Woodland, Streelman, Lovemark
- 7k: Putnam, Pan, Hadwin, Hahn, Horschel, Kim, Conners (10th in Approach, 17th Tee-to-Green, 20th Good Drives)
- 6k: Garrigus, Stallings, Harkins (11,900 on FantasyDraft, has only missed 5 cuts in 22 starts. My salary saver there).
If you enjoyed the U.S. Open and the struggles that the golfers had in that tournament, you will enjoy their struggles this week at TPC Potomoc at Avenel Farm for the Quicken Loans National. You see above that -7 got into a playoff a year ago. You had to be +4 or better to make the cut. Add a weaker field to a tough course and you literally could see any of the 120 entrants win.
We only have one year's stats to look at, as this event has been played at different courses. So, it is a short sample, but I think there was enough trends from the 2017 tournament to draw some conclusions. You see I have Tee-to-Green, Approach, GIR, Good Drives, and Proximity all included. Hitting fairways and greens will be necessary this week to do well. As with many Par 70s, Par 4 SG becomes critical, with 12 of them on the course. Finally, birdies will be few this week, but bogies are plentiful. When this happens, I just go bogey avoidance, since par will be a good score.
I had an idea of my contest selections this week until I saw the field and the pricing. My initial thought on pricing is that it's fair. But, it's hard to get used to seeing some of these prices on some of these golfers. J.B. Holmes at 10k, Kevin Streelman at 8,700, and Kevin Tway at 8,000 are just a few examples of players I would never expect to be at these prices. But, that's the way most of the field is. I suspect I will be in tournament mode only this week, and may just play the 20 max events, hoping to land on the right combination. But, I don't think this is a week to go all out with your bankroll, as I think there will be more variance in this event, even if more than half the field makes the cut, than usual.
Rickie Fowler (11,700)
Fowler is sponsored by Quicken Loans, and is why he is here. He's the only player in the Top 15 of the world golf rankings to play this week, and as such, should get some ownership. He was 3rd at this event a year ago, missing the playoff by a shot. He gained strokes in every main category except around the green. Fowler has three straight Top 20s, including a 20th at the U.S. Open, where he was a victim of the bad course on Saturday at Shinnecock Hills. Statistically, Rickie is #1 in Bogey Avoidance, 5th in Par 4 SG, and 13th in Good Drives. His 41st in Approach is his worst category. Over 100 rounds, he's Top 10 in everything except Approach, where he is 17th. The problem with Fowler is that if you have to use him, you have to then take multiple players in the low 7k range and may 6k range. You can make it work: it just adds risk. I will have some Fowler this week, as I think he's the safest play on the board. (GPP, Cash Game if you can find good values in the low 7k range).
Tiger Woods (11,000)
I've heard some say that if Tiger is going to win, it needs to be in a weaker field event. Well, here you go. Tiger is coming off a missed cut at the U.S. Open, but I generally will throw out majors if someone misses a cut. The only concern I have with Tiger's form is the same that I did at the U.S. Open: His best four finishes this year have been in Florida. But statistically, he's at the top of this field, ranking 2nd in my model. Tiger is 1st in Tee-to-Green and Approach, 6th in Bogey Avoidance, 7th in Proximity, and 10th in Par 4 SG. I have been fading Tiger based on game theory a lot this year and his high ownership. The price is exactly where it should be. Will people pay up for him in this field? Yes. Should you? Probably. I will be playing him in lineups, but what I may do is if he's being projected at 30% ownership, and I'm playing 20 lineups, I may play him in 4-5 and go slightly underweight. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Thoughts in This Tier:
I don't see myself playing Marc Leishman (11,200) as his form isn't as strong as I want from someone who is the 2nd highest priced player. Francesco Molinari (10,600) has a 1st, 2nd, and 25th in his last three events this year. He's Top 10 in my stat models over 12, 24, and 100 rounds, including being 1st over 100 rounds. Good Drives and Tee-to-Green are his strengths.The defending champion, Kyle Stanley (10,200) is a boom/bust type of play. He's probably just as likely to Top 10 as he is to miss a cut. 5 Top 25s and 4 missed cuts in last 10 events on Tour. Top 11 in every stat except Bogey Avoidance (42nd). J.B. Holmes (10,000) is on a hot streak, with finishes of 2nd, 3rd, and 13th in his last three starts. 5th Tee-to-Green, he doesn't have any other stats that jump out, but none that are bad either (33rd in Good Drives is his worst).
GPP: Molinari, Stanley, Holmes
My Ranking in this tier, factoring in Price: Fowler, Woods/Molinari, Holmes/Stanley, Leishman
Joaquin Niemann (9,000)
In a week where we are searching for upside among golfers below 10k, Niemann gives us that. The former #1 amateur in the world has three Top 10s in seven starts this year. The other four starts: missed cuts. So, there isn't much safe about him. But Niemann does rank #1 in my stat model over the last 24 rounds. He ranks 2nd in Approach and GIR, 4th Tee-to-Green, 5th in GIR, and worst stat is 23rd in Proximity. He's my early favorite for One-and-Done, so I will plan on using him, regardless of ownership. (GPP, Cash Game Playable)
Thoughts in This Tier:
- Jimmy Walker (9,600) has made nine cuts in a row with three Top 10s and two 20th place finishes in that time. He did miss the cut here last year but is playing better in 2018 than he was in 2017. Walker is 1st in Par 4 SG, 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, 7th in Tee-to-Green and Approach, and 10th in Proximity.
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat (9,200) has 7 top 10s this season, including a win, and made cuts at both majors, including a 15th at the U.S. Open. Not great stats due to some results on Euro Tour. Best are 15th in Par 4 SG and 30th in Bogey Avoidance.
Cash: Walker, Aphibarnrat
GPP: Walker, Aphibarnrat
Charles Howell III (8,900)
Howell has been playing well this spring and summer, with five Top 26 finishes in his past six starts. That included a 25th at the U.S. Open. He nearly won here a year ago, losing in a playoff to Kyle Stanley. Howell is 4th in Par 4 SG, 7th in Bogey Avoidance, and 28th Tee-to-Green. He's not flashy: but, I like him on tougher, shorter courses, and Avenel fits that mold. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Jamie Lovemark (8,300)
Lovemark has only missed one cut since the end of January, with four Top 25s, including a 19th last week at The Travelers. Lovemark is 3rd Tee-to-Green, 16th in Bogey Avoidance, and 30th in Approach. Over 100 rounds, he's Top 10 in Bogey Avoidance, Tee-to-Green, and Par 4 Strokes Gained. Lovemark is a solid player that provides some value this week in this field. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
- Kevin Streelman (8,700) jumps out statistically over 24 and 100 rounds. For 24 rounds, he's 5th in Approach and 9th Tee-to-Green. Over 100 rounds, he's Top 20 in every stat category. Was 17th last year here.
- Stewart Cink (8,500) has a 2nd and 3rd the past two tournaments. 6th in Approach and 14th in GIR. Over 100 rounds, Top 15 in everything except Good Drives and Bogey Avoidance.
- Gary Woodland (8,100) is starting to show some form again, with a 23rd and 36th in his last two starts, after four straight missed cuts. Still ranks 8th in GIR, 10th in Good Drives, and 13th in Proximity.
GPP: Streelman, Cink, Woodland
Andrew Putnam (7,900)
Putnam has played well recently, making 7 straight cuts with three Top 10s in that span, including a 2nd in his last start in Memphis. His stats are pretty good over the past 24 rounds: 1st in GIR, 2nd in Bogey Avoidance and Par 4 SG, and 3rd in Good Drives. The only stat he's not Top 25 in is Proximity (44th). Over 12 rounds, he's 1st in Bogey Avoidance, Par 4 SG, Good Drives, and GIR, while also ranking 6th in Tee-to-Green. He's playing well and perhaps should be a little higher priced. Regardless, he's a great play in all formats. (Cash and GPP)
Adam Hadwin (7,300)
So in a weak field, I will sometimes look for class players who may not be in the best form. Hadwin fits this mold. He's gone five straight events with a Top 25, but only one missed cut during that time. Despite that, he ranks 15th in Good Drives, 28th in Approach, and 30th Tee-to-Green. Over 100 rounds, he's Top 40 in every stat. This is a situation where Talent is greater than Price, and I don't mind taking a chance on him. Even if Hadwin continues his trend of finishing around 40th or 50th place, he still returns decent value at this cheap price. (Cash, GPP Playable)
Other Thoughts in This Tier:
I'm going to mention everyone I'm considering with main reason why:
- Billy Horschel (7,900) Another talented player, has made five of last seven cuts. 26th at this event last year. Good in Good Drives and GIR over 24 and 100 rounds.
- Bill Haas (7,800) Talent > Price. Long-Term form, 10th in Bogey Avoidance, 19th Tee-to-Green, and 28th in Par 4 SG. 13th here in 2017.
- Si Woo Kim (7,600) making a ton of birdies in recent non-major events. 22nd Tee-to-Green in 24 rounds.
- Nick Watney (7,500) has missed 2 of last 3 cuts, but was in really good form prior, including 2nd at Wells Fargo. 4th in Proximity, 19th in GIR, and 20th in Bogey Avoidance. Over 100 rounds, Top 30 in everything except Good Drives.
- Brian Gay (7,400) has three Top 20s in the past four starts. Was 43rd here last year. Ranks 2nd in Good Drives, 16th in Proximity, and 25th in Par 4 SG.
- C.T. Pan (7,300) burned everyone as chalk last week. Still in good form prior and ranks 3rd in GIR and 12th in Good Drives.
- James Hahn (7,200) has back to back made cuts after a slump. Over 100 rounds, ranks 11th in Bogey Avoidance, 21st Tee-to-Green, and 22nd in Approach.
Cash: Watney, Gay, Pan
GPP: Everyone I mentioned
Thoughts in This Tier:
- Scott Stallings (6,800) ranks 11th in Approach, 18th Tee-to-Green, and 21st in Par 4 SG over 100 rounds. 38th here last year. Best chance at Top 25 in this price range.
- Robert Garrigus (6,700) was 29th last year here. Has only made 3 of past 9 cuts, but all Top 20s. 3rd in Approach and 18th Tee-to-Green. Similar ranks over 100 rounds.
GPP: Stallings and Garrigus
Lots of question marks on players below 9k this week, and many once you get below 7,500. I will dig some more and see if I uncover anyone else this week. Wednesday, I will look at weather, ownership, and if there are any players I have gotten more or less confident in. Good luck with your lineups and feel free to contact me on Twitter (@skeeterrobinson) if you have any questions or suggestions.