Rounds 1 and 2 Summary
Well, the first two rounds could have worked out better for me. Losing Rose, Casey, and Garcia (Three of my original favorites by tier) was a bummer. I did get four of my eight lineups to end up 6/6, which is around 40-45% in the Milly Maker. James also had a couple of great lineups that were a Rose made cut away from doing really well. That's the way golf goes, and has been a theme for me at times this year: one player missing by one shot has really hurt my teams this year.
Weekend Contest Stats and Thoughts
Finding stats through two rounds was a little tough for me. But I found them on the Masters website (imagine that). I tweeted the link if you want to look for yourselves. But if you want to see a summary of Greens in Regulation, Birdies and Birdies or Better, click on link below.
Some things I noticed so far:
- Largest gap from GIR to Birdies or Better (ranking highly in GIR, but not in Birdies or Better); Olesen, Watson, Aphibarnrat, Li, and SImpson.
- Only 2 golfers in Top 5 of all three categories: Koepka and Oosthuizen.
- Golfers who have a combined rank of 30 or less for GIR and Birdies or GIR and Birdies or Better: Koepka, Oosthuizen, Conners, Day, Howell III, Hoffman, Kaymer, Kuchar, Molinari, Poulter, Schauffele, Scott, and Tiger.
- Weather: it looks like a little bit of rain the next two days, but two completely different days. Saturday is looking really nice, with temps in the mid-80s. Sunday should be around 80 degrees, but increasing winds thoughout the day, with consistent 15-20 mph winds, and gusts from 30-40 mph. The leaders on Sunday will have the worst of the weather as of now, so consider that if playing Sunday Showdown lineups.
- Speaking of Sunday Showdown lineups, I'll be on the Fantistics show on SiriusXM at 11:35 am EST on Saturday to talk about some strategies for the Sunday Showdown slate. DraftKings is running some big contests for it, so if playing, it's definitely worth listening in. James or I may also be on during the Sunday show, talking about some betting odds and props. Give us a listen if you have SiriusXM.
- Since Rose was my pick to win and missed the cut, I guess I'll take a second chance on picking a player: Nothing bold with my pick, though I must say that Tiger and Xander, two guys I didn't play, are looking sharp. Scott and Koepka will be there in the end I think, and Kuchar and Poulter still remain a little bit of a wild card. However, someone who is quietly (by his standards) one off of the lead that may not be drawing the attention he usually does is my pick: Dustin Johnson.
- My favorite value play of the weekend: Xander Schauffele (8,100?) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (6,600). Xander is playing too well to ignore at this price. RCB has big birdie upside and is hitting enough GIR and making enough birdies through two rounds that he easily justifies this low price.
Good luck in the weekend contests and I hope the stats summary provides some help to you.
Favorite Plays by Tier
WEDNESDAY UPDATE (6:00 EST)
Roster Lock: 8:30 am EST (7:30 CST, 6:30 MST, 5:30 PST)
Planning on a second update around 10:00 pm EST tonight.
The winds keep changing. Af of 6:00 pm EST on Wednesday night on WindFinder, it looks like winds won't give above 10 mph for the first two days, but gusts could get up to 20 mph. The heaviest gusts appear to be Thursday Morning, with Friday having consistent 15 mph gusts. I'll take another look later tonight to see if anything changes. As of now, it does look like the Thursday PM/Friday AM golfers may have a slight weather advantage. I'm not sure I would go change up lineups like last week or other weeks. But, if you are looking for a tiebreaker, I have no problem using weather as that. Also, if you are playing mulitple entries, stacking the "waves" (Everyone tees off of 1, so it's not the traditional waves we see weekly on tour) may not be a bad idea, in case one of them does end up being better than the others.
10:15 PM EST Update: Nothing has changed, maybe a little more lean towards a Thursday PM/Friday AM grouping. However, I'm still not significantly changing my lineups for this. Just a tiebreaker if I need it.
I'll get into more of this later Wednesday night, but just wanted to briefly mention the players who may end up at 20% or more, in no particular order: Matt Kuchar (30% potential), Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Charley Hoffman, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, and Rory McIlroy. Hoffman is more popular than maybe we would have originally thought because he stands out among the other players under 7k, with a good performance last week at the Valero Texas Open, and a solid history at Augusta. Rose has picked up steam, as I think people are realizing that there isn't the value in the low 7k range and high 6k range that there has been in previous majors and this year. The discount over DJ and Rory is significant enough, combined with a win this year and excellent course history is why you are seeing Rose's ownership rise.
10:15 Update: The one issue I'm having here is Charley Hoffman (Sorry James). I have a general rule that I don't like taking the highest owned player in the 6k range, especially when he is threatening 20% owned. When looking at history, recent form, and course fit, he sticks out as the best play to me. Zach Johnson's isn't in the best form and Kevin Kisner, while an Augusta native, doesn't seem to be a great course fit here. As I go to finalize my lineups, ZJ would be the potential pivot if I decide Hoffman is too chalky to play.
- I've changed from Monday about my favorite plays in the 8k and 7k tier. In the 8k tier, it's Bubba Watson. His recent form is better than I realized and the fact he's a bomber with excellent history here (two-time winner), and hits the stats I like (Tee-to-Green, Par 5 Scoring, Driving Distance, Scrambling), he is one I am using that I may not have thought I was going to. I'm still playing Molinari. The other change is in the 7k where I am still playing Sergio, my favorite play is Stenson. His approach numbers the past three tournaments have been great and he has sneaky good history here. I like his proximity numbers from 175-250 yards, and while he may not rate well in driving distance, that's because he usually hits 3-wood. He can drive the ball and is typcially good at avoiding bogies. He's going to come lower owned than Garcia, Kuchar, and Poulter in this range, so I'm willing to take him for a little bit of leverage.
- I mentioned on the podcast that I really didn't like much from 7100-7500. There are two golfers that I am considering in this range now, as secondary plays. The first is Rafa Cabrera Bello. I talked myself out of him on the podcast but the more I think about it, he can make birdies, not a bad wind player, and the reason his stats aren't great is because he hit a few water balls at the Players' Championship. We've seen him pop at majors before and has made two of three cuts here. Add in single-digit ownership, and I find a player that I may use. The other is Brendan Grace, who I did like a little more when the winds were expected to be heavier. He is good on Par 5s, and has made his last 2 cuts here. I wish he was in a little better form, but he's the most comfortable person at the low 7k that I can play, if trying to get away from Howell.
- On the podcast, I debated between Day and DeChambeau as a pivot play. I ended up with Bryson due to his play earlier in the season. I also think he suits this strategic course well. I only have him in one lineup.
- I did end up throwing Koepka and Woodland into a lineup (with some suggestions from Michael Waldo and others). Upside plays here.
That's all I can think of. If I end up on someone else I didn't mention here, I will come back and put that in here. Enjoy The Masters this week and good luck with all of your Masters related contests.
Schedule on My Fantasy Fix
The first major of the year is upon us and it's time to start researching. There are some things to remember as you think about lineups. First, it is Top 50 and ties that make the cut, not the usual 70. However, anyone within 10 shots of the leader after Round 2 also makes the cut. This field also has a lot of past champions who probably don't have any chance of winning and with most probably not likely to make the cut. The field is usually around 90 golfers, meaning more than half will make the cut. This means you will have to have 6/6, as the percentage will be much higher than any other event this year.
I live in Central Illinois, and am lucky to have heard interviews on 101.1 ESPN Peoria (I also hear they have a really good fantasy football show on Sunday mornings during the football season! Sorry for the shameless plug) with Dave Kindred, who wrote for many years for the Washington Post, and has made many trips to Augusta. He has mentioned that first timers to Augusta have a near zero chance of winning, as there are just too many things to get used to. So, I doubt I use any first-timers, no matter how well they are playing (Lucas Bjerregaard comes to mind) right now. Even when you look at the past history, you rarely see someone do well in their first appearance. Jordan Spieth is much more the exception than the rule. It's a point I will be implementing in my lineups, and if a first-timer finishes Top 5, I'll be impressed and will miss the boat.
Check back on Monday, April 8 for the podcast and favorite plays by tier. On Wednesay the 10th, I will update weather, ownership, and other information that I come across.
(NOTE: I posted the tournament history file early, and included golfers who may have gotten in due to world rankings. Players like Jim Furyk and Lee Westwood did not get in with world rankings, but had a chance at the time this was posted. They are not in the field as of now, so please be aware of that).
Saturday SiriusXM Discussion
I was on SiriusXM with Lou and Michael during the Fantistics Show on Saturday morning, and during it, we got into a discussion about tournament selection. I think this is key for every slate, no matter what you are playing. But, it tends to mean more during these big weeks, such as The Masters. So, let's look at the payout structures for a few of the big tournaments. I will list the 1st place prize, 10th place prize, and minimum cash for all the tournaments:
- $20 buy-in Fantasy Golf Millionaire: 1st receives $1,000,000 (25% of prize pool), 10th Place receives $10,000 (1% of 1st), and Minimum Cash is $30. 23% of field is paid out, 35% of the payouts go to the Top Ten. 150 entry max.
- $5 buy-in Magnolia (200k paid out): 1st receives $20,000 (10% of prize pool), 10th Place receives $2,000 (10% of 1st) and Minimum Cash is $10. 20% of field is paid out, 29% of the payouts go to the Top Ten. 150 entry max.
- $4 buy-in Fore (800k paid out): 1st receives $50,000 (6.25% of prize pool), 10th Place receives $5,000 (10% of 1st), and Minimum Cash is $6. 25% of field is paid out, 22% of the payouts go to the Top Ten. 20 entry max.
This was brought up because depending on what your objective is, you will want to think about how to spend your money, say $100. You can play 5 entries int he Fantasy Golf Millionaire. If your objective is to try to win the highest amount you can, then this is your tournament. However, your chances of profiting or breaking even are slim, as you would have to finish at least in 3,000th place (235,200 entries, top 1.5%) to win $100. The gaps between payouts are huge, so you really have to be unique in your lineup builds to get into this range.
If you instead play 20 lineups in the $5, you have more chances to win, but the payout structure is much flatter. You don't have the massive dropoffs in winnings in the top ten. The money is more spread out so if you get multiple lineups to cash, you will have a better chance of getting your money back. Yes, you're not going to win that big amount like you do in the Fantasy Golf Millionaire, but you are more likely to get close to your $100 back, or even profit.
The problem with these first two tournaments is that they are 150-max. There will be a lot of people playing all 150 lineups in these contests: many with optimizers or who play this many lineups every week in golf. They will know how to build their lineups optimally and will be most likely to be the ones at the top of the standings, just due to volume. This is why the $4 buy-in may be your best option if looking to compete on a level playing field. The minimum cash is low, but this tournament does have the highest payout percentage of the three I look at. There are more players than the $5 event, but the top prize is higher.
So, in summary: If going for the biggest prize, play the Fantasy Golf Millionaire. If you are looking at the best chance to profit with the best payout structure, the $5 game is your choice. If you're looking to compete on a level playing field and have a chance at a really good payout at top, the $4 fore is for you. Of course, there are other tournaments and # of entries to consider. Most importantly, figure out what your main objective is to spending and getting a proper return on your money.