The PGA Course Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Trends Tool and metrics to highlight stats for the upcoming tournament.
The PGA Tour is back after a small break. This week’s venue is in Mexico, and we have the cut back in play, so let’s bring on the Friday sweat!
Let’s dive in.
As always, I back-tested various metrics in our PGA Models to discover those that have been the most valuable at the El Camaleon, host of this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament. Per our Trends tool, here’s how the top 20% of golfers in various metrics have done at this course (in Plus/Minus valuation).
Historically, this course has yielded averages of 58.23 DraftKings points and a +10.15 Plus/Minus with a 59.2% Consistency Rating to the field.
Metrics that tested with at least a +2.00 Plus/Minus:
- Long-Term Driving Accuracy: +6.95
- Recent Driving Accuracy: +6.45
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +4.67
- Long-Term Bogeys: +3.21
- Recent Greens in Regulation: +3.11
- Recent Scrambling: +2.68
- Recent Par-4 Scoring: +2.51
- Recent Par-3 Scoring: +2.01
Key metrics: Greens in regulation (GIR), bogey avoidance, par-4 and par-5 scoring, Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2019 Mayakoba Classic
Mark Hubbard ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel) might be my favorite play on the slate. An easy course should be an exceptional spot to target him. He’s made his last four cuts, and over the last 75 weeks, he’s hitting 70.5% of GIR, including -1.2 and -6.1 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s. Hubbard checks all the boxes I am looking at, ranking in the top 15 in the field in GIR, scrambling and par-4 and par-5 scoring. Furthermore, Hubbard’s Strokes Gained data looks fantastic, ranking eighth in Strokes Gained: Approach and seventh in Total Strokes Gained over his last 24 rounds.
I’ll be going back to the J.T. Poston ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) well even after his price increase. He’s had success at this course in the past, making the cut all three times he’s entered this tournament. More importantly, he ranks 17th in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds. He should at least have a solid chance of making the cut.
Starting your lineup with Hubbard, Poston and Xin-Jun Zhang ($7,300 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) allows a great deal of flexibility when constructing the rest of your roster. Zhang has been dialed in during the fall swing, finishing 16th or better in three of his six tournaments since September. His long-term form looks great too, hitting 70.7% of GIR and averaging -5.1 adjusted strokes on par 5s.
If you’re looking for a stars and scrubs build for GPPs, Fabian Gomez ($6,800 DraftKings; $8,400 FanDuel) could be an intriguing option. He’s made four of his five cuts in September, and he’s coming off a seventh-place finish at Bermuda. His long-term metrics also look fairly good, hitting 69.6% of GIR, 60.8% scrambling rate, along with -1.0 and -4.5 adjusted strokes on par 5s.
I wouldn’t expect Billy Horschel ($10,200 DraftKings; $11,300 FanDuel) to be too highly owned since at the time of writing he has a Buzz Score of just 5.0 in our models. His 68.8 LT Adj Rd Score leads the field, and he’s just solid overall, hitting 70% of GIR and boasting a 63% scrambling rate. Billy is 100% cash viable as well.
I always have trouble rostering Denny McCarthy ($8,400 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) in cash games because his horrible approach game adds some volatility, but he consistently has an awesome putter. When his approach game is dialed in and combined with his elite putting, good things tend to happen. In his last nine tournaments where he’s hit at least 70% of GIR, McCarthy has finished 23rd or better in eight of them.
- Joaquin Niemann ($9,800 DraftKings; $11,200 FanDuel) ranks seventh in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds, and he’s missed the cut just twice dating back to June.
- Abraham Ancer ($9,200 DraftKings; $10,900 FanDuel) ranks 12th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds and is coming off a fourth-place finish at the HSBC a few weeks ago.
- I’m always intrigued by Scottie Scheffler’s ($9,100 DraftKings; $10,700 FanDuel) upside. He ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. And he’s been dominant in the long-term, hitting 72.4% of GIR and averaging an absurd -2.5 and -6.3 adjusted strokes on par 4s and 5s.
- Harris English ($8,000 DraftKings; $9,9900 FanDuel) is all the way down at $8,000 on DraftKings, but he boasts some of the best odds to win and finish inside the top 10 in this price range.
- Dylan Frittelli ($8,000 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) could go overlooked since he’s the same price as English, but Frittelli has been solid, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and 15th in Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 24 rounds.
- Brian Harman ($7,700 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) was $10,600 on DraftKings in his last tournament, and he dropped almost $3,000. He got wrecked in Houston, losing 3.3 strokes on approach, but I won’t write him off after just one poor performance of late.
- Sebastian Munoz ($7,700 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel) is another guy whose price has come down after costing $9,400 at the Houston Open. Munoz has been great over the last 75 weeks, hitting 69.1% GIR along with averaging 14.2 birdies and -5.3 adjusted strokes on par 5s. Additionally, he ranks third in the field in Total Strokes Gained over his last 24 rounds.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports