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 Asian swing continues with another no-cut, 78-player event this week.
Also, don’t forget they’re in China, which means roster lock is Wednesday night in the states, not the typical Thursday morning.
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 Sheshan Golf Club, 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 63.49 DraftKings points and a -5.97 Plus/Minus with a 30.1% Consistency Rating to the field.
Metrics that tested with at least a +2.00 Plus/Minus:
- Recent Putts Per Round: +4.55
- Long-Term Greens In Regulation: +4.24
- Long-Term Adjusted Round Score: +3.28
- Recent Bogeys: +3.07
- Long-Term Birdies: +3.06
- Recent Par-4 Scoring: +2.79
- Long-Term Par-4 Scoring: +2.76
- Long-Term Missed Cuts: +2.72
- Course Adjusted Round Score: +2.63
- Long-Term Par-5 Scoring: +2.22
- Recent Birdies: +2.09
- Recent Adjusted Round Score: +2.01
Key metrics: Par-4 and par-5 scoring, birdie scoring, greens in regulation, 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 WGC-HSBC Champions
With some of the golfers I like in the lower ranges, this looks like a week I’ll pay up for Rory McIlroy ($11,700 DraftKings; $12,400 FanDuel). There isn’t too much that needs to be said about Rory. He leads the field with a 67.8 LT Adj Rd Score, and he dominated par 4s and 5s, averaging -1.7 and -5.3 adjusted strokes on them over the last 75 weeks.
I’m also going back to JT Poston ($6,700 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel). Over his last 24 rounds, he ranks 19th in Strokes Gained: Approach and ninth in Total Strokes Gained. He didn’t play terribly at the ZOZO Championship last week, finishing T27.
Adam Hadwin ($7,500 DraftKings; $8,800 FanDuel) should avoid trouble with the tree-lined fairways since he’s accurate off the tee. He won’t pop in any metric, but he carries the 15th-best LT Adj Rd Score, and he’s priced outside the top 20 on DraftKings.
One way to use FantasyLabs to find potential value golfers in our Models is to leverage our LT Adj Rd Score metric. If you sort the field by LT Adj Rd Score, you are looking at a list of players who have been the best golfers over the past 75 weeks. Among these golfers, those who have low salaries make great value plays.
Louis Oosthuizen ($7,600 DraftKings; $8,900 FanDuel) is undervalued with the eighth-best LT Adj Rd Score, but he’s priced all the way down as the No. 29 golfer on DraftKings.
Francesco Molinari ($8,400 DraftKings; $9,800 FanDuel) may go overlooked in this tournament since he’s been sporadic ever since the Masters. However, his 68.7 LT Adj Rd Score is actually tied with Tony Finau for the fifth-best mark in the field, but he’s priced as the No. 21 golfer.
- Justin Rose’s ($10,500 DraftKings; $11,200 FanDuel) 68.1 LT Adj Rd Score narrowly trails McIlroy’s, and they both average -1.7 adjusted strokes on par 4s. Rose is my favorite behind Rory if you don’t have the extra $1,200.
- Sungjae Im ($9,500 DraftKings; $10,500 FanDuel) has been solid since September, parlaying three top-20 finishes, along with two top threes. He’s been great at limiting bogeys, averaging just 7.4 per tournament, and he can capitalize on the par 5s, evidenced by his -5.7 adjusted strokes on them.
- Billy Horschel ($8,900 DraftKings; $10,200 FanDuel) bounced back nicely with a sixth-place finish at the ZOZO Championship. He owns one of the highest scrambling rates in the field, and he’s one of five players in the field whose averaged negative adjusted strokes on par 3s, 4s and 5s.
- Matt Wallace ($8,700 DraftKings; $9,600 FanDuel) has been dialed in over his last three tournaments, posting three top-15 finishes and hitting 76-83% of GIR in each tournament.
- Rafa Cabrera-Bello’s ($8,700 DraftKings; $9,400 FanDuel) 15.1 birdies per tournament is one of the best marks in this price range.
- Corey Conners ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,300 FanDuel) seemingly makes this column every week because he’s one of the best ball strikers on tour, he just has an awful putter.
- Matthias Schwab ($6,700 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) is an intriguing punt since there’s no cut this week. He owns a top-six mark in GIR and the same T10 odds as the likes of Abraham Ancer, Bubba Watson and Poston.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Pictured above: JT Poston
Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports