2018 BRITISH Open DraftKings Preview

All stats from Fantasynational.com!!! Ownership projections also provided by FantasyNational as well as data and trends from Fansharesports.com! Follow @fantasynational @fansharesports @sscherman

Easily my 2nd favorite event of the year (hard for any sporting event in life to top the Masters) is here and I couldn’t be more excited to watch these guys take on what is arguably the hardest links test in golf. Plus, there’s nothing like waking up in the morning to golf already in full swing and watching players take on what is one of the more unique setups all year. First, a quick recap of the ridiculous tournament that was the John Deere Classic. Not sure how it went for most (judging by Twitter, not well) but my Top 3 highest exposure guys, Stanley, Chez, and Bryson, all either missed the cut or in Bryson’s case, WD’d in the middle of day one. It definitely wasn’t a hot start and naturally they’re all dead to me, but stud performances by the likes of Joel Dahmen, Bronson Burgoon, and the classic 4th round of Zach Johnson helped to have a very solid ROI this week. Somehow I even cashed all my double ups despite having only 4/6 through the cut. Not sure if anyone in life saw Michael Kim winning but since there was a winner that I believe was 0.09% owned in DK, having a successful week didn’t include needing the winner, a rarity, and thus having a few guys in the Top 10 should have at least had you close to breaking even. I had a strong one on Sunday and if J.J. Henry could have done better than -1 for the day (what was I really expecting though), then I was in line for some serious cash. I settled for a 78th finish in the large $5 but so it goes. Onto the British.

The Open Championship (BRITISH)

For a comprehensive course preview and what I see as important to succeed this week, please see my article that I released yesterday (Monday). Let’s get to a few obvious things and then get into what I really think is going to drive performance at “Carnasty.”

1) Obviously Tiger is winning

2) Yes, you obviously need to check the best wind and/or links players (maybe cold weather, too); I will provide the Top 15 in each category below via futureoffantasy.com

3) I would caution making any lineups or OAD picks until at least Wednesday since the weather changes so drastically and a tee time bias could be the different between a stud 6/6 lineup and 2/6 with 4 trunk slammers who got killed by sideways wind and rain; at the time of this writing I’m seeing a slight PM/AM advantage but I’m almost sure that will change

4) Although it’s not the same course every year, “Course History” is definitely a factor here since there is at least some correlation between layouts of Scottish/English courses

Key Stats – Last 8, 12, 24, and 50 Rounds (courtesy of FantasyNational.com)

In order of importance (excluding SG: T2G since it’s ALWAYS key):

  • SG: BS (Ball Striking)
  • SG: APP (Slight emphasis on 200+ to incorporate Par 3s)
  • Fairways Gained
  • Scrambling
  • GIRs Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: OTT (Off-The-Tee)
  • SG: Par 5s

Players I’m Targeting This Week (and my approximate exposures):

9K and Above:

Dustin Johnson ($11,300): #1 in my power rankings, #1 in the world, and #1 most expensive player on DraftKings are all completely justified for my clear favorite player in the field. Yes, what a take, “Wow that’s so ballsy,” well he definitely should be for you, too. 1st in SG: BS, 3rd in SG: T2G, 5th in Bogey Avoidance, 2nd in DK Points, 4th in SG: APP, 2nd in BoB%, 7th in SG: OTT, and the list just goes on and on. We haven’t seen DJ since the US Open where is putter went cold on the weekend but he did manage a 3rd there, a 1st at the FedEx St. Jude, and an 8th at the Memorial. Oh yeah, and he’s one of the best wind players in the world too. I will target at least 50% DJ and depending on weather, maybe 60+%.

Rickie Fowler ($9,700): I think we all have completely exhausted the “Rickie’s due” or “his time” or “it’s coming” narrative for years to come but maybe this is where it all ends. We know Rickie is an excellent links player (has won the Scottish Open before) and his game is firing right now. Rickie ranks 5th in Bogey Avoidance, 12th in SG: Par 5s, 23rd in GIR%, and 17th in SG: Par 3s. He’s coming off a 6th at the Scottish Open and this year has an 8th at the Memorial and a 2nd at the Masters. We all know Rickie is an elite player and all he’s missing right now is a major, so let’s see him get it done. I’ve backed him too many times to be off now so I’ll target 40% or so I think.

Upper Mid-Tier Options (8.0K to 8.9K):

Tiger Woods ($8,900): 3 Top 5s this year. 3 Claret Jugs. 5th SG: T2G. 6th in Scrambling. 2nd in SG: APP. 12th in BoB%. #1 in my heart. 40% minimum for me.

Paul Casey ($8,700): 5th in my power rankings and I guy I feel like I can always count on to step up in majors. On the PGA Tour (my model) he ranks 14th in Scrambling, 7th in Bogey Avoidance, 9th in DK Points, and 14th in SG: APP. In his European Tour stats, Casey ranks 8th in SG: APP, 10th in Scrambling, and 19th SG: T2G. With a few top 5s this year, a long-awaited win after many years, and his normal choking away of a lead a few weeks ago, I think Casey should be a lock in cash and strong GPP play. 30-40% to double the field probably since I expect him to be chalky.

Henrik Stenson ($8,200): Absolute stud of a links/Open Championship player (Ranks 1st in my Course History model), Stenson is a fairway-hitting machine and assuming his injury isn’t serious, I like him to contend this week. He ranks 6th in Par 4 Scoring, 8th in GIR%, and 20th in Scrambling on the Euro Tour, while his PGA stats are just as good: 1st in Fairways Gained, 6th in SG: BS, 11th in SG: T2G, 1st in GIR%, and 8th in SG: APP. Again assuming his elbow injury isn’t serious, I love Stenson to continue his Open Championship dominance and I’ll target probably 30-40% depending on his projected ownership.

Lower Mid-Tier Options (7.0 to 7.9K):

Tyyrell Hatton ($7,900): One of my favorite guys this week and someone who can get REALLY hot and then UNBELIEVABLY cold, Hatton is a fair price this week and depending on the draw I could see him winning this thing or a solid Top 5 (full disclosure I already bet him). Hatton is coming off a 9th place at the Scottish Open, a 16th place 2 weeks ago, and a 6th place finish at the US Open. Stats wise, Hatton places mostly on the Euro Tour and ranks 12th in Par 4 Scoring, 22nd in Putts per GIR, and 36th in SG: APP. He definitely doesn’t always play well at The Open (several MCs) but does have a Top 5 in 2016. I think I’ll target around 30% exposure to him this week.

Tony Finau ($7,200): When I think of a links style player Tony Finau definitely wouldn’t be one of the first to come to mind but his stats this year are too hard to ignore and at this very low price, I think he’s a fantastic GPP option this week. Finau ranks 1st in SG: Par 5s, 15th in SG: T2G, 6th in DK Points, 8th in BoB%, and 11th in GIR%. Coming off a solid Top 5 at the US Open I think Finau’s game is ready for the big stage and as such I will target 25% or so this week.

Low Tier Options Under 7K):

Russell Henley ($6,900): I love Henley this week as I think he’s having a sneaky good year and is very underpriced at under 7K. Henley ranks 4th in the field in Fairways Gained, 10th in Bogey Avoidance, 15th in SG: Par 3s and 29th in SG: T2G, yet is the 67th most expensive on DK… interesting. Two Top 10s in his last 2 starts and a 25th at the US Open a few weeks ago. Not sure if he will gain a lot of buzz, and I’m hoping not, but I’m going to target 20-25% at least with possibly more if he gains traction.

Emiliano Grillo ($6,800): Unfortunately there’s no secret here of how underpriced Grillo is and he definitely will be chalk because of it. Still, I think he is very much a possible cash game play (albeit slightly riskier) and a great GPP option. He’s only played in the British twice but did have a 12th place finish in 2016. He hits a ton of fairways, gains on Par 3s and is 22nd in SG: T2G so I think I’m going to see his ownership buzz closer to Wednesday but to be overweight I might need to go around 25%.

Fliers (Take it or Leave it):

Cameron Smith ($6,900): A quick look at Cam Smith’s latest finishes and you’ll be quite underwhelmed. A further look at his PGA stats over the last 8, 12, 24, etc. rounds and you’ll continue to be unimpressed. However, looking at his Euro Tour stats he ranks 3rd in Par 4 Scoring, 2nd in Scrambling, and 2nd in Putts per GIR. I don’t think Cam wins this thing but for a guy who placed 5th at Augusta he can clearly contend on a big stage and I think is worth some shares at this low DK Price. 10% or so for me.

Dylan Frittelli ($6,800): Another Euro Tour guy who is 60th in OWGR but only $6,800 on DK. I’ll save the same process I went through with Cam Smith but looking at Frittelli’s Euro Tour stats he’s 7th SG: T2G, 4th in SG: APP, 18th in GIR%, and 26th in Par 4 Scoring. Frittelli is coming off 3 straight Top 25s and I think is definitely worth 10-15% at least as I hope the casual DFS player doesn’t know as much about him.

My Favorite Cash Game Plays

1) DJ

2) Casey

3) Adam Scott

4) Grillo

5) Stenson

Fades for Me

Rose/Fleetwood: 100% ownership fade. These 2 are amazing players and undoubtedly could win the whole thing but we have to make a stand somewhere and I’m going to apply my chalk elsewhere.

Phil Mickelson: Yes he won a couple years ago but I don’t think this suits his game with how many fairways he misses.

Alex Noren: Another ownership fade. He’s been playing great but with all the buzz around him (currently most tagged on FanShareSports.com) I’m not sure I want to eat that chalk.

My DK Power Ranks – Generated using 40% Key Stats, 50% Recent Form, and 10% Course History

  • Dustin Johnson
  • Justin Rose
  • Francesco Molinari
  • Henrik Stenson
  • Paul Casey
  • Rickie Fowler
  • Bryson Dechambeau
  • Emiliano Grillo
  • Ian Poulter
  • Alexander Noren
  • Rory McIlroy
  • Tommy Fleetwood
  • Tony Finau
  • Russell Henley
  • TIGER WOOOOOOOOOOODS
  • Patrick Cantlay
  • Louis Oosthuizen
  • Stewart Cink
  • Patrick Reed
  • Brooks Kopeka
  • Russell Knox
  • Kevin Na
  • Webb Simpson
  • Justin Thomas
  • Branden Grace

I will try to put out some ownership thoughts on Twitter throughout the week but as of this writing (late Monday afternoon) it is hard to gauge who’s going to be chalk, low owned, etc.

Via futureoffantasy.com (@futureoffantasy on Twitter), here are the Top 15 Links and Wind Specialists:

Links

Brooks Koepka

Henrik Stenson

Jordan Spieth

Dustin Johnson

Jason Day

Phil Mickelson

Brandt Snedeker

Justin Rose

Branden Grace

Hideki Matsuyama

Steve Stricker

Sergio Garcia

Zach Johnson

Patrick Reed

Rickie Fowler

Wind

Jason Day

Dustin Johnson

Hideki Matsuyama

Rory McIlroy

Jordan Spieth

Sergio Garcia

Jon Rahm

Phil Mickelson

Rickie Fowler

Paul Casey

Henrik Stenson

Matt Kuchar

Patrick Reed

Justin Rose

Brandt Snedeker

 

Follow me on Twitter @sscherman and follow @AmateurHour_Pod too for picks, podcasts with FIRE guests, and weekly picks to win!!

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