A Look Back - Valspar Championship

There’s a famous quote that says “Looking back is the only way to move forward”. I think that holds true as it pertains to success at DFS. Failing to understand what went right or wrong with a certain lineup or strategy is just as important as the lineup itself. I’m going to start looking back at the previous weeks PGA results to see what worked and what didn’t. I’ll also be sharing my lineups specifically, both the good and bad, and will share my thought process on particular plays.

This week I entered three teams in both the DK $100k 3 Wood and the $110K Fairway and one entry in the Victiv Condor. This was a good week as all 7 GPP entries cashed, obviously not a sustainable moving forward, but still a great feeling. If Reed or O’Hair could have pulled out the W it would have been an even better week as I had no exposure to Spieth.

Top Scoring DK Team 20/346 and 167/4609

G Jim Furyk 56
G Russell Knox 57
G Kevin Na 74
G Sean O’Hair 101
G Brandt Snedeker 45.5
G Brendon Todd 67.5

What worked?

First, having all six guys make the cut was huge. Anytime you can achieve that you can almost guarantee some form of a sweat come Sunday afternoon. O’Hair was the best call of the bunch. His price was $5K and he was only 1.4% owned in the 3 Wood. Him making the cut instantly gave me a leg up and the fact that we made to the playoff was really icing on the cake.

I used a core of Knox, Na, Sneds and Todd for all three of my DK lineups and then built a stud and value play around them. The other two pairs were Reed and Hadwin and Luke Donald and Molinari. My preference is to use 3 or four core guys and build from there. Na and Knox were on my short list to start. Sneds doesn’t miss many cuts and Todd has quietly been returning to form.

From there is was a matter picking the studs I wanted to use. Furyk was a no brainer, and I thought Reed was under priced so he made an easy second choice. Last I went with Luke Donald who was THE horse for course pick this week. Furky was my most expensive play so he got paired w/ my least expensive value play, O’Hair. Next came Reed who I put w/ Hadwin and then what I thought was my best cash game line up, Donald and Molinari.

Fading Jonathan Byrd proved to be a solid strategy. I figured he would be north of 10% owned and that is not what I’m looking for in a value play. There was a lot of talk about him being 11 for 11 here and those are tough numbers to argue, but I liked Hadwin more for about the same price and figured not nearly as many people would be on him. Of course Byrd’s Hole in One was a kick in the you know what, but that was a fluke, like all aces. As a side note, I hate that 10 point bonus on DK for making a hole in one. Hadwin made the cut and still only beat Byrd by 10 fantasy points because of it. Of course, he also finished DFL with a smooth 75 and 76 over the weekend.

What didn’t work?

Not having Spieth was a costly mistake. It’s not that I didn’t like him going in, just felt like him and Stenson were priced a little higher than I would have liked and I would had to move off of the four guys I was building my teams around in order to fit them.

The spot that I eventually went with Sneds came down to him and Ryan Moore. Moore has been hot, but his course history here was beyond awful. I typically lean on current form over course history, but his was too far in the negative for me to look past and Sneds has been playing great golf. Moore ended up outscoring him by 40 points, obviously a huge difference in prize money, for both them and me.

Furyk was a disappointment as well. He was over 50% owned, and rightfully so. He should have placed in the top 25 with his eyes closed this week. He actually led the field in GIR’s, but unfortunately he just could not make anything on the greens. This didn’t hurt that bad since he was so widely owned, but this team would have looked a lot different if was in contention on Sunday as many expected him to be.

Victiv Line Up 5/35

Sean O’Hair
Russell Knox
John Peterson
Jim Furyk
Chad Collins
Brandt Snedeker
Patrick Reed

What worked?

Pretty much the same story here as over on DK. Having two of the three guys in the playoff was a huge boost and two of my three punt plays saw the weekend. Furyk was my horse here too and again I though Reed was under priced so he was an easy play. Knox and Sneds were good, not great, but enough to land me in the money.

What didn’t work?

Yep, I did it. Broke the first rule of PGA DFS and didn’t double check the final field list before Thursday morning. I really liked Chad Collins coming in and was psyched to get him at min price. The beauty of Victiv is that you can still cash by making such a huge mistake. Not saying one deserves to cash by making such a boneheaded move, but hey, they make the rules.

So all in all it was a good week. Let me know what you think of the article and I’ll try and update it weekly moving forward. Also keep an eye out on Wednesday for my weekly take on this weeks tournament and my value plays, Stuie’s Sandbaggers.

Good luck this week.

About the Author


  • huitcinq

    Great post!

    I’ve been trying to do something similar in MMA (will be up tomorrow), looking back at the lineup construction and understanding what worked and what didn’t. Understanding your process is just as important as building lineups, and in my opinion there aren’t nearly enough posts and analyses that focus on this.

    I thought O’Hair was your best pick in your Victiv lineup. I wasn’t on him at all with Peterson, Overton, and Putnam at their price points, but they never had the upside of O’Hair. It’s something I would have liked to pick up on. Not necessarily even putting him in a lineup, but at least having him on my radar. For most players there is nothing more frustrating than having a guy you really thought about playing but didn’t blow up, however to me it’s a sign that the process is sound.

    Another example, I had Reed and Kuchar together in one lineup, and Furyk and Speith together in another. It’d be easy for me to kick myself and say “WHY DIDN’T I PAIR REED AND SPEITH!?!!”, but that’s just the way it worked out this week. The correct picks were there, I just didn’t happen to land on the right combination. There’s no rational reason to be disappointed.

  • dncolonna

    Thanks man, appreciate the comment, I’m glad you liked it. I can dig deeper into some of the lineup construction decisions next week, but I will say that it’s important to look at the entire field individually and either credit or discredit each player. It is time consuming, but rest assured that most of your competition isn’t taking the time to do it and you can never say, “Oh man, I never even looked at him”. There’s a big difference between blindly saying I don’t think he’s going to play well this week and saying no, he missed the cut here last year and is ranked 185th in strokes gained putting, so he’s out.

  • huitcinq

    Yeah I do something similar but I rank the guys based on a bunch of stuff. So for example this week I had Vijay as #73 and O’Hair at #75. So once they’re that deep and there’s enough guys ahead of them at similar price points they just never get on my radar.

    Which I think might be the flaw in my PGA approach. I do think these guys had a certain upside the others ranked around them didn’t which is something I should start taking into consideration, particularly with the sub system on Victiv which allows you some riskier picks.

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