Becoming A Baby Shark: AT&T Byron Nelson

Weekly Preparation

Fresh off another losing week I hope that this might be the moment where things finally turn around. While it has been nice learning some valuable lessons, I need to eventually end a week better off than when it started.

This week I’m going to begin utilizing more information from “experts” when it comes to the PGA. In the past I’ve tried avoiding this information for two reasons. First, I want to feel like any success/failure is all on me. Secondly, I know that I can often times be too easily influenced by the information provided. However, I feel like if I am going to continue progressing as a player I have to accept that there are many people out there who know far more than I do about golf and I need to be able to use their knowledge to my advantage. My goal is to utilize their knowledge to gain a better understanding of what stats and traits to look for in successful golfers for a given week rather than specific player picks.

When looking at this course I first notice that it seems to have an abundance of sand surrounding the greens (truthfully I have no idea if it is any more than a typical course though). My hope is that identifying golfers who are successful at rebounding from those situations might provide me with some safety for the week. I also see that even though this course only has two Par 5’s, golfers have a history of going pretty low which means I will need to select golfers that can capitalize on beneficial situations, particularly those on Par 4’s.

I found the information provided by various experts to be very beneficial. Not necessarily in terms of specifically selecting players, but rather aiding me in better understanding some of the statistics I had not yet looked at. The one that stood out the most was the “ball striking” stat. This is a stat I knew nothing about, but had seen mentioned in a couple of areas. I could be understanding it incorrectly, but I believe it combines driving distance, and greens in regulation. This seems like a fairly straight forward stat that could be used on a regular basis to identify well rounded golfers. I was also pleased to see that many of the same stats I focused on were also mentioned as key stats by people who are more knowledgeable about golf than I am.

When creating lineups I feel pretty good about my selections. I feel like each week I am more and more confident in my picks, and whether or not they succeed am comfortable with who I chose. With that being said, I was able to narrow down the field to 12 this week, here are the guys I am riding with:

Jordan Spieth
Brooks Koepka
Tony Finau
Brandt Snedeker
Russell Henley
J.B. Holmes
Marc Leishman
Gary Woodland
Graham DeLaet
Cody Gribble
Keegan Bradley
Xander Schauffele

I think it is worth noting that I originally had this as a 13 man group with Dustin Johnson, but when trying to create lineups the salaries just weren’t matching the way I wanted them to so I ended up leaving him out. I don’t feel good about it, but at least I was able to make a tough decision as opposed to scrapping everything and starting over. Also, the Xander Schauffele pick scares me to death (because I have never heard of him in my life) but I needed to find at least one more low cost guy besides Bradley and his stat breakdown was hitting across the board.

If there is one regret I have this week with my selections it is that I didn’t take the time to look at past results other than how they have done on this specific course. Again, I’m not sure how much of an effect that has, but it’s something I would have liked to look at. Unfortunately, this week was full of evening/afternoon events that really took away from my planning time.

Results and Reflection

Easily one of my favorite things is seeing where my players fall in terms of their ownership percentage compared to the field. Here is how it broke down this week:

Jordan Spieth (16.22%)
Brooks Koepka (15.24%)
Tony Finau (22.28%)
Brandt Snedeker (16.55%)
Russell Henley (27.25%)
J.B. Holmes (11.63%)
Marc Leishman (12.71%)
Gary Woodland (13.73%)
Graham DeLaet (9.60%)
Cody Gribble (0.48%)
Keegan Bradley (10.35%)
Xander Schauffele (2.24%)

Well, my trend of owning 4 of the top 5 highest used players came to an end this week. This week I only have exposure to 2 of the top 10 highest owned players. This will make for a very interesting week and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand I have a chance to really jump a lot of players if some of these guys have a great week. However, if this tends to be a week where the chalk succeeds, I could easily find myself quickly falling down the leaderboard. Also, Dustin Johnson was the highest owned player of the week at 29.70% which means my decision to leave him off the roster will be even more magnified. Finally, Cody Gribble…I really hope I didn’t completely misread the stats on him because that is an absurdly low ownership percentage. I’m all for being contrarian, but if he does poorly it’s going to be a completely wasted slot that nobody else will feel the effects of.

Look Away…You’ve Been Warned
You know it’s bad when this blog is being published before the contest even ends. I’ll be honest, I don’t care how things turn out this weekend, there is nothing that will repair this mess. In what can only be described as a train wreck, here is where things stand going into the weekend:

Jordan Spieth (Missed Cut)
Brooks Koepka (-4)
Tony Finau (Even)
Brandt Snedeker (Missed Cut)
Russell Henley (Missed Cut)
J.B. Holmes (Missed Cut)
Marc Leishman (-1)
Gary Woodland (-2)
Graham DeLaet (Missed Cut)
Cody Gribble (Missed Cut)
Keegan Bradley (+1)
Xander Schauffele (Missed Cut)

Clearly, I am doing something terribly wrong when it comes to this sport. This makes for three straight weeks that I have lost money, and while I have tried to find a positive in previous weeks, the reality is that the arrow continues to point downward. I feel like I am going about this whole thing the wrong way. I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing incorrectly (because if I did I wouldn’t do it). However, my initial thought is that it is a mixture of not putting enough thought into each individual lineup, while also ignoring past history far too much. Based on what I am seeing, my statistical focus is on point but I fear that I may be ignoring too much of it when reaching of value plays.

In an attempt to try and begin fixing this mess I am going to scale back my efforts until I feel as though I am turning things around. For the foreseeable future I am instead going to continue my goal of becoming a credible PGA DFS’er by being a single entry player. This will allow me to work on improving my player selection, without risking as much in the process. In the event I feel like I am improving, I will gradually increase my lineup quantity.

Until next week, because it clearly isn’t in the cards this week, best of luck!

About the Author

  • ThatM_F

    Im also very new to the PGA DFS world but have been able to find continued success, albeit minor, using a 1-3 entry approach. This way you can target the players you feel most comfortable using and not feel the need to reach for value plays. Stats can also be a little misleading when it comes to PGA and lead you down the wrong path at times. I would suggest using stats to find the type of players your looking for, such as ball striker or bomber, and then leaning more on course history, recent form, and other information you can gain. For example, I played a lot of Danny Lee this week because he fit the player profile and was playing his home course. Information like that can often lead to more success then blindly following stats! Good luck next week!

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