PGA DFS Tips: Contrarian Golfers for RBC Heritage using our SimLeverage and Perfect% metrics

  • The RBC Heritage will take place on Thursday morning.
  • Justin Bailey takes a data-driven approach to his favorite leveraged games.
  • Data on shots won and FantasyLab’s Perfect% and SimLeverage in the PGA models form the basis of his analysis.

If you’ve read Taleb’s Antifragile before, you know how certain things benefit from the clutter in life. This term certainly applies to DFS.

If there’s one thing to exploit about PGA DFS (and DFS in general) it’s people’s overconfidence in their ability to predict what’s going to happen in the future.

Admittedly, you still need a lot to find your way around the DFS. Even if you’re successfully fading high-profile players who end up failing, you still need to get your pivots right to take full advantage.

The goal of this article is to identify a few golfers that we should consider using our lineups against the field using our brand new feature in our PGA player models.

In case you missed it, we’ve added two new metrics to our models – Perfect% and SimLeverage. An explanation of these metrics can be found here.

The cliff notes version is that you can use SimLeverage to quickly find leveraged games in tournaments, while Perfect% is great for finding the best priced games for cash games.

And don’t forget the tools FantasyLabs has to offer, like our Lineup Optimizer to create up to 150 lineups with ease, or use our Lineup Builder if you like to create your lineups by hand.

This analysis may relate to Strokes Gained, a set of proprietary metrics generated by the PGA TOUR using millions of data points to calculate how many strokes it takes, on average, for a player to hit the ball from any distance and situation to put in the hole.

Strokes Gained is available in FantasyLabs PGA models.

When I go for pivot points, I keep things very simple.

I look at property forecasts, betting odds discrepancies, projected points, and stick to more general golf metrics like shots won: tee-to-green, total shots won, and long-term adjusted round score (LT Adj Rd Score) rather than getting very granular.

I’m always interested in a minimal approach in an industry that tries to overcomplicate things.

Let’s dive in.

Note: Data Golf true strokes data is for the last 50 rounds unless otherwise noted.

PGA DFS SimLeverage picks

Patrick Cantlay ($10,000 Draft Kings)

Cantlay seems to do this column every week, but I’ll keep targeting him while DFS players are pessimistic about him as long as he keeps showing up in our SimLeverage and Perfect% metrics.

In True Total Strokes Gained, he still ranks third in that field, behind only Cam Smith and Justin Thomas. Even with his irons not fully dialed in, he still ranks 20th in the field in True Strokes Gained: Approach and has the third best LT Adj Rd Score.

It’s a positive sign for someone who is the #5 golfer in DraftKings pricing. As a former cash game grinder (now mainly small-sided single-entry GPPs), I’ve learned that removing the ownership discount from elite players is usually +EV, even if we sacrifice a few projection points in the process.

In PGA DFS, it’s really easy to create opposing lineups while still picking solid golfers.

Tyrrell Hatton ($8,600 DraftKings)

I had Hatton on my Masters team last week and he probably would have been better off missing the cut rather than shooting +17 for the tournament.

Hatton stands out in our SimLeverage this week, boasting the fourth best SimLeverage score. Overall, it shows up in 14.6% of our perfect lineups when running our Sims.

With his current ownership, it won’t be hard to be overweight on the field if you’re planning mass multi-entries. His play has been sporadic, but he still ranks 16th in True Total Strokes Gained.

Note: You can create aggregate ownership predictions in our PGA models using our predictions and other services such as FanShare Sports (available on our marketplace).

Now let’s move on to the golfer ranked #1 in our SimLeverage results for this week’s tournament.

Viardos Sports