About the author:
My name is Joshua Slepkow. You can find me under the name of @crclngthdrn on Twitter, and crclngthdrn on DraftKings, FanDuel, FantasyDraft, and PlayDraft. I’m currently 26th in PGA RotoGrinders rankings and 1st in the Toughest $5 In Golf rankings. I love discussing DFS golf, so if you have any questions about my thoughts, feel free to tweet me @crclngthdrn.
Cash Game Review:
Below is my main cash lineup for last week:
*Note Ownership % are from $25 Double Up
I hope you chose the top studs better than I did last week. I said that all four were fine options. I was mostly right. Unfortunately, I ended up with heavy ownership of Jordan Smith as my favorite golfer of the group. In cash, I played both Luiten and Smith equally. In GPPs, Smith was one of my highest owned. If you used players from the article and chose anybody other than Smith, I expect that you cashed. Each player identified in the article made the cut and offered value (especially Manassero). You’ll notice I played Zanotti in the lineup above. He was included in my 3-PUTT PAR PLAYS as a player I thought was a decent cash play but not a great one. As the week progressed, I found myself liking him in my lineups more than I had on Monday. Once I noticed that there was some positive line movement, I moved him into some of my cash line ups.
There are different schools of thought on how many different cash lineups one should use each week. I don’t think there is a right answer. It certainly depends on what feels comfortable to each player. For me, it depends on the week. Typically, I will play one cash line more often than multiple cash lines. When I couldn’t narrow down my favorite cash plays last week, I rolled out three different squads. Fortunately, I was over-exposed to my main lineup (picture above), which helped cover some of the losses from the other two squads that didn’t cash (due to Bourdy, Bland, and Smith).
50/50 & DOUBLE UP CASH LINES FROM LAST WEEK:
$25 Giant Double Up: 445.5
$25 Single Entry Double Up: 463.5
$5 Single Entry Double: 452.5
$2 Giant Double Up: 432.5
Wells Fargo Championship
If you have not read the First Cut, click here for an overview of the course. The PGA tour has never played at Eagle Point. You will find that the First Cut makes a well-informed and in-depth guess at what to expect at the WFC, but ultimately it is only an educated guess. For that reason, I will be devaluing both CH this week and keys stats. I’ll be putting much more emphasis on recent form and value. We should always seek value when constructing a cash lineup. We are flying blind this week so value is more important than most weeks. In other weeks, I may pay up for a guy with great CH or I pay for a guy whose stats line up perfectly. With this week, it isn’t a great strategy to overpay for a guy with great CH or key stats.
For comp courses, I am considering the Masters and Quail Hollow.
CASH GAME TAP-IN
These plays are locks in my cash lineups.
Jon Rahm ($11,000)
DJ or Rahm? It’s the first question most will have to answer this week. They are both great cash plays. I am going with Jon Rahm. Sure, DJ is more likely to win than Rahm but, to me, they offer the same value for cash. I need to find a way to differentiate. Even though DJ is more likely to win, top 5, top 10, etc, the $13,000 price tag makes DJ hitting value much less likely than Rahm hitting value. They both offer an extremely high floor and high upside but Rahm’s discount adds more safety in the roster construction flexibility. I’m going to start my cash teams with Rahm and the $2000 savings over DJ. Though I don’t think DJ was badly injured at the Masters, we can completely 100% ignore it. Let’s say we 99% ignore it. It is still 1% of injury risk on a guy that is $2,000 more expensive than the 2nd most expensive golfer. Get your DJ exposure in GPPs.
Kevin Kisner ($8300)
I have been riding Kevin Kisner as a cash play all season with great results. Each week, he seems to float his way to the top of the stat model. Now, I am able to roster him as one of the best values on the board. He has the 6th best odds to win, yet comes in at the 16th highest salary. Kiz has some of the best form in the field with a playoff loss today at the Zurich Classic. I don’t expect him to have 2 chip-in birdies and a chip-eagle this week but he should make the cut and find himself in the top half of the leaderboard. He checks the box of CH at the comp courses. Though he MC’d at Quail Hollow last year, he made the two cuts in the two prior years, including a 6th place. Add in his great SG:APP and SG:ARG, and I’m ready to jump back on board with Kisner.
3-PUTT PAR CASH PLAYS
This section hopes to identify a player that is likely to be popular in cash but isn’t one of the top cash plays.
Bill Haas ($9,500)
I don’t expect Bill Haas to be immensely popular this week. However, he is Bill Haas, which means many people think of him as a safe cash play. In his last three events, his ownership percentages have been around 30% twice and once at 50%. People just like playing Haas in cash. After his MC at the RBC, I predict a drop in his ownership but am still expect a floor of ownership. Rarely do 30% owned golfers have their high ownership percentages disappear. It takes several MCs or lackluster results. If I’m ever going to play Haas, I want him to be cheap. As the 8th most expensive golfer at Wells Fargo, he is not offering me any value. This is also reflected in his negative vegas differential. In addition to not offering value, he doesn’t offer upside. There are DFS touts that focus too heavily on a golfer’s upside for cash lineups. I am not one of them. I seek out cut making ability. That said, as a player gets more expensive, he needs to over increasing amounts of upside. I will need upside in a player that costs $9,500. Birdies and eagles and top 5s can fill the holes left by a MC by another player. Bill Haas does not over you that upside. I would much rather save $400 and play Wes Bryan or pay $400 more and play Paul Casey.
BIRDIE FROM THE TREES CASH PLAYS
These lower salary players are riskier than those plays identified above but still offer enough safety for cash consideration.
Stewart Cink ($6,400)
Like Kisner, Stewart Cink has been another one of my favorite cash plays this season. In his last 8 events, he has made the cut 7 times. The cut-making record alone would be impressive for someone priced this low. I’m more excited by the fact that all 7 of those made cuts were top 30s. Bill Haas hasn’t had a top 30 in his last 4 events! Let that sink in. Cink offers great value as one of the best vegas differentials in the field. He is under 100/1 to win surrounded by players priced at 200/1, 300/1 and 400/1 to hoist the trophy. If you’re not already sold, he has one of the best CH at Quail Hollow, boasting a robust 20th, 23rd, 15th, and 9th. The only debate I had on Stewart Cink was whether to include him in the CASH GAME TAP INs or the BIRDIE FROM THE TREES.
Alex Noren ($6,600)
As I scrolled through the salaries, Alex Noren was the single biggest surprise this week. He’s really good at golf… as in 3rd-best-OWGR-in-the-field good at golf. This isn’t the case of a golfer whose OWGR hasn’t caught up with a decline in ability. Noren has been steadily improving his world rank over the last year. In models, his form doesn’t look great. His only recent performance was a MC at the Masters. (I’m willing to discount the MC as his first time at that event.) Most models don’t pick up his 10th at the Match Play. My initial reaction was that he should be in every single cash and GPP lineup. Then the doubt crept in. There is something that seems fishy about this price. Is it a trap? I’ll probably want to gauge interest in him throughout the week. I’m never concerned with ownership in cash, except if I am using ownership to sniff out a potential trap play. If he becomes the mega-chalk, it may be reason enough to look elsewhere. If you decide to play Noren in cash, no one can fault you. You will be playing one of the best golfers in the field at the bare minimum. It is the purest definition of value.
Definitions & Notes
Course History also CH: I am looking at 2010 to present.
Key Stats: These change every week. I build a model for each specific course.
Recent Form also RF I am looking to the last eight weeks
MCs and MDF: For purposes of cash game discussion, I consider an MDF as a made cut.