Making the Cut

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.  I’m still a rookie to DFS writing; this is my very 2nd article on DFS. I hope you enjoy.

Cash Game Review:  

Below is my main cash lineup for last week:

*Note Ownership % are from $250 Single Entry Double Up

The lineup features four players from last week’s article (Steele, Summerhays, List, and Kang).   Palmer and Hadwin rounded out the rest of the squad.  I had some reservations about Palmer due to his early start to the season. Ultimately, I decided that his form in the last two weeks coupled with the elite CH were enough to make him a cash play.  I felt strong about Hadwin as a cash play last week, almost including him in my article.  Though he had never played at San Antonio, I thought he had elite cut-making ability and he ranked high on several of my key stats. Kang anchored 100% of my cash lineups and was one of my highest owned in GPPs. As you can see, I loved the play. That leaves Luke List.  It’s still hard to grasp the fact that I wrote him up as a cash play. It’s Luke freaking List. That was the first (and needless to say last) time that I will play him in cash.  As my article suggested, I felt uncomfortable the moment my fingers started to type his name as a cash play.  After airing those grievances, we should be more process oriented, as opposed to results oriented, when reviewing our lineup builds.  I still believe in the process and believe in List was the correct play.  He was higher owned at the higher buy in double ups than some of the less expensive. During the week, I will click on the lineups of other industry professionals to review their lineups. This is a process that I strongly encourage for you. It is easiest way to get into the mind of the best players in the game. There was a sigh of relief to see List a common player on their lineups. In summary, it appears Luke List was the right play, wrong result.  My cash team didn’t struggle because of List; it struggled due to horrendous weekends by Steele, Summerhays, and Hadwin. 

My cash lineup turned a profit but just barely. The lineup cashed in the largest double up and cashed in the big $5, where I had max entered, both of which combined to cover any losses in other contests where I just missed the money. The most unfortunate of the losses will be the $5 loss in the T$5IG, where I came in 51st out of 100, and one-half of a point out of cashing. I had a nice 3 week stretch at the top but will now fall back. 

$250 Double Up (Single Entry): Cashline 335.0

$25 Giant Double Up: 345.5

$25 Double Up (Single Entry: 341.0

$10 Double: 344.0

$5 Toughest $5 In Golf (Single Entry) : 336.5

$5 Giant Double Up: 325.5

$5 Double (Single Entry) 342.0

Fantasy Draft Bonus

Last week, I tried a new approach to the extremely tight pricing on FantasyDraft.  If you didn’t read my article last week, click here.  Unable to make a cash line up with six golfers that I felt had a good chance to make the cut, I opted for a new approach:  I picked 5 golfers that I really liked and made a complete punt with the final pick. Taking a minimum salary player allowed me to draft an great cash lineup for the five remaining golfers. Well, it worked perfectly. Though the punt play MC’d, the remaining golfers made the cut and cashed in all my entries.

Here is my cash lineup from FDraft:

*Note Ownership % are from the $1 FDraft 100 Person Double Up

I am happy that the strategy worked but am not yet ready to declare victory.  That said, a deeper dive into last’s results reveals that I may have found a viable strategy.  On DK, the average number of teams that were able to manage a 5/6 or 6/6 in double ups was around 48% to 53%.   I don’t have the ability to find similar stats on FDraft but did analyze the teams on the largest Double Up (in order to get the biggest sample size).  In a 100 person $1 FDraft Double up (3 Entry Max), the total number of 5/6 or 6/6 was a mere 20%, substantially less than on DK.  The explanation that matches my theory is many people experienced similar cash lineup building limitations. Players were forced to make lineups consisting of six golfers that are not typically considered cash options.  One example of players being forced into terrible cash plays might be Tim Wilkinson and John Peterson. Both these golfers were 10% owned in the $1 FDraft Double, yet less than 1% (closer to 0%) on DK.   The complete punt on my sixth golfer allowed me the flexibility in my cash lineup construction to pick five solid cash game golfers.  One week does not prove a theory correct and there are there are certainly other explanations for last week’s outcome.  At a minimum, it is a strategy that should be considered in the future if FDraft continues with a tight pricing structure. 

Volvo China Open

If you have not read the First Cut, click here for an overview of the course.  As noted, there is very limited Course History (one year) and even less Course Data.  For my cash plays, I am going to focus on Recent Form and value in the pricing more than Course History or Key Stats.  Though I am considering Recent Form from the last 8 events, I have put a greater emphasis on the results in April and March. My initial glance at roster construction suggests that there is enough value that you can fit in one of the studs. Weisberger, Fisher, Luiten, and Smith are are all fine plays. I’m going to focus my picks on the players needed to fill out the rest of your roster.  

CASH GAME TAP-IN

Peter Uihlein ($8,300)

I’m confused by this price.  Peter Uihlein has regularly been priced above $10,000 in similarly week fields.  The only instance of his salary being less than $10,000 was at the full field Shell Houston Open several weeks ago.  In his last 5 events, two of which were on the PGA tour, he as a 33rd, 23rd, 5th, 17th, and 4th.  He is simply underpriced. You should lock him in your lineup. Expect heavy ownership. If he MCs, the rest of the field will be with you. If he top 5s and he’s not on your team, you’ll have a tough time cashing. Perhaps you can consider his ownership when making GPPs teams but fading him in cash is a mistake. 

James Morrison ($7,300)

James Morrison has been on fire to start this season.  He has made 7/8 cuts on the season. In his 7 made cuts, he has no finish worse than 29th.  If you look at his CH at the Volvo China Open last year, then you will see that he missed the cut. It doesn’t concern me.  He is in much different form right now than last year.  Last year he was 6/8 cuts, which doesn’t seem much different. Digging deeper, most of his finishes were at the bottom of the pack.  Contrast with this year, where he has been near the top half or top third of the event each week. More importantly to me, he missed the cut one week prior to the Volvo China Open last year; this year he comes into this week’s event with a 29th last week.  He provides safety and salary relief to allow you to pay up for the studs. 

3-PUTT PAR CASH PLAYS

Thorbjorn Olesen ($9,700) & Fabrizio Zanotti ($9,900)

In addition to similar salaries, Olesen and Zanotti have very similar situation. Each played well last week that resulted in significant DK salary bump.  It appears that the DK algorithm this week put much more importance on RF than normal weeks.  Both Olsen and Zanotti have decent CH with a 15th and a 9th last year, respectively.  If you have your ideal roster and these players fit the 6th spot, I do not think they are horrible plays. Their RF and CH alone bring them to the table for viable cash options.They are expensive though, both having a higher DK salary rank than their odds rank.  In my early roster construction, it feels more comfortable to find pay a couple hundred more to fit in the golfers in the $10,000 range, then look for some salary saving elsewhere.

BIRDIE FROM THE TREES CASH PLAYS

Lucas Bjerragaad ($7,400)

Here is a player I have consistently gravitated towards this season on the Euro Tour for both cash and GPPs lineup.  Of all the cash plays that I am considering this week, he is one of the only golfers with great CH,  a 3rd place finish last year.  His stats fit the course, as he is one of the longest hitters in the field.  He has made his last 4 cuts in a row. Unfortunately, he had not flashed any upside this season. I consider upside slightly in my cash teams but ultimately safer is of far greater importance.  Perhaps he’ll improve on his performance last year and obtain his first win on the European Tour.

Matteo Manassero ($6,500)

You probably won’t need to go this low in salary in cash games this week. If, however, you are need of some salary relief, you should consider Matteo. He would be a way to stuff in two studs.  He has similar form to James Morrison in that he has also made 7 of 8 made cuts on the season, including 6 straight cuts made. In the past two weeks, he has been priced at $7,500 and $8,000 in events with similar fields. This price drop has gotten my attention.  He has found his way onto many of my cash teams so far this season. I see no reason to reconsider when the salary drops by $1,000.  One of my favorite stats for finding value is the DK salary rank versus Vegas Odds rank. Matteo has one of the best on the board. 

OVER-CLUBBED CASH PLAY I WILL FADE

Bradley Dredge ($7,600)   

At $7,200 last week, Dredge was the 4th highest owned player in DK cash games. (The top 3 were Burmeister, Morrison, and Levy.) I can not make sense of his extremely high ownership.  I didn’t play him in cash or on any of my 150 GPP teams.  If you just look at his season, it looks tempting with 3/4 made cuts. Don’t be fooled. The early season success occurred many months ago and his only RF was a missed cut last week.  The only case for him was success (T15) at this event last season. That may put him on the GPP radar, but not a cash play for me. His ownership will drop from the staggering 34% last week.

 

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 a MDF as a made cut.

DK: DraftKings

FD: FanDuel

FDraft: FantasyDraft