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Billy Horschel

PGA DFS Picks: The PGA Daily Plug for the Memorial Tournament

*** NOTE: THIS IS A PREVIOUS VERSION OF THE PGA DFS DAILY PLUG WRITTEN ON JULY 14, 2020 FOR THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT. To read the current PGA Daily Plug, CLICK HERE. ***

The PGA Daily Plug highlights the top PGA DFS picks for the Memorial Tournament contests on FanDuel & DraftKings, then provides strategies on how to build lineups for all contest types.

The PGA DFS picks and advice below is provided by Niromada, a staple in the Occupy PGA Discord channel and perennial top 75 PGA DFS player according to RotoGrinders rankings. Join our Discord channel by becoming a Twitch subscriber.

Note: Niromada will provide picks from his personal player pool -- and they may differ from the rankings in our Occupy Model -- but Niromada is tuned into the golf scene and can provide context that isn't taken into account by the model. We must also remember that the model is built exclusively for high-risk contests, so Niromada can also help us decipher the best plays for low-risk contests the model may overlook. 

For full high-risk rankings on FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo!, dive into the PGA Occupy Model.

UPDATES:

  • Updates will be made here in blue after the Plug is posted Tuesday afternoon. 
  • WEDNESDAY UPDATE
    • Here is the summary of line moves at Pinnacle Sports so far. The percentage next to the name means the percent that the odds have gotten smaller since the Pinnacle opened their odds on Tuesday morning US time until now, where "now" is roughly midday in the US on Wednesday.
      • Abraham Ancer 34%
      • Webb Simpson 22%
      • Gary Woodland 15%
      • Xander Schauffele 14%
      • Patrick Reed 14%
      • Hideki Matsuyama 13%
      • Sungjae Im 12%
      • Tiger Woods 10%
      • Sergio Garcia 10%
      • Viktor Hovland 9%
      • Jason Day 8%
      • Rory McIlroy 6%
      • Dustin Johnson 3%
      • Cantlay and Rahm have current odds equal to their opening odds while all others whose odds have not gotten smaller have gotten 6%+ bigger. This means that they have both taken money, just not enough to shrink their odds from the opener.
    • 1) That's a giant move on Ancer and it looks like he was hit twice. Despite his chalkiness, it's a move that should be respected.
    • 2) The ball-striking / great iron players theme continues with the guys who have taken money on Pinnacle this week.
    • 3) We should also notice that some of the more extreme moves with Ancer and Simpson are based on two very similar players. They are both "neat and tidy' types who tend to minimize big mistakes and eliminate big numbers with their accuracy. In particular they are extremely accurate with their driving. The Top 10 in this field for driving accuracy in order (recent form numbers only): Todd-Casey-Duncan-Norlander-Poston-Streelman-Simpson-Ancer-Janewattananond-Herman.
    • 4) Bottom line takeaway: These moves tell me that Pinnacle's sharps expect the increased rough and dried out greens to have a bigger effect on scoring when compared to what you saw last week.
    • 5) I'll post a final update on the Pinnacle line moves tonight in the Discord channel so that they can be covered in the Twitch stream tonight. Be sure to tune in!

Notable Betting Odds:

Biggest Favorites (To Win):
Justin Thomas (+900)
Bryson DeChambeau (+1000)
Rory McIlroy (+1200)
Patrick Cantlay (+1400)
Dustin Johnson (+1600)
Jon Rahm (+1800)
Viktor Hovland (+2000)
Collin Morikawa (+2000)
Xander Schauffele (+2000)
Webb Simpson (+2000)
Brooks Koepka (+2500)
Hideki Matsuyama (+2500)
Tiger Woods (+2500)

Use the PGA Model to look at line movements. With such massive odds disparities, line movement numbers are relative to opening odds for each golfer. Not all similar number moves are the same.

Weather:

We're looking at 15+ mph winds Thursday afternoon, with no major wind splits on Friday. Weather can change quickly, but initial forecasts give an edge to THU AM / FRI PM golfers. 

Course Info:

Take two at Muirfield Village, a Nicklaus design in Columbus, OH. We’re back to the “real” tournament and we should expect longer rough, drier fairways and lightning fast greens than last week if Mother Nature cooperates. We still want approach play specialists. Accuracy with the irons first and distance second. You must hit the right part of the green on this course or you will have a tough time making par. If you’re a course history truther, you can also give the course form a bigger bump versus last week. Ball strikers, ball strikers, ball strikers.

Key Stats:

PGA has a lot of data available for you to consider. This week, the following stats are important. This changes week to week based on course characteristics in PGA DFS. 

Greens in Regulation
Fairways Gained
Par 5s
Birdies or Better
Ball Striking
Sand Saves
Putting Variance* - custom Occupy Fantasy analysis built into the Occupy Model

PGA DFS Picks - Top Golfers:

These are the top golfers in my player pool for the Memorial Tournament: 

Billy Horschel
FanDuel: $9400, FanDuel Proj Own: 6%
DraftKings: $7500, DraftKings Proj Own: 8%
Odds to Win: +7000

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • Despite his 7th place finish last week, the fact that Billy retains his $7500 price tag on DK in a much deeper field should keep his ownership near the OF Model’s estimate of 8%.
  • After his horror start on Thursday morning of being +4 thru 5 holes, Horschel proceeded to play the final 67 holes in 15 under par making 21 birdies and an eagle.
  • He was very confident in post round press conference on Sunday, speaking of his love for the course and his excitement at his teacher flying in this week to help him tighten up his swing just a bit.
  • Let’s see if we can make two weeks in a row in the Plug equal two straight Top 10’s for Billy Ho.

J.T. Poston
FanDuel: $8600, FanDuel Proj Own: 3%
DraftKings: $7000, DraftKings Proj Own: 3%
Odds to Win: +15000

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • He kicked off the re-start with an 8th and 10th but then (barely) missed the last two cuts.
  • He’s only played here once (T-52 in 2019) and doesn’t strike me as the best course fit, but this play is all about the value.  My rankings have him as the 26th best in the field and Pinnacle has him as the 37th, yet the DK price has him outside the Top 50.
  • He’s made 6 of his 9 cuts in 2020 with no finish worse than 37th in those 6 events.  If he can make the weekend, he should easily outplay his price point.  See the value, play the value.

Jon Rahm
FanDuel: $11400, FanDuel Proj Own: 14%
DraftKings: $9300, DraftKings Proj Own: 14%
Odds to Win: +1800

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • Feels like every week either my own biases or the Pinnacle steam tricks me into playing Rahmbo.  He’s clearly not in his usual stellar form, but many might have missed that about the same time Morikawa made his putt on 17 on Sunday, Rahm stuffed a wedge to 2 feet on the 9th, made the kick in, and signed off for a 64 (his lowest by 2 strokes since the restart).
  • If we assume that he found something in the round and combine his long-term class / ceiling with his joke of a price on DK at $9300, we should have the highest owned golfer in the field.  Instead, he’s only projected for 14% ownership on DK.  Add in that 87+ OF Index, and I’m in again, painfully, on Rahm this week.

Abraham Ancer
FanDuel: $9900, FanDuel Proj Own: 16%
DraftKings: $8500, DraftKings Proj Own: 17%
Odds to Win: +4500

  • Usage: Low- and High-Risk Contests
  • Not only is Abe a great course fit with his steady long game, he’s in great form.  He’s played three times since the re-start and finished 14th-2nd-11th and his last 8 rounds have all been sub 70.
  • I prefer him on tougher courses that are more of a grind as his accurate driving and decent iron play usually keep him out of real trouble.
  • We know how important iron play is at Muirfield and Abe’s strokes gained: approach finishes in the three tournaments he’s played: 10-1-12.  He looks to be well owned but feels like good chalk to me.

Tony Finau
FanDuel: $9800, FanDuel Proj Own: 9%
DraftKings: $8300, DraftKings Proj Own: 9%
Odds to Win: +5000

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • Finau should always be high up anyone’s list of “guys who can flush it, but can’t putt it” so it should not be a surprise that he has an 8th, 11th and 13th (and one missed cut) in his 5 starts at Muirfield.
  • While not a standout value in terms of price, Tony provides nice leverage with his OF Model estimate of single digit ownership.
  • He has 14 rounds since the re-start and 11 of them have been in the 60’s to show that there is not much wrong with his game.  He was actively posting on social media during the off week about how much work he was putting in with his coach.  Tony’s a big talent with top 3 upside if he puts it all together this week.

Sungjae Im
FanDuel: $9500, FanDuel Proj Own: 8%
DraftKings: $8200, DraftKings Proj Own: 6%
Odds to Win: +6600

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • Time to buy low on Im.  Since August of ’19, we’ve only seen him priced lower than his current DK price one time.
  • While not in the best of form since the re-start, Im still made 18 birdies last week -- he just made an uncharacteristic number of mistakes with his 13 bogies, 2 doubles and a triple.
  • He should now know which places and sight lines to avoid on the course and the game’s ultimate grinder wasted no time traveling this week and should be working hard to tighten things up before Thursday morning.
  • Did I mention his 72+ OF Index?
  • I do not have a big enough calculator to add up how much Im’s Sunday 77 cost @BrianJesterFF, but if you don’t have a masochistic streak, then you don’t play DFS.  Bring the pain Sungjae!

Danny Willett
FanDuel: $8700, FanDuel Proj Own: 2%
DraftKings: $7000, DraftKings Proj Own: 2%
Odds to Win: +12500

  • Usage: High-Risk Contests Only
  • Last seen signing off with a Sunday 66 and a backdoor T-4 finish at the Rocket Mortgage, Willett returns to Muirfield Village where he had a 27th place finish in his only start last year.
  • He finished 6th in the field in Detroit in strokes gained tee to green and was 15th in strokes gained approach.  He’s a former Masters champion who has won other big events on big courses with deep fields.
  • IF that result at the Rocket Mortgage is indeed indicative of his current form, we would have a live sub 5% owned player who would not be afraid to win on Sunday if he was in that position.

Other golfers I like more than the field: Patrick Cantlay, Gary Woodland, Harris English, Dustin Johnson, Matthias Schwab and Tiger Woods.

Final note: I will shift allocations and add players to my pool based on late movement in the betting odds.  The model will update with those line moves, and I'll update the Plug with any changes I see on Wednesday.

Lineup Strategies:

General strategy:

Welcome back Eldrick Woods.  This is the deepest field we’ve seen since the re-start.  We should note that this tournament maintains invitational status and, although bigger than it’s normal size, there are still only 132 entrants. A larger percentage of the field will make the cut this week.  I still don’t care if you can putt, but with the soft pricing and deep field, I will be paying a bit more attention to the ownership estimates this week.  Stars and scrubs builds should be reasonably contrarian considering how strong of a pre-tournament lineup you can build going balanced.  Find the spots that you want to leverage and maximize your builds accordingly.

Low-Risk Contests:

A good general low risk strategy is to cram in as many high projected ownership players with high cut made percentages as possible.  If you can get those first two metrics plus someone with a high OF Index, that’s even better.  I’ll use the preferred player profile to help my search and I almost always choose balanced builds on DK for low risk contests.  It is never easy to get 6/6 across (Hello Brooks Koepka!), so the best way to increase our odds of that happening is to focus on those three metrics.  Cantlay fits here in the higher price ranges, Woodland in the middle and Horschel in the lower.

High-Risk Contests: 

Plenty of DFS pros would disagree but building high risk PGA lineups is more art than science.  In general, we want to stay within the Occupy PGA high risk lineup framework for the largest entry GPP’s: 2 players 15%+ ownership, 2 players less than 5% ownership, 2 players in between.  One of the biggest challenges is to find the right level of risk in your lineup construction for high risk contests.  Look to trade upside for projected ownership and taking on risk with some, but not all pieces, of your lineup.  Finau, English and Tiger all fit here as guys whose ownership doesn’t reflect their ceiling outcomes.

Bankroll & Contest Recommendations:

Bankroll/Contest Allocation: 2-5% of bankroll.  The Memorial has a stacked field like a major and the contests on all sites have been increased this week.  And we only have two weeks left until the return of the NBA.  When the team sports return, I assume the PGA contest sizes will shrink to some degree.  Time to stretch the allocations if you are comfortable doing so.

Larger Bankrolls: On DK, the $500K Driver is a $200 SE with $100K up top and a $100K bigger prize pool than last week.  The $1M Signature Hole is a $555 multi entry that pays $250K to first.  The $150K Driving Range ($150 entry 3 max) and the $250K Stinger ($100 entry, $50K up top) are also worth a look.  On FD, the $400K PGA Monster ($555 entry, $100K up top) and the $50K Albatross ($222 SE with $8K up top) are the two best larger dollar entry tournaments on FanDuel.

Smaller Bankrolls: On DK, the Milly Maker ($20 entry, $1M to first) is back with a slight better structure with “only” 33% of the pool to first.  It is slightly more playable.  The $400K Drive the Green still has a more equitable payout structure and a more affordable max entry price point with the $5 entry fee.  The $100K Slice has the best payout structure and an affordable $9 entry fee.  In addition, all of the SE price points here ($33, $12, $5 and $1) are good GPP's and there are plenty of good 3 and 20 max GPP's at price points between $1 and $15.  On FD, the $500K PGA Mega Eagle has grown to a $9.99 entry fee while keeping the $100K first prize.  There is also the $100K PGA Stinger with the affordable max entry price point ($3 entry and $10K to first) and the $25K PGA Pin Seeker ($25 SE and $2K to first).

For all bankroll sizes in high-risk contests, remember to target 100-player leagues first and foremost, especially on FanDuel. On DraftKings, these are called "Contests" and range from 29 to 237 players.