From different scoring criteria to smaller fields, there are a number of different factors to consider when building your Weekend Golf lineups. Below I break down the Five Secrets of Weekend Golf.
1. All Equal into the Weekend
No placement points
Even though your weekend golfers will have a rank and score inside the real PGA tournament after Friday’s round, for DraftKings purposes, none of what happened on Thursday or Friday will matter for weekend scoring. In fact, Weekend Golf on DK completely takes out placement points for scoring purposes so that no players have any inherent advantage over another to start the final two rounds. What this means for team construction purposes is that players who barely scrapped by the cut to make the weekend should now be given the same consideration as the players at the top of the leaderboard. This may seem like an obvious point, but it’s important to remember as typically high-point producers who started the tournament slowly and are far down the leaderboard after Friday will be at no real disadvantage in Weekend Golf since placement points don’t matter. Make sure you take this into consideration before making your teams.
2. Stress the birdie-makers (even more!)
With the loss of placement points as a scoring factor, that means that our fantasy points in Weekend Golf will be solely determined by our players’ hole-by-hole scores relative to par, and through any bonuses they may achieve on the weekend. Since we don’t get dinged by a loss of placement points when a player bogeys his way to a poor finishing position, that means players with higher birdie rates actually become even more fruitful in Weekend Golf than they already are in full-round play. Here’s an example of how this can shake out:
Player A: Cards a one-under (-1) round with 17 pars and one birdie. He receives 13.25 DK points on DK weekend scoring. (8.5pts – 17 pars, 3pts – birdie and 1.75pts – Bogey Free Round)
Player B: Cards a round of even par (E) with four birdies, offset by four bogeys. He scores you 15 points. (12pts – four birdies, -2pts – four bogeys and 5pts – 10 pars)
As you can see, with no placement points, Player A — even though he shot a better score than Player B — actually does worse on DraftKings scoring-wise. While placement points in full-round scoring may have offset some of those birdies Player B made, those don’t exist in Weekend Golf making players who rank higher than their salary equivalents, in categories like birdie average or birdie or better percentage, great targets.
3. Consider Saturday Tee Times
Weekend tee times differ from the beginning of the tournament as the field is smaller after Friday and there are no waves. Excluding situations where split-tees or early tee-times are used to avoid bad weather, most weeks will see the leaders teeing off last in the early afternoon on Saturday, while the mid-to-bottom of the leaderboard will begin teeing off in the early morning. While it varies week-to-week, it is often the early slots that gain an advantage of some kind due to factors like the greens being more receptive early or the winds being lighter in the AM. Weather can often be hard to predict, but with only two rounds of play in Weekend Golf, checking for any advantage for early (or late) players could help you develop an edge. This is also another good reason for considering players from both the top and bottom of the leaderboard when lineup building.
4. Look Outside the Current Top-10
Weekend Golf is unique since we are starting our fantasy teams in an event which has technically already started and the current leaderboard will most definitely create some biases in most DFS-player’s minds (even if shouldn’t or we don’t want it too). The players at the top of the leaderboard often come into the weekend getting the most press and hype because of their standing and, in many cases, will be higher-owned because of it. This was certainly the case at the recent Masters (2017) where the four highest-owned weekend players on DraftKings (Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters, Charley Hoffman) were the four at the top of the leaderboard through half-way. With no inherent advantage in picking players from the top of the leaderboard (outside of the fact they may be good players) fading some of the top players from the first two rounds can help us create lower-owned lineups with better leverage over the field in larger tournaments.
5. Weekday/Weekend Scoring Splits
Simply put, some players simply play better when the weekend rolls around. Much like an MLB pitcher who performs better at home than on the road, or an NFL QB who doesn’t cut the mustard in primetime games (looking at you Andy Dalton), certain golfers simply perform better — or worse — when the weekend rolls around. Although the sample size for the year may not be huge, looking at both DK performance from weekend only golf, or a player’s actual scoring averages from rounds three and four can lead you to identify some targets who may be great candidates for a weekend only lineup. Alternatively, if you see some names at the front of the leaderboard after Friday you’re not used to seeing, also make sure you look up their weekend stats or performance numbers before taking the dive. The PGA is littered with early round success stories who petered out well before the tournament ended, and for Weekend Golf on DraftKings those are the kinds of stories we want to avoid in our lineups.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.