PGA All-Star - Lesson 04 - Using Recency to Draft

Derek ‘Notorious’ Farnsworth is one of the top daily fantasy writer in the industry, with the majority of his work done as the featured writer on RotoGrinders.com. He covers nearly every sport, with a focus on NBA, PGA and MLB daily fantasy content. He has been nominated for multiple Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards and took one home for his PGA Weekly Series in 2014.

Golf is the only daily fantasy sport where the players are competing against themselves and the elements. There is no coach, no defense, and no playing time to factor in to an individual’s performance. It all comes down to how well each golfer can play on a course over four rounds. Golf is a mental game that requires concentration and confidence. Ability can only take you so far in golf, which is why we see so many golfers go through hot and cold streaks.

When golfers are confident in their ability to strike a golf ball, they can string together some of their best finishes in their entire careers. On the PGA Tour, we constantly see average golfers get hot and post a few top ten finishes in a row. We also see players go through cold stretches where they can’t seem to make a cut. Recognizing the fact that golfers go through hot and cold streaks can be helpful when creating daily fantasy golf lineups.

Targeting Hot Streaks

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When a golfer is confident in his game and has a great mental approach, good results will soon follow. In daily fantasy golf, we can use these hot streaks to our advantage. DraftKings salaries change every week, but it usually takes a couple of weeks before a hot streak really starts to impact the price of a player.

The key with hot streaks in daily fantasy golf is to target the players before their price reacts to their recent level of play. There comes a point where a player becomes overpriced, regardless of how great his current form is coming into a tournament.  Price should always be the most important factor when building lineups.

One of the best ways to target hot streaks is to target players that have played well in non-PGA Tour events. A great example of this is at the very start of the season. This is when all of the Web.com graduates first come up to the PGA Tour. This is a great opportunity to target players that are in great form before they make a name for themselves on tour. Jordan Spieth was a great example last season and Justin Thomas is a great example this season (2015). Both golfers played a lot of great golf before becoming household names.

Another great way to target players with great form coming into an event is to target players that play most of their tournaments on the European or Asian Tour. The results from other tours around the world aren’t included in the PGA results and often get overlooked by those that play daily fantasy golf.

Fading Cold Streaks

Good golfers will always break out of cold streaks, but we don’t want to target them in the middle of one. As mentioned above, sometimes a player’s struggles last longer than the course of a single tournament. If a golfer starts to miss consecutive cuts, this should be a red flag for daily fantasy purposes. We want to target golfers that are confident in their game, which is tough if they are missing multiple cuts in a row.

Finding Value After a Single Missed Cut

Recency bias plays a huge role in all daily fantasy sports. When a golfer does not perform up to standards, most people tend to avoid him the next week. We can use this to our advantage, as golfers coming off of a missed cut typically will have a depressed price the very next week. We don’t want to target golfers in the midst of a cold streak, but a single missed cut shouldn’t be alarming, especially if the golfer had solid finishes in his previous few tournaments.


Continue Reading PGA Training Camp

PGA All-Star – Lesson 01 – Getting Past the Cut Line
PGA All-Star – Lesson 02 – Odds to Win, Place and More
PGA All-Star – Lesson 03 – Distributing PGA Salaries
PGA All-Star – Lesson 04 – Using Recency to Draft
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