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PGA DFS Strategy: Multi-Entry GPP Approach for the RBC Heritage

Hey there, RotoBallers! Thanks for stopping by my new attempt at a PGA DFS strategy series that focuses on multi-entry GPP strategy for each specific golf tournament on the PGA Tour. If you haven't read any of my pieces yet, my name is Tommy Bell. I go by @BellRoto in the Twitter world, and I've been writing for RotoBaller since my college days back in 2013!

Our fantastic RotoBaller PGA team has pretty much every facet of golf DFS and betting covered, but this might one extra piece I can add to the mix to help put into words what I believe is the most profitable way to approach PGA DFS. That approach is simply max entering the multi-entry GPP tournaments. For context, I will be using DraftKings as my site of reference, and I will refer mainly to the $3 entry, 20-entry max tournament that they host each tournament. That being said, a lot of what I'll cover can be translated to use in lower or higher buy-in tournaments. It can also (with some tweaks) be used in a 50-entry or 150-entry max approach.

I understand everyone uses different lineup-building tools, and that's great! I'll be using our awesome lineup builder/optimizer tool here as reference. Each week I'll provide some reflection on last week's tournament, some generic thoughts on the upcoming approach to building multiple lineups, and lastly a quick peak at which players will make up my core for building GPP lineups this week. Let's get to it!


Reflection: Last week's Charles Schwab Challenge

I just about tripled my entry fee last week, which is a great start to the renewed PGA Tour season. That being said, it could've been a lot more profitable if Xander Schauffele had pulled out a win, Gary Woodland would've stayed in the top 5, and Jordan Spieth would've stopped hitting wayward drives. Even still, my process felt really good, and I had a true sweat for a good portion of the tournament, so I'm pleased overall!

I made a great calls in completely fading Webb Simpson, Jon Rahm, and Rory McIlroy. I wish I would've stuck to my guns and faded Harris English, but I added in about 20% of him during my second walk-through of exposures... Oof. Ryan Palmer and Erik Van Rooyan were also misses that hurt a lot of potential 6-of-6 lineups. I liked where my head was at with EVR, but Palmer seems to have been a stretch at second glance.

I loved how much Jordan Spieth I had, but I think I lucked out there. His ridiculous putting is really what kept him in the optimal build, and there are still plenty of problems with his off-the-tee game. I'll be keeping close eye on him, but I'm in no rush to play him again. I'm thrilled with how much Schauffele, Woodland, Justin Rose, and Bryson DeChambeau I ended up with. I tied in some Brian Harman, Abraham Ancer, and Joaquin Niemann as value plays that led to some really promising lineups.

I don't want to change too much in my process, because everything went pretty well all things considered. I will say that I want to keep my core even tighter moving forward, and refrain from adding guys like English if my lineup builder only spits out 15-18 lineups instead of 20. There's a reason why I left him off to start, and there are other ways to get to my 20 lineups rather than subjecting my good lineups to bad picks just for the sake of making the lineup builder happy. I'm happy to answer questions about that on Twitter if that's something you've dealt with in the past.

*I failed to take a screenshot of my exposures last week, but I'll be doing that moving forward for your reference when looking back at previous lineup building processes...*


Approach: The RBC Heritage

Like I mentioned above, I felt my process was pretty sound last week, and a lot of what we focused on at Colonial Country Club will carry over to Harbour Town Golf Links. As I always do, I'll remove all golfers from my player pool, and go through one-by-one adding the guys that I feel will do two things:

1) Make the cut. This is huge. I know that GPPs are supposed to be high-risk, high-reward, but guys can only get hot over the weekend and make a move from the cut line to the middle of the pack if they actually, ya know, make the cut. That's not to say I'll never roster cheap dart throws, but I'll definitely make sure there's some kind of positive history or trend or something that gives me confidence in their ability to avoid crooked numbers and an early exit to the tournament.

2) Upside to make a run at the top of the leaderboard. If you want to win the top prize in a GPP tournament, having guys who make the weekend on the cut line and then play par golf on Saturday and Sunday is not going to get it done. Even if you have the top three golfers in the tournament, you're going to need some scoring help from your staple guys to get you there. Look at Joaquin Niemann as an example from this past week. It wasn't pretty, but he got where I needed him to be in order to truly contend in my tournament lineup. He made the cut at -3. Saturday was really bad, and he ended up teeing off on Sunday at -1, but he figured out how to get to -6 and threw an hole-out eagle in there. Had he been my worst player of the six and Woodland/Spieth hadn't choked away their Top 7 positioning, I would've had a true shot at a take down. Chesson Hadley is a great example of this from the Schwab as well.

I have a pretty firm grasp of who my expensive golfers will be this week. I'm going to make a lot of risky fades at the top once again, because I'm very confident in the handful of $9k-and-up golfers that I'm putting stock in. Because of that, I'm able to cycle in more value guys to hopefully hit the right combination somewhere in my 20 lineups. Obviously, if you enter more lineups in a higher max-entry tournament, it means more combinations. However, it also means more entry fees, and it sometimes can be easier to get away from your core guys, leading to bad lineups. I think 20 lineups is a great amount for creating combinations but also sticking to your guns.

Once I have my player pool set (sitting at 21 players right now, which is higher than usual simply because I'm "cycling" more guys in the value range with high exposures in my studs) I double-check projection amounts and assign Min/Max percentages to each guy in my pool. I'll run the optimizer and see how close those exposures come to my anticipated percentages, and adjust accordingly. Lastly, I export to DraftKings via CSV, and I go through each lineup to see if any combinations stand out as uncomfortable or way too chalky. If anyone would like to see this process in action, hit me up on Twitter, and I'd be happy to do an in-depth video somewhere down the line.


Core Plays: The RBC Heritage

Justin Thomas: $10,900 - About 75%

I usually don't go this high on any one golfer, especially one that's this expensive. It made filling in the rest of my exposures really difficult simply because so much of the salary gets eaten up right off the bat. But, I want to take a massive stand on Thomas this week. He burned so many birdie putts by the hole on the weekend at Colonial, and he could've easily been tied at 15 under joining the playoff had his putter been a little sharper. JT gained SEVEN (!!) strokes on approach last week, and he's proven very good at short, accurate courses. He's my only $10k and up golfer, and I'm putting all my eggs in his basket. I'll go down with the ship if he has another lackluster putting week.


Justin Rose: $9,200 - About 45%

I firmly believe that Rosey is back for good. The switch back to his Taylormade clubs plus the layoff to get back on track seems to have done him very good. He was pin-seeking all week at Colonial, and while he gained 5.4 strokes putting on the whole, there were some very make-able putts that went begging. Everything about Rose's game was encouraging, and he'll be back above $10k before we know it. I'm going to have some Justin-Justin lineups, but my plan is to have Rose in all of my non-JT lineups as well.


Viktor Hovland: $7,600 - About 45%

My plan was to be ahead of the curve with Hovland this week, but the more research I do, the more I see others touting him as well. You can see a larger breakdown in my Premium DraftKings Value Article, but basically his off-the-tee game and approach shots really rounded into form over the weekend. Hovland also committed to improving his around-the-green game, which will be necessary at Harbour Town. He's proven to have success at short courses so far in his young career, and I think this could be a nice little coming out party in a strong field at RBC Heritage. Hovland will headline my cheap golfer exposures along with some other safe floor, high ceiling value plays that I have up my sleeve.

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