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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - Charles Schwab Challenge


Welcome back to the PGA DFS: Vegas Report. Brooks Koepka continued his reign over the PGA Tour, capturing his fourth major championship in his past eight attempts. The American was in cruise control for the first three rounds and entered the final round with a seven-shot lead but was forced to survive a frantic dash from Dustin Johnson on Sunday.

As a society, we feel the need to try and accurately depict what we are watching, which usually means trying to figure out where a current player will rank amongst the pantheon of greats. Will Giannis Antetokounmpo go down as the greatest basketball player ever? Is Mike Trout the best baseball player we have ever seen? While generally harmless, these types of questions can be undermining.

It is not to say that Antetokounmpo, Trout or Koepka can't reach the pinnacle of their particular sports, but historical value is graded over a full career, not just a few year sample size. Athletes like Penny Hardaway (NBA) and Gale Sayers (NFL) had short spurts of looking like they were the heir apparent to the throne, but injuries eventually stunted their ascension up Mount Rushmore. The same could be said for Randy Moss (NFL) and Allen Iverson (NBA), who were superstars in their own right but didn't get the most out of their talent for a full career.

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Brooks Koepka

The point that I am trying to make is that it is impossible to predict how someone's career will go. We have witnessed similar achievements in the past from Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, but neither player was able to keep the pedal to the metal the way that Tiger Woods was able to in his career.

Koepka is a byproduct of Woods and might be the closest thing we have seen to him from a mentality standpoint, but instead of trying to gauge how Koepka measures up to Tiger, let's enjoy what the 29-year-old has been able to accomplish so far and hope that he can stay sitting on the iron throne for an extended duration of time. Because if he can keep up this rate for 10-plus years, then we have a real discussion on our hands.

For an in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly Horse For The Course that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

To see who the RotoBaller staff is selecting in the weekly 'One and Done' contest, click here.

 

2019 Charles Schwab Challenge - Colonial Country Club

7,209 Yards - Par 70 - Greens Bentgrass

For a week directly following a major championship, the Charles Schwab Challenge does not lack quality. One hundred twenty-two players are set to tee up at Colonial Country Club, which includes nine of the top 20 players in the world. 2018 champion Justin Rose will be back to defend his title but will face a stern test from the likes of Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Francesco Molinari and Bryson DeChambeau.

The invitational nature of the event is unusual for a few reasons on DFS sites. For starters, despite having nearly 22 percent fewer players than a standard week, the cut will remain at top 70 and ties playing the weekend - allowing more aggressive builds to take place with roster construction.

Colonial Country Club is one of the shortest courses on tour and features miniature greens. Distance off the tee has virtually zero importance, and we are instead hoping to pinpoint golfers that excel with an iron in their hand. Driving accuracy is important, but our friends over at Fantasynational.com have a much better way to evaluate that statistic with their fairways gained tool. Accuracy off the tee is a difficult statistic to model correctly because different courses require different gameplans, but fairways gained compares all players in a field against their counterparts that week. When you add in birdie-making skills, strokes gained off the tee, GIR, proximity from under 175 yards and par-four average, you get a pretty good indicator of what will be needed this weekend in Texas.

 

Charles Schwab Best Bets

Knowing when to attack and when to play it safe is vital if you want to find long-term success in sports betting. The card this week isn't one that I actively want to charge in full-steam ahead, and I will be taking a much more conservative route with my selections.

If you are looking to back a favorite, Francesco Molinari is my preferred option near the top of the board at 20/1, but I don't believe we are getting value on that number and would rather start a little lower to depress our overall exposure.

 

#1 Bryson DeChambeau - 30/1

DK Price $9,400, FD Price $11,100

Playing Bryson DeChambeau is going to require a leap of faith. Two straight missed cuts have derailed the eighth-ranked player in the world, but there are reasons to be optimistic if you decide to back the American.

As we do our research for Colonial Country Club, DeChambeau's failed attempt last weekend at the PGA Championship should be thrown out the window. The 25-year-old complained on Thursday and Friday about the setup of Bethpage Black being too long and proceeded to miss the cut with rounds of 72 and 74, respectively. DeChambeau is by no means short off the tee, ranking 42nd on tour in driving distance, but the five-time PGA Tour winner has always been known more for his strategic nature, and New York's driving contest did not appeal to his eye.

Fast forward to the Colonial this week, and DeChambeau will get an opportunity to show off his skills at a venue that should play right into his strengths. In his last 24 rounds on Bentgrass greens, the former SMU product ranks inside the top-25 in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach, fairways gained, GIR gained, par-four scoring and birdies or better gained. DeChambeau's $9,400 price tag and six percent projected ownership places him as one of the best contrarian plays on the board, although he should be avoided in cash-game lineups this week. 30/1 is too high of an outright price for DeChambeau, and I am willing to take a shot on his talent over his current form.

 

#2 Ian Poulter - 40/1

DK Price $9,100, FD Price $10,600

Perhaps even more so than Bryson DeChambeau, Ian Poulter's missed cut at the PGA Championship should be taken with a grain a salt. Both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship have always been challenging events for the Englishman to contend at because of his length and last weekend emphasized that fact.

However, if we remove his failed result at Bethpage Black, we are looking at a golfer that has been one of the best players in the world for the past eight months. Fifteen straight made cuts and six top-10 finishes have highlighted his reemergence back into the top-30 in the world, and Poulter has been just a few close calls away from capturing his 18th career worldwide victory.

Priced at $9,100 on DraftKings, the 29th-ranked player is projected to be merely eight percent owned, and I believe you could make an argument that he is playable across the board in DFS contests. Accuracy off the tee, ball striking and the ability to get hot with his putter has always been Poulter's game, and Colonial Country Club sets up nicely for the 43-year-old to pull off an under the radar victory.

 

#3 Chez Reavie - 66/1

DK Price $8,300, FD Price $9,900

We have a handful of players in this range that are worth some consideration. Emiliano Grillo and Scott Piercy are the frontrunners, but I think both are better selections for DFS cash-game lineups. The same could theoretically be said for Chez Reavie, who has just one PGA Tour title in his career, but for all the discounting I am doing of the PGA Championship, the Arizona resident deserves a little credit for his efforts.

Typically, I would discredit a result if I saw a golfer gain 7.1 strokes putting in the previous event. That is not a sustainable total, and we should expect to see some regression to the mean happen the next time they tee it up. However, Reavie's irons were also sharp, gaining 3.2 strokes over his four rounds en route to a 14th place showing in New York. As one might expect, the lengthy layout caused the 37-year-old to lose 2.3 strokes off the tee, but I believe when you factor in the inevitable backslide he will have on the greens with the improvement he will see off the tee at a shorter venue, you are left with a golfer who is in form and ready to strike.

Reavie hasn't had much success in the past at Colonial Country Club but enters the week having posted three straight top-30 results. His $8,300 price tag on DraftKings will make him one of the most popular selections at 13 percent owned, but I am not sure actively fading the American is the preferred route to go when iron play and driving accuracy take precedence over all else. Reavie does have some missed cut potential having struggled at this venue in the past, but as an outright wager and GPP selection, I don't have an issue taking a shot on the 59th-ranked player in the world.

 

#4 Abraham Ancer - 80/1

DK Price $7,600, FD Price $9,300

I told myself that I would never select Abraham Ancer again after the video of him, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jhonattan Vegas went viral of them running to the next hole, so I deserve whatever happens to me at the Charles Schwab Challenge. At least I can defend the other three for their poor running styles, but come on Abe - that looked like me trying to run after not attempting to do so for five years. Not a pretty site. Gambling is about forgetting the past and looking at situations with an open mind, so against my better judgment, here we are.

If we attach a 90 percent weight to 2019 statistics and 10 percent to 2018, Ancer grades out 11th compared to the field in strokes gained off the tee and 64th in strokes gained approach. Technically, that is the reverse of how we are trying to breakdown this tournament, but Ancer's irons have been much better from under 175 yards, ranking fourth from 150-175 yards (the most common yardage that the players will face this weekend) and inside the top-40 when standing inside 150 yards.

Despite a relatively cheap $7,600 price tag on DraftKings, the 28-year-old is currently projected to be only seven percent owned and makes for an intriguing contrarian GPP option. Depending on how I run my model, it has returned a vast array of numbers for Ancer this weekend, but I am going to go with the upside portion of it, which places him in the 60/1 territory as being a proper price. I have run variations where he is above 100/1, but this feels like a great setup for the Mexican golfer in his home state of Texas.

 

My Top 30 Ranked Golfers For The Week

Key Stats: SG Approach 25%, SG Off the Tee 15%, Par-Four Average 15%, Birdie or Better Percentage 15%, Fairways Gained 10%, GIR 10% and Proximity From 150-175 Yards 10%

75% Stats/30% Form/20% Course History

 

Head-to-Head Play of the Week

With 22 percent fewer players than a typical week but still top-70 and ties making the cut, we will be back next weekend for the Memorial. Admittingly, we have been ultra-conservative lately, but the last two weeks have been forced wagers and have not ended well. There is no need to keep a poor run going by chasing losses.

 

2019 Head-to-Head Record (13-6-2)

+8.07 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets

Tournament

Head-to-Head Bet

Bet

My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish

Result

Total

Safeway Open

Sangmoon Bae +130 Over Chris Kirk

1.00 Units to Win 1.30

MC (+2)

MC (E)

Loss

-1.00

CIMB Classic

Kevin Na -120 over Kevin Tway

1.50 Units to Win 1.25

T19 (-17)

T27 (-13)

Win

1.25

CJ Cup

Paul Casey +100 over Marc Leishman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T18 (-8)

T18 (-8)

Push

0

WGC-HSBC

Thomas Pieters +120 over Kevin Na

1.00 Units to Win 1.20

T18 (-1)

T54 (+10)

Win

1.20

Shriners

Austin Cook +100 over Russell Henley

1.00 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+1)

MC (-1)

Loss

-1.00

Mayakoba

Kevin Chappell +100 over Charley Hoffman

1.25 Units to Win 1.25

T41 (-9)

MC (+2)

Win

1.25

RSM Classic

Patrick Rodgers -105 over Bronson Burgoon

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

2nd (-19)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

Sony Open

Jimmy Walker -115 over Kevin Na

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

T51 (-6)

Did Not Start

Push

0

Desert Classic

Anders Albertson -110 over Anirban Lahiri

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T34 (-14)

MC (-8)

Win

1.00

Farmers Insurance

J.B. Holmes +130 over Branden Grace

0.70 Units to Win 0.91

MC (+4)

MC (+3)

Loss

-0.70

Farmers Insurance

Jordan Spieth -110 over Alex Noren

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T35 (-7)

MC (E)

Win

1.00

Waste Management

Ryan Palmer +105 over Kevin Tway

1.00 Units to Win 1.05

T60 (E)

MC (E)

Win

1.05

Genesis Open

Hideki Matsuyama -110 over Jordan Spieth

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T9 (-7)

T51 (+1)

Win

1.00

Honda Classic

Zach Johnson -115 over Kiradech Aphibarnrat

1.43 Units to Win 1.25

T59 (+3)

MC (+10)

Win

1.25

Arnold Palmer

Chesson Hadley -110 over Chris Kirk

0.82 Units to win 0.75

T17 (-5)

T15 (-6)

Loss

-0.82

Players Championship

Tiger Woods +105 over Rickie Fowler

0.75 Units to win 0.79

T30 (-6)

T47 (-3)

Win

0.79

Valero Texas Open

Trey Mullinax -110 over Justin Harding

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

MDF (+1)

MC (+4)

Win

1.00

Masters

Bubba Watson -115 over Louis Oosthuizen

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

T12 (-8)

T29 (-4)

Win

1.00

Wells Fargo Championship

Joel Damen +120 over Chez Reavie

0.75 Units to win 0.90

2nd (-12)

T18 (-5)

Win

0.90

Byron Nelson

Trey Mullinax -105 over Brian Stuard

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+5)

T59 (-7)

Loss

-1.05

PGA Championship

Dylan Frittelli -105 over Cameron Champ

1.05 Units to Win 1.00

MC (+8)

T54 (+9)

Loss

-1.05

2019 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

Player

Event

Odds

Finish Position

Matt Kuchar

Mayakoba Golf Classic

66/1

1

Corey Conners

Valero Texas Open

200/1

1

Chesson Hadley

CIMB Classic

110/1

T2

Dustin Johnson

Masters

12/1

T2

Ryan Palmer

CJ Cup

150/1

T3

Sam Ryder

Shriners Hospitals

80/1

3

Chez Reavie

Sony Open

80/1

T3

Justin Thomas

Waste Management

10/1

3

Tommy Fleetwood

Arnold Palmer

35/1

T3

Rafa Cabrera-Bello

Arnold Palmer

60/1

T3

Scott Piercy

RBC Heritage

150/1

T3

Lucas Glover

Honda Classic

60/1

T4

Jason Day

CJ Cup

13/1

T5

Sergio Garcia

WGC-Match Play

45/1

T5

Jason Day

Masters

40/1

T5

Zach Johnson

RSM Classic

40/1

T7

Kevin Kisner

RSM Classic

40/1

T7

Webb Simpson

TOC

25/1

8

Jason Day

Players Championship

40/1

T8

Hideki Matsuyama

Players Championship

40/1

T8

J.B. Holmes

Safeway Open

60/1

9

Gary Woodland

Farmers Insurance

28/1

T9

Hideki Matsuyama

Genesis Open

30/1

T9

Shubankar Sharma

CIMB Classic

150/1

T10

Troy Merritt

RBC Heritage

250/1

T10

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