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Valero Texas Open: Daily Fantasy Plays (DFS)

DFS Plays, Fades, and Punts

Welcome to the first edition of our DFS plays. I want to make it very clear in my first post, and will continue to do so going forward, that GOOD BETS DO NOT MAKE GOOD DFS PLAYS and vice versa. Betting picks and DFS plays are two completely different things. Yes, there may be some overlap some weeks, but don't just think you can take your betting card and throw all those guys in your lineups.

DFS is about playing the game more than anything, and that means understanding leverage and ownership. Here's how I think of it: You have Golfer A at $7,000 and 20% owned, and Golfer B also at $7,000 but 5% owned. Now, is Golfer A 4 times as likely to score as many points as Golfer B, even though their the same price? Ultimately that's for you to decide, but the answer is typically no, and that's why we like to fade chalk in DFS. Enough about ownership, let's get into the plays.

Strategy and Contest Selection

This is an interesting week due to the fact that almost none of the top players are participating in preparation for the Master's next week. That begs the question, why are top tier guys like Hatton and Hideki teeing it up this week? I'm on the side that they are using this week as a glorified practice tournament. Hideki's body is beat up and he certainly isn't in form, so is this week one last ditch effort to try and get right before the BIG ONE? And Hatton has never played in this event before, making his attendance even more mysterious.

What I'm trying to get to is, I will be fading everyone in the 10k range this week. At their ownerships, everyone is that range is borderline unplayable, for me. Even Hideki projected around 8% is too much for me as I feel like he could have some WD concerns this week again. Yes, I honestly think Rickie Fowler can win this week, but I'm guessing his ownership will be near 30%? My rule is never play a guy you wouldn't feel comfortable playing at double their ownership, and I just can't get behind 60% on Rickie this week. I'll be starting off my lineups in the 9k range and go from there.

As for contests, they are not all created equal. Contest selection also very much depends on how much you're entering each week, and what your goal is. If you know your money is gone once you deposit, go ahead and enter the $50k to 1st contest and go for the lotto. Just know there's a 99% chance you won't see those entry fees again. But if you're looking to build that bankroll and play more conservatively, look to double ups or head to head games. Personally, my favorite contest is the 150 max $0.50 entry contest. For $75 I can make 150 lineups and get a chance to 1000% my entry? Sounds good to me. Single entries are always fun too, just make sure you have a low owned guy in their for some lineup discrepancy.

Guys We're Heavy On

Ryan Fox $9,000 (11% projected ownership)

As stated in the betting write up, Fox has all the motivation to play his best golf this week. I think Fox is a good pivot off the chalkier picks like Chris Kirk, Matt Kuchar, and JJ Spaun, all of whom should draw close to 20% ownership. $9,000 is a fair price in this field and compared to the options around him, we'll ride with the Fox.

Ben Griffin $8,700 (13% projected ownership)

Ben Griffin has been on a heater recently with 5 made cuts in a row, all finishing in the top 50, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Griffin has been in contention multiple times over the past two months or so, but he just hasn't been able to close (story of my life). I think he's on the verge of a win sooner than later, and in a lesser field, I'll take the chance. Don't love the ownership but will probably have him around 23% in my pool.

Hayden Buckley $7,600 (4% projected ownership)

Hayden Buckley at 4%? I'll gladly throw him in my player pool and set the minimum to 10% owned. This is a straight leverage play, and on top of his favorable ownership projections, we already like him at this course anyways. This happens to be one of those overlaps.

Guys We're Avoiding

Tyrell Hatton $10,900 (22% projected ownership)

Yep, that's just way too high of a price and way too much ownership for a guy that seemingly won't care about this week. Could be dead wrong, but I certainly won't have any shares of Hatton this week.

Si Woo Kim $9,700 (25% projected ownership)

I love Si Woo and his price is actually pretty good, but if he's in 1/4 lineups, I'll stay away. Just too volatile for me to be playing him at 40+%.

Brendan Todd $7,900 (17% projected ownership)

Once again, ownership is just way too high here, and there are some other great options that are cheaper and less owned. Look at pivots like Ryder, Hossler or Pendrith in this spot.


Ryan Palmer $7,100 (4% projected ownership)

Palmer actually popped in my model, and surprisingly his OTT stats on long courses are better than most. Given some decent course history here, I'll grab some stock of Palmer this week.

MJ Daffue $7,000 (3% projected ownership)

I've been playing this guy for the past 2 months waiting for him to be the nuts play, and I damn sure ain't stopping this week. His approach play is great, so if he can get the putter going, he could contend. Last 3 finishes all T30 or better.

Martin Laird $6,800 (1% projected ownership)

Just hear me out, Laird is coming off 4 MCs out of the last 5, but you know the one cut he did make? Long, hard Bay Hill. Add in the fact he's T40'd or better each of the past 5 years here, I'll throw Laird in some lineups as my last guy.

That's it this week for DFS plays, head over to the forum with any comments or questions or comment below!

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