Draft Kings has finally arrived in the UK, and I am expecting it to take off in a big way. Many of us are fans of Fantasy Football (Soccer and NFL) and now we have the perfect platform to enjoy competitive contests each and every week with great prizes up for grabs as well as cash.
For me, the EPL (Premier League) and Golf (PGA Tour) are going to be the main focuses, but you can venture into NBA, NHL, CBB, MMA, NASCAR and even eSports if you wish.
This post however from now on is going to be solely about the PGA Tour event this week, the Northern Trust Open.
You can see my detailed betting preview of this event here –http://tinyurl.com/zbderr7
This will give you insight into key stats and course information, and give you a clearer understanding as to why I have selected the players I have.
For those of you that haven’t played Draft Kings golf yet (I’m looking at you UK readers!) the rules are simple, you get a $50k budget, you need to draft 6 players and you get scored on the following:
Per Hole Scoring
- Double Eagle (DBL EAG): +20 PTs
- Eagle (EAG): +8 PTs
- Birdie (BIR): +3 PTs
- Par (PAR): +0.5 PTs
- Bogey (BOG): -0.5 PTs
- Double Bogey (DBL BOG): -1 PT
- Worse than Double Bogey (WORSE DBL BOG): -1 PT
Tournament Finish Scoring
- 1st: 30 PTs
- 2nd: 20 PTs
- 3rd: 18 PTs
- 4th: 16 PTs
- 5th: 14 PTs
- 6th: 12 PTs
- 7th: 10 PTs
- 8th: 9 PTs
- 9th: 8 PTs
- 10th: 7 PTs
- 11th–15th: 6 PTs
- 16th–20th: 5 PTs
- 21st–25th: 4 PTs
- 26th–30th: 3 PTs
- 31st–40th: 2 PTs
- 41st-50th: 1 PTs
Streaks and Bonuses
- Streak of 3 Birdies of Better (MAX 1 Per Round) (3+ BIR STRK): +3 PTs
- Bogey Free Round (BOG FREE RD): +3 PTs
- All 4 Rounds Under 70 Strokes (ALL 4 RDS UND 70): +5 PTs
- Hole in One (HOLE IN ONE): +10 PTs
As you can see, there are plenty of points up for grabs each round, but one key component is to make sure all of your six players make the cut. Without this it’s not only unlikely but near-on impossible to challenge the top of the leaderboard in your chosen contest.
When making a team/line-up there are so many factors to consider, that realistically it is handy to have multiple entries, where maybe you go all-in on top players and make up for it with cheap players that could just make cut, or you go with multiple mid-range picks etc.
Getting the balance is a big part of this game, and the more you play it, the more patterns you will notice. I only played for the first time last week, but I have researched every day since the launch last Monday and have also looked into some of the more experienced American experts and players way of approaching the game.
With all that said, I am going to break down the players into four main groups Elite picks (Salary $10,000+), high-end picks ($8,000 – $10,000), mid-range ($7,000-$8,000), good up-side/make cut picks (less than $7,000). The title of these categories, plus the price-range may well be adjusted over time, but it’s a solid foundation for me to begin with.
As there are over 140+ players in the field most weeks, I will narrow it down in each section to the players I have picked/seriously considered and that way you can gauge a good mix of players to use and I will also highlight my favourite pick in each category.
Elite picks –
Jordan Spieth ($13,200)
Dustin Johnson ($11,300)
High-end picks –
Charl Schwartzel ($9,600)
Bill Haas ($9,200)
Harris English ($8,100)
Mid-range picks –
Keegan Bradley ($7,800)
Matt Jones ($7,700)
Patrick Rodgers ($7,300)
K.J Choi ($7,100)
Good up-side/Make Cut picks –
Retief Goosen ($6,900)
Adam Hadwin ($6,900)
Stewart Cink ($6,700)
Kyle Reifers ($6,500)
So the big thing you have got to decide, especially this week when Spieth is in the field is whether you want to go top-heavy, and end up with two low-value picks, or whether you want to stack your line-up with high-value and mid-range studs.
If you have Spieth in your line-up, which definitely needs to be considered this week, considering he has finished 4th and 12th on his last two visits here and his last six starts worldwide read 21-2-5-1-4-2, continuing on from where he left off last year.
Even when he looked off his game last week he still finished around the top-20, posted -7 for the week, and made 72.5 points – and that was his lowest points total of the season so far. That brought his FPPG (fantasy points per game) down to 118.1, which is still 22.5 points better than the next best, Adam Scott.
Of course these two are either playing elsewhere in the world or playing limited schedules which means there average is only being worked out over four events, which is half the events someone like Kevin Na has played (who by the way is averaging 90.7 a game).
If I am taking Spieth this week, I am taking my favourite pick of the week – Bill Haas too as cover. I now own the favourite of the event and my personal favourite bet this week in terms of value (35/1), and I still have a little room to manoeuvre. With those two drafted I have an average of $6,900 to spend on the four remaining players, which means taking two from mid-range and two from the good up-side/make cut range. I have managed to make a line-up I am very comfortable with, which includes Spieth but if you can resist the temptation to take the World No.1 a team made up of players solely from the High-End and Mid-range group can be put together, which may provide added security.
The players above are my personal favourites for the week, and I have used them all in one-way or another to put together 3/4 teams which I have either got to narrow down into two favourites or just go for it and enter them all.
I would love to hear from you this week, with any feedback or even a screenshot of your line-ups. Constructive criticism is wanted and welcomed, other than that best of luck with your contests this week!
Twitter – @TJacobsGolf