How To Play Daily Fantasy Golf
You may have played in fantasy golf leagues which last an entire season. But daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites allow you to enter multiple fantasy tournaments and leagues, playing head-to-head (H2H) against a single competitor or against several, and your commitment is only for one week. The PGA tour, as you know, runs its tournaments from Thursday through Sunday. All you have to do is pick a handful of golfers that you think will do well in the upcoming PGA tournament. You will usually have a salary cap of around $50,000 to spend, and every player that carries a PGA Tour card will have a value attached to him.
You choose the required number of players without going over your salary, pay the entry fee (anywhere from free to over $1,000), and choose whether you want to play H2H, against a few competitors, or against several hundred. If your golfers outperform your competitors, you are paid cash money. That is how easy it is to play daily fantasy golf, but there are literally dozens of tournament and league types and a wide range of entry fees and prizes offered. Currently, not all of the top DFS companies offer fantasy golf leagues. DraftKings and Fanduel are two of the biggest and most established legal daily fantasy sports sites which support fantasy golf, and when you use the proven daily fantasy golf strategies listed below, you give yourself the best chance at taking home the money every time.
Winning Fantasy Golf Strategy
The 2013 – 2014 PGA tour season was expanded to 45 events, scheduled out over 11 months. This means there are more year-round opportunities to enjoy playing fantasy golf for real money than there are in the other major sports. And for a very simple strategy, you never want to overpay for a big name, you always want to hunt down value, and playing streaky golfers with a good course history will never steer you wrong. But for some advanced tips and game play strategies that will get you winning more than losing, check out the following tactics.
Basic Daily Fantasy Golf Strategy
Check statistics and make sure you are picking PGA golfers that consistently make the cut. You will get four rounds of scoring instead of two. Combine this with golfers who have been playing well the last couple of tournaments, and focus on paying less for value players. PGA pros who consistently score under par and finish in the top 25 that don’t have big name recognition and fantasy price tags are where you want to focus your attention.
Fantasy PGA Golf Is a Course-Biased Proposition
What we mean here is, players tend to have favorite courses. Jim Furyk always does well at The Players Championship, probably because he lives right down the road from the course. “Home course” players often perform extremely well on their preferred course, even if they have been slumping recently. This is especially a smart strategy to use when a tournament is coming up on a tough course, or weather is going to be an issue. Choose the golfers who do well there, and you will benefit from the course-biased tendencies of PGA golfers.
Put Las Vegas to Work for You
You should always check the Las Vegas lines to see exactly who is favored to win the upcoming tournament each and every week. We have mentioned before just how much money and time is spent setting the Las Vegas lines. You might as well use all of that research to your advantage. (Fantasy pro tip: Big-name players will always be listed at the top of the Vegas odds on possible tourney winners. What you are looking for here are those second tier guys that consistently make the cut. If they show as mid to high-level choices picked by Vegas to win, you have a good value proposition.)
Beginning Fantasy Golfers – Play Lots of H2Hs, 50/50s and Double Ups
In all of these situations you only have to beat half of the field to win. This is a great way to break into the fantasy golf scene and build your bankroll, without risking much. Steer clear of the massive tourneys that guarantee tons of money. This is where the sharks swim, and they will frequently have dozens of entries each in a large field. (Fantasy pro tip: There is one exception here. From time to time, beginners should enter a large-field, low-entry-fee GPP. Study the results and use the data to improve.)
Veteran Fantasy Golfers – Play Lots of GPPs and Higher Level Entry Fee Contests
Guaranteed prize pools (GPPs) can generate tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money. And the overlay value here is sometimes very substantial. That is because the site must make up any money that remains between player entry fees and the GPP that was advertised. (Fantasy pro tip: For the veteran fantasy golfer, this is a very attractive spot because so many newbies and “fish” are trying for that huge payday. Frequently, as little as 20% of GPP entries are smart PGA handicapping fantasy players like yourself.)
Match Your Fantasy Team to the Site Where You Play
Currently, DraftKings and DraftStreet are two of the only places to play fantasy golf online for real money. If you know that a couple of the golfers you like this week have a tendency to score the occasional bogie, then play at DK. Bogies there score -0.5 pts, versus -0.6 at DS. And if you are pretty sure you will have the winner on your roster, remember that DS awards an additional 8 points to the winner of each tourney, while DK adds 30 points. (Fantasy pro tip: The top 8 finishers all score more points at DK than the winner does at DS!)
Take Advantage of Player Momentum
In the PGA, players compete individually. That means that when a player is hot, or ice cold, his performance is not diluted or lifted by teammates. Year in and year out, when a player on the PGA tour is on a hot streak or under-performing, that trend usually takes a while to return to that player’s average ability level. Take advantage by purchasing low to mid-cost golfers trending upward, and avoiding big names that are expensive and sliding.
Golfing Injuries Tend to Hang Around
Because of the very nature of the sport, golf injuries are usually tears, stretches and stresses. These soft tissue injuries can hang around for weeks or months. Temper a player’s fantasy value accordingly, discounting his ability because of recent injuries.
Advanced Fantasy Golf Tip – You Must Win 60% of Your Games
The best fantasy golfers win in excess of 70% of the time. That is how they knock down five figures a month. But to be profitable, you only need to win 6 out of every 10 times. A total-luck win expectation is 5 out of 10. So study your victories and losses, do more research than you are now, and push your win rate above 60%. When you do, you guarantee yourself a profit, even after the sites take their rake. (Fantasy pro tip: Money management is crucial here, or you can win 60+% of your games and still lose money. Spend more money when you have an edge, less in huge tourneys, and invite “fish” to play heads-up.)
Getting Fantasy Fish to Bite Your Bait
It costs nothing to challenge a specific player to a H2H matchup. But how do you spot the fish, the easy marks? Play in freeroll and free entry golf leagues and tourneys, and note those players that consistently finish in the lower third of contests. Challenge them to $1 and $2 H2H matchups, and start cashing.
Benefit From the “After Majors” Drop-Out Rate
This is where you grab all the big names you can afford, because there are only a handful available. The week or two after the Masters, US Open, British Open, The Players Championship and The PGA Championship, a lot of the big name golfers take off to rest. This is the perfect time to load up on the high-priced, big name talent that does show up to play, because they have less competition.