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First Tee to Last Call: Long Haul

by Conor Coughlin

I’ve been playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) through DraftKings (DK) for several years now and have a lot of fun doing it. I have also been playing fantasy football for even longer. Fantasy football is a little different because I manage multiple season-long redraft and dynasty teams. 

I’ve always enjoyed both DFS and season-long football so when the opportunity to join a season-long PGA league was presented, I jumped all over it. I can tell you after one season I most likely will not do it again, at least not in the format I played.

We “drafted” just before the Waste Management Open in late January. I use quotations around the word drafted because it really wasn’t a draft. It was more like a tiered season-long one-and-done if I had to liken it to something. The league was split into several divisions, each division having six to eight managers. Our draft order was randomized. I had the third overall pick. The draft would consist of four rounds, each round was tiered based on the world golf rankings. 

Each manager selects one golfer from each of the four tiers and those are your guys. This was a problem, as well. I drafted Will Zalatoris one round early, which the commissioner called back, which resulted in a league mate drafting him while admittedly not even knowing who he was.

Nonetheless, I finished the draft. For better or worse, bye week or not, those are your players for the season. No subs, no waiver wire, just “draft” and you’re done. This was an immediate turnoff for me. My friend who invited me swore up and down that it would be fun and to just give it a chance. 

My Team

  1. Dustin Johnson
  2. Gary Woodland
  3. Bubba Watson
  4. Cameron Davis

 The biggest immediate issue for me was that I drafted as though I was playing for upside. You don’t need upside in this league. You just need your guys to be the best in the tier in comparison to your competition. Why is that different? Knowing what I know now, I would have just drafted the mediocre players that play the most tournaments. 

Looking at the result of the league, it is pretty clear that’s the most effective strategy. It doesn’t matter if your player wins the tournament as you only receive one additional point for a win totaling three points for one tier. The maximum number of points you could score in a given week would be nine total points if you had the winner and swept all four tiers. 

If I had a crystal ball, I wouldn’t have drafted anyone that I did. They all had fairly abysmal seasons. Davis won, but as my luck would have it, the Rocket Mortgage is a bye week in this league. Based on the upside and One World Golf Ranking (OWGR) at the time of the draft, I thought I had a decent team though. Just wasn’t meant to be. I’m not sour about losing, I’m sour about wasting my time. 

This experience was so far from the engaging, strategic experience I’ve gotten from fantasy sports. If there was a silver lining to the league it’s that the people were really fun and inviting. Nothing against the guys, I just couldn’t get into the format at all.

There has to be a better way to play. I’ve looked around a fair amount and most everything I’ve come across is similar to this format. Some have a few more points for wins or random placement points but at the end of the day, it boils down to draft it, forget it, and hope your guys play as much as humanly possible. 

I’m hopeful that I will find a league that more closely resembles every other season-long fantasy sport that I’ve played. I want points for performance, trades, waivers, bench spots and the works. If anyone out there reading this has an interest in starting a league or knows of one closer to what I’m looking for, please reach out! We can be new best friends. Take it from me, too much like a lottery ticket and too little like a game.

Getting back to something I do enjoy, let’s get into some DK DFS picks for the 3M Open! 

3M Open at TPC Twin Cities

TPC Twin Cities is a par-71 playing at around 7,400 yards. The grass type this week is Bentgrass. The course isn’t terribly difficult, but it has a lot of water and even more sand traps. Water can come into play on 14 of the 18 holes. Fairways are manageable and easy to hit.

The weather is looking fine and has been hot and dry leading up to the event. I would anticipate the course playing faster than last year by a fair margin. All of that being said, I see the winner being more than 20-under par. 

Some Stats I looked at this Week:

  • Birdies-or-better gained
  • Par 5 scoring
  • Ball-striking
  • Par 3 scoring 
  • Putting

3M Open DFS Picks

Cameron Davis ($9,200)

It’s no secret that I like to play Davis. He’s has burned me more than he’s helped me, but I like his chances this week. Bentgrass is his best surface and he has been trending up in strokes gained putting. He is 17th this season in driving distance. And on a course that doesn’t require a ton of accuracy off the tee, his driver will be at an advantage.

He is No. 6 in the field for birdies or better gained, so he’s going to score. He finished in 12th place at this course last season in arguably worse form. Rostered in 13 percent of lineups, or less, I like Davis as a good alternative to some of the chalkier plays in the same range. 

Stewart Cink ($8,700)

Stewart Cink came out No. 1 in my model this week. He is No.1 for par-3 scoring, No. 3 for par 4 scoring on the key ranges and No. 2 in opportunities gained. Cink has been having a good year. He’s been gaining strokes in every category and on a course that will play easier than most, I like him to be in the running. It doesn’t hurt that he’s projected to be rostered in 10 percent of lineups. 

Adam Schenk ($7,400)

Adam Schenk is coming in at No. 3 overall in the model. He’s rounding into form with a fourth-place finish at the John Deere Classic and a 15th place finish at the Barbasol Championship. He’s gaining strokes in almost every category.

Bentgrass is his best surface and his putter has been hot lately. If he keeps his ball-striking the way he has been and the putter keeps rolling, he could absolutely be in contention this week. 

Other Golfers I Like this Week

Dustin Johnson ($11,300)

Louis Oosthuizen ($10,900)

Maverick McNealey ($8,400)

Hank Lebioda ($7,900)

Dart Throws

Brandt Snedeker ($7,800)

Scott Stallings ($7,200)

“Last Call” Dart Throw of the Week

Satoshi Kodaira ($6,500)

Thanks for reading, and good luck this week!

I use Fantasynational.com for analytics and statistical modeling. If you’re looking for an edge check them out!

Conor Coughlin @Cough_DFS

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