With The Masters being just over a month away, the guys at Bat Flip feel it is probably time to start drumming up some interest for the first major of the year. What a better to do so than America’s favorite past time, gambling. Draftkings.com is putting up a contest awarding $1 million to first place, so I figure we better get in a few practice rounds before Augusta National. For those of you who didn’t watch TV during the NFL season, daily fantasy involves picking players for one day (or in our case one event) as opposed to a whole season. You pay an entry fee to draft your team, and if your selected players perform well enough you get paid straight cash, homie.
For the weeks leading up to the Masters (and hopefully after it), I will be throwing you a couple daily fantasy bones. Each week will be a little different, but count on me providing you with at least one guy I think you can build your lineup around, at least one guy lower in price that I believe lends some value, and depending on the week, someone in between that catches my eye. Now that we know what’s going on, lets get started.
The Cadillac Championship is being played at Trump National Doral, one of the longest courses on tour, so this week we are going to target the bombers. It’s no coincidence that big hitters like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, and J.B Holmes finished first, second, and third in 2015. This is also a no-cut tournament, so we will definitely be taking this in to account with our picks.
One of our lineup building blocks this week is Brooks Koepka ($9,200). This week is the absolute perfect storm for Keopka. He is currently inside the top 12 in birdie or better conversion and driving distance, two very important stats on a long course like Doral. He can be a tad inconsistent, but being that this is a no cut tournament he will get four cracks at a crazy low round no matter what. In the DraftKings scoring system, birdies and better are rewarded at a higher rate than bogeys or worse are penalized. With this in mind it is quite conceivable that a birdie machine like Keopka will end up out-scoring players who finish higher than him on the leaderboard. Three top tens in his last five events and a no-cut tournament on a very long course makes for a very enticing play this week for those of us willing to shoulder a little risk.
Dustin Johnson, ($11,200) is another guy to build your squad around. He straight up mashes it off the tee (seventh in driving distance this season) and has four top ten finishes in his last six starts, including a fourth place finish last week at the Honda Classic. Johnson comes to Doral to defend his title and take another crack at a course that he has only finished outside the top 12 on once. The price is high, but one I am willing to pay for a guy I fully expect to be competing for the title Sunday afternoon.
Now the tricky part: Time to find some scrub that is going to perform this week. The easiest place to start is taking a peek at the Vegas odds for the week, as it happens to be their only job to get these right. If we combine the odds with a couple stats useful to this particular course I think we might have a dart to throw. I give you, Daniel Berger.
Daniel Berger, ($6,600) ranks 15th in driving distance this season, and has been steadily climbing in the Vegas sports books all week. He is also a risky play, as he hasn’t been in great form lately, but the length of the course will only play in to our hands here. Berger’s average driving distance of 306.9 will put him in to the 125-150 yard range on most of his approach shots. In this range he averages just under 21 feet to the pin. Other guys at this price-point do not have the length of Berger, and will be hitting most approaches from outside 150 yards. At that extended range, averages of guys at this price-point are anywhere from three to nine feet outside of Berger. Three feet doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you consider it over the course of a whole round it adds up to more makeable putts for our guy. Combine more makeable putts with the impossibility of missing the cut, and you get yourself a dart worth throwing this week.
And that concludes Bat Flip’s weekly plays for the Cadillac Championship. Keep in mind that these picks are not FDIC insured and may lose value. I will be back with picks for the Valspar Championship next week regardless of how poorly my picks perform this weekend. Good luck to all, and find fill us on twitter if our picks win you any coin!