In this series, I’ll highlight six guys that my PGA models identify as high-upside players who are projected for low ownership. Note: these will not always be my core plays. For my core, find me in FTA+ chat each week!
Finally, here’s a breakdown of my model. You’ll find I refer to the top 10/3/1 percentages a lot. In my mind, Cut Odds is a floor projection, Earnings is a median/average projection, and the probabilities of a top 10/3/1 finish are akin to a ceiling projection. In GPP, we want ceiling above all else!
Let’s get to it.
Course Breakdown – Copperhead Course at Innisbrook
Many of you already know that I hate course history because the sample size for each player is too small. However, I believe I have found a way to alleviate this issue. I run a regression analysis on the top 25 and bottom 25 “course history index” rankings from DataGolf. Doing so increases the sample size to around 50 players averaging just under 20 rounds per guy. To make the CH Model as predictive as possible (instead of just descriptive), I use career SG stats instead of event-specific SG stats to run the regression.
Next, I create a custom model with Fantasy National using these stats and the respective weights from the regression analysis. I’ll refer to this model as the CH Model throughout the picks. The model gives a rolling report of each players’ rank in the field over the last 4, 8, 12, 24, 50, and 100 rounds. I use a weighted average of the L12, L24, L50, and L100 ranks. If you’re interested in seeing the full results of this CH Model, all you have to do is join FTA+, as I post the results in Chat!
This week, the model of best fit uses the players’ SGOTT, SGAPP, SGATG, and, shockingly, SGP. SGAPP leads the way this week, with SGOTT a close second. SGATG and SGP aren’t too far behind, making it the most balanced week we’ve seen from the CH Model.
This week’s field is brutal, and DK aggressively priced up most of the mid-tier, making it extremely difficult to pay up. Ownership projections show a clear trend of either paying up for DJ or not at all. DJ will be a little over 25%, while Rahm and Day will be just over 10%. Amazingly, DJ ranks first in every time frame of the CH Model, but I prefer the discount at less than half the ownership.
Taking Rahm is all about a pivot off DJ, so let’s compare some projections: Rahm’s cut odds are 94.7% to DJ’s 95%, his top 10 odds are 35.7% to DJ’s 44%, and his odds to win are a little over half of DJ’s. In my mind, this means Rahm and Day will be underowned and DJ will be overowned.
Day doesn’t project quite as well as Rahm, but there is one place he projects better. Day has the better chance to win according to my main model, and he still gives you the massive jump up from the rest of the field in terms of projected earnings and top 10 odds. Put it this way: if DJ weren’t in the field, Day and Rahm would be around 20% each at the very least. Their win equity is higher than most weeks they tee it up because of the weaker field, yet they’re going to be nearly as low owned as last week in the best field of the year.
Bubba doesn’t rate very well in the CH Model, which isn’t very surprising since his iron play is barely above average. However, his 10/3/1 percentages only trail those of the big three and Gary Woodland. In fact, his top 3 and win probabilities are 4th in the field. At a projected ownership around 5%, I think that makes him worth the risk. There’s no such thing as a safe lineup this week, so why not get freaky?
Rafa Cabrera Bello
RCB was my fade of the week at TPC Sawgrass and boy did that work out well for us. Now, he’s projected under 10% ownership and ranks 13th in the CH Model instead of the 70-something rank last week. Iron play is the strength of his game, but his driving is also solid. I like that even in his disastrous missed cut a week ago, he managed to gain a stroke and a half off the tee. Look for his entire ball-striking game to be on and lead him to a solid week at one of the tougher courses on tour.
Believe me, I’m surprised Jones is on this list, too. On the one hand, it speaks to how vacant the bottom tiers are, but on the other, Jones really does project pretty well. He gains over a quarter stroke off the tee and is gaining strokes in every category over his last five events.
He is 23rd in the CH Model and projected for 1% ownership. I’m in.
Fade – Henrik Stenson
Stenson is projected for around 15% ownership, which is no doubt due in part to strong course history. However, his game is in terrible form right now. He continues to lose strokes off the tee, resulting in a 27th CH Model rank. We know how bad Stenson’s short game and putter can get at times, which means continued struggles off the tee could easily result in a chalky MC.
Good luck this week and find me on Twitter at @alexblickle1!Fantasy Golf