PGA DFS: The Stats That Matter Most
The PGA DFS industry has continued to gain momentum over the past couple of years. Last July, PGA Tour and DraftKings Inc. announced a multi-year partnership. This was huge news for the DFS industry, as it will provide the Tour with another opportunity to engage fans and grow the game. We can expect bigger cash prizes and even various PGA Tour prizes down the road in DraftKings contests.
If you’re new to PGA DFS and wondering where to start your research, we have you covered. With up to 156 golfers teeing it up for a PGA Tour event, it is imperative to narrow down your player pool. You are only able to roster six golfers in any cash or GPP tournament on DraftKings or FanDuel. Researching certain crucial stats can really help you cash big. What are the key stats to look at?
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
This is one of the main indicators of how well a golfer is playing of late. Strokes gained: tee-to-green is defined as the per-round average of strokes the player was better or worse than the field average on the same course and event, minus the strokes gained putting value. To put it in simpler terms, the more consistently the player is driving the ball and hitting his irons, the higher he will rank on the list.
Since putting is extremely volatile, it is more valuable to focus on how well a player is hitting the ball off the tee and with their irons. It is no surprise that reigning PGA Tour Player Of the Year Rory McIlroy ranked first in this category in 2019. Other notables that finished in the top five include Justin Thomas, Adam Scott, and Patrick Cantlay.
Strokes Gained: Approach
It’s quite simple; strokes gained: approach measures player performance on approach shots. This is a key stat because it shows who is dialed in with their irons and giving themselves plenty of birdie opportunities. It is a nice indicator of how sharp a golfer’s game is as of late. For more advanced research, you can narrow down strokes gained: approach by certain distances. For example, certain golf courses will force golfers to have approach shots from greater than 200 yards.
Birdie or Better Percentage
Birdies and eagles are imperative for DraftKings scoring. You are rewarded three points for each birdie your golfer gets and eight for each eagle. Targeting golfers who rank high in birdie-or-better percentage can give you the upper hand on the competition. Since PGA DFS is a four-day event, the more birdies/eagles your golfer accumulates, the higher your chances are of winning a tournament. It’s not always the final placing of your golfer that matters each week.
If you are looking to dig deeper and find more advanced statistical analysis, there are plenty of sites that can help. Fantasy National Golf Club has its own database loaded with information. It can help you pick your players based on the type of grass the golfers will play on (Bermuda, Bent, POA), the weather factors (wind, rain), and numerous other statistical categories to give you the edge.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, Saber DFS provides a free database. This site provides recent form, course history, and numerous other key stats. There are also plenty of podcasts you can listen to prior to each event. My favorites include The Pat Mayo Experience, Fantasy Golf Degenerates, and the Fantasy Golf Bag Podcast.