PGA DFS AT&T Byron Nelson Preview

If you need PGA DFS because you miss playing Tony Romo in fantasy football, you’re in luck! This is the only time he’ll be mentioned in this preview, but yes it’s true. Romo is in the field for this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson. What a time to be alive! As always, my goal each week is to offer targets in each price range, identifying two to three low-cost/reasonable floor targets as core pieces for all my lineups.

In DFS golf, it’s all about getting your guys to the weekend, first and foremost. Generally, I will fill out my roster with guys in the $7,100-$9,000 range. The factors I consider are event history, course layout versus player strengths, recent form, and prime bounce back candidates who are playing well, but happened to miss the cut the prior week.

One factor does not necessarily outweigh another. And, like any good speculative decision-making process, instincts always play a role. Of course there’s my personal favorite factor–as is the same with other fringe DFS sports–the DK pricing model has no clue what the fuck it is doing!

All that in mind, let’s take a look at the Byron Nelson (BN) information to clarify some unique characteristics that you may want to consider before lineups lock.

Event Information

Course: Trinity Forest Golf Club  Dallas, TX  Par 71  Yardage 7,380

From North Carolina to Texas, the tour heads back to Trinity Forest Golf Club (TF) where it will play host to the BN for the second year in a row. Prior to last season, the BN had been hosted in Dallas at the TPC Four Seasons since 2008.

In TF’s 2018 tour debut, one thing we learned is for certain–no wind = many birdies. With the first two days’ wind conditions being calmer, Marc Leishman and Aaron Wise carded 36 hole paces of 15 and 14 under par respectively.

For context, Leishman’s 127 through 36 holes was just four shots off the tour record. After him and Wise, a handful of guys eclipsed double-digit under par at 36 holes.

On Saturday however, the wind picked up and it had a noticeable effect. Only two players yielded scores of four under or better that day. And, none came from the final groupings.

TF’s heavy links style layout pictured above is the reason. A very British Open like layout without the typical dreary European conditions is a recipe for low scores.

Naturally, the Dallas forecast will have a major impact on how TF plays over the four days. Here are the past winners and their scores from the last five years:

2018 Aaron Wise -23
2017 Billy Horschel -12
2016 Sergio Garcia -15
2015 Steven Bowditch -21
2014 Brendon Todd -14


Keys to Success

My top three stats to weigh this week in order are:

  1. Strokes-gained: Approach the green (SGA)
  2. Driving Accuracy (DA)
  3. Stroked-gained: Around the green (SGAR)

Leishman built his lead last year by hitting greens. Over the first two days, the big Aussie hit 33 of 36 greens in regulation. Additionally, on his record-setting opening round 61, he hit all 14 fairways.

Judging ball flight on shots where the ball can run up onto the green’s surface from fast fairways is key this week. Players who are able to control their irons into greens, like Leishman last year, will always be at an advantage in links golf.

Because there aren’t as many elevated greens in links golf as we’ll see at Bethpage next week for the PGA Championship, players will have an assortment of options at their disposal when choosing how to play shots near, and around the undulated TF greens. Like Will Hunting, I don’t mind what their preferences are in these circumstances as long as the results are there…

To help sift through the field regarding just the key stats I put the table below together using all data from the official PGA Tour website. It is listed in order of each players’ composite ranking of the three key stats for this week. Sort as you wish:

NameSalarySG: ApproachDASG: ATGComposite Rank
Brian Stuard7400421445101
Ryan Moore880023577105
Sungjae Im9600405337130
Roberto Castro6800366036132
Troy Merritt7100804318141
Henrik Stenson10300121124146
Hank Lebioda6700635838159
Russell Knox8000229742161
Hideki Matsuyama11000615315174
Bud Cauley7400751102187
Charles Howell III8500957323191
Michael Thompson7200662798191
Nate Lashley63001551126192
Kevin Na89001018913203
Adam Svensson62005311443210
Scott Piercy84007419122215
Russell Henley73001022696224
Brooks Koepka114004810291241
Rafa Cabrera Bello86004168132241
Josh Teater65005772114243
Pat Perez77001038460247
Brian Gay7300194450248
Kramer Hickok70001782055253
Rory Sabbatini90001397944262
Kyoung-Hoon Lee75007849135262
Vaughn Taylor71009636131263
Jonathan Byrd64006814649263
Abraham Ancer760010418143265
Matt Jones750013610828272
Marc Leishman1000016129129274
Aaron Baddeley730012313914276
D.J. Trahan690011410067281
Dylan Frittelli75007013580285
Ernie Els670014512417286
Brian Harman72002055230287
C.T. Pan79001576672295
Kevin Tway76008918324296
Sung Kang73006813694298
Andrew Landry7200988205311
Fabián Gómez670016837107312
Sebastián Muñoz630014914026315
Keith Mitchell910038157122317
J.J. Spaun78008395154332
Adam Schenk700031127176334
Bill Haas71001581717336
Denny McCarthy71001888168337
Wes Roach63001937075338
Patrick Reed980012917535339
Rod Pampling60002088747342
Anders Albertson640055128160343
Tom Hoge630058116169343
Jimmy Walker770010920332344
Shawn Stefani7000100136108344
Justin Harding780021329105347
Johnson Wagner68009461193348
Ben Silverman620014712189348
Robert Streb660014114366350
Kyle Jones610019633121350
Aaron Wise940016312269354
Scott Stallings710030192140362
Matt Every670017477111362
J.J. Henry620015965138362
J.T. Poston730093145125363
Ben Crane670020064100364
Kelly Kraft650091122151364
Alex Prugh690079106181366
Harris English690016413171366
Nick Watney7400113149105367
David Hearn67001799179367
Nick Taylor700013414688368
Austin Cook740012635208369
Cameron Tringale680070182120372
Ryan Palmer800034160180374
Whee Kim640092112170374
Brady Schnell610018233163378
Branden Grace920012216793382
Alex Noren820013815292382
Peter Malnati70008920194384
Jonas Blixt6900135105146386
Stephan Jaeger640018718119387
Tom Lovelady62001722114387
Roberto Díaz660018170137388
Roger Sloan6200108107174389
Tyler Duncan630017315202390
Jim Herman600015432207393
Ryan Blaum700015096148394
Daniel Berger750015541200396
Julián Etulain680012819972399
Trey Mullinax760034205164403
Carlos Ortiz660013799173409
Seamus Power770020916540414
Martin Laird7200121158136415
Jordan Spieth1080012021087417
Cameron Davis670044193182419
Michael Kim630014419482420
Chris Stroud6800130177114421
Kiradech Aphibarnrat740019891133422
Sepp Straka620054166203423
Mackenzie Hughes700015218686424
Chase Wright660015685188429
Hudson Swafford650097168165430
Sangmoon Bae6400184118134436
Sam Saunders6900107190153450
Ollie Schniederjans720017721269458
Jim Knous660072195195462
Martin Trainer650020320457464
Dominic Bozzelli6600190119156465
Wyndham Clark730020120264467
Brandon Harkins6700132200141473
Anirban Lahiri6600183154139476
Beau Hossler7100195155130480
Derek Fathauer650020675211492
Martin Piller6000211172113496
Peter Uihlein6800185209104498
Freddie Jacobson6100162149192503
Lucas Bjerregaard8700150161212523
Chris Thompson6000176197168541
Sam Burns7200169178196543
Joey Garber6100212156175543
Cody Gribble6800202196161559
John Chin6100207184184575
Seth Reeves6300210180186576
Curtis Luck6900204198190592
Brandon Hagy6100180213199592
Thomas Pieters83000000
Thorbjorn Olesen81000000
Scottie Scheffler79000000
Brendon Todd71000000
Luke Donald70000000
Padraig Harrington69000000
Billy Hurley69000000
David Lingmerth68000000
George McNeill66000000
Colt Knost65000000
Doug Ghim65000000
Andres Romero65000000
Chad Campbell64000000
Jose de Jesus Rodriguez64000000
Ricky Barnes64000000
Tyrone Van Aswegen63000000
Alvaro Ortiz62000000
Nicholas Lindheim62000000
Will MacKenzie62000000
Will Claxton61000000
Zack Sucher61000000
Morgan Hoffmann61000000
Kris Blanks60000000
Chad Collins60000000
Stuart Deane60000000
Smylie Kaufman60000000
Davis Riley60000000
Tony Romo60000000

Price Range Targets

Chalky McChalkerson (Five figures to 9.1k–10 players)

After a shaky start to 2019, Henrik Stenson form has started to round into shape with three straight cashed checks. He is also the best statistical fit of the five-figure guys.

Henrik Stenson (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The guy I would look to in this range if I’m looking to save a little cash would be Keith Mitchell. He continued a breakout year with his third top-10 finish, netting a T-8 last week. He also finished T-3 at this event last year.

Sweet Spot (9k to 7.1k–50 players)

Key metrics bode really well for Ryan Moore and Rafa Cabrera-Bello. RCB also has a solid track record with links style play as 2016’s Scottish Open Winner. He also finished T-4 in 2017’s Open Championship so he is no stranger to success on links courses.

Cabrera-Bello (Getty Images)

Digging a bit deeper in this range, Brian Stuard has the strongest combination of key stats in the field from my table above. His results lately suggest the stats aren’t an anomaly, making three of his last four weekends, all finishing inside the top 20.

Sneaky Low % Owned (7k and below–about 95 players)

Roberto Castro hasn’t made the weekend in his last two starts. His key stats and softer field make this a great opportunity to cash his tenth check in 13 weekends this season.

Another guy whose statistical fit for TF stands out is Nate Lashley. He ranked T-17 in GIR percentages last week in route to a T-45 finish. Last year, Lashley carded a final round 64 in this event to finish T-32.

Best Bounce Back Candidates
  • Charles Howell III–Uncharacteristically two straight MCs. Finished T-9 here last year.
  • Abraham Ancer–Been off since an MC a few weeks ago. Should be excited to continue what has been a relatively successful second full season on tour. Finished T-42 here last year.
Best Course History Plays

Not much here with just one year in the books for TF on tour. One thing that will be interesting to see is if this course becomes a video game for bombers, if the conditions are favorable.

Last year’s final leader board had plenty of long hitters scattered throughout the top-10, including the winner, Aaron Wise. If this course trends in that bomber direction, someone like Wyndham Clark would make for a nice play.

Core Players

Last season, I started including my core players to build around in all my lineups. I try to identify targets before prices are released to stay focused, and avoid editing my lineup 2,000 times ten minutes before lock.

Aaron Wise (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

These selections are players that I believe have top-25 floors with top 10 upside, and a reasonable case to win. More detailed results are to come as the season moves along. This week’s selections:

  1. Mitchell
  2. Wise
  3. Stuard
  4. RCB

Good luck in Dallas! Don’t hesitate to reach out on twitter compliments and insults are always welcome.


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