Core Plays: 2017 AT&T Byron Classic

Wow.  What a weekend at THE PLAYERS Championship.  We had plenty of guys in the running Sunday that could’ve set up for a nice payday.  However, Si Woo Kim decided to spoil the fun and put his name on the locker stall at TPC Sawgrass.  In the end it was still a solid weekend with some great plays.

If you enjoyed the depth of the field last week, do not get used to it.  The AT&T Byron Nelson Championship features a much weaker field as some of the players decide to rest up for the upcoming Memorial Tournament and U.S. Open.   However, this event does include the return of Jordan Spieth to his hometown.  That is a narrative that will be tricky as Spieth arrives at the AT&T Byron Nelson with a missed cut at THE PLAYERS in which he just didn’t look right.

The AT&T Byron Classic is held at TPC Four Seasons in Irving, Texas.  The course is just under 7,200 yards playing as a Par 70.  This means that there are only 2 par 5’s on the course.  There are 2 par 4’s that play over 500 yards so it will be important for players to avoid any trouble on these holes.  Also, there are several holes with water in play the entire hole so ball striking will be key.  The course features plenty of sand so we don’t want our core players to be hacking away from the sand.

Past Winners

2016 Sergio Garcia
2015 Steven Bowditch
2014 Brendon Todd
2013 Bae Sang-moon
2012 Jason Dufner
2011 Keegan Bradley
2010 Jason Day

Weather

The weather looks as if we could see some rain in the forecast.  This will be important to monitor as a couple years ago the rain turned the course into a Par 69.  As of Monday, there is only a slight chance for rain.  However, a lot can change in a few days as we know how unpredictable weather can be.  Also, if the course is wet and limits the roll, a few of these holes will play long.

Capture

Key Statistics

SG: Tee to Green: Ball striking will be important this week.  With several holes having water lining one side throughout the entire hole, we want the golfers that are strong off the tee and dialed in on their approach shots.  We also mentioned the number of sand traps on this course.  Around the green play will be relevant to limit the big numbers posted from missed greens.

Par 4 Scoring: Both of the Par 5’s on course play significantly under par so I don’t believe there is much advantage in targeting the Par 5 Scorers as most of the golfers should be able to post at least birdies here.  However, the Par 4’s are where we can gain an edge on the top golfers in this category.  Two of the Par 4’s play over 500 yards.  These holes will be important to avoid any big numbers.  Several other of the Par 4’s play over par so we want to target the guys playing par or better on these holes to gain strokes on the rest of the field.

Greens in Regulation %:  With the hazards surrounding many of the greens, we want to hit as many greens as possible. This will limit the need for our players to scramble to save par.  The more greens our players hit, the less we have to sweat.

Birdie or Better %:  The winning score has posted at least 11 under par or better the last 5 years.  However, this can be dependant on how the weather is for the week.  We want those birdie makers to pad the stats for our lineups rather than playing par golf.  The more scoring the better.

Core Plays

For those that have played on FantasyDraft before, the pricing is much tighter than other sites.  This is a significant advantage for the DFS players that really put in the research week in and week out.  Therefore, the strategy this week will be a balanced approach in which we can avoid really digging to the bottom of the player pool.

Tony Finau ($16,000):  This feels like a Finau course.  I guess it is suitable for Finau as he has finished 10th and 12th in his only attempts at this course.  Finau ranks 4th in GIR%, 6th in SG:T2G, 7th in Par 4 Scoring, and 17th in BoB%.  I will only be using Finau in GPPs as he is volatile in nature and can finish T10 or miss cut.  However, with his stats and CH, I will be loading up in GPPs.

Jason Dufner ($16,000): Dufner ruined several lineups for people last week with his weekend plunge.  However, Dufner has a knack for this course as he is 6/6 for making cuts year in the last 6 years with 3 top 10 finishes.  He also checks the box for us ranking 46th in SG:T2G, 7th in Par 4 Scoring and 26th in BoB%. I will be using Dufner in both cash and gpp formats at this price point.

Gary Woodland ($14,400): This is too cheap a price for Woodland.  He checks many boxes this week along with a solid course history at TPC Four Seasons. Woodland has made the last 7 cuts here to go with 2 top 15 finishes in the last 3 years.  With two missed cuts in the previous tournaments, Woodland’s ownership will be lower than it should be.  Woodland ranks 17th in GIR%, 20th in SG:T2G,  and 22nd in Par 4 Scoring.  For this price point, this is excellent value.

Sung Kang ($14,500) – This is another lower priced player that can be used to pay up for other players.  We have been using Kang for a while now and is starting to gain traction around the community.  Hop on the Kang train before he gets that victory.  He has solid stats and form coming into the tournament ranking 22nd in Par 4 Scoring, 35th in GIR%, 43rd in SG: T2G, and 44th in BoB%. 

Sleepers

Since our lowest scoring golfer will not count towards our score, we can take on some additional risk for a couple boom or bust plays that will allow us to pay up for the studs.  The sleepers we are identifying this week are:

  • Jhonnatan Vegas
  • Hudson Swafford
  • Fabrizio Zanotti
  • Nick Taylor
  • J.T. Poston
  • Graham DeLaet
  • J.J. Spaun

 


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