Daily Fantasy Golf Experiment: Can I Make Money?

Daily Fantasy Golf Experiment
I once hit a golf ball from right here.

When I heard daily fantasy golf was a thing I wanted in. What could be more exciting than watching golf besides now having a reason to watch golf.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been playing daily fantasy golf for over a year and I don’t know if its something I should be doing. I win sometimes (nothing big) and lose more of the times. The “its fun” justification might be costing me a fair amount of money which is not fun.

So this is what I am doing. I am going to submit one entry each week on DraftKings and FanDuel to one of their featured tournaments under $10 and post the results here.

If I make more money (even $1 more) than my entry fees at the end of the 2018 PGA season than I will play in 2019. If I do not than I will quit playing daily fantasy golf every week. I will allow myself to play in the four Majors plus the Players Championship. But that’s it.

I will play my “Bro Bros” strategy on DraftKings and “Course Horses” strategy on FanDuel and keep track of them in reverse chronological order with the most recent tournament at top.

2018 Tournament FanDuel DraftKings Entry Fees Winnings
US Open 2018 US Open FanDuel Fantasy Golf Results 2018 US Open DraftKings Fantasy Golf Results $96 $130
St. Jude 2018 FedEx St Jude FanDuel Fantasy Golf Results 2018 FedEx St. Jude DraftKings Fantasy Golf Results $11 $0
Memorial $53 $0
Fort Worth 2018 Fort Worth Invitational FanDuel Golf Fantasy Results 2018 Fort Worth Invitational DraftKings Fantasy Golf Results $11.77 $23.57
Byron Nelson $11.77 $7
Players $14 $0
Wells Fargo $13 $6
Valero $10 $0
RBC Heritage $12 $0
The Masters $78 $118
Houston $9.55 $0

 

 

Corales Puntacana WGC Dell Match Play $9.44 $0
API $9.55 $0
Valspar $13.55 $0
WGC Mexico $9.55 $10
Honda $9.55 $0
Genesis $9.55 $0
Pebble Beach 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am FanDuel Fantasy Golf 2018 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am DraftKings Fantasy Golf $8.44 $0
WM Phoenix 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Fanduel Weekend Fantasy Golf 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open DraftKings Weekend Fantasy Golf $4 $0
Farmers 2018 Farmers Insurance Open Fanduel Fantasy Golf 2018 Farmers Insurance Open DraftKings Fantasy Golf $8 $0
CareerBuilder 2018 CarrerBuilder Challenge FanDuel Fantasy Golf 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge DraftKings Fantasy Golf $7 $5
Sony Open 2018 Sony Open FanDuel Fantasy Golf 2018 Sony Open DraftKings Fantasy Golf $7  $6
Sentry 2018 Sentry Tournament Of Champions Fanduel Fantasy Golf 2018 Sentry Tournament Champions DraftKings Fantasy Golf $11 $0
Totals $426.72 $305.57

** Waste Management Phoenix Open started when I was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Little did I know that DraftKings and FanDuel are both blocked in Mexico. Hence, I could not submit my lineups on Wednesday before the tournament. Since we were coming back to Detroit on Friday evening I submitted two lineups for weekend golf contests on DraftKings as FanDuel did not have any. I used the same strategies as before.

Strategy

You can spend all day researching strategies on how to win at daily fantasy golf. And I’ve tried a number of them. Here are some.

  • Average Salary – You take the guys who are around the average salary mark.
  • Studs & Duds – You take the top two or three guys (studs) and then whomever (duds) you can get with the remaining salary you have.
  • Highest Points – Select the tab that rearranges the guys by points. Select the guy with highest points and then the rest by highest points with salary remaining.
  • Bombs Away – An entire team of long hitters.
  • Greens In Regulation – A team determined by the best GIR players.
  • Best Putters – A team of the best putters.
  • Birdie Makers – A team of guys who lead the PGA Tour in birdies made.
  • Country – A team of guys all from the same country.
  • Bombers & Putters – A combo of long hitters and the best putters.

I get all my data from the PGA Tour stats page. And there is a lot.

What I’ve learned after trying all of those different strategies and getting into the stats is none of those work. Yes, I have finished in the money a few times but it did not give me an advantage. Why?

Daily fantasy golf is different from the other daily fantasy sports in that its the only sport that gives points for where you finish. And it’s because golfers play in tournaments, not games.

This is what makes daily fantasy golf so much better than the other daily fantasy sports. It goes on for 4 days, not 4 hours like daily fantasy football.

There are no matchup advantages. There are no backup running backs scoring two touchdowns instead of the lead guy. And most golfers don’t get injured during play. With daily fantasy golf there are none of those in game things that happen in fantasy football.

Yes, some golfers withdraw because they put up an 80 in the first round leaving them no chance at making the cut. From time to time a golfer might withdraw during a round because of an injury. But those are rare. Its happened to me three times.

Typically a golfer will withdraw before the tournament or disclose an injury giving you time to pick someone else. Golfers do that sort of thing because golf is a gentlemen’s game.

It’s widely known that to win one of the big tournaments you need all of your guys to make the cut. Another reason why daily fantasy golf is awesome. Its like real golf. You suck, you’re out!

This is why it’s so important all of your guys make the cut line. If they all make the cut than you’re probably winning some money. If all but one makes it than you still have a chance. If all but two make the cut then its going to be tough. Anything less and you’re not winning.

What Does Work?

Well, still nothing, because golf. But what I have found out after trying all the different strategies is I prefer the two strategies below.

  • Bro Bros – Draft 8 bros who are good enough to win every week and that you don’t mind watching. Roll with your bros the entire year. And then have 8* other bros on your bench to plug-in when your starters are not all playing in the tournament or because of salary cap reasons.
  • Course Horses – These are guys who play exceptionally well on particular courses. Check the tournaments past results and see what guys finished in the top twenty-five the past two years. If you see their name twice then pick them.
Pick 2018 Bro Bros Why?
Starters
1. Rickie Fowler He looks like he likes to party. I like to party. And he’s sponsored by Quicken Loans where a lot of cool people I know work at.
2. Dustin Johnson Sending Driver!
3. Brian Harman Reminds me of my brother. A short-ish lefty.
4. Patrick Reed Very good player who also appears to have a dick side of him. And every team needs a dick.
5. Phil Mickelson Reminds me of my Dad. A tall lefty. Similarities end there. Phil can still play.
6. Brooks Koepka Every team needs a do it all versatile athlete.
7. Kevin Kisner A gamer. Always seems like he has something to prove.
8. Tony Finau Every team needs a big man.
Bench
1. Jonathan Vegas Viva Las Vegas!
2. Gary Woodland Always seems to be lurking while tattooing the ball.
3. Jason Dufner He’d be that guy on the softball team batting .800 with every hit being a single. And after reaching 1st base he asks for a runner. There’s always space on the roster for an .800 hitter.
4. Jason Kokrak Touch the sky Phil Coke. I mean Kokrak.
5. Steve Stricker The adult. Been there done that. Gives zero fucks about your 350 yard drive.
6. Brian Stuard Is from Michigan. Went to Oakland University. Close enough to home.
7. Ryan Brehm From Mt. Pleasant, MI where my alma mater Central Michigan is. I don’t care that he went to Michigan State.
8. Adam Hadwin Since I live 30 minutes from Canada I figured why the hell not.
9. Kiradech Aphibarnrat The John Daly of Thailand.
10. Tiger Woods Because Tiger Woods.

It’s quite an honor to be selected to the 2018 Bro Bros. Even if you’re riding the bench. On to greatness!

*After 7 tournaments I added one more bench player. Was running into issues where there were not enough guys playing where I could even submit a lineup.

*After 11 tournaments I added another bench player. Mostly because I can.

Scoring

In most golf tournaments the difference between 1st place and 20th place is typically ten strokes. That’s two and a half strokes a day over four days. These guys are good. They all make birdies and eagles. It’s just who can consistently do it better over four days.

All five or six of your guys have to finish in the top 20 to get the points for where they finished. That’s where the difference is in finishing in the money with daily fantasy golf. To show how important this is take a look at the DraftKings daily fantasy golf scoring works.

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Scoring
DraftKings Golf Scoring

 

Look at the difference between 1st Place (30 Points) and 20th Place (5 Points). All because of ten strokes over four days of golf. FanDuel golf scoring is basically the same. You need to pick winners.

We all want to pick that long shot to win like in horse racing but it rarely happens with golf. When I check the top ten entries on DraftKings and FanDuel at the end of the tournament I rarely see golfers names I do not know.

Almost all of the golfers picked were owned by 10% or more of all entires. And in those entries there were golfers owned by 20% or more of all entries. What this means is there really aren’t any “sleepers” with daily fantasy golf.

FanDuel vs DraftKings

I don’t feel one is better than the other and it’s because each site now runs their contests the same. Prior to 2018, FanDuel had you draft 8 guys but now they are like DraftKings which allows 6 guys.

DraftKings has more contests with larger cash prizes than FanDuel. DraftKings also has contests for the European Tour which I have entered twice but not again as that’s too many players to get to know.

I don’t prefer one to the other.

Which Contest?

I prefer to play the tournaments. Theres something about the chance of winning a huge cash prize for $3. If you finish in the top 30% you should at least get your money back.

If you want to have a better chance of making money than play 50/50s or Double Ups. Basically, you enter with $10 and finish in the top 50% than you win $20.

These are not fun to me. What would suck is if you finish in first in one of those. If you entered with $10 and finished in first in a tournament you’d probably win $100,000.

Satellites and Qualifiers seem interesting but as I understand them you play these at a discounted price to win a ticket to one of the larger tournaments. The way I see it is if you have money than why not just enter the larger tournaments?

Refer A Friend

DraftKings – Create an account through my link, deposit more than $5, and get a 25% of the deposit back in DK Dollars which can be used on DraftKings to enter contests.

FanDuel – Create a new account through my link, play $20, and get $10 to play on FanDuel.

That’s it. Lets see how this goes. Feel free to make fun of and tell me how much I suck at daily fantasy golf below.

About the Author: Brad Gibala

Shreds Gnar. Hall & Oates Fan. Practicing Libertarian. Beachbody Coach. Detroit-ish. Contact - Start Here - About - Recommends

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