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PGA DFS: Webb Simpson is Ready to Party at the WMPO

We are back at the biggest party in golf for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The golfers will be tasked with taming TPC Scottsdale. TPC Scottsdale is a par 71 course that plays about 7,260 yards. The course features 7,000-plus square foot greens which run about 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. That can lead to low scores as the winner has averaged 17.45 strokes under par here since 1990. If you want to check out the Expected Birdies preview, head to yesterday’s article.

Scoring Breakdown

Finish Position Category Average DK Scoring
Top 25 84.3
25th – 50th 67
51st – 75th 57.3
Missed Cut 24.4

Buy or Sell

Jon Rahm ($11,400)  is coming off of a near-win at the Farmers Insurance Open and he gets the “home-field” narrative. Rahm went to ASU is basically the “Ryan Fitzpatrick went to Harvard” or “Antonio Gates used to play basketball” of this week. Rahm has the fourth-highest PRK Score of the week with a 91.2. Golfers in the 90-100 Group have made up 15% of the golfers to finish in the top 5 despite making up just 4% of the population in the sample. Since missing the cut1 at the Charles Schwab Challenge, he’s made 14 of 15 cuts with 12 top 10s and three wins worldwide. Rahm is a very clear buy assuming you can find the salary for an $11,400 golfer in your lineup. He’s also taken advantage of courses shorter than 7,400 yards, per the Splits App

It’s not the first time that Hideki Matsuyama ($10,100) has appeared in this section. He’s an interesting test case every single week because his name value in DFS is certainly worth something but it feels like he’s underpriced most weeks. Matsuyama is on a streak of seven straight made cuts with a couple of top-three finishes during the Asian Swing in the fall. He comes in ninth in the field with a PRK Score of 84. Golfers in his group finish in the top 20 just over 25% of the time and make the cut 70% of the time. Matsuyama likely won’t find his way into many of my lineups because of his proximity to Webb Simpson ($10,300) who has the Top PRK Score this week. 

Over/Under

Tony Finau ($9,600) – Over/Under 20.5

Finau is a fan favorite and is typically one of the highest owned golfers every time he’s in the field. He comes into the week with a PRK Score of 84. Since 1995, golfers that fall between 80 and 90 finish in the top 20 at a 33.4% rate. In the next few weeks, I’ll be releasing results from a simulator that I’ve been working on for each event. It runs on the PRK Model,2 and out of 3,000 sims, Finau finished in the top 20 2,209 times. I’m going under here for that reason, among a few others. In his two events stateside, he’s finished no worse than T14 so far in 2020. Finau did much of his damage3 around the green at The American Express, but his irons trended up this past week.

Mid-Range Matchup

Adam Hadwin ($7,200) vs. Martin Laird ($7,200)

This is a little bit lower priced than our typical matchup but I thought it was interesting. I was shocked when doing my first pass through of ownership and it seemed like they could get somewhat popular. 

Laird has the magical course history dust this week, with three top 10s over the past five years. The issue is that he hasn’t cracked the top 40 since July. Even that performance wasn’t terribly impressive as it was at the Barracuda Championship.4 Laird comes into the week with a PRK of 63. Golfers in the 60-70 group have only finished in the DK Bonus5 about 45% of the time. 

Hadwin, on the other hand, comes in with a 76 in the PRK Score. The 70-80 group base rate for hitting the DK Bonus is 51.4% which is a slight advantage. More importantly, though, the top 5 rate is nearly double that of the 60-70 group. We haven’t seen Hadwin in a bit but he’s on a streak of seven straight made cuts. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I’m fading the course history narrative here and taking Hadwin. 

GPP Play

Webb Simpson ($10,300) is at the top of the heap in the PRK Scores this week. He’s sandwiched in between Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler ($10,500). I call that an ownership vacuum. There’s no way that three guys within $400 of each other all end up as chalk, especially when they’re at this price. That puts him in pretty elite territory as a price pivot.  

Harry Higgs ($6,900) is coming off of a top-10 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Higgs finished the season strong on the Korn Ferry Tour and took a little bit to get his sea legs under him. He has the fifth-best PRK Score, largely because of his small-sample combined with a great performance last week. Higgs pops in the expected birdies metric, as well. Historically, 85 PRK golfers have found the top 10 just under 20% of the time. 

Cash Locks

  • Viktor Hovland ($8,400)
  • Tom Hoge ($7,400)

Recap of the cash locks so far this year:

WMPO - Power Ranking Model

NameSalaryPRK Score
Jon Rahm1140091.3
Justin Thomas1120093
Rickie Fowler1050079.7
Webb Simpson10300100
Hideki Matsuyama1010084.1
Xander Schauffele990084.4
Tony Finau960085
Matt Kuchar940074.5
Gary Woodland930071.2
Collin Morikawa920082.3
Bryson DeChambeau910078.8
Bubba Watson900069.4
Brandt Snedeker890082.7
Sungjae Im880084.4
Branden Grace870056.3
Jordan Spieth860072.6
Scottie Scheffler850083.4
Viktor Hovland840096.2
Chez Reavie830065.4
Ryan Palmer820080.1
Cameron Smith810075
Matthew Wolff800069.8
Ryan Moore800079.7
Corey Conners790070.5
Jason Kokrak790069.4
Brian Harman780080.1
Daniel Berger780069.1
Russell Knox770077.1
Keegan Bradley770065.2
Byeong Hun An760062.1
J.T. Poston760075.9
Kevin Na760064.5
Vaughn Taylor750081.3
Brendan Steele750066.1
Andrew Putnam750074.1
Bud Cauley750083.2
Tom Hoge740078.1
J.B. Holmes740059.4
Charley Hoffman740053.5
Billy Horschel740066.3
Rory Sabbatini730075.2
Harris English730070.8
Beau Hossler730061.7
Zach Johnson730064.5
Emiliano Grillo730071.9
Lanto Griffin720075.7
Martin Laird720062.9
Denny McCarthy720078.3
Adam Hadwin720075.9
Andrew Landry720063.8
Sebastian Munoz720043.4
Scott Piercy710067.3
Joel Dahmen710076.2
Max Homa710057.5
Aaron Wise710071.7
Carlos Ortiz710074.3
Sung Kang710067
Dylan Frittelli700062.1
Talor Gooch700068.7
Russell Henley700058.2
Kyle Stanley700062.9
Matt Jones700066.6
Jimmy Walker700064.5
Charl Schwartzel690056.6
Cameron Tringale690077.8
Sean O'Hair690052.3
Chesson Hadley690061.5
Nate Lashley690065.6
Harry Higgs690085.3
Adam Schenk680071.3
Sam Burns680066.6
Harold Varner III680062.2
Kiradech Aphibarnrat680059.3
Sepp Straka680064.7
Kevin Streelman680065.4
Wyndham Clark670062.1
Luke List670055.4
Grayson Murray670052.6
Brian Gay670061.5
Kevin Tway670064.3
Sebastian Cappelen670072
Sam Ryder660068.4
Tyler Duncan660065.7
Brian Stuard660075
Patrick Rodgers660061.2
Danny Lee660053
Doc Redman660068.7
Luke Donald650049.1
C.T. Pan650067.1
Trey Mullinax650047
Lucas Bjerregaard650044.8
Nick Taylor650076.2
Kevin Chappell650049.3
Ryan Armour650064.9
John Huh640057.3
Peter Malnati640060.8
Keith Mitchell640046.5
Chris Stroud640055.9
Adam Long640064.7
J.J. Spaun640050
Brice Garnett640061.7
James Hahn630051.6
Hudson Swafford630056.6
Troy Merritt630066.6
Patton Kizzire630054.5
Brandon Hagy630055.4
Chris Kirk630061.4
Austin Cook630053
Si Woo Kim620053.8
Scott Harrington620054.5
Jamie Lovemark620062.4
Satoshi Kodaira620029
Kevin Stadler620027.1
Mark Hubbard620060.5
Aaron Baddeley620066.8
Ted Potter Jr.610043.4
Matt Every610069.6
Seung-Yul Noh610051.6
Greg Chalmers610019.6
Kyoung-Hoon Lee610063.3
Colt Knost610032.2
Steve Stricker610066.3
K.J. Choi600045.1
Bo Van Pelt600022.7
Martin Trainer60000
Mackenzie Hughes600052.3
Marty Jertson600043.4
Roger Sloan600058.2
Kyle Westmoreland600043.4
Image Credit: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Webb Simpson.

  1. inexplicably  (back)
  2. among other things  (back)
  3. in the measured rounds  (back)
  4. alternate field event  (back)
  5. top 50  (back)

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