Finding a Ceiling Outcome from the $8,400 to $7,500 Range: PGA DFS Game Theory 2.0
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Image Credit: Matthew Bolt/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Daniel Berger.

At this point, we’ve hit the top tier and the mid-range golfers. It’s important to get those decisions correct because the top of the salary scale has the most win equity. To be honest, getting a winner or even a top-five finish from the $8,400 – $7,500 range is a pretty big accomplishment. 

Over the course of our sample,[1] only 6.5% of golfers from this range finished inside of the top five. Just over a third of golfers in this range go on to miss the cut. We’ll continue through this salary range searching for some boxes we can check off to make our decisions easier. 

Ownership vs Performance

Golfers in the bottom half of ownership in this range outperform the top half of ownership in ceiling rate. To be honest, though, we’re splitting hairs. 

Ownership Group Ceiling Rate DK Points Above Tournament “Floor”
Bottom Half 28.2% 31.8
Top Half 25.4% 29.4

For this range, I measured the DK Scoring output relative to the tournament floor. I defined the floor for a given tournament as a 20th-percentile scoring outcome. That percentile puts us right in the meat of the golfers that missed the cut for a given event. Think of it as a value over replacement metric for a comparison to the guys who don’t get to play the weekend. 

Looking at replacement value or the average outcome across a 1,400-plus golfer sample probably isn’t the most useful for standalone value. It does illustrate that we don’t need to necessarily prioritize the higher-owned golfers just because the community likes them. 

Can PRK Score Help?

A better PRK Score is a good indication of skill. Whether you believe in PRK fully or not, there is plenty of evidence that it is able to reasonably measure the skill level of a given golfer.[2] When we narrow down our lens to just look at this range we see that there is some predictive lift that we get from the PRK Score. 

PRK Group Ceiling Rate DK Points Above Tournament Floor
80 – 100 29% 31.6
70 – 80 26% 31.4
0 – 70 26% 29.6

Golfers above an 80 PRK Score see a decent bump compared to golfers below 80. Again, we’re not setting any records here, but when we find these small edges across a few different metrics they add up. 

Previous Event’s Salary

Once again, there’s some value in looking at where a golfer was priced in the previous event. We’re just eliminating golfers that were priced at $6,500 or lower in the event leading in.

Salary Group Ceiling Rate DK Points Above Tournament Floor
Over $6,500 27% 30.6
Sub – $6,500 23% 28

I know I sound like a broken record, but these small edges will add up in the end. 

Checking The Boxes

To recap, we’re looking for three specific things to select our golfers in the value range, here. 

  • Bottom half of projected ownership for the current event.
  • A PRK Score above 80.
  • The golfer’s salary was above $6,500 in the last event they played. 
Boxes Checked Ceiling Rate
3 35.2%
2 27.6%
1 24.3%
0[3] 33%

When we stack all of these heuristics on top of one another, we get a significant edge here. If you could guarantee these jumps in your ability to predict a ceiling outcome, you’d take it without question.  

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 Dating back to the start of 2018.
2 Look for an upcoming article with the breakdown of that soon.
3 This group only has six total golfers in the sample.

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