Over the past years, we've seen a steady increase in the popularity of fantasy sports leagues, and golf is no excpetion. There's something about the friendly competitiveness of fantasy leagues that adds an element of excitement to watching golf.
With little effort and some help from Google, you'll find many great fantasy golf platforms ready to fulfill your fantasy golf desires (Yahoo, Golf Channel, Buzz Leagues, DraftKings etc). You'll find most are reasonably cheap to play (if not free), offer great prizes as well as the thrill of competition. My personal favorite is the DraftKings platform primarily because of their unique 'Drafting' system. In a nutshell, they assign a dollar value to each participating golfer, and participants have $50,000 in order to effectively draft a 6 man lineup.
Regardless of the plaform you decide to use, you'll need some kind of strategy for selecting your lineup each week. Here's a look at some of the things we consider when making our selections.
10. Jet Lag - With many players competing on multiple tours (PGA Tour, European Tour etc), I like to have a quick look to see which players are in the midst of a crazy travel schedule. If a particular player have been pinballing back and forth between Europe and the USA, and currently on the last red-eye flight back to make this weeks tournament, I might consider passing on including them in my lineup.
9. Recent Play - Which players have been particularily hot in recent weeks? If there's a particular player who's been riding a hot streak, that is a great indication the trend could continue. Although keep in mind, all good things eventually come to an end.
8. FedEx Cup Ranking - The world rankings are a great starting point for determing which players are consistently bringing their 'A' games this season. Have a quick look at the current world rankings, although keep in mind this isn't the end all be all for making your selections.
7. Past Results at this Tournament - Looking at past years results from this particular tournament can help highlight some players that have a great history (or a terrible history) at this particular tournement. Even if a player has been in a slump, if they have a history of great play at a tournement, it might be worth taking a chance.
6. Course Layout - With a wide varity of course layouts, it's wise to evaluate which type of player this weeks course will favor. Is it a long and open course which might favor the long drivers, or is it a tight narrow course which may give preference to the shotmakers in the field?
5. Personal Preference - Regarless of what the stats say, I always tend to lean towards a select few players, who over the years I've grown to enjoy watching. This is purely a personal decision and has no strategic value other than allow me to chear for my favorite golfers throughout the week.
4. Wins/Top 10s on Tour - Perhaps an obvious stat to consider is how is raking up the most victories this season. I like to take it a step further and consider which players may not have landed atop the podium, but have be stock pilling top 10s.
3. Underdogs - Try to get the best 'Bang for Your Buck'. Never underestimate the underdogs. With the superior talent of all players on the PGA Tour, any given player has what it takes to throw down some low numbers. A couple weeks ago, Rickie Fowler was voted 'Most Over-Rated' player on the Tour, he went on the win that weeks event.
2. Cuts Made - In order to score points in fantasy golf, you need your players to make the cut. If you've got one of two picks remaining and unsure who to take, I would consider padding your lineup with players who have the highest percentage of making cut. Even if they don't finish top 10, they should at least rack up some points for you. As seen in the movie 'Moneyball', sometimes you've got to play the odds.
1. Home Course Advantage - This is my 'diamond in the rough' tactic. It may be tricky to find this information, but I always do a quick Google search to see which players call this weeks course, home. These players, even if they haven't been performing top notch in recent weeks, have a definite advantage playing a course they are familiar with, knowing every break and undulation like the back of their hand.
If you're new to Fantasy Golf and want to put your skills to the test, join us in the weekly DraftKings contests by clicking here.
About the Author
This article was written by Scott Stevens as part of our weekly Fantasy Golf series as well as our Top 10 series. Join the conversation with us on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+