2015 RBC Canadian Open: Preview, Strategy, Picks
After a very wild Open Championship, we are back to a more normal DFS PGA week with the RBC Canadian Open.
This week’s strategy is fairly straight forward and downright simple. We’ll also touch on how much odds per dollar has changed PGA DFS strategy.
Let’s cover the details of the tournament first.
Breaking Down RBC History and Glen Abbey
First of all, if you’ve looked at previous RBC results and statistics, be careful with what you’re looking at. This tournament is played at a different track each year. Luckily, we only have to go back to 2013 when the RBC was at Glen Abbey, which is the host course for the 2015 event.
In examining previous RBC events and how time travel would affect players who are coming over from the Open Championship, it actually doesn’t have much of an effect. This is primarily due to the fact that the players who were in the Open Championship are much better golfers than the ones who stayed in the U.S.
Glen Abbey is a standard par 72 with four par 5s, although it’s a 35-37. There are no drivable par 4s (all over 400 yards).
Here are the statistics on the par 5s from the 2013 event:
No. 2, 527 Yards = 15 eagles. Can be reached in two by everyone
No. 13, 558 Yards = 8 eagles. Can be reached in two by most
No. 16, 516 Yards = 11 eagles. Can be reached in two by everyone
No. 18, 524 Yards = 20 eagles. Can be reached in two by everyone
The winner scores the last three events at Glen Abbey have been -16 (2013), -18 (2009), -17 (2008). It’s obviously on the easier side in comparison to other PGA Tour events, which is mainly due to the four scorable par 5s playing approximately a combined 1.5 strokes under par on average for the entire field (that’s really low).
If you go back and look at previous leaderboards of the tournaments at Glen Abbey, you’ll find a great mix of long ball and shorter hitters. This course has a combination of tight fairways guarded by trees and holes more open with bunkers and just rough.
Bottom line: This isn’t a course that fits a specific type of player. Plus, since driving distance won’t be a huge advantage for carding eagles, there isn’t the incentive to focus on those guys.
Fading Great Odds Per Dollar Plays
One thing I’ve been taking notes on a lot this year (especially the last few months) is how much other DFS players are using guys who have great odds per dollar.
As I’ve stated before in articles (and will happily repeat for those who are new here), PGA DFS has changed a lot from 2014 to 2015. In 2014, PGA DFS was still in the growing stages as people were trying to figure out what the best strategies were. Furthermore, DraftKings’ algorithm was frequently producing poor salaries. Some of the players were outrageously mispriced according to Vegas odds and just simple logic. The most important part of this is that most DFS players hadn’t really caught onto this. How could people miss this? It wasn’t like Rory McIlroy was $6,500. It was more finding players who should be $8,500 at around $7,000.
But PGA DFS has grown, obviously noted by DraftKings’ continuous increased money in their Millionaire Maker tournaments for the majors. While there are usually a lot more amateurs or fish in the majors because of the larger number of entries, DFS strategy has grown and more players are using odds per dollar.
As I became aware of this over the last few months. I started to recommend fading some of the great odds per dollar plays, simply because sometimes I wouldn’t like a player for a tournament other than the reason of having great odds. That way, if Player X misses the cut and is owned by 30% of the field, that’s a huge edge for having an opportunity to win the GPP. Think about it logically. If someone has great odds who is $6,500 and should be priced around $7,500, there is still a significantly greater chance that player misses the cut than finishing in the top 10.
Similar is true for the high-salary plays. Take a look at the Open Championship last week. It was clear that Rickie Fowler’s odds per dollar was by far the best. He already had solid odds per dollar to begin with, but after he won the Scottish Open, they skyrocketed, and DraftKings’ salaries had already been released. I predicted Fowler’s ownage would be between 25-30 percent, and it was 28.5%. I recommended Justin Rose as my favorite high-salary player for several reasons, even though I still thought Rose would be used somewhere between 15-20 percent, especially with Rory’s absence. But because Rose’s odds per dollar didn’t look that great, he was owned a mere 7.5 percent! Granted Rose was $1k more than Fowler, but in no universe should Fowler be owned nearly four times as much as Rose. That is in no way shape or form a criticism of Fowler or a praise of Rose – it’s simply insane to have someone at a similar price range be used nearly four times as much at those percentages (possible injuries or WD concerns aside). Rose finished T6 at -11 while Fowler barely made the cut and finished T30 at -6.
Yes, this is just one example, but this has been continuously happening for months now (Justin Thomas users go ahead and nod your head). While you want to obviously pick the best players and give yourself the best lineup, you should really limit or completely fade someone in a GPP with a really high usage percentage.
The simple message here is that there is A LOT of variance in PGA. Bad breaks happen constantly in golf. There is a lot of luck. Instead of busting your butt trying to breakdown every single golfer detail, in today’s DFS PGA, you’re best off using simple math and logic to fade those players who have great odds per dollar. From there, use the golfers who are playing well as of late, fit the course well, have a favorable tee time, etc. And of course, check in here.
We are simply going off who is playing well as of late and fading the great odds per dollar plays (tab is updated).
Jim Furyk $10,700 – Furyk’s only two missed cuts are the Masters (by one) and one bad round at the Wells Fargo. Keep in mind while he only has three top 10s, he’s only logged 12 events, and this is the easiest field he’s faced all season.
Matt Kuchar $10,100 – One bad hole away at the Players Championship from all cuts made. He’s been very good on par 5s in going for the green, and now that the road hole is over with, Kuchar is a safe bet to be in contention on Sunday.
Seung-Yul Noh $8,500 – After a rough Spring, Noh has made four-consecutive cuts, which includes a T3 at the Travelers Championship. Noh is another player who has been very good in going for the green on par 5s.
Jerry Kelly $7,900 – He’s made six of his last eight cuts and all those have been T30 or better. While he’s been the model of consistency as of late, he also has terrific upside, despite the lack of eagles.
Hudson Swafford $6,800 – Swafford has made seven of his last nine cuts, and his two missed cuts are at courses that require great driving accuracy, not one of this strong suits.
Chad Campbell $6,200 – Just simply too cheap after making seven of his last nine cuts (four shots combined from all nine), which includes two T8s.View all posts by Nick Juskewycz