Welcome to the 2018 Quicken Loans Invitational DraftKings Fantasy Picks and Pro-Tip.
News and Notes
The PGA TOUR heads to Potomac, Maryland where TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms will host the Quicken Loans Invitational. The field this week is headlined by Tiger Woods and Rickie Fowler but is otherwise a fairly weak field with just three players ranked inside the Top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings. TPC Potomac played as the 4th hardest course on tour last year, and its scoring average of 1.458 above par rated harder than The Players Championship and US Open. Some of that is attributable to the weak field, but a lot of it is representative of the overall difficulty, and the narrow fairways were inside of the Top 15 most narrow on tour.
Because the course will play more difficult, the value of finishing points becomes a larger percentage of DraftKings scoring and security Top 10 equity will be important, particularly for cash games. Our optimal lineups on fantasy projections tend to build through Fowler, and those teams generate roughly an 18% chance to get 6/6 through the cut. If you want to maximize your odds of getting 6/6 through the cut you by building more balanced, you could build around Francesco Molinari and build a team with 22.9% odds to get 6/6.
The closest weather tower on windfinder is in McLean, Virginia, which is 30 minutes down the Capital Beltway. The current conditions look hot but with limited wind impacting play. There is some rain on Wednesday Evening so Thursday AM may play softer, but that is more relevant for Showdown slates and First Round Leader bets than it is handicapping the entire event.
The chart below shows the strokes gained composition at this event compared to tour averages. The event was played at TPC Potomac for the first time in 2017, leaving just a one-year sample to consider for course history. Strokes gained off-the-tee pops as an outlier in that sample, with almost all of that being pulled from strokes gained-putting. Last year’s event was definitely a ball strikers event but it is possible that will change as N moves beyond a sample of one. Last year the wind was up with gusts at times moving to 20-25mph and 5.6% of tee shots (or roughly 1 per round) ended up in the water or the native area, contributing to the SG OTT numbers. With more mild conditions it is possible the average score plays closer to even par, but it is anyone’s guess.
In general, people should disregard course history this week and we are recommending moving the slider on the fantasy projections to zero.