DANE’S DARTS: CHARLES SCHWAB CHALLENGE

FINALLY!!!! The PGA Tour returns this week at Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge. OK… I am a little bit excited and how couldn’t you be with how strong the field is this week in addition to some MASSIVE prize pools on DK and Fanduel. It feels like so long ago that THE Players Championship was being cancelled after round 1. This week will be very interesting on a lot of levels, which I will dive into below.

As always, be sure to check out the RotoPros LIVE golf show that Chris and I record each week on Wednesday nights. You can find the show on YouTube via the RotoPros channel. There we discuss the course and a general overview of our strategy for the week. If you subscribe to the RotoPros channel on YouTube you will be notified each time we go live!

My goal for this article is to break down each price range from a strategy/lineup construction standpoint. Once I do that, I will list a couple of my favorite plays in the range. I really want to help you by talking through how we can gain an edge through construction and not necessarily just taking 3-4 < 5% owned players. That is one way I have really improved in DFS golf, understanding that you only must be different to a point. I usually focus on lower entry max GPPs (single entry, 3 maxes, and 5 maxes) but will speak to certain plays that are better in larger fields and cash games. 

I build my models and do a lot of my early week research over at Fantasy National. If you haven’t checked them out, I would highly recommend giving them a shot. It is really a great place to build your own custom models based on the things that you think are important for the week. If you have a certain inclination that one stat will be more important than another you are able to weigh it higher and build out your own model in that way. You can check out their site at www.fantasynational.com.

COURSE & KEY STATS

Colonial Country Club is one of the oldest courses on the PGA Tour. It is a course that we probably won’t see a massive birdiefest, which is something I love. The winning score here usually gets into double digits under par but doesn’t approach -20 very often. A lot of this depends on the weather which I will touch on below. 

This week I am going to incorporate a lot of ball striking/approach play into my model. In addition, I am going to weigh fairways gained in my model which helps reflect driving accuracy. We need guys to be in the fairway this week to be able to hit these greens. The rough is sometimes thick here and I want guys who can position themselves well off the tee. When it comes to the high end players, I won’t let this be an end all as most of them can adapt to any type of course. This will come into play more with the lower end of the price ranges. 

The greens here are Bent grass and tee to green is Bermuda. Make sure you check out Chris’s sheet to see his new “Putting Splits” tab. This will help you see who putts well on this grass type and you can use that as a factor in your research. 

Below is the list of stats I am factoring into my research this week. 

Key Stats

  • SG: Approach
  • SG: Ball Striking
  • Fairways Gained
  • GIRs Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • Proximity 150-175
  • DK Points
WEATHER

It doesn’t look like the weather is going to play much of a factor this week. Obviously that could change over the next few days, but right now it looks like the highest wind will be late Thursday afternoon and that’s only 10-15 MPH. This should make scoring a bit better but I still expect an over par cut this week. I am pretty excited that we don’t have to worry about the weather on our first week back.

OVERALL STRATEGY

Wow, this should be an interesting week. Who knows how much preparation some of these guys have and I think it will be hard for anyone to know for sure. Regardless, most of these guys haven’t played in competition since The Players or before. 

What does this mean? Maybe some higher scores overall. One thing I will be really focusing on this week in ownership come Wednesday night. This is a week I will try as hard as possible to move away from chalk especially if there is some down in the cheaper ranges. Nobody knows what to expect this week and if I can get a massive ownership discount on a similar player then I’ll take it. Be sure to watch our show on Wednesday night where we will discuss some of the ownership projections. 

When it comes to recent form, guys don’t have any in our data. Of course they have been playing, but not in this type of setting. Due to that I am focusing a lot more on longer term numbers when it comes to my model, BUT this is a week that I will rely on my model a lot less than normal since these numbers are mostly from 3+ months ago. I expect that we will see some golfers who were struggling up until the break, come out and play well. Let’s hope we can find some of those at lower ownership and take down some of these massive GPPs.

$10K + RANGE

There are 4 guys up here this week. A very strong range with how deep this field is. I do think that a balanced lineup is viable this week, much like in majors. However, if I do end up in this range I plan to fall on the guy below, barring any major ownership discrepancies.

  • Rory McIlroy ($11,800) – I can’t go away from Rory in this range even though this will be his debut at Colonial. He ranks first in my stat model over the last 12, 24 and 50 rounds and would be first in my overall model if I took out course history. I don’t think you end up in this range in cash games but I am perfectly fine getting here in GPPs. As I have said all year. It’s not really a question of is Rory a good play, it’s do you have enough value to get to him.
$9K RANGE

Man what a loaded range. I think ownership will be fairly spread out here, but that is something I will be watching as we get closer to Wednesday night. I could definitely see starting in cash games here and going the balanced route. 

  • Collin Morikawa ($9,100) – I guess I kind of hoped that he would be in the $8k range, but I am perfectly fine playing Collin this week. Maybe in GPPs that will lower his ownership. Right now he looks like about the 3rd-4th highest owned in this range. He ranks 4th in my overall model and that is hurt by the fact that this is his debut here. Morikawa has been great tee to green since he came on tour and I am going to continue to ride him, especially since it is a bit tougher to hit these smaller greens. 
  • Brooks Koepka ($9,700) – OK.. This is one that falls into the category of I’m going a bit away from my model this week due to there being no recent form from any of these guys. He has been bad this year and I hope that lowers his ownership for GPPs. This is not a cash play but if he comes in around 10% owned in GPPs, sign me up. He has as much upside as anyone in this field and maybe the layoff helped him (this is a narrative I’m going to use to take some shots on guys for GPPs). 

Notables: Sung-Jae Im

$8K RANGE

When you look at this range you really can see how deep the field is going. I like plenty here but will be keying in on a few guys. Feel free to mix and match if you are multi entering. 

  • Gary Woodland ($8,800) – It was a pretty nice start to the year for Gary and I really liked the way he was trending. I actually had a Masters future on him (still do). He has only played here one time and that was way back in 2012. He is a much different golfer now. Gary has excelled at places that he is able to club down off the tee and then attack the greens. I like this fit for him. Ranks 5th in my overall model without course history. 
  • Marc Leishman ($8,900) – Another guy who started out the season hot. He hasn’t been great here in the past, but I still like Leishman as maybe a guy who is passed over a little bit. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 4th in ball striking and 2nd in this field on approach. A lot of these golfers are pretty even to me in this range and I may let ownership dictate who I am overweight on.

Notables: Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth (check ownership)

$7K RANGE

This range as always has tons of guys and they can fit any type of build. Due to this sometimes we will see ownership a little more concentrated on a few plays if people start zoning in on certain guys in both balanced and stars and scrubs builds. This is the range I really start wanting to fade the chalk, especially on a week like this. 

  • Joel Dahmen ($7,500) – We saw Dahmen play on the Outlaw Tour a few weeks back and earlier that week shot a sub 60 round when he was out playing with friends. This doesn’t mean a whole lot but at least he did play in some competition during the layoff. He was 20th here 2 years ago and was on fire early this year. Dahmen ranks 4th in fairways gained which is a stat I look more and more at when we approach this value range. 
  • Viktor Hovland ($7,900) – Ok, I have yet to get this guy right in 2020. He busted for me for weeks on end and then trolled me by winning the cross field event at the Puerto Rico Open. I’m not gonna let the recent results for me get in my way. I still want to play Hovland and I think he can pop at any time. 
  • Russell Knox ($7,200) – I haven’t talked to Chris much this week, but I have to assume this is one of his cash game staples. Maybe I’m wrong, but for $7,200 I think he will be popular due to his course history. This type of place fits his game and it has shown with 4 top 25s in 4 starts with an 8th place here last year. He ranks 8th in my overall model. I don’t mind Knox in GPPs either with this value.

Notables: Max Homa, Harris English, Tom Hoge

$6K RANGE

To get up to a guy like Rory I think you will have to dip down into this range, unless you just load up on $7k guys. This is where if you are multi entering, then mix and match. These are the most volatile golfers in the field and you don’t want to end up all in one one of them.

  • Bud Cauley ($6,800) – Cauley ranks 19th in my model this week and has played some decent golf in 2020. He ranks 7th on approach over his last 24 rounds. He hasn’t been great here, but does have a 21st and 14th here back in 2013 and 2014 respectively. He will be a guy I mix into my builds this week.
  • Matt Wallace ($6,600) – I expect that Matt is pretty low owned this week. He is kind of a gut play that I really like for GPPs. When his game is on he can compete with the best in the world, which he showed last summer. This will be his debut here and when the layoff happened he had been steadily improving. He’s not gonna pop in models, but again this is the type of guy I want to take a shot on in a week like this.The talent is way better than $6,600.

Notables: Harold Varner III, Matt NeSmith

Don’t be afraid to be different this week. This is a perfect week to play GPPs and take some shots on gut plays. I wish all of you the best of luck and hope to see you in the Slack chat this week and on our live show Wednesday night!

Thanks for checking out the article and if you have any questions you can hit me up in the RotoPros Slack Chat or on Twitter(@rotopros). If you are not a RotoPros member yet be sure to get over to the site and get your FREE one-week trial! You won’t be disappointed.