Fantasy Golf Projections – AT&T Byron Nelson

Welcome to the second edition of my fantasy golf projections at RotoViz. Last week’s projections did well. I’ll quickly review how I made the projections then discuss some over- and undervalued players. Here are the AT&T Byron Nelson Projections.

Methodology Review

I forecasted the following for each player: final score to par, number of DraftKings points, percent chance to make the cut, and percent chance to win the tournament. The ‘Value’ column is based on the player’s expected points per dollar of salary.

Each forecasted number is an expected value, what will happen on average. For instance, it’s very likely that the winner of the tournament will have a score much lower than Jordan Spieth’s projected -4.78 below par. Almost by definition the winner of the tournament must perform better than his projected average. My simulations put the average winning score around -13.6. The flip side also holds true; the players that finish near the bottom will under-perform their expected totals.

I used the following procedure to obtain the spreadsheet you see below:

  1. Using every complete round played on the PGA tour from 2010-2016, I calculated a z-score for each golfer. A negative z-score is good – it means your score is below average, which is good in golf.
  2. I corrected each z-score according to the strength of each field (not all fields are created equal).
  3. I calculated a moving average of adjusted z-scores and the standard deviation.
  4. I took the two parameters for each player, adjusted z-score and standard deviation, from step 3 and scaled them to fit the current tournament.
  5. Then via Monte Carlo simulation, I played the tournament 20,000 times using the tournament specific parameters for each player to randomly determine their scores.
  6. Finally, I used each player’s simulated score predict his DraftKings points.

Byron Nelson Classic Projections

The projections are shown in the table below. If you’d rather work directly with a Google spreadsheet click here.

Jordan Spieth-4.7775.110.8510.116125006.00
Dustin Johnson-3.8772.370.8700.043119006.08
Charl Schwartzel-2.5865.100.8220.024101006.44
Brandt Snedeker-2.3363.230.7710.04493006.79
Matt Kuchar-2.1461.450.8030.024105005.85
Louis Oosthuizen-2.0962.780.8030.01999006.34
Charles Howell III-2.0561.410.7990.02182007.48
Colt Knost-1.8960.570.8010.01778007.76
Lucas Glover-1.6661.350.7920.01375008.18
Sergio Garcia-1.6360.520.7900.013104005.81
Brooks Koepka-1.4461.370.7840.01396006.39
Jimmy Walker-1.3460.600.6940.06488006.88
Chez Reavie-1.2958.500.7180.03666008.86
Gary Woodland-0.9858.680.7380.01785006.90
Danny Lee-0.9558.050.7390.01386006.75
Jason Dufner-0.8356.990.7260.01791006.26
Ryan Palmer-0.6857.350.8020.00189006.44
Zach Johnson-0.5455.270.7020.017102005.41
Aaron Baddeley-0.5156.590.7350.00572007.85
Sean O'Hair-0.4855.530.7150.00970007.93
Freddie Jacobson-0.4254.630.7020.01773007.48
Alex Cejka-0.3754.060.7370.00368007.95
Charley Hoffman-0.3656.120.7070.012108005.19
Marc Leishman-0.2554.130.7250.00595005.69
John Huh-0.1153.550.6690.01869007.76
Luke List-0.1054.900.6940.00965008.44
Jonas Blixt-0.0955.240.6540.02777007.17
Adam Hadwin0.0553.220.6690.01366008.06
Tony Finau0.0854.350.6860.00681006.71
Bryce Molder0.2151.140.6890.00476006.72
David Toms0.2550.690.6710.00666007.68
Scott Piercy0.3153.340.6490.01280006.66
Harris English0.3251.990.6820.00475006.93
Jason Gore0.6951.460.6210.01763008.16
Graham DeLaet0.7750.770.6190.01379006.42
Jhonattan Vegas0.8150.180.6520.00371007.06
Sung-hoon Kang0.8251.550.6150.01661008.45
Russell Henley0.8750.150.6290.00478006.43
Bud Cauley0.8849.060.6490.00160008.17
John Senden0.9248.580.6350.00274006.56
Patrick Rodgers1.1648.560.6030.00770006.93
Andrew Loupe1.1950.600.5910.01666007.66
Kyle Reifers1.2547.270.6310.00067007.05
Keegan Bradley1.2848.450.6070.00379006.13
Chad Campbell1.3345.600.6300.00066006.90
Andres Romero1.4548.710.5800.00760008.11
Johnson Wagner1.5245.550.5990.00163007.23
Ricky Barnes1.5447.410.5640.01667007.07
Anirban Lahiri1.6446.710.5660.00773006.39
Martin Flores1.6446.530.5790.00564007.27
Spencer Levin1.6444.460.5860.00267006.63
Brian Harman1.6646.490.5670.01072006.45
Bronson Burgoon1.6646.570.5770.00364007.27
Dawie Van Der Walt1.7346.890.5660.00856008.37
Mark Hubbard1.7444.690.5780.00361007.32
Tim Wilkinson1.7543.890.5750.00268006.45
Zac Blair1.7643.640.5620.00469006.32
Cameron Smith1.7745.020.5700.00165006.92
Scott Stallings1.7945.780.5740.00169006.63
Seung-yul Noh1.7946.070.5710.00370006.58
Jon Curran1.8043.700.5720.00369006.33
Ben Crane1.8144.360.5720.00261007.27
Jerry Kelly1.8243.680.5550.00567006.52
Bryson DeChambeau1.9146.420.5650.00183005.59
Kyle Stanley1.9945.440.5520.00261007.44
Will Wilcox2.0344.830.5420.00470006.40
Cameron Percy2.0444.130.5540.00164006.89
Hiroshi Iwata2.1945.180.5360.01355008.21
James Hahn2.2244.980.5300.00677005.84
Matt Jones2.342.980.5350.00165006.61
Jeff Overton2.3143.840.5290.00563006.95
Hudson Swafford2.3544.260.5250.00264006.91
Kiradech Aphibarnrat2.3545.430.5240.00371006.39
Boo Weekley2.4243.080.5180.00574005.82
Michael Kim2.4943.020.5080.00864006.72
Rod Pampling2.5140.260.5190.00057007.06
Chesson Hadley2.6043.160.5060.00268006.34
Martin Piller2.6143.430.5060.00365006.68
Ian Poulter2.6940.730.5000.00076005.36
Derek Fathauer2.6943.130.4990.00360007.18
Scott Pinckney2.6940.820.4980.00063006.48
Henrik Norlander2.7040.420.5000.00060006.73
Tom Hoge2.7741.960.4940.00261006.87
Scott Langley2.7940.310.4910.00265006.20
Stuart Appleby2.7939.950.4870.00165006.14
Brett Stegmaier2.8040.580.4960.00062006.54
Blayne Barber2.8242.950.4860.00463006.81
Ernie Els2.8640.990.4840.00267006.11
Curtis Reed2.8834.990.403058006.03
Chris Stroud2.8839.340.4830.00064006.14
Greg Owen2.9840.770.4790.00159006.91
Thomas Aiken3.0638.100.4560.00064005.95
Ken Duke3.0940.450.4700.00466006.12
Tyler Aldridge3.0938.890.4710.00262006.27
Michael Thompson3.1040.390.4700.00364006.31
Will Zalatoris3.2240.590.4670.00554007.51
Billy Hurley III3.2237.160.4430.00059006.29
Peter Malnati3.2436.830.4490.00059006.24
Mark Wilson3.4035.790.4310.00064005.59
Kelly Kraft3.4036.410.417059006.17
Bobby Wyatt3.4639.090.4460.00371005.50
Tyrone van Aswegen3.5038.890.4440.00256006.94
Brice Garnett3.5037.790.4410.00257006.63
Sam Saunders3.5339.100.4450.00355007.10
Alex Prugh3.5536.980.4160.00059006.26
Angel Cabrera3.5639.430.4360.00265006.06
Luke Guthrie3.5638.230.4310.00060006.37
J.J. Henry3.5635.270.4270.00058006.08
Steve Wheatcroft3.5739.440.4440.00163006.26
Chad Collins3.5935.530.4140.00063005.64
John Merrick3.5936.230.4130.00060006.03
Rob Oppenheim3.6038.780.4340.00257006.80
Wes Roach3.6737.930.4150.00056006.77
Derek Ernst3.6836.960.4180.00062005.96
Steve Marino3.9136.900.3980.00057006.47
Meen Whee Kim3.9933.630.3720.00061005.51
Will MacKenzie4.0136.970.4060.00161006.06
Carlos Ortiz4.0137.470.3910.00056006.69
Robert Garrigus4.0737.620.3940.00165005.78
D.J. Trahan4.0835.700.4000.00056006.37
Tom Gillis4.1235.460.3990.00157006.22
Carl Pettersson4.2134.370.3700.00057006.03
Erik Compton4.3634.640.3720.00059005.87
Andrew Landry4.4629.030.245057005.09
Shawn Stefani4.5134.630.3730.00268005.09
Marc Turnesa4.5131.200.3180.00060005.20
D.A. Points4.5332.460.3230.00059005.50
Justin Hicks4.5433.760.3650.00062005.44
Brendon Todd4.5632.370.3400.00063005.13
Miguel Angel Carballo4.6632.410.3210.00055005.89
Trevor Immelman4.7329.450.2860.00056005.26
Billy Mayfair4.7531.160.3090.00058005.37
Richard H. Lee4.8429.970.3120.00054005.55
Dicky Pride4.8529.660.279055005.39
Andres Gonzales4.9431.230.2870.00058005.38
Brian Gay5.0329.280.2800.00062004.72
Joe Affrunti5.0333.620.3630.00362005.42
Tim Herron5.0929.590.2880.00055005.38
Rhein Gibson5.1129.300.2800.00055005.32
Alex Moon5.1643.310.499054008.02
Ted Purdy5.3227.520.212054005.09
Abraham Ancer5.6825.060.158058004.32
Michael Bradley5.7228.640.2660.00058004.93
Darron Stiles6.3525.380.186058004.37
Lucas Lee6.4727.350.2560.00156004.88
Steven Bowditch6.7830.120.2660.00162004.85
Cameron Beckman6.8426.910.2240.00054004.98
Robert Allenby7.5522.620.127054004.19
Brian Norman7.7819.950.032054003.69
D.H. Lee7.8424.220.1920.00054004.48
Mike Weir9.6316.700.011054003.09

Premium Players

The field in this week’s Byron Nelson Championship is weaker than an average PGA field, in stark contrast The Players Championship last week. The top of this field is quite strong relative to the bottom players and their salaries reflect the same. Jordan Spieth is the best player in this field but his oversized salary means that he needs to win or come close to be worth it. I expect Spieth to be low-owned and a bit of a contrarian tournament play this week. It will be tough to crowbar his salary into a lineup. Also, people were stung by him last week when he missed the cut and he’s made some comments in the media about struggling with his game. He’s probably too expensive to play in cash games given that you’ll need to include some speculative lower priced players to round out your lineup.

I’m guessing that Dustin Johnson will be higher owned than Spieth, not so attractive, but he has a good chance to win this tournament. Of the $9000+ salary players, Brandt Snedeker seems to be the best value. I give him about a four percent chance to win.

Undervalued Players

There are some great values this week. Lucas Glover tops the list. I have him ranked as the ninth best golfer in this field, a great play for cash or tournaments at $7500. Colt Knost, T3 last week, has been putting together a strong season with only one missed cut. He’s a value at $7800. Aaron Baddeley at $7200 is a nice underpriced, low-variance player suitable for cash games. Sean O’Hair, Jonas Blixt, Freddie Jacobson and Luke List are all players I have ranked at the back end of the top 25 in this field. All are $7700 or less and perfect for rounding out cash or tournament lineups.

Chez Reavie is another value this week, he’s missed three straight cuts and his salary has dropped from $7700 three weeks ago to $6600 this week. A trend of three missed cuts is not encouraging, but his overall skill level is still high. Caution probably demands that you restrict his use to tournaments; you never know when a player might be struggling through an unreported injury or may be tweaking his game.

Contrasting Styles

Jimmy Walker and Ryan Palmer have very similar average scores, but they get there in very different ways. Notice the contrast in their projected win percentage. Walker can shoot very low scores – he’s won five times in the last three years – but he pays for it by being erratic, as he showed last week finishing dead last. Palmer is not likely to win a tournament – he hasn’t won since 2010 – but he has finished in the top 25 in 47 percent of his starts over the last three seasons. If you’re going to play Walker, err on the side of using him in tournaments. Palmer is a solid cash game play.

Overvalued Players

Many players in this section seem to be overpriced based on name recognition or recent performance. Zero-time major champion Sergio Garcia is the poster boy for this phenomenon. He’s not a bad play. I expect him to finish 12th. I just like players like Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker for similar or less salary.

Marc Leishman is a solid golfer, but he’s not worthy of being the tenth most expensive player in this field. Charley Hoffman’s recent win at the Valero Texas Open seems to have inflated his salary a bit. A player like Louis Oosthuizen is a better bet if you look at things from a long-term perspective.

Bryson DeChambeau is another player with name recognition; few rookies have ever made such a strong impression. He’s just overpriced based on his short track record. Of any player in this section, I can understand overpaying for DeChambeau. We don’t yet know his ceiling and his salary, $8300, won’t distort your lineup.

I’ll be back shortly with another article that includes some visualizations that can help you make lineup decisions.

If you have questions or comments, please email me:

By John Gambill | @GamblinJohnny | Archive