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Culp's Corner

FanDuel Focus: Houston Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

FanDuel golf has only been around for two weeks, but the trends are clear so far. 

People want to pay up for studs on the back end of their rosters. That did not work out so well for Stenson backers two weeks ago and anyone that paid for the "reliability" of Poulter, DeLaet, or G-Mac in Puerto Rico was left scratching their head. 

Should we really be loading up on studs in Round 3 and 4? In head-to-head and 50/50 contests that is probably the correct strategy but it's becoming very clear, very quickly, that we don't NEED to do that in large-entry contests (GPPs). 

Let's take a look at this week's Shell Houston Open to see what the proper strategy is this week. 

Course Stats at Golf Club of Houston
Let's take a look at historical round scoring at this event... 

Field Average FanDuel Points per Round (excluding bonuses): 
Round 1: 
13.09 points
Round 2: 
12.55 points
Round 3: 
13.61 points
Round 4: 
12.90 points

FanDuel Points per Round of Top-10 Finishers (excluding bonuses): 
Round 1: 
19.18 points
Round 2: 
17.37 points
Round 3: 
19.64 points
Round 4: 
18.64 points

When we look at pre-cut scoring versus post-cut scoring at this course, there is a slight edge to pre-cut but nothing dramatic. That means golfers that have historically got off to a quick start here are generally the ones that hold on to finish inside the top 10. 

Overall, there is nothing historically about the course setup that is swaying my decisions one way or another in terms of pre-cut versus post-cut decisions. 
 

Shell Houston Open Strategy
Last week I recommended tee-time wave stacks, and that turns out to be very valuable. Even though the wind never arrived, picking some lineups based on tee-time waves helped avoid disasters such as Ian Poulter, Graham DeLaet, and Graeme McDowell, a trio that all started their weeks with a PM tee time. 

This week, based on this weather forecast from Windfinder.com, it looks like the golfers who start their week with an afternoon tee time COULD be at an advantage. On Thursday, the wind gusts are projected to gradually fall after 3:00 pm and then on Friday morning the average wind speeds are forecasted for less than 10 mph until noon (although they will have to deal with gusty conditions). 

Trying to project wind and weather can be a frustrating task, since delays or forecast changes can alter the events dramatically. However, I am suggesting you lean on the Thursday PM wave if you need a tiebreaker this week. 

5 Golfers to Pay Up For: 
Jordan Spieth ($10,500), Henrik Stenson ($10,000), Adam Scott ($10,000), Justin Rose ($9,800), J.B. Holmes ($8,400)

5 Value Plays: 
Billy Horschel ($7,100), Russell Henley ($6,900), Stewart Cink ($6,200), Beau Hossler ($5,100), Kyle Stanley ($5,600)


 

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.