Last week was the introduction to the new top-65 and ties cutline rules and it had an immediate impact.
We saw just 68 golfers make the cut in West Virginia instead of 84 under the old rules. This won't be the case every week but this does show us a great example of what to expect in terms of getting all your golfers through the cut in a DFS lineup.
Heading to the Country Club of Jackson this week, we have a full field of 156 golfers which means getting 6-of-6 through the cut line will remain a difficult task.
Some golfers will be making their first start of the new season while the others are arriving fresh from The Greenbrier and will need to transition from bentgrass to bermudagrass surfaces. It's probably a slight edge to have the irons warmed up last week but not a dealbreaker if your favorite plays are coming in with more rest.
Let's look at the weather then dive through some stats to find some value plays.
Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high of 94 degrees. A 30% chance of PM storms. Winds at 5 to 10 MPH.
Friday (R2): Cloudy with a high of 89 degrees. A small chance of a pop-up storm. Winds at 10 to 15 MPH.
Dealing with heat and humidity in the dog days of summer means that greenskeepers will need to keep the putting surfaces heavily watered. That means receptive greens are typically part of the equation here at the CC of Jackson. Keep an eye on the Friday AM wind forecast but it easily looks like the worst time to play right now. Of course if the Thursday PM storm hits then perhaps there is a delay and the Thursday PM wave would get the worst of things. Fun times. Definitely something to monitor.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Joaquin Niemann (64.68 Projected Pts): Last week was the first time he played a course for the third time in his young career. This time around he's going in blind with no course history. Coming off a breakthrough win it'd be easy for him to come up a bit sluggish this week. Adding to that, he heads from bentgrass to bermuda this week. Nearly all of his good finishes have come on bent or poa greens.
Johnson Wagner (59.49 Projected Pts): He's 3-for-4 at the CC of Jackson with a trio of top 35s. Not bad. However, he's never gained more than 2.5 strokes over the field in a single round here and also lost strokes to the field in five of his 14 rounds. He sits at 10th on the draft board this week but should probably be closer to 110th.
Lucas Glover (60.26 Projected Pts): The Clemson product brings Southern comfort and history to the table. He is 5-for-5 at this event with top 15s in each of his last two visits.
Sungjae Im (38.91 Projected Pts): Still getting priced like he's a rookie with no data to work with. We know that's not the case and he should be one of the top 5 picks, not on the bottom half of the draft board.
Grass type is always a key comfort factor so let's see who likes playing on bermuda greens...
Looking at sample-size-adjusted performance on bermuda greens over the last three 3 years (PGA, KFT, Euro Tour) the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
Austin Cook is just a few hundred miles from home but Sam Burns is even closer. Burns would be a lock-and-load if he weren't coming off an ankle injury. That adds a bit of risk. Overall, I'd rank my interest in these as Grillo, Cook, Burns, and no then Hadley.
Tyler McCumber: Just like his father, he brings winning pedigree to the table. Tyler won three times on the PGA TOUR Latinoamerica circuit from 2014 to 2016 and then three more times in Canada in 2018. He won't be the safest play this week but he did have four top 15s on bermuda last year on the Korn Ferry Tour. There is a lot of upside for this bargain-bin value option.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!