Results – Wells Fargo Championship 2016

May 8, 2016 at 9:42 pm

Summary

James Hahn won the Wells Fargo Championship. He was a 500-1 underdog to win the tournament, using odds from Bovada.com. He was owned by very few people on DraftKings, about 0.2% ownership depending on the tournament. Roberto Castro, who finished second, was a 250-1 underdog to win the tournament and was roughly 4% owned on DraftKings. Otherwise there were many familiar names near the top of the leaderboard: Rose, McIlroy, Mickelson and Fowler.

My rankings did quite well. They were a much better predictor of fantasy points scored than either DraftKings salaries or Las Vegas lines. I will explain how I came to that conclusion below.

Analysis

There are not a lot of fantasy golf projections available on the web to which I can compare my rankings. I decided to compare my rankings to the two most well-known – DraftKings salaries and the Las Vegas lines.

DraftKings salaries are good predictors of fantasy performance on average. I used DraftKings data from the 2015 and 2016 seasons to construct the graph below (I filtered out the very high and very low salaries). The graph clearly shows that as salary increases, so does the average fantasy points scored by players with that salary. Fitting a regression line to this data gives an R-squared value of 0.80, which means that DraftKings salary explains about 80% of the variation in the average fantasy points scored.

I think it goes without saying that the Las Vegas odds are good predictors. At the bottom of the post, I listed the odds to win the Wells Fargo Championship according to Bovada.com as of Thursday morning before the tournament. The odds to win the tournament are not the same thing as who will score more fantasy points, but we should expect the two to be very highly correlated, and they are – for this week DK salary is 83.4% correlated with Las Vegas Odds.

I used the same algorithm that fantasypros.com uses to score the experts that provide fantasy advice for the NFL, NBA, etc. Unfortunately, FantasyPros does not have a PGA section, so I’m left to do this on my own. I took the three rankings listed in the table below: my rankings, DK salaries and Vegas lines, and I ran them through the scoring system.

The FantasyPros scoring system, called PAY, focuses only on meaningful recommendations. It starts with all possible combinations of players, 10585 in this case, and creates a start-or-sit recommendation, i.e. which one of these players should I start or sit, for each combination. If all three rankings agree on the start-or-sit recommendation, that combination is removed from the data set. For example, all 3 rankings agreed that you should start Rory McIlroy over Dawie van der Walt. Therefore, this combination was removed because it doesn’t tell us anything about which ranking system was better and the recommendation is obvious. After all of the unanimous recommendations were removed there were 3526 combinations left.

The system then takes each of those remaining recommendations and calculates the number of points you would have gained if you made every correct recommendation. For instance, I recommended Phil Mickelson over Justin Rose, DK and Vegas both recommended the opposite. Mickelson scored 94 points and Rose scored 92, therefore I earned 2 points for the correct recommendation and the others earned zero. A score of 100% would mean that you made every correct call.

To calculate a final score, the system takes the number of points that you earned and divides it by the total number of possible points you could have earned if you made every correct call. An explanation of the algorithm can be found here.

Conclusion

My final score was 61.14%. DraftKings Salary score was 45.48% and the Vegas odds scored 44.02%.

This is only one week worth of data, but I completely crushed the other 2 scoring systems. If you followed my recommendations over the others, you would have had a roughly 15% advantage. In gambling, a 15% advantage is huge. Most casino games have about a 5% house advantage or below.

On FantasyPros, the scores for the best experts in the NFL are generally in the high 50s, see here. So, my projections are in line with how experts in the NFL score.

If you want to run the calculations yourself, I have attached a csv file of the data I used to generate the scores and the code for the program that does the scoring. Just copy the code into a Pyhton 3 interpreter and change the path to wherever the ‘WFChampResults’ file is stored on your machine.

WFChampResults

scorepy

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Wells Fargo Championship BovadaOdds
Rory McIlroy +400
Rickie Fowler +1400
Adam Scott +1800
Henrik Stenson +2000
Justin Rose +2000
Hideki Matsuyama +2200
Patrick Reed +2500
Phil Mickelson +2500
J.B. Holmes +2500
Byeong-Hun An +3300
Daniel Berger +3500
Kevin Chappell +4000
Paul Casey +4000
Justin Thomas +5000
Jamie Lovemark +5000
Bryson DeChambeau +5500
Charles Howell III +5500
Kevin Kisner +5500
Gary Woodland +6000
Bill Haas +6000
Jason Kokrak +6600
Tony Finau +6600
Luke Donald +6600
Patton Kizzire +6600
Ryan Moore +6600
Webb Simpson +6600
Graham DeLaet +6600
Patrick Rodgers +8000
Danny Lee +8000
Brendan Steele +9000
Emiliano Grillo +10000
Martin Kaymer +10000
Shane Lowry +10000
Kevin Streelman +10000
Jim Furyk +10000
Jhonattan Vegas +12500
Harris English +12500
Lucas Glover +12500
Ian Poulter +12500
Jamie Donaldson +12500
William McGirt +12500
Harold Varner +15000
Luke List +15000
Ollie Schniederjans +15000
Sean O’Hair +15000
Jason Bohn +15000
John Senden +15000
Will Wilcox +15000
Scott Brown +15000
David Lingmerth +15000
Ben Martin +15000
Robert Streb +15000
Jonas Blixt +15000
Anirban Lahiri +15000
Daniel Summerhays +15000
Francesco Molinari +15000
George McNeill +15000
Martin Laird +17500
Bobby Wyatt +17500
Cameron Tringale +17500
Scott Stallings +20000
Si Woo Kim +20000
Geoff Ogilvy +20000
Matt Jones +20000
Ricky Barnes +20000
Brian Stuard +20000
Colt Knost +20000
Spencer Levin +20000
David Hearn +20000
Shawn Stefani +20000
Cameron Smith +20000
Chesson Hadley +20000
David Toms +20000
Boo Weekley +20000
Morgan Hoffmann +22500
Padraig Harrington +25000
Kyle Reifers +25000
Brian Harman +25000
Kyle Stanley +25000
Johnson Wagner +25000
Adam Hadwin +25000
Roberto Castro +25000
Stewart Cink +25000
Stuart Appleby +25000
Nick Taylor +25000
Camilo Villegas +25000
Ernie Els +25000
Sung-hoon Kang +25000
Retief Goosen +25000
Chad Collins +25000
Chris Stroud +25000
Blayne Barber +25000
Meen Whee Kim +25000
Zac Blair +25000
Michael Kim +25000
Henrik Norlander +30000
Jonathan Byrd +30000
Brendon De Jonge +30000
Jim Herman +30000
Chad Campbell +30000
Scott Langley +30000
Fabian Gomez +30000
Michael Thompson +30000
Will MacKenzie +30000
Ben Crane +30000
Peter Malnati +30000
Tom Hoge +30000
Vijay Singh +30000
Andrew Loupe +30000
Bronson Burgoon +30000
Jeff Overton +30000
Mark Wilson +30000
Rory Sabbatini +30000
Alex Cejka +30000
Derek Fathauer +30000
Erik Compton +30000
Jason Gore +30000
Bud Cauley +30000
Tyler Aldridge +30000
Hunter Mahan +35000
Angel Cabrera +40000
Vaughn Taylor +40000
Scott Pinckney +40000
Davis Love III +40000
Derek Ernst +40000
Greg Owen +40000
Hiroshi Iwata +50000
Matt Every +50000
Brian Gay +50000
James Hahn +50000
Steve Wheatcroft +50000
Carlos Ortiz +50000
D.A. Points +50000
Brendon Todd +50000
Tim Wilkinson +50000
Corey Nagy +50000
Andres Gonzales +50000
Rob Oppenheim +50000
Steve Marino +50000
Steven Bowditch +50000
Sam Saunders +50000
Mark Hubbard +60000
Brett Stegmaier +60000
J.J. Henry +75000
Justin Hicks +75000
Tyrone Van Aswegen +75000
Mackenzie Hughes +75000
Blake Olsen +100000
Ethan Tracey +100000
Dawie Van Der Walt +100000
Trevor Immelman +100000
Kelly Mitchum +125000
Robert Allenby +125000
Matt Dobyns +150000