Visualizing Performance – Dean & Deluca Invitational

May 25, 2016 at 12:56 pm

This is article is meant to be used in conjunction with the fantasy golf projections. The figures below are a visual aid that I use to help make lineup decisions. They are a quick and intuitive way to view the likely range of outcomes.


Below are box plots of the most recent 50 rounds for the top half of the field in the Dean & Deluca Invitational, in order of expected score to par. Each round is adjusted for field strength and standardized; these are apples to apples comparisons. Unlike the parameterized model that I use to create the projections, the plots are strictly empirical. They use the data only, and do not fit parameters. Each dot above a player’s name represents an adjusted normalized round score. The average normalized score is 0. A score of 1 indicates a round that was one standard deviation worse than a standardized field. A score of -1 indicates a round that was one standard deviation better than a standardized field. Negative is good – this is golf.

The box, the shaded rectangle above a player’s name, represents the middle 50 percent of his round scores. The whiskers, the thin lines that extend from either end of the box, represent the upper and lower 25 percent of a player’s round scores. The lower whisker is the best 25 percent of scores and the upper whisker is the worst 25 percent of scores. Again – negative is good in golf. The horizontal line in the middle of each box is the player’s median score – the midpoint, 50 percent of rounds are above and 50 percent below.

Have I mentioned lower is better? As such, the lower the box, the better. The bottom of each box can be thought of as an approximation of upside, the top as an approximation of downside. If a box and its whiskers are wider, they indicate that a player has a wider range of scores. Narrower boxes and whiskers indicate a more consistent golfer.


My projections boil all the data down to the expected value (mean) of DK points and score to par. The ‘MadeCut’ and ‘Win’ columns both attempt to capture some of the variation in possible outcomes. The figures included show an additional piece of the picture.

I always start with my projections as a base. I like to use these figures as an aid when constructing DFS lineups. If I’m looking for a cash game play, I’ll focus on players that have narrower boxes, i.e. a more consistent range of outcomes. In tournament play, I’ll try to focus on players that have upside, i.e. lower boxes and whiskers, even if they have a large range of outcomes.

I invite you to click on any of the figures to be taken to the plot. Then click on the ‘Full Size’ button in the top right to see a full screen version.

50 Most Recent Normalized Scores - DEAN & DELUCA Invitational 1st Group


Kevin Chappell stands out in a big way on this plot. His median adjusted normalized round score is the lowest of anyone in the field. Just another reason I will be rostering him this week. Smylie Kaufman and Sean O’Hair also have nice low median scores. Louis Oosthuizen has a very interesting distribution of scores. No scores near the zero line. His rounds have been either significantly better or significantly worse than average.


50 Most Recent Normalized Scores - DEAN & DELUCA Invitational 2nd Group

If you just look at the data, what’s the difference between Zach Johnson, $10,700, and Freddie Jacobson, $7100? Not much that I can see. Scott Piercy and Fabian Gomez look like they have some good tournament upside balanced by some below average play. Overall the second tier of golfers is strong. All their median scores are below zero except for Gomez.

50 Most Recent Normalized Scores - DEAN & DELUCA Invitational 3rd Group

The third tier of golfers shows a drop off. The median scores in this group are all close to zero, i.e. average. Some of them do have the potential to shoot low scores on occasion. Jason Gore, Andrew Loupe and Jason Bohn stand out.


Good luck this weekend. If you have questions or comments, email me: