ThriveFantasy Golf: The American Express
ThriveFantasy Golf: The American Express

This article is part of our DFS PGA series.

RotoWire is proud to announce a new partnership with ThriveFantasy! Not only will we be offering strategy articles for contests on their platform, we're also providing a special promo code (ROTOWIRE) to help you get started. We'll be providing content for the site's PGA contests, but first let's give you a general rundown of the site and how it works.

THRIVE FANTASY - HOW IT WORKS

If you are at all familiar with the concept of prop betting, then you already have a good idea of ThriveFantasy's functionality. An individual player is assigned a number that represents a statistic that they will compile in a given event. Your job is to decide whether the player will score above or below that number. This idea is more commonly known as an OVER/UNDER pick, and that is how the site presents each selection. Your job is to pick a fixed number of players (in PGA, you will pick five players) and decide whether they will go OVER or UNDER that number in the event. Scoring for these picks is not static, however. Each selection you make is assigned a certain amount of points, which are based on an assumption of risk. The pick with the least-likely outcome is assigned more points than the other option. Here's an example from this week's game to illustrate:

Rickie Fowler – 68.5 strokes OVER: 95 points  UNDER: 105 points

ThriveFantasy has determined that it's less likely that Fowler will score UNDER 68.5 strokes, and therefore, a correct pick will earn more points than picking the OVER.

Once you understand that concept, the rest is fairly easy.  

  1. Click on ThriveFantasy. Follow the instructions to load the app onto your Apple or Android phone.
  2. Make a deposit. Be sure to type 'RotoWire' in the promo code box provided. First-time depositors will receive a $25 INSTANT MATCH DEPOSIT BONUS with this code!
  3. Pick a contest. There are various buy-ins available, each with a varied number of opponents to play against.
  4. Make your selections. In PGA, you will make picks for five players plus one extra player that will be used in case a player does not play or is unable to complete a round.
  5. Sit back and watch the action! Your picks will automatically register in real-time.

Beginning this week, I'll be providing a strategy article to help you tackle the PGA contests available on the site.

NOTE: Unlike traditional DFS Golf offerings, these contests refer to what happens over ONE DAY. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on our offerings for the first round on Thursday. Let's begin!

THE AMERICAN EXPRESS - LA QUINTA, CALIFORNIA

Unlike traditional PGA events, this is a Pro-Am event that has a cut after 54 holes. The other wrinkle is that the tournament is played on three different courses. As you'll see in moment, that variant will be a key component in how we make our selections.

The three courses are:

The Stadium Course - Par 72,  7,300 yards

Nicklaus Tournament Course - Par 72,  7,204 yards

La Quinta CC - Par 72, 7,060 yards

The tournament will begin with all three courses in play, with the Stadium Course hosting the field for the final round.  The three courses aren't particularly lengthy, but the Stadium Course is by far the most difficult challenge of the trio. With a slope of 150, it is one of the most difficult courses the pros will face all year. The Nicklaus Course is next in terms of difficulty, and the La Quinta is the easiest course to play. What does this all mean for us? 

What we want to do is find out where our 10 players are teeing off on Thursday (I've done the work for you below).  From there, we want to consider our picks based on the difficulty of the course and an assortment of statistics that I think are important in relation to the course, Those metrics are:

First Round Scoring Average

Par 5 Birdie-of Better Percentage

Par 4 Average

Strokes Gained: Approach

2019 Tournament Finish

Before I make my picks, I've taken all of this information and placed it in a table. The numbers indicate the player's rank in that category.  These stats are based on 2019 numbers due to the small sample size in 2020.  GREEN INDICATES A FAVORABLE METRIC. RED INDICATES A NEGATIVE INDICATOR.  Enjoy.

PLAYERThurs CourseR1 ScAvP5 BoBPar 4 AverageSG-Approach2019 FINISH 
FowlerLA QUINTA1543870DNP 
MickelsonLA QUINTA46168102122T2 
FinauLA QUINTA19T356138DNP 
CaseyLA QUINTA10112238DNP 
KisnerSTADIUM691302352T57 
NaNICKLAUS126139153126DNP 
KnoxNICKLAUS171047918T18 
MolinariLA QUINTA168177116101DNP 
HorschelNICKLAUS551568174DNP 
ReavieSTADIUM483812T28 

I'm now going to make my picks for ALL TEN players on the slate today. The five picks with asterisks will represent my five most confident picks.

Rickie Fowler : 68.5 STROKES - UNDER (105)

Tony Finau : 3.5 BIRDIES - OVER (95)

*Paul Casey: 12.5 PARS - UNDER (95)

*Kevin Kisner: 2.5 BOGEYS- OVER (80)

*Kevin Na : 3.5 EAGLES+BIRDIES: UNDER (110)

*Phil Mickelson: 0.5 EAGLES: UNDER (75)

Russell Knox: 13.5 PARS + BOGEYS: UNDER (100)

Francesco Molinari: 67.5 STROKES:  OVER (85)

Billy Horschel:  4.5 BIRDIES: UNDER (75)

*Chez Reavie: 12.5 PARS: OVER (105)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Edgerton
Jeff has provided sports content for numerous sports outlets and has played fantasy sports since scores had to be tabulated via newspaper. He started working with RotoWire in 2017. Originally from South Carolina, he's a lifelong Clemson fan now enjoying the sun in Los Angeles.
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