You may be familiar with fantasy football leagues and how they work. However, did you know that there are also fantasy golf leagues that you can play in? Much like a football league, you will draft a roster of players and score points based on how well they play each week. As golf is an individual sport, your draft strategy will be different when choosing a fantasy golf roster as opposed to choosing a roster in a team sport such as football. What should you keep in mind to have success in your fantasy golf league?
How Do You Pick Your Players?Image Source: tntsauction.com
There are two common draft types that most leagues use when picking players. The first type of draft is the serpentine or snake draft. A draft order may be created by the commissioner or created randomly by a computer program. Whoever picks first in the first round will pick last in the second round while whoever picks last in the first round picks first in the second round. The draft order snakes back and forth throughout the draft, which is why it is called a serpentine draft.
Another option is to pick players through an auction draft format. Each player is given a draft budget, and each player is put up for auction and awarded to the highest bidder. In most cases, the players are simply given a budget to pick their players with. However, some leagues require that players actually buy their golfers with their own money, which is then used to pay out prizes or otherwise fund the league throughout the year.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Player?
In any type of fantasy league, you want a player who performs at a consistent level. This means that you want someone who can make a cut more often than not, and you want someone who will routinely shoot at par or better. Most golf leagues award more points or bonus points to those who make the cut or shoot under par while subtracting points when a player misses a cut or shoots above par for a round or for a tournament.
Knowing whether or not a player will make a cut or shoot below par means that you have to know a player's strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a player who can drive long off the tee but has no short game is going to shoot higher than someone who may not have good distance off the tee but has the ability to get up and down on a par four. You should also have a basic understanding of whether or not a player is competent with the putter as that could be the difference between a birdie or a bogey on some holes.
The Best Player Isn't Always the Most Valuable Player
In fantasy sports, it is always better to have a productive player even if he isn't always the best player. For instance, picking Tiger Woods in his prime may not have been helpful over the course of a full season because he primarily played in major tournaments. Therefore, he would have been a worthwhile part of your team during Masters week, but not so much in the weeks before or after that tournament. Ideally, you want someone who is going to play 30 or 40 tournaments a year as it gives you a better chance to score points over the long-term.
Keep Your Eye on the Entire Field
If you are going to be successful in your fantasy golf league, you need to keep an eye on the entire field at all times. Ideally, you will pick up one or two star players in your draft while the rest of your roster is comprised of guys who happen to be playing well at the moment. For instance, you may want to draft and keep Jordan Speith as your top player who you rely on to help you win a championship.Image Source: sport-it.net
However, you also want to look for any player who has made consecutive cuts or has played many consecutive rounds under par who your opponents may not have heard of or know about. The goal is to identify these players, get them on the cheap and then drop them when they start to fade. You then repeat the cycle as many times as possible to keep your team strong without spending your entire waiver balance.
If you play with keepers or in a dynasty format, a guy that you pick up at less than market value could help you dominate your league this year and in future years. In most online leagues, you can sort players by certain statistical attributes, which means that you don't need to spend too much time finding guys who may help you shore up any weaknesses that your team may have.
Is Fantasy Golf Harder Than Other Fantasy Sports?
Fantasy golf isn't necessarily harder than other fantasy sports. Like any fantasy game, you need to have a basic knowledge of the players who you are drafting to have the best chance to win or stay competitive. If you have an intimate understanding of golf, you won't have as hard a time choosing players who perform well on a regular basis. If you know nothing about golf, you may choose guys that aren't as good or who aren't a good fit on a fantasy roster.
For those who have experience playing fantasy baseball, they may have an advantage when it comes to choosing a golfer to play on their team. This is because like baseball players, golfers will sit out even when they are healthy just to rest or because they don't play well in certain conditions. Also like baseball, the golf season is a long one, which means that certain players may have bad tournaments or poor stretches of play that could impact your team.
Golfers compete as much against the course that they are playing on as the other players in the field. When you choose a golfer for your fantasy roster, you want players who are best suited to shooting under par or making a cut at a particular course. Understanding this before you choose your roster and throughout the season as you scour the waiver wire can help you build a team that starts strong and plays well throughout the year.