Fantasy Focus: Waco Annual Charity Open

A split in the field makes selection at the top easy, but how about some local flavor?

With a split in the field, it’s a no brainer to have Ricky Wysocki atop your lineup for this weekend’s Waco Annual Charity Open. Photo: Rebecca Heiam, DGPT

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Waco Annual Charity Open Outlook

From a fantasy perspective, the field split that we’re seeing throughout the sport this weekend makes picking top players at the Waco Annual Charity Open a bit easier. Labored the past couple weeks between choosing Paul McBeth or Ricky Wysocki to anchor your lineup? That’s no longer an issue with McBeth not taking part in the event. Fire up Wysocki and use him to anchor your lineup as he looks to bounce back from the Memorial. Of note: McBeth is taking Nate Sexton with him to the Throwdown the Mountain in Florida, which takes another top-rated player out of the mix, too.

At that point, then, you’re looking at a solid core of players in the 1020s that you can use to build a competitive lineup. You shouldn’t need to mine for many deep plays this week, but can look to differentiate your roster by being a bit contrarian.

But before we do that, get a refresher on how the Pro Tour league points are awarded by heading here.

Lineup Building Strategies

1) The Local Route

It’s easy, even in 6,000 point leagues, to build a strong lineup of chalk players by replacing one of your picks with a lower rated local player. By stacking the top end of your lineup, and hitting on a player who not many people might have in their lineups, you can set yourself apart to maximize points. Here are two options, one with a Texas-based player from each division:

Men's LocalWomen's Local
Ricky Wysocki1049Ricky Wysocki1049
Dave Feldberg1031Dave Feldberg1031
Simon Lizotte1028Simon Lizotte1028
Addison Collins966Eagle McMahon1024
Catrina Allen966Paige Pierce958
Paige Pierce958Stephanie Vincent910

In both cases, you’re taking a bit of risk at the bottom of your lineup, with that risk being offset by each player’s local knowledge and experience.

2) Contrarian Plays

The easy money this weekend is on Eagle McMahon, who took second place at the 2016 Texas States Championship on the same course last year, to place well. But, everyone is going to have him in their lineup, thus negating a lot of the good he’ll do. In a strategy that is a cousin to the Local Route idea, you can take a bigger risk – but possibly reap a larger reward – by employing a contrarian play. Take McMahon out of your lineup and plug in someone like Drew Gibson — who finished the Memorial with a scorching 14-under par round and has plenty of power to handle the front half of the Beast — or Devan Owens, who should have a handle on the Midwest wind we’re likely to see this weekend.

Optimal Lineups

6,000 point leagues

Steve's PicksAlex's Picks
Ricky Wysocki1049Ricky Wysocki1049
Dave Feldberg1031Eagle McMahon1024
Eagle McMahon1024Jeremy Koling1023
Philo Brathwaite1020James Conrad1017
Paige Pierce958Paige Pierce958
Madison Walker918Madison Walker918

While we’ve chosen identical players in the women’s division, a couple men’s players will make the difference. Feldberg seems to be in fine form and has history in Waco, but Koling gets a chance to test his new Innova plastic on a mixed track that plays to his strengths.

6,025 point/DGPT leagues

Steve's PicksAlex's Picks
Ricky Wysocki1049Ricky Wysocki1049
Dave Feldberg1031Eagle McMahon1024
Simon Lizotte1028Jeremy Koling1023
Philo Brathwaite1020James Conrad1017
Catrina Allen966Paige Pierce958
Des Reading930Sarah Hokom952

The extra points afford upgrades in the women’s division. Des Reading is a home state play here, and Sarah Hokom won the 2016 Texas States Championship on the same course.

Value Plays

James Conrad (1017) – It feels odd choosing a player rated at 1017 as a value pick, but as you’re probably noticing, even in more restrictive points leagues you can get away with choosing most of your MPO lineup from the 1020s. We feel like Conrad has a good shot at a top 10 or better this weekend—he excels in the woods, and that’s the name of the game on this back nine.

Miles Seaborn (1017) – Highly-rated? Check. Texas native? Check. Seaborn is generally a lock for a top 20 performance in a bigger event like this, with top 10 upside at a relatively low price.

Stephanie Vincent (909) – The Texas pro doesn’t tour that often but is always competitive when the larger events hit her state. She’s had strong rounds at Brazos East Park before and there’s a good chance she’ll be at it again this weekend.

Deep Sleepers

Nate Perkins (993) – He stays on our list of deep sleepers for the second tournament in a row. He had a quality showing at the GCC and two solid rounds at the Memorial. Now back in his home state and playing a course where he finished sixth at during last year’s Texas States Championship, he could be a good choice to round out your lineup.

Maria Oliva (873) – If you’re looking to allocate some more points towards your earlier selections, Oliva could be a good choice in the second women’s spot. She is very capable of out-performing her rating. She was in fourth place heading into the final round of last year’s Texas States Championship at this course, before a final round replete with rain dampened her finish.

Shy Away From

Cam Todd (1019) – We would like to go with the veteran who’s finished well at this course before and won an NT just last year, but he’s missed the cut at both the GCC and Memorial to start the season. Hopefully there’s no lingering elbow injuries, like he’s had in the past, and he’ll be back in fantasy lineups and at the top of leaderboards soon.

Zackeriath Johnson (999) – Some might be thinking about giving him a shot here because of his high finish on this course at least year’s Texas State Championship. But he missed the cut at the Memorial after some subpar rounds, so maybe hold off this week.

Final Thoughts

Why not have a little fun this week? Try something new with your lineups, and see how the strategy goes. With the fields being a little less deep than usual, take the opportunity to switch things up and keep the play fresh.

  1. Alex Colucci
    Alex Colucci

    Alex Colucci is the managing editor at Ultiworld Disc Golf. He is a disc golfer currently living in Northeast Ohio who teaches geography sometimes. Contact him at [email protected] with tips, news and questions, and follow him on Twitter.

  2. Steve Hill
    Steve Hill

    Steve Hill is the editor of Ultiworld Disc Golf. He provides reviews from the perspective of a low-powered player at Noodle Arm Disc Golf, and in the past served as the associate editor for Rattling Chains. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter.

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