Daily Fantasy PGA Picks for DraftKings - THE PLAYERS
DFSR is proud to bring you, Chris Durell. He'll be bringing weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings. As every week in DFS PGA changes with the course setup, field of players and weather, Chris will be providing a range of different picks for cash games as well as upside plays for tournaments. If you have any questions to lineup lock you can reach him a variety of ways. Leave your question/comment below in the comments section, find him in the DFSR Chat room or hit him up on Twitter(@Jager_Bombs9).
THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
Par 72 - 7,200 Yards(Approx after reno)
Greens - TifEagle Bermuda
Welcome back for another week of daily fantasy golf. After an exciting week at Eagle Point Golf Club for the Wells Fargo Championship, the players head to TPC Sawgrass for their own tournament and one of the best fields in golf. That's right, the PLAYERS Championship features an elite field that includes 48 of the Top 50 players in the world(#25 Thomas Pieters & #27 Brandt Snedeker are absent) giving the tournament an Official World Golf Ranking average of 137.
The land was purchased for just $1 and the revolutionary idea of Stadium Golf by Deane Beman was all brought together by renowned architect Pete Dye in the late 70's/early 80's to create what we now know as TPC Sawgrass. The idea was to create to course that didn't favor any particular style of game and presented a lot more than just a physical test, but also challenged the player's mental game and course management skills. There are no two holes running back to back in the same direction and there is also a mix of left to right and right to left doglegs across the course. Oh ya, then there is the historic Par 3, 17th hole with it's Island Green inspired by Pete's wife Alice. I included an excellent video history below and I think my favorite quote was from J.C. Snead who said of the new course "They ruined a perfectly good swamp". Boy was he wrong in the end.
"Only those who risk going too far will ever possibly find out how far one can go" ~ T.S. Eliot
This year's event will be present even more of a test than in the past with its recent renovation after Jason Day's victory a year ago. Every green was changed over to TifEagle Bermuda grass, a lake was added between holes 6 and 7 and the biggest change of all came at Hole 12. It was shortened to just over 300 yards to create a risk/reward driveable Par 4. A long bunker was added to the left side which eventually comes to a brand new pond just left of the green. You can count on seeing a wide range of scores from Eagle to Double Bogey or worse.
The Stats & Fantasy Approach
My Key Stats:
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Par 5 Birdie or Better %
- Strokes Gained: Around the Green
- Bogey Avoidance/Sand Save %
These are the general stats I am using for the week on my cheatsheet. I have SG: APP ranked higher than usual as there should be some less than driver strategies with placement at a premium to give the golfer a shot at the green. My model changes when using FanDuel as I will concentrate on weighing Scoring Average before the Cut for my RD 1&2 golfers and Round 3 & 4 Scoring Average for my RD 3&4 golfers. All my models will have Par 5 BoB% weighted in as this is where most of a players score will come from. With all the trouble at every turn, Bogey Avoidance is also weighted with an emphasis on Sand Save %.
With a lot of values in the lower range of salary, I will be making the majority of my GPP lineups with two or three high-end players. Let's jump in and take a look at who the cheatsheet favors this week.
For a feel of where ownership is going to be this week, be sure to head over to FanShareSports where they track all the social media mentions of all players throughout the week. They then quantify this data and rank each player in their "Most Tagged List". They have also added Salary Differential, Subject Tags and Projections. All the tools you need to help you become a better daily fantasy golf player.
Top Course History Targets
He comes back to TCP Sawgrass with a limited sample size but very impressive nonetheless. He finished T24 here in 2015 and came back last year and shot a 10 under and finished T3 behind winner Jason Day. He has come a long way since last season picking up three wins earlier this year(CIMB Classic, SBS TOC, Sony open) and while they all came over three months ago, he obviously has the game to contend here once again. He is going to be popular(2nd most tagged on FanShare at this point) this week, especially on DraftKings under the $9K mark but makes a high upside play safe in all formats.
Hideki has one more year of experience here at TPC Sawgrass but very similar form as Thomas and has also gotten better each year. Despite shooting no rounds under 70 in 2014, he was very consistent through four rounds and finished T23. In 2015 he opened with a 67 and even after a second round 74, shot 72/69 on the weekend to finish inside the Top 20. Last year he was in contention going into the final round but faltered with a one over 73 but still finished inside the Top 10. His form was much better early in the season and I think that helps keep his ownership down this week with all the elite options in the $9K+ range. Excellent GPP pivot.
Top Current Form Targets
Not counting the Dell Match Play, Rory has played four tournaments on the PGA Tour this season, finishing inside the Top 10 in all four including a T7 at the Masters. I hate saying a player is due for a win but it's hard to avoid it either when a player is consistently on the leaderboard tourney after tourney. He struggled early in his career here at TPC Sawgrass with three missed cuts in his first three trips but has since gone T8, T6, T8, T12. All things considered, he is #1 in my overall model this week and my top play.
World Golf Ranking (#34)
Vegas Odds (55/1)
There are a handful of golfers who sit a bit higher in the form rankings but I lean Molinari as his ownership level should be much lower making him a top GPP play once again this week. He was in contention last week until a final round 75 gave him a T24 finish but he has been one of the most consistent non-elite players all season. He has made 11 of 12 cuts including three Top 10's and nine Top 25 finishes. He also ranks #5 overall in my rankings as he comes back to TPC Sawgrass with a three Top 10's in five trips including a T7 last year and T6 in 2014. Statistically, he ranks 3rd in the field in SG: APP, which is my top stat this week. There isn't really anything not to like here.
Who the Stats Like
World Golf Ranking (#9)
Vegas Odds (20/1)
Looking at my stats model ranks this week, it was a bit surprising to see Rickie right at the top but digging deeper it makes perfect sense. He ranks Top 20 in all my weighted stats highlighted by a 4th overall rank in SG: APP, 5th in Par 5 BoB%, 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, and 3rd in Sand Save %. He has erratic course history here with four missed cuts in seven tries but won the PLAYERS two years ago and finished runner-up in 2012. He is an absolute bargain under $9,500 on both sites.
World Golf Ranking (#5)
Vegas Odds (12/1)
You thought I was going to forget out Spieth, didn't you? Can't have a stats section centered around approach shots without talking about Spieth. He ranks a close second behind his good friend Rickie Fowler thanks to his first overall rank in SG: APP, 2nd overall rank in Par 5 BoB%, and 2nd overall rank in Bogey Avoidance. The only thing keeping him from the Fowler tier is his 59th rank in Sand Save % and 45th in SG: ATG. That won't matter much if he can continue to use his pinpoint accuracy on approach shots. He finished T4 here in his first trip in 2014 but has now missed the cut in back to back years. This should help keep his ownership down once again this week.
Top Low-End Value Plays
World Golf Ranking (#48)
Vegas Odds (70/1)
He is a much better value on DraftKings in the mid $7K range and that is where I will be targeting him this week. he is a former PLAYERS Champion(2014) who has made all eight cuts here in his career which is pretty impressive in itself. He has also not missed a cut on the PGA Tour since the Valspar back in March last season which is a nice 14 event stretch. He is a player who always seems to find his A game in these strong field events and can be considered in all formats.
World Golf Ranking (#47)
Vegas Odds (125/1)
Am I crazy or is Hadwin grossly under-priced this week? I get that it's a strong field but after his incredible start to the season, I thought he would be in the mid $7K-$8K range for sure. Just more value for us in DFS as he fits the model ranking 29th overall. He missed the cut here at TPC Sawgrass in his first trip in 2015 but rebounded with a T34 last year. He has upside to best that finish this time around but I wouldn't go as far to call him safe. He is coming off a horrible weekend at the Valero Texas Open where he shot 82/74. Surprisingly, it was his first 80+ round since the Valero two years. Look for him to rebound this week in Florida.
If you have any questions leading up to lineup lock Thursday morning you can reach me in a variety of ways. Leave a Q below in the comment section and I will get you an answer. You can hit me up in the new chatroom here at DFSR(It's crazy busy with NBA/MLB talk so try and private message me for specific PGA Q's. I am also always available on Twitter(@jager_bombs9). Good luck this week!
**Note on Stats - The stats I refer to in this article are from my own spreadsheet/cheatsheet and weigh both 2017 and 2016 stats. If you have any questions about the cheatsheet please contact me on Twitter(@Jager_Boms9).**
THE PLAYERS Update Thread
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA and of course PGA. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any PGA questions and how he copes with the winters up north.