Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice
Daily Fantasy PGA Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel - WGC Bridgestone Invitational
DFSR is proud to bring you, Chris Durell. He'll be bringing weekly PGA picks, analysis, and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. 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). Chris is also providing his DFS PGA Weekly cheatsheet where he provides stats, course history, current form, fantasy points, and much more. Grab your copy today and edge out the competition.
WGC Bridgestone Invitational
Welcome back golf fans. It was World #1, Dustin Johnson, bouncing back in a big way after missing the cut at the OPEN as he went into Glen Abbey and took down the RBC Canadian Open with a winning score -23, three strokes ahead of Byeong Hun An and Whee Kim. It extended his lead in the FedEx Cup standings by over 500 points over Justin Thomas as the Tour heads into the final three events before the Playoffs.
This week the best players in the World will meet at Firestone Country Club for its final run as a WGC venue for the Bridgestone Invitational. It is an absolutely loaded field as every player in the Top 50 World Golf Rankings is teeing it up at Firestone this week including Tiger Woods who has won here eight times and won a WGC event 18 times. The tournament also has just a 73-man field which means there will be no cut this week and all players will get a full four rounds of golf.
The course is a monstrous 7,400 yards long, especially considering it is only a Par 70. The added distance on the Par 5, 16th hole(667 yards) doesn't aid the bombers as it will still be a three-shot hole for almost everyone in the field. We have seen both bombers and shorter, course management players do well here over the years and a lot of that has to do with the tree-lined fairways which are very narrow putting a ton of emphasis on not just hitting them but also in the right areas. The greens will be firm and fast and while they are bigger than average, they have run offs around the green which makes them play smaller and puts emphasis on Proximity when looking at Strokes Gained: Approach. The other thing to note about the course when looking at key stats and what to target is that seven of the Par 4's come in the 450-500 yard range which will also put emphasis on long iron play.
For fantasy purposes, we can look at more of a stars and scrubs approach as there is no cut and the tier players are not really scrubs this week. With that, let's dig in and take a look at the course breakdown, previous winners, top stats and then my picks when looking at course history, current form, and the stats model.
Firestone Country Club(South)
Par 70 - 7,400 Yards
**Click the pic above to see a hole by hole breakdown of the course from PGATour.com**
Hole Composition(via Fantasy National Golf Club)
- 2017 - Hideki Matsuyama(-16)
- 2016 - Dustin Johnson(-6)
- 2015 - Shane Lowry(-11)
- 2014 - Rory McIlroy(-15)
- 2013 - Tiger Woods(-15)
Top Stats in the Model
- Strokes Gained: Off the Tee + Driving Accuracy(30%)
- Strokes Gained: Approach + Long Iron Proximity(30%)
- Par 4 Scoring(20%)
- Birdie or Better %(20%)
One little note before jumping into the article. I use multiple sources for my research to help determine key stats starting with Fantasy National Golf Club and their elite set of tools from course history, hole composition, past performance and much, much more. I also combine it with some of the information on Future of Fantasy including correlated courses and most importantly the quotes from players section to help determine what it takes to win here(key stats). When breaking down ownership and trying to come up with popularity, I love the tools over at FanShareSports as they break down every piece of information on articles and social media mentions to provide us with Tag Counts, Sentiment Ratings, Subject Tags, Salary Differential week to week and their all new lineup optimizer.
Top Course History Targets
If salaries and odds were based off course history, Tiger would be $20K this week. He has 18 total World Golf Championship wins and eight of them have come here at Firestone Country Club with the most recent back in 2013. I have been hesitant to write him up in his return to the PGA Tour this season as I didn't want to get my hopes up or blow my bankroll on my favorite all-time player. The time has finally come as I have seen enough to consider him a contender almost every week he tees it up. He is coming off a T6 at the OPEN in Carnoustie and a T4 at the Quicken Loans National and has made 10 of 12 cuts with four Total Top 10's this season. Looking at the last 24 rounds data(via FNGC), he ranks 12th in SG: Total, 2nd in SG: Approach, 1st in SG: Around the Green, and 13th in DraftKings scoring. He has giant upside at a course he has owned in the past and is in play in all formats, especially on FanDuel where he is the 10th most expensive golfer.
Fowler has never won a WGC event in his career but his best record comes here at the Bridgestone Invitational. He returns to Firestone CC with four straight Top 10 finishes and five in his eight trips and looking at the last 24 rounds data, ranks Top 25 in every Strokes Gained category and is fourth in DraftKings scoring during that time. He has been up and down this season and still searching for his first win in 2018 but he does have a pair of runner-up finishes(OHL Classic, The Masters) and comes in with five straight made cuts including four Top 20 finishes. Considering the other players in his range of salary, Rickie coul dbe a bit overlooked meaning I will liekly be a overweight this week.
Top Current Form Targets
World Golf Ranking (#6)
Vegas Odds (28/1)
Since missing the cut at the PLAYERS back in the middle of May, Molinari has arguably been the hottest player on the planet! He will be teeing it up for the first time since hoisting the Claret Jug at the OPEN, his third win(Quicken Loans, BMW PGA the other two) in his last six worldwide events to go along with runner-ups at the Quicken Loans National and BMW PGA Championship and has made the jump from #33 to #6 in the world golf rankings. In that time(last 24 rounds), he ranks 3rd in SG: Total, 3rd in SG: Ball Striking, and 5th in DraftKings scoring. He has just one Top 20 here at Firestone(2011) in seven trips but comes in with the best form of his career and should be considered a strong GPP play this week as the 9th most expensive on DraftKings and 13th most expensive on FanDuel.
World Golf Ranking (#51)
Vegas Odds (45/1)
ZJ hasn't hoisted any hardware since the OPEN Championship in 2015 but has been incredibly consistent in 2018. He comes into this week with four straight Top 20 finishes and has missed just one cut in 18 stroke-play events all season. He isn't a stand out in the stats model(22nd overall) but ranks Top 25 in SG: Approach, SG: Around the Green, Driving Accuracy, Proximity from 200+ yards, Par 4 Scoring, and Birdie or Better %. He is also Top 10 in putting average, overall proximity, and Bogey Avoidance. To cap it off, ZJ also returns to Firestone CC with a runner-up last year and has four Top 10's in his last seven trips. He is an excellent mid-tier value play on both sites.
Who the Stats Like
World Golf Ranking (#48)
Vegas Odds (80/1)
He ranks just inside the Top 25 in the stats model but I wanted to find a value play to help get some big names in my lineups and he does stand out in a few key areas. On my sheet he ranks 11th in SG: Off the Tee, 13th in SG: Ball Striking, and 14th in Proximity from 200+ Yards. He is anything but safe but after missing five of six cuts from April to June, he has been trending up with a 65th place finish at the U.S. Open, T30 at the Greenbrier, and T6 at the OPEN. He now returns to the Bridgestone Invitational after a T3 in 2016 and T13 last year. You probably don't want to go here in cash games but he does have PTS/$ value in GPP formats on both sites.
World Golf Ranking (#3)
Vegas Odds (30/1)
First of all, his sub $9K price on DraftKings seems ridiculous considering he is #3 in the World Golf Rankings, the defending FedEx Cup Champion, Player of the Year, and has already won two events in the 2018 season. Sure, the form isn't great coming off a missed cut at the OPEN and T56 at the Travelers Championship but he nails the stats model ranking 5th in SG: Approach, 4th in SG: Ball Striking, 2nd in Proximity from 200+ Yards, 6th in Par 4 Scoring, 3rd in Par 5 Scoring, and 4th in overall Birdie or Better %. He has never finished inside the Top 25 here at Firestone but has the skillset to win and will be hard to avoid at that price.
Tournament Update Thread
**Weather Update(click the pic below to see the updated weather forecast from Windfinder.com**
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for five years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in college football, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, NHL 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.