Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – CIMB Classic

    Chris will be bringing you 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.


    CIMB Classic

    The second event of the new season takes the PGA Tour to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the CIMB Classic. It is a small, no-cut event with 78 players in the field including 10 spots reserved for the top Asian players in the world.

    TPC Kuala Lumpur is definitely not one of the most challenging courses as a 7,005 yard, Par 72 setup with easy to hit fairways and greens. One thing to note about the course is that it went through a renovation since last year that saw the green surfaces converted from Paspalum to TifEagle Bermuda and will run a lot firmer than previous years. The winner over the last three years has shot into the -20's and the average score over the last five years is -21. There will be a ton of birdies(average of over 1300 over the last three years) putting a ton of emphasis on Strokes Gained: Approach and Birdie or Better % which will be easily my top two stats this week. With that said, let's take a look at the rolling report in each of those stat categories coming into this week(via Fantasy National Golf Club).

    Strokes Gained: Approach(Rolling Report)

    Birdie or Better Gained(Rolling Report)

    The Course

    TPC Kuala Lumpur
    Par 72 - 7,005 Yards

    **Click the pic above to see a hole by hole breakdown from**

    Hole Composition

    Previous Five Winners

    Top Stats in the Model

    • Strokes Gained: Approach with Emphasis on Proximity(40%)
    • Birdie or Better(30%)
    • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee(20%)
    • Par 5 Birdie or Better(10%)

    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 much more.

    Top Tier Targets

    Justin Thomas
    World Golf Ranking (#4)
    Vegas Odds (4.5/1)
    Draftkings ($11,700)
    FanDuel ($13,000)

    Thomas is coming off another very successful season where he won three times(CJ Cup, Honda Classic, WGC Bridgestone) with 9 total Top 10's and 19 Top 25 finishes in 21 stroke-play events and was also the top performer for the USA at the Ryder Cup going 4-1 in a losing effort. He now returns to the CIMB Classic where he has had a ton of success early in his career with a T17 last year after back to back wins in 2016 and 2015. Looking at the key stats, JT ranked 3rd overall last season in SG: Approach(1st field),  3rd overall in Birdie or Better %(1st in field), and 2nd overall in Par 5 Birdie or Better(1st in field). Paying all the way up in cash games makes the rest of your lineup a bit risky but in GPP formats, JT makes a ton of sense with his incredible upside.

    Rafa Cabrera Bello
    World Golf Ranking (#29)
    Vegas Odds (28/1)
    Draftkings ($9,000)
    FanDuel ($9,300)

    Bello is a player I will be targeting in all formats this week at a discount from others in the top tier.  For cash games, he is coming off a very consistent season where he missed just one cut in 19 stroke-play events and returns to Kuala Lumpur where he finished T10 in each of the last two years. Statistically, he also stands out as he finished the season 14th in SG: Approach(7th in field), 25th in SG: Tee to Green(7th in field), and 39th in Birdie or Better %(14th in field). He also enters this week ranked 14th in the field in DraftKings scoring over the last 24 rounds overall which also gives him GPP upside. He is one of my top PTS/$ plays this week that is safe in all formats and I will also be placing an outright win bet on him at 28-1.

    Mid Tier Targets

    Sam Ryder
    World Golf Ranking (#169)
    Vegas Odds (60/1)
    Draftkings ($7,700)
    FanDuel ($7,800)

    Ryder was somewhat overlooked last year and didn't have the success of others in his rookie class but he sure finished strong making the cut in five straight events including his only three Top 10 finishes of the season. He carried that success over into the new season as he came out strong at the Safeway Open last week shooting under par in all four rounds(39/70/67/69) finishing -13 good enough for a T4. He finished the week 5th in SG: Approach, 7th in SG: Tee to Green, and 17th in SG: Putting. Looking at the past 24 rounds data(via FNGC), he ranks 3rd in the field in SG: Total, 9th in SG: Ball Striking(38th OTT, 5th APP), 2nd in SG: Par 5, and 2nd in DraftKings scoring. Fire up Ryder once again in all formats. He is another player I will be betting outright at 60-1 and will add the each-way option as well.

    C.T. Pan
    World Golf Ranking (#102)
    Vegas Odds (45/1)
    Draftkings ($8,000)
    FanDuel ($8,500)

    Pan isn't a guy that has a ton of upside as he recorded just five Top 10's in the last two seasons combined but he has been very consistent. He ended the 2017-18 season making it all the way to the BMW Championship in the playoffs and made the cut in seven straight and 12 of his last 13 cuts dating back to May. He backs up those performances with some solid stats as well ranking 11th in the field in SG: Total, 11th in SG: Ball Striking(32nd OTT, 7th APP), and 14th in DraftKings Scoring. He finished T17 here last year in his first appearance at the CIMB Classic and I will be targeting him in all formats in DFS as well as a Top 20 and Top 10 bet.

    Value Targets

    Jason Kokrak
    World Golf Ranking (#105)
    Vegas Odds (66/1)
    Draftkings ($7,100)
    FanDuel ($8,400)

    I find myself targeting players who finished last season strong and another one who stands out is Jason Kokrak. He was up and down most of the season but finished with six straight made cuts dating back to the RBC Canadian Open including four Top 25 finishes. Scoring on the Par 5's is something I am looking at closely this week and Kokrak ranks 10th in the field in Par 5 Scoring and 4th in Par 5 Birdie or Better % and he is also 21st in SG: Ball Striking, and 7th in overall Birdie or Better %. Finally, looking at the DraftKings salary vs. odds differential rankings, Kokrak stands out as a tremendous value as he has the best odds of any golfer in the sub $7,500 range. All things considered, he is a top value target in all formats.

    Keith Mitchell
    World Golf Ranking (#141)
    Vegas Odds (140/1)
    Draftkings ($6,900)
    FanDuel ($7,700)

    Like Sam Ryder, Mitchell was a bit overlooked in his rookie season but was solid making 21 of 28 cuts in stroke-play events while also flashing some upside with a runner-up at Corales Puntacana Championship and four total Top 10 finishes. Despite missing the cut at the playoff-opening event, he made it all the way to the BMW Championship. Looking at my cheatsheet, he ranks 21st in this field in SG: Ball Striking but most of that comes from his distance and Off the Tee game as he ranks 51st in SG: APP. What stands out the most is his upside as he ranks 2nd in this field in Par 5 Birdie or Better % and 2nd in overall Birdie or Better %. I won't be using him in cash games this week but he will most defintiely be a part of my GPP player pool.

    Tournament Update Thread

    **Weather Update**

    Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for six 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.

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