Golf Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy PGA Picks and Betting Guide for DraftKings & FanDuel – Farmers Insurance Open

    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.


    Farmers Insurance Open

    Welcome back golf fans. Last week was a "throw out your models" kind of week when looking at the winner as 31-year-old Adam Long put together a tremendous final round 65 to edge out Phil Mickelson and Adam Hadwin by one stroke to grab his first career victory.

    This week the PGA Tour stays in California and heads slightly south to San Diego for the Farmers Insurance Open. There are two courses used for the event but unlike last week the cut of Top 70 and ties will come after the second round as normal with the final two rounds being played at the host course, Torrey Pines South. The field is one of the strongest of the season so far as it includes World #1 player, Justin Rose, four of the Top 10, and 24 of the Top 50 players in the World. While native Phil Mickelson has decided to skip the event, we do get Tiger Woods making his season debut at a course where he has won a whopping seven times over his career(last in 2013).

    The host course, Torrey Pines South, is annually one of the toughest tests on Tour at a whopping 7,698 yards long(longest on tour). Torrey Pines North used to be a nice break for the players in the first two days but since being renovated in 2016, has come a lot closer to the South Course in terms of scoring although only 7,258 yards. From a stats model perspective, I will be focusing on the South Course as it will be used for three of the four rounds for those golfers who make the cut. The first thing I am looking at is not only Strokes Gained: Off the Tee but an emphasis on Driving Distance. After that, I am looking at Strokes Gained: Approach and putting more emphasis on Proximity from the long irons more than anything else. Because golfers will face a lot of long approach shots combined with the smaller than average green sizes on the South Course, Scrambling will also be important this week. As you can see, as we paint the picture of what is important here to succeed, Torrey Pines is going to test almost all facets of a players game throughout the week. Keep this in mind when building custom models with my sheets and/or the Fantasy National Golf Club custom model builder.

    Let's now jump in and take a look at the courses, top stats, previous winners, and then dive into the picks.

    The Course

    Torrey Pines South 
    Par 72 - 7,698 Yards
    Greens - Poa Annua

    Torrey Pines North 
    Par 72 - 7,258 Yards
    Greens - Bentgrass

    Previous Five Winners

    • 2018 - Jason Day(-10)
    • 2017 - Jon Rahm(-13)
    • 2016 - Brandt Snedeker(-6)
    • 2015 - Jason Day(-9)
    • 2014 - Scott Stallings(-9)

    Top Stats in the Model

    • Strokes Gained: Off the Tee with emphasis on Driving Distance
    • Strokes Gained: Approach with emphasis on long irons
    • Boger Avoidance
    • Strokes Gained: Around the Green/Scrambling

    When breaking down the top stats I use a combination of my own cheatsheet, the tools over at FantasyNational.com, and the Future of Fantasy Golfanac.


    Top Tier Targets

    Tony Finau
    World Golf Ranking (#10)
    Vegas Odds (18/1)
    Draftkings ($9,900)
    FanDuel ($10,700)

    Even with all the big names in the top tier this week, I will start out with Finau for a couple of reasons starting with the discount on both sites. He has the length off the tee averaging over 316 yards and it has proven to be an asset here as he returns with some terrific course history with a T24 in 2015, T18 in 2016, T4 in 2017, and a T6 last year. Outside of the distance advantage, he is also 6th on my sheet in SG: Around the Green, 16th in Par 4 Scoring, 4th in Par 5 Scoring, 9th in BoB%, and 16th in Bogey Avoidance. He will likely be chalky this week but is a great play in all formats.

    Marc Leishman
    World Golf Ranking (#16)
    Vegas Odds (20/1)
    Draftkings ($9,700)
    FanDuel ($10,800)

    I will stick in the lower level of the tier with my second pick. Like Finau, Leishman also checks off all the boxes and is one of just four players who to rank Top 20 in all four categories on my sheet starting with his tremendous course history. He has played here nine times, making the cut eight times, and finishing inside the Top 10 four times, two of which were runner-up finishes. He now comes into this year's event with excellent form coming off back to back Top 5's at the Sony Open and Tournament of Champions, and also won the CIMB Classic back in mid-October. He doesn't have the same distance as Finau, but hits on everything else ranking 25th in SG: Approach, 16th in SG: Around the Green, 20th in Par 4 Scoring, 15th in Par 5 Scoring, 12th in Bob%, and 26th in Bogey Avoidance. All things considered, he is a great play in all formats and a Leishman/Finau combo is a great way to start a high upside balanced lineup in GPP formats.

    Mid Tier Targets

    Cameron Champ
    World Golf Ranking (#79)
    Vegas Odds (50/1)
    Draftkings ($8,500)
    FanDuel ($9,800)

    Champ came back to Earth in his most recent start as he MDFed at the Sony Open but overall he is off to a terrific start to his rookie season on Tour. Through seven starts, he already has a win(Sanderson Farms Championship), three Top 10's and five Top 25's while ranking 4th in SG: Off the Tee, 2nd in Driving Distance, and 25th in SG: Putting. The distance gives him a big advantage at a course like this and while the proximity number are down, he is hitting a ton of Greens in Regulation(76%) and already putting fantastic so we likely have not seen his ceiling yet. I don't think I trust him enough to roster in cash games but with his upside, I will have a ton of exposure in GPP formats and also a one-unit bet to win at 50-1.

    J.B. Holmes
    World Golf Ranking (#99)
    Vegas Odds (60/1)
    Draftkings ($7,900)
    FanDuel ($10,500)

    After struggling here at Torrey Pines early in his career(T27, T63, MC, MC), Holmes figured things out and has finished T33 or better in five straight years including Top 6 finishes in three of his last four trips. Over the last 24 rounds here at the Farmers(see below), he ranks among the best in the field across the board and comes at a big discount. This is his first appearance in 2019 and at these prices, I would take his fall season form where he made all four cuts including a Top 10(Safeway Open) and three Top 25 finishes.

    Value Targets

    Kevin Tway
    World Golf Ranking (#84)
    Vegas Odds (110/1)
    Draftkings ($7,200)
    FanDuel ($9,600)

    Tway is coming off a missed cut(by a stroke) at the Sony Open but overall is having an excellent start to the season. He won the opening Safeway Open and has finished inside the Top 30 in four of six events. He also returns to the Farmers with some decent history(for the price) as he has a T35 and T41 in his two trips. His best value comes on DraftKings at just $7,200 which is 43rd in the field and he shows up at #17 in my model. Definitely GPP only on FanDuel but on DraftKings I will use him in all formats.

    Anders Albertson
    World Golf Ranking (#225)
    Vegas Odds (160/1)
    Draftkings ($7,000)
    FanDuel ($8,000)

    Albertson started out his rookie season with a missed cut at the Safeway Open but has since reeled off five straight made cuts with no finish worse than last week's T34 and he has shown winning upside coming close at the Sanderson Farms Champions(T5). Statistically, he isn't long off the tee which is a slight concern but he ranks 1st on my sheet in SG: Ball Striking, 5th in Proximity(21st from 200+ yards), 6th in Par 4 Scoring, 8th in BoB%, 2nd in scrambling, and 1st in Bogey Avoidance. At these prices, I will once again be using Albertson in all formats.

    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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